Records show how a South Carolina couple allegedly carried out a murderous rampage across the U.S.
Adrienne Simpson and Tyler Terry have been compared to the infamous criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde.
Simpson and Terry crossed several states stretching more than 1,000 miles in May, citing dozens of charges in a record that included four total murder charges in South Carolina and Missouri - with investigators telling them a fifth homicide in Tennessee - while three men were also wounded in separate shootings and six vehicles were riddled with bullets.
During their alleged crime, the South Carolina couple led Chester County Sheriff's Assistant Max Dorsey on a high-speed chase at a top speed of 100 mph. Simpson was behind the wheel of a 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage while Terry fired a volley of shots at six pursuing officers and hit three patrol vehicles, according to court documents.
“They were extremely dangerous. They got even more dangerous after the first murder, ”Dorsey said in interviews with NBC News this month. “This danger increased because they had nothing more to lose. I think that made her not care about the welfare of others afterward. "
Using court documents, police statements, and prison records, NBC News compiled a timeline of the duo's suspected crime wave that focused on three dates: May 2, May 15, and May 17.
Your M.O. Police said unsuspecting victims should be hit quickly during rampages that terrorized communities for hours.
According to the arrest warrant, Simpson was mainly the getaway driