Residents of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, were shocked to see Tammy Bowers’ body in March 1990. She had been raped and then brutally beaten to death. The police had to wait 16 years for forensic science to develop and catch her attacker. The investigators displayed remarkable persistence in this case.
Investigation Discovery’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn: Terrifying Clues” meticulously documents the case to help viewers understand the complicated investigation process. We have you covered if you want to find out what happened and where the perpetrator is. Let’s dive in now, without further delay.
How Did Tammy Bowers Die?
Tammy Laine Bowers, who was born on March 8, 1971, was studying to become a nurse. She stayed in a trailer in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. To connect with her family and friends, the 18-year-old was a free-spirited teenager who used the payphone to walk a few blocks to Lil’ pal’s Convenience Store on Louisiana Highway 73. She didn’t know she would become a victim of two predators and lose her life.
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Tammy went shopping at the store on March 6, 1990. She then called her friend Steve Villar from the payphone around 11:15 pm. Steve heard Tammy’s screams, and they began to talk about their lives. Steve could not reach his friend and drove to the spot to find her broken glasses on the ground. Her keys and purse were still inside her car. Tammy was not found, and Steve went to her trailer to search for her. He discovered a note that Tammy had left for her roommates. It stated that she had gone to the shop to call Steve.
Steve was worried about Tammy and called the police. Ascension Parish sheriffs arrived on the scene to find Tammy’s half-open pocketknife and a black baseball hat near Tammy. Soon Tammy was found. On her 19th birthday, a Louisiana Power and Light Company employee (now Entergy Louisiana) found her body along River Road. Her autopsy report showed that she had been brutally raped and then beaten to death. She had also been stabbed in her neck and chest.
These injuries were not fatal, but Tammy sustained blunt-force injuries in her neck, face, and head from a log. Her skull, upper jawbone, and lower jawbone had been fractured. Tammy also sustained a blunt injury to her upper spine. This dislocated and fractured her first and second vertebrae. Investigators found evidence on the scene that included a log or firewood, which could have been Tammy’s murder weapon, and a black T-shirt and a green shirt.
The medical examiners took blood and urine samples from the victim, as well as nail clippings and fingerprints. They also took fiber from her underarms and palm prints. The FBI also collected some of the hair and fibers for testing. Blunt force trauma was the cause of death.
Who Killed Tammy Bowers
Investigators found a witness named David Rathbun, who claimed to have seen a black man get out of a Ford Torino to approach Tammy. David, however, was not able to see the next step. The probe revealed no evidence, so the case was closed. No arrests were made. The forensic technology of the 1990s was still very new. Therefore, DNA evidence and biological samples taken from the scene did not assist.
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They did not lose heart. In 2002, when forensic science was relatively advanced, the authorities submitted DNA evidence again. Their persistence paid off 16 years later when the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory received a CODIS hit to the national database. After analyzing DNA samples, they found that Herman Frazier was the match. He was then 39 years old. He was charged with Tammy’s abduction, murder, and rape in California.
Where is Herman Frazier today?
Herman pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping and forcible rape on September 21, 2010. He was indicted and sentenced to 50 years of imprisonment at hard labor with no benefits. Herman did, however, give details about Talbert Morris Jr. as part of the plea agreement.
According to Herman, Talbert, AKA Tolbert, abducted Tammy and then beat her brutally. Talbert was also sentenced to two consecutive life terms in 2012 and 30 years without parole or probation. According to official court records, Herman is currently in prison at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Louisiana.