The Glenn Patrick Bradford Case

Once again I have chosen to blog about a case that was popular in my tri-state area at a time before I returned to the area. I am sure I am not alone in the fact that when I see a true crime show that is located in an area I know and and have at least a marginal knowledge about it always seems a bit more exciting. I particularly like the show The Shift, that was based out of Indianapolis Indiana considering I lived there for 24 years.  In this case, since I was from the area originally and had family that lived here I knew at least a little about the area. Since I have moved back as an adult and I read about these cases I have an even better view of where these crimes were committed.

The last case that I did here I had attempted to rely on a local website that contained repeated articles that had been published in the local paper before moving on to other areas of research.  I was sorely disappointed in those as I felt that many were all but inaccurate and skewed in many ways.  For this case, while I did read through many of the articles that were written, I began with what I often consider the best source, although I have been disappointed with some in the past, the court appeals papers.  In general I find appeals to give a good background of the story and a more accurate and straight forward account of proceedings in a trial.  Thankfully, this was a case that did not fail me in this area.

At 6:35 am on the morning of August 2, 1992 Evansville Indiana police officer Glenn "Patrick" Bradford, who had just gotten off duty but still had his patrol car called in that there was a fire at a home on South Boeke (pronounced Bakey) Road.  With in a few short minutes firefighters were on the scene and within just a few minutes of arriving the fire had been extinguished.  What they found under the ashes was the body of Tamara Sue Lohr, a 24 year old civilian who worked as a civilian correction officer at the local county jail.  

In the beginnings of the investigation Bradford was simply considered to be a witness and was interviewed since he was the person to discover the fire.  What came out in the investigation revealed much more. To this day, more than 20 years after this crime, those on either side of this crime are adamant that their position is the correct one.  I have to personally say that I am unsure of my position on either side of this crime other than to know a crime was committed. Bradford was eventually convicted of murder and arson and is serving an 80 year prison term. So how did this officer go from reporting a fire to being the person convicted for the crime?

It seems that it was pretty common knowledge, among a lot of people, that Patrick Bradford and Tamara Lohr were having an affair.  This was not one of those things that lasted a few months or even a year.  This affair had been ongoing for at least six years.  Patrick was married and had two children at the time.  The one thing that no one seems to dispute is that Patrick's wife, Dawn, knew about the affair and had for some time. In fact, most reports say she knew as far back as 1990 about the affair and had confront Lohr on more than one occasions.  It was then that Tammy Lohr had sent several anonymous letters to Dawn Bradford informing her about the affair.  Over the next few years Patrick would tell Dawn that the affair had ended when it had not.  Dawn would find out, there would be a confrontation between she and Patrick, or sometimes between she and Lohr, to which Patrick would claim again to end the affair. It does seem, that while at the time of her death the affair had taken a turn and not as strong as it once had been, that it was was not completely over.  In June of 1992 Patrick had supposedly ended the affair and returned keys that he had to Lohr's home.  During that month it would later be revealed that Tammy would send Patrick at least 7 angry emails.  In one she had threatened to show Dawn professional pictures that she and Patrick had had taken at some point. Prosecutors would later claim that these emails were saved in a folder on Patrick's work computer but had been deleted sometime either the night before Tammy's body was found, or just hours after the discovery. Patrick apparently admitted to deleting the emails, that were later retrieved though a computer expert, saying that he did so in attempts to "remember her in a good light."

