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2016 Creekside Church Murder

Lesson learned from a deadly church attack

A hammer and crowbar sit on top if a cinder block

Based on the Safety Member Certification training modules "Active Shooter Response" and "Safety Team Fundamentals."[A.1]

From the Bible

Security has always depended on watchfulness, alarms, and warnings.

In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us (Nehemiah 4:20).

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me (Ezekiel 3:17


Unlike previously-covered deadly force attacks in churches, where we have a view of the perpetrator's character and motives, this case is a "who done it?" Seven-and-a half years later, this is still a mystery with no suspect, dead or alive. However, enough is known to draw some conclusions on how to prevent or effectively respond to a similar incident. The same measures are also used to reduce the risk of burglary, arson, and vandalism.

The Mysterious Intruder

Shortly before 4 AM on Monday morning, April 18, 2016, an intruder broke into Creekside Church, outside Midlothian, Texas. The person moving through the church's hallways triggered the motion sensors that activated surveillance cameras.

The intruder was covered head-to-toe in an outfit made to look like a SWAT team uniform and carried a hammer and a crowbar. Gender could not be determined due to the heavy padding. In those video shots released to the public, he or she appears to be involved in idle mischief and curiosity. Now we know that the intruder was waiting for the victim.

The Encounter

At 4:18, Terri "Missy" Bevers unlocked the main door and came in. She took exercise equipment from her truck into the church and down the hall to a classroom. She was a fitness instructor. Her class was usually held in the parking lot, but rain had relocated it inside.

It turns out the intruder was waiting for Missy. A video shot shows her turning around to look at something or someone. That was the last view of her alive.

Just before 5:00 a student coming in for the class found Missy unresponsive. She was almost dead or already dead. She had suffered blunt force trauma and puncture wounds. The hammer and crowbar had been abandoned by the assailant. No DNA other than Missy's was on them, and no fingerprints.


The student called 911. Police found Missy's body and the weapons. They also found the damage caused by the intruder. The church turned over the surveillance footage. Experts were contacted by the police to try to identify the intruder, especially by the way he or she walked. They could not narrow it down to one or a few individuals. They couldn't even determine the gender of the person in the bulky outfit.

Scenes from the videos were publicly posted, hoping that someone would identify the killer. A reward of $150,000 was posted for information leading to an arrest. More than seven years later, no one has been successfully identified.

Online sleuths have tried to solve the case. Often, the wrong people were accused or implicated. More than seven years later, the little something that would turn the case has not yet been found. Since the exterior cameras were not working at the time, there is no footage showing the intruder walking onto the grounds or getting out of a vehicle.

Some news accounts indicate that the church has upgraded its security, but no details were made public.

Lesson Learned: Have Cameras and Alarms On

First a disclaimer: This is not to criticize the church, but to learn lessons from the incident that we can apply to our churches.

Let's look at a few basic facts in this case:

  1. The forced entry was when it was dark outside.
  2. Outside cameras were not on.
  3. There was no alarm on the back door.
  4. Inside motion sensors did not trigger alarms.
  5. Cameras were not monitored.

What can we learn from this?


Use cameras and alarms to increase the chances an intruder will be detected and alerts triggered when no one is in the church. This increases the chance a burglar, arsonist, or would-be murderer will be chased off or caught.

Training Notes

Training for church deadly-force incidents usually focuses on actions that require the presence and response of Safety Team members or other persons trained for safety & security during classes, services, and events, or at other times, especially office hours. Training for a Church Safety Ministry also includes preventive measures, such as access control, monitoring, surveillance, and patrolling. Some of these measures are covered in the training module "Safety Team Fundamentals."

