The murder of Tamara “Tammy” Lohr by Patrick Bradford is featured in the latest episode of Primal Instinct on Investigation Discovery.
In the early hours of August 2, 1992, firefighters were dispatched to a home on 1106 S. Boeke Road in Evansville, Indiana. When they arrived on the scene, they discovered Tammy, a 24-year-old file clerk, dead inside, and her body was burning on a mattress.
A medical examiner concluded that Tammy was killed before her body was set on fire. She had been stabbed 21 times.
Bradford, an Evansville police officer, said he was patrolling the area when he noticed the fire and called it in. Before emergency first responders arrived, he said he tried to rescue the victim but to no avail.
When investigators scoured the home for evidence, they stumbled upon an empty gas container. They concluded that it was used to douse the victim with gasoline, and after igniting the body, the killer stood in the doorway.
As detectives delved deeper into the investigation, they uncovered that Bradford, who was a 31-year-old married father, was having an affair with the victim and his wife found out.
He told her that he was going to end it, and he did, but Bradford and Lohr later resumed their affair. Just a month before the murder, investigators said Lohr sent Bradford a threatening email. She said she would tell his wife about their ongoing affair if he left her.
An investigation revealed that on the night of Lohr’s murder, Bradford was on duty, but he was unavailable for an hour, claiming to have been busy getting gas at a gas station.
At around 12:11 a.m., Bradford contacted dispatch to run a warrant check on a man he stopped at Club Paradise, near Line Street; however, the man testified that he was nowhere near that area. Officials said Bradford made that call to create an alibi.
Investigators believe that he killed Tammy between 11:05pm and 12:11am and staged the crime scene before reporting the fire.
Although Bradford said he was innocent, he was arrested on September 10, 1992. The following year, he was found guilty of murder and arson. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
In 2013, Bradford requested a new trial to prove his innocence, but his request was denied.
Primal Instinct — Slow Burn, airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.