At the trial the prosecution seemed to depend mostly on the evidence of the arson and the argument, as in many cases, depended on whether they could prove that Patrick had the opportunity to commit the crime in the time period in which they could not account for Patrick.  Patrick worked the overnight shift that began at 10:30 pm and ended at 6:30 am. According to the prosecution theory, from the time of of 10:57 when Patrick got gas, until 11:50 when he was seen driving by a local restaurant, Patrick could not accurately account for his time. The defense argued this saying that at 11:25 Patrick had called into dispatch to see if there were any warrants on a man named George Russell.  He would claim that while patrolling he had seen Russell, who he knew as he had arrested him in the past, and he wanted to see if he was wanted for anything.  When the check came back negative Patrick decided there was no reason to stop Russell. Russell would later claim that he was no where in the area Patrick claimed but at his brothers, and apparently others confirmed this. Patrick would also claim that he responded to a "hit and run" call during this time and had it in his logs. However, the other officer at the scene, Eric Middendorf testified he never saw Patrick at the scene, nor does it seem there was any evidence (at least at trial) other than Patrick's own log to indicate he was present.  Defense attorney's would later claim that a witnesses came forward after the trial claiming to have seen Patrick there but the courts would find this evidence unreliable.  Again, going with the prosecution theory at trial, it was claimed that it was during this period of just under an hour that Patrick went to Tammy home and murdered her.  She had been stabbed in excess of 20 times along her back, face, chest, and shoulders.  Within the stab wounds Tammy's heart, both lungs and her carotid artery had been pierced.  According to the medical examiner's report Tammy was already dead before the fire started but he could not give a precise time of death due to the damage the fire had caused.  

The two responding firemen to the scene also testified at the trial.  Randy Baugh, a captain with the department had driven by Tammy's home just about 6:30 on his way to work.  He would claim that he saw no smoke at that time. It would be claimed that Baugh, and his fellow firefighter, Brian Owens were the first in the home and had extinguished the fire no later than 6:41, a mere six minutes after Patrick's call to dispatch.  They both testified that they had determined that the fire had only burned for a period of five to seven minutes in total. This information was crucial to Patrick's defense.  The prosecution needed this short period of time in which the fire burned to be able to prove that Patrick set the fire.  ATM camera's from just down the road from Tammy's home had shown him driving in the direction of her home at 6:30, just after finishing his shift at work.  Theoretically he had a total of five minutes to get out of his car, set the home on fire and call it in to dispatch.  Supporters have gone on to say that in this time period he would have also had to have killed Tammy's dog also inside the home.  The dog was also found stabbed in another room but critic say that an autopsy done on the dog indicated that the dog was still alive when the fire started as the CO2 levels in the dog indicated as such.  Truthfully I cannot confirm nor deny this as I saw little to collaborate this.  

I know I have mentioned the prosecution theory a few times already and pointed out a few things, but before I go any further I would like to put the whole theory together.  Again, keep in mind that this is the theory thought by the prosecution and not necessarily supported by evidence but by producing a time line based on what they say they knew.  So the prosecution idea was that Tammy Lohr had spoken to her father on the phone between approximately 10:30 and 11:00 pm on the night of August 1, 1992.  Sometime between 11:00 pm and midnight Patrick Bradford entered the home and murdered Tammy, apparently in her bed. He then staged the home to look like a burglary had happened.  A screen in the kitchen had been cut but apparently from the inside and a gate leading to the back yard was open.  They also attempted to contend that it was at this time gasoline was poured in the bedroom and especially on Tammy's body (an empty gas can was found at the scene) but they were unable to completely prove this and the judge in the case asked the jury to dismiss the idea that the fire was attempted at this time.  Prosecutors then say that Patrick returned to work, only to finish his shift at 6:30, head back to Tammy's house, start the fire and call it in to dispatch.  Prosecutors claim that the motive for the murder was the fact that Tammy had become angry from the attempted break up and had threatened to send information to Dawn Bradford.  

To boost their theory, the prosecution had a neighbor testify that a marked police car was parked outside Tammy's home around 11 pm.  I was unable to determine if this neighbor claimed to know how long the car supposedly remained there.  Patrick had stated that he did go to Tammy's home prior to his shift that started at 10:30, so less than an hour prior to the neighbors testimony.  It was also determined that Tammy was on the phone with her father until just a few short minutes before 11:00.  

As far as their defense went, as is the case in most murder cases, they dismissed just about everything the prosecution presented.  First they attacked the motive.  Defense attorney's claimed that Dawn obviously knew about the affair already.  Dawn Bradford even testified that she had told Patrick repeatedly that she would never leave him despite him being unfaithful.  It should be pointed out that she testified that she also told him that if he was in love with Tammy Lohr then he should be with her and they would divorce. Prosecutors were able to point out that while Patrick would repeatedly tell Dawn that the affair had ended that it really had not.  As far as the fire went, Barker Davie, a forensic chemist and fire investigator testified at the trial that through his research and investigation he believed that the fire started before Patrick got to the home and that it would have had to have burned much longer than the prosecution claimed to burn through the door of the room and create the smoke that was alleged.  Again, on cross-examination the prosecutors were able to get to Davie's to admit that in a deposition he had stated that the fire could have been started when Patrick arrived.  Davie's had said this, but in his defense while he stated that it was possible it was improbable in his expert opinion.  