Church Safety Teams are urged to have all their members trained and certified through the Safety Member Certification program. Three training formats are available:

The Online Events schedule for the 2023-2024 school year is as follows:





Training Module


Sep 10

Nov 12

Jan 28

Mar 24

Safety Team Fundamentals


Sep 17

Nov 19

Feb 4

Apr 7

Active Shooter Response


Sep 24

Dec 3

Feb 11

Apr 14

Deescalating Disruptive Persons


Oct 1

Dec 10

Feb 18

Apr 21

Protecting Children from Abuse


Oct 8

Dec 17

Feb 25

Apr 28

Basic Use of Force Laws


Oct 15

Jan 7

Mar 3

May 5

Arson and Fire Safety


Oct 22

Jan 14

Mar 10

May 19

Storms and Disasters


Nov 5

Jan 21

Mar 17

Jun 2

Mass Trauma Emergencies

We are already in the second quarter. If you enroll now, you'll finish in Q3. If you've passed all eight certification tests, you will be a Certified Safety Member for two years.[1]

Another training resource is the Church Security Guide with its nine articles. The two relating to this article are How to Conduct a Risk Assessment and Church Safety Team Basics. The first one includes access control and surveillance.[A.3][A.4][A.5]


Sheepdog Church Security Resources

  1. Kris Moloney, "Active Shooter Response" and "Safety Team Fundamentals," Safety Member Certification, Sheepdog Church Security, © 2020 [].
  2. Kris Moloney, "Practical Steps to Start a Safety Ministry and a DIY Security Assessment," Sheepdog Church Security, © Copyright 2019 [].
  3. Kris Moloney, Church Security Guide, Sheepdog Church Security, © 2019 [].
  4. Kris Moloney, "How to Conduct a Risk Assessment," Church Security Guide, Sheepdog Church Security, © 2019 [].
  5. Kris Moloney, "Church Safety Teams and Active Shooter Training," Church Security Guide, Sheepdog Church Security, © 2019 [].

News Accounts

  1. "Killing of Missy Bevers," Wikipedia [].
  2. News Staff, "Police Release More Footage of Suspect in Texas Church Murder," ABC News, April 22, 2016 [].
  3. Tom Cleary, "Terri ‘Missy' Bevers: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,", Updated Apr 27, 2016 [].
  4. Tom Cleary, "Randy Bevers: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,", Updated Apr 28, 2016 [].
  5. Avianne Tan, "New Clues Emerge in Case of Mother Found Murdered in Texas Church," ABC News, May 5, 2016 [].
  6. Alberto Luperon, "Cops Narrowing Search for Who Killed Fitness Instructor at Texas Church," Law & Crime, May 6, 2016 [].
  7. Jocelyn Lockwood, "No Answers in Missy Bevers' Murder, Family Members Frustrated," NBC DFW, June 7, 2016 [].
  8. Ryan Osborne, "The Missy Bevers murder, 3 years later: Where the investigation stands today," WFAA, April 18, 2019 [].
  9. Larry Collins and Scott Gordon, "Five Years Later, Police Still Search for Missy Bevers' Killer," NBC DFW, April 16, 2021 [].
  10. Staff, "Midlothian Police Say Missy Bevers Murder Not A 'Cold Case' 5 Years Later," CBS Texas, April 13, 2021 [].
  11. Meredith Yeomans, "Who Murdered Missy Bevers? Six Years After Killing, the Question Remains Unanswered," NBC DFW, April 18, 2022, Updated April 19, 2022 [].
  12. Jennifer Deutschmann, "What We Know About The Eerie Unsolved Murder Of Missy Bevers," Grunge, April 22, 2022 [].
  13. Neil Patmore (Edited by Maggie Donahue), "The Mystifying Murder Of Missy Bevers, The Fitness Instructor Killed In A Texas Church," ATI, March 1, 2023 [].
  14. Ryan Osborne, "7 years, no arrests: Where does the Missy Bevers murder case stand?" WFAA, April 18, 2023 [].
  15. Christian McPhate, "Internet Sleuths Muddy Waters and Wreck Lives in Missy Bevers' Murder Investigation, The Dallas Observer, January 31, 2017 [].