Patrick Bradford is behind bars for murdering his mistress, Tammy Lohr, born Tamara Lohr, before setting her body on fire at her home in Evansville, Indiana.
In the early hours of Aug. 2, 1992, Bradford, who worked for the Evansville Police Department, radioed dispatch to report a fire at a home in the 1100 block of S. Boeke Road.
He informed the responding firefighters and emergency medical services that he was patrolling the area when he saw the fire. He was working the night shift from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the time, the Courier & Press reported.
Bradford said he attempted to save the victim but was unsuccessful. He added that he believed the individual was already deceased when he crawled into the home.
The victim, who was later identified as Lohr, 24, was transported to the state’s medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. The results concluded that she had been stabbed 21 times before her body was set on fire.
Evansville police officers discovered an empty gas container adjacent to the victim’s bed.
It was determined that the killer doused Lohr, who worked as a file clerk at the Vanderburgh County Jail records, in gasoline and ignited her body before standing in the bedroom hallway and watching the flames rise.
The police learned through an investigation that Bradford was having an affair with Lohr over a four-year period.
But when his wife Dawn, who was also his high school sweetheart, found out about the love affair, Bradford ended his relationship with Lohr and returned a copy of her house key.
However, Bradford and Lohr didn’t stay away from each other for very long, as they later resumed their romance.
In a threatening email to Bradford, Lohr told him that if he left her, she would tell his wife about their ongoing affair—and she did.
A month later, Lohr was dead.
Investigator Mike Ford told CBS News that the crime scene appeared to be staged as a break-in.
He said, “It looked at first like a break-in—a window screen was cut, phone wires were severed, and circuit breakers in the basement were thrown. But it was all a ruse.”
Investigators suspected Bradford of committing the murder, but they had no evidence. His uniform was free of carpet fibers and soot, and he had an alibi.
According to Bradford’s assertion, between 10:57 p.m. and 11:49 p.m., he was at the scene of a hit-and-run accident on Main and Michigan.
But officer Eric Middendorf said he was never there.
At 11:26 p.m., it was reported that Bradford contacted dispatch for a warrant check on George Russell, whom he claimed to have run into on the street, but Russell testified that he was at his brother’s home during that time.
A day after the murder, police ascertained that a bank’s ATM camera captured Bradford’s vehicle traveling toward Lohr’s home around 6:30 a.m.
Police officials believed that Bradford contacted dispatch and jotted down false entry logs to create an alibi.
Bradford was arrested and charged with murder and arson.
Prosecutors stated that on Aug. 1, 1992, Bradford stabbed Lohr in the head, neck, and chest at her home.
The following day, he returned to set her body on fire. He changed his uniform, then reported the fire to dispatch.
Although Bradford denied killing Lohr, a jury found him guilty of the crime in 1993.
He was sentenced to 80 years in prison, WEHT reported.
In 2013, he filed a federal habeas corpus suit in an effort to get a new trial to prove his innocence, but his request was denied.
Bradford is serving his sentence at the Branchville Correctional Facility (a medium-security prison) in Perry County.