Of course the defense also hammered in on the hour that the prosecution stated Patrick did not have an alibi.  When George Russell (the man Patrick had asked a check to be run on) was on the stand, the defense attempted to unsuccessfully impeach him in his testimony.  They would later claim in an appeal that the trial judge had refused to allow them to let the jury hear that Russell had been convicted at the age of 16 (several years prior) of robbery, in attempt to discredit him.  The appeals court discounted this stating that at trial Russell had stated that he knew Patrick and that he had arrested him previously (apparently no charge was stated) so the court felt the jury had been made aware of this fact, which to them was more damaging than the robbery charge that Patrick had not been involved in.  They remained steadfast in their claim that Patrick had responded to the hit and run call during that time.  

And then, as many defense attorney's do, they gave the jury an alternative suspect.  His name was Finis Vincent Jr.  Vincent had previously worked with Tammy Lohr at the jail as a fellow corrections officer. He had been fired from that job in May of 1991 and reportedly had blamed Tammy Lohr for his dismissal.  He was apparently fired for two reasons.  First, he had assaulted an inmate but Tammy Lohr had filed a claim against him at work for making sexual advances towards her.  Five months before her death Tammy had also filed a police report claiming that Vincent was sitting outside her home in the middle of the night.  Police claim to have interviewed him as a subject and stated that Vincent's wife was his alibi witness, saying he was with her.  Critics of this case claim that it appeared that there was no official interview done of Vincent and his word simply seemed to be enough.  

So much was made about just how long the fire had burned because there was clear evidence as to when Patrick headed to Tammy's home and when he called in the fire but also because according to the medical examiner the fire had all but destroyed any clear cut time of death and other evidence.  They had to prove to the jury that Patrick had enough time to set that fire and call it in and that the motive was to cover up the fact that he had murdered Tammy earlier in the night. It seems to me that they focus on this area for a few reasons.  For one, as I stated the ME said that evidence was destroyed by the fire. For two, other than that window of opportunity, and a theorized motive, they had little proof that Patrick had in fact murdered Tammy Lohr.

Now it is time for me to play devil's advocate here.  As Dr. Phil says, no matter how flat you make a pancake there are two sides and this is where I intend to look at both sides of this.  I will say that after the trial at least one of the jury members stated they were "100%" sure of their decision.  

So... Did Patrick Bradford kill Tammy Lohr?

Forensically there was no proof. That seemed to be solely blamed on the fire, but I have to take issue with this.  First, as I understood it the fire itself was all but only burnt within the bedroom and it was claimed by the prosecution and their witnesses to only burn for a period of less than 10 minutes.  It was said that the fire also caused the ME to be unable to give a time of death.  I could go for that.  I could also go with the fact that if we're going based on the theory that Patrick murdered her earlier in the night and set the fire later that the fact that no weapon was found could be plausible.  But there was no talk of finding fingerprints anywhere.  Granted, until just a few months prior he had a key to the home and he admitted to being in there many times, including the night of the fire, but what about the gas can? What about the area around the kitchen window?  Were they tested?  Were there or were there not fingerprints? Now, one could argue either point on this but it would be mentioned, something I never found in my research.  Obviously if there were prints and they weren't Patrick's that would have been better for the defense. But if there were not any the prosecution could have pointed out that he was an officer and likely had gloves readily available.

