No one saw it coming.
When Peekskill resident and cab driver Terry Camper was killed Wednesday, it was a shock to his family, friends and everyone else in the Peekskill community who knew him.
When police announced that the suspects in the killing are Terry Camper’s wife—Beatrice Camper, and her lover, John Murray—the news was even more puzzling.
“This is very painful because we’re a close, tight knit family,” said Jacqueline Campers, Terry Camper’s sister. “He didn’t deserve to die like this....all she had to do was leave him.”
Peekskill police police gave a glimpse of what happened in the time leading up Terry’s death during a press conference at police headquarters Friday.
At some point, Beatrice Camper, who is 60, met John Murray, also 60, while he was still serving time in prison for another murder.
The suspects started a romantic relationship that lasted more than a year. Murray was released on parole 11 months ago. Sometime after his release, Murray began plotting with Beatrice Camper.
She had taken out two insurance policies on Terry a few months ago and police believe she planned to split the proceeds with Murray.
On Tuesday, police said Murray called Terry Camper for a cab ride. He met Murray on Pine Street. It was at that time that Murray shot him two times in the back of the head with a small handgun.
Police believe Terry Camper did not know Murray was having an affair with his wife. It’s debatable if he ever knew Murray at all.
“That’s one of the elements of this that makes it as tragic as it is...not only is it selfishness and greed, but it’s also deception,” Eugene Tumolo, Peekskill’s police chief said.
Jaqueline Camper, who flew to Peekskill from California, said she advised her brother to end the marriage, which began about 10 years ago. Beatrice Camper would fly into rages and tell Terry Camper that she hated him, according Jacqueline Camper.
“We would talk to him about leaving, but he would always say that ‘I’ll give her another chance. That’s my wife.’ I said, it’s up to you, but I would leave her. If someone constantly spits in your face and says they hate you, I would leave.”
Even after the murder, Beatrice Camper distanced herself away from her husband’s family.
“She hadn’t even started funeral arrangements,” Beatrice Camper said. “She’s the wife. You look at that...she didn’t want to talk to us. I don’t know what she had planned. She probably planned to cremate him.”
Chief Tumolo said Terry Camper was well known and well liked in the community.
“He came from a large family here in Peekskill and I believe they also had roots in Highland Falls,” Tumolo said. [He] never was a problem, the kind of guy who’s in all of these communities that you meet everyday. You never give them a second thought until something like this happens. Just a real loss to no only his family, but a lot of his friend as well. We’ve gotten a lot of calls. People are really overwhelmed.”
Otis Camper, Terry Camper’s brother, said the family planned to take care of funeral arrangements today.
Otis Camper said he heard his brother and his sister-in-law had gotten into one or two fights. But he never suspected she would murder his brother.
“He was a good guy,” Otis Camper said. “That’s why It shocked me so bad when they said he was killed.”