I also want to touch on the murder weapon again for a few minutes.  Again, obviously if the prosecution theory is correct and he killed her in the middle of the night and continued with his shift he could have disposed of the weapon at any time. There was an issue however that was brought up in appeal.  After the trial it was discovered that on August 18, 1992 an employee at a car wash found a jacket in the dumpster that indicated it had at least at one time belonged to an employee in the corrections department where Tammy Lohr worked and Finis Vincent had previously worked.  At some point it was revealed that this same employee had claimed to have found a knife sometime in this time period.  I can only assume from my research that the knife discovery was found previous to the jacket and discarded without any notification to the police.  When the defense learned of the jacket that had been found, as the employee had notified the police about this, they discovered that it had also been discarded. Prosecutors would claim that the jacket owner had been discovered and it had nothing to do with the Bradford/Lohr case.  Theoretically the defense was likely hoping the jacket could be linked to Finis Vincent and did attempt to use this in an appeal where they argued, then and at trial that the investigation was substandard.

By all accounts I could not find, nor do I recall seeing anything airing on television, in which it was indicated that when it came to his own co-workers that Patrick had any issues involving them.  It seems that he got along and fit in fine.  I have had other cases that I have blogged about in which a police officer is involved and the only case in which I can truly think of where the fellow officer's seemed to "turn" on their co-worker, and very quickly I might add,  is the case of Kelly McCord, who along with his wife they murdered her ex-husband and his wife.  In that case there was obvious discord prior to the murder between McCord and his fellow officers. But again, that does not seem to be the case here.  In the same respect while they may have drug their feet it seems or made some mistakes in the investigation parts of the case as the defense would later claim, some of them not only seem harmless, some of them seem to be attempts to possibly help Patrick Bradford rather than harm him.  It appears to me that while obviously he had to be a suspect from the very beginning many tried to give the benefit of the doubt of his guilt, or prevent his guilt, the best they could until they simply could no longer ignore things in their minds.  Now, whether they did so based on facts or rumors is a decision each officer must decide for themselves.  Some of his fellow officers later testified at his trial, which may in fact have influenced the jury.  One was obviously the one I spoke about earlier who claimed to not see Patrick at the scene of the hit and run call they received that night.  Others were those involved in the investigation as well as the first responding officers to the fire.  One officer claimed that Patrick claimed at the scene that he could not get in because of the smoke; another claims Patrick stated Tammy was in the bed and the bed was on fire; still another claimed he stated that he had crawled in, saw the bedroom on fire and crawled back out.

With all of this said, this is why it came down to the few minutes before he made the phone call to dispatch about the fire.  If you could determine that there was enough time for him to do that, you could theorize that he had also killed her earlier in the day.  The problem that I have with this area is all of the things that have come about over the years when it comes to fire investigation. There is obviously little question about an accelerator being used considering the gas can was clearly visible in an area in which the fire was located so that is one issue out of the way. Over the past several decades some findings in court have come into question about accelerator use and patterns but that is a non issue here. What is an issue is the argument on just how much time the fire burned and if Patrick could have started it just after arriving at the home and it be extinguished a mere six minutes later, how hot that fire would have gotten, the path it took and how much damage it could cause.  This is where many argue that the autopsy performed on the dog was significant, although again, I could find little information pertaining to this and which side the results seemed to favor.  I am obviously not an expert on the issue of fire but I can say I know, or have heard a little about things to make me at least knowledgeable enough to question a few things.  I have doubts that if the prosecution is correct that Patrick started the fire as he got into the home and using their timeline that the fire could have done as much damage as claimed.  Tests and studies were done later during Patrick's appeals and one expert, Douglas Carpenter, felt that the fire had been started sometime between 4:30 am and 6 am, prior to Patrick's arrival.  The defense argued that Carpenter's conclusions entitled Patrick to a new trial.  It should be noted that Carpenter argued against much of what the defense expert at trial Barker Davie's testified to.  The court determined that in their ruling that the methods which Carpenter used were available, widely used, and argued to be used by Davie's at the time of the trial and that the timeline was simply his opinion based on those facts and not "new evidence" as the defense had claimed.  

Throughout the years Patrick continues to appeal his case.  The last I saw was determined and filed in 2013 in which the court upheld the previous courts rulings and the conviction.  In the latest appeal he noted several issues. Oftentimes when I read the claims made by a defense team in an appeal I have to snicker and wonder if the lawyer are not just grasping at straws.  In this last appeal that I was able to read the defense argued that there had been misconduct on the part of the prosecution.  They claimed they had improperly used a deposition to impeach Davie but in the same respect they had used the same avenue in attempts to impeach George Russell.  One appeared to work (the prosecutions), and one did not.  They also claimed that the ATF agent that testified at the trial had claimed not to be compensated in any way for his testimony but there were records later that he in fact was.  The court ruled against this as being an issue, solely based on the fact that it was Patrick's second appeal and that it was not mentioned in the first appeal. This seemed to be mainly a recurring theme in this appeal. To get around that however, the defense also claimed not only inefficient counsel at trial but also in appeal (for their first appeal). But again, the court upheld the trial, conviction, appeals and sentence.

As an end note to this case, Tammy Lohr's family filed a wrongful death suit against Patrick Bradford in attempts to ensure he could not make money off of his case.  By my understanding, at least at the time of their filing the rule was that any monies a convict were to receive for their story would be divided by 90/10.  Ninety percent went into a victims advocate fund where the inmate would receive the remaining ten percent.  I was unable to determine the outcome of the suit but presuming that they were successful any monies they would receive would come from the portion in which Patrick would receive. There seemed to be some controversy at some point after the trial when it was discovered that Patrick's wife would receive a check for nearly $15,000 for overtime and vacation accumulated by Patrick from the Evansville police department.  He had been fired prior to his trial but was still entitled to that money which apparently outraged many.  Dawn Bradford was quick to point out that the monies would be going to pay legal fees and other bills but not directly to Patrick himself.  As far as the two of the other characters in the trial... Finis Vincent and George Russell. I found nothing else that ever indicated that Vincent had any issues with the law, or at least none that made the papers.  As far as Russell, I found an article that stated that in November of 1994 he was convicted for dealing with cocaine (to his mother???) and sentenced to six years in prison.

So do I believe Patrick Bradford is guilty of murder?  That is a hard one for me to answer truthfully.  This is one of those cases that I think I would have had to have been a juror or at least present in the courtroom before I could fully make that decision.  On the surface it seems plausible despite some of my reservations.  Forensically... yeah there was little but I am unsure if there were forensics, aside from maybe Patrick's fingerprints on the gas can, that it would have made a difference to me.  I do feel like I believe the prosecution in the issue of the hour that seems unaccounted and if I believe that then I almost have to say I believe him to be guilty.  If that hour truly was unaccounted for, that means that Patrick doctored his logs to say he was at the hit and run scene and that he had seen George Russell on the street. And, we know that sometime just prior or just after the murder he suddenly deleted angry emails from Tammy.  Why would he do those things if he was not hiding something? To quote Dr. Phil again.... Those who have nothing to hide... hide nothing.

Comments

  1. Wholeheartedly agree. Good article. Isn't it funny how this bastard keeps trying to get off on some technicality? We will be there when the time comes for the board to hear why he should remain in jail.

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  2. Good article. I have a friend who has talked to patrick personally and I would bet my life that he is innocent.

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  3. It isn't trying to "get off on a technicality". The way our system is set up, you can't ask for a new trial unless there is new evidence. There wasn't any evidence in the first place. Therefore, you have to play word games to maneuver through the system. It isn't so cut and dry, people. It is a lot more complex than the average joe realizes. And this case was bullshit from the beginning and anyone paying attention knows it.

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  4. Not blood stains on the police car, shoes or clothing of the accused? How do you stab some one over 20 times and hit the heart and lungs and cut through the cardioid artery in the neck and not get any blood on you?

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  5. I was Patrick's partner much of the while I was on the EPD. Your essay is lacking because there is so much more to the story than what you were privy to. Lots more.

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    1. You say the essay was lacking and there is much more to the story, but you do not say, as his partner who obviously knew him very well, do you believe that Bradford was guilty or was he wrongly convicted?

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    2. Do you believe, as his partner and someone who must have known him well, that he was guilty or was he wrongly convicted?

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  6. Because you were not a member of the EPD there is so much more to this story you will never know.

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    Replies
    1. OK, "Joker," or "unknown," or whatever you like....I still think you are a troll and a liar, and I seriously doubt you have any personal connection to this case. Go play with your GI Joes and let the grownups talk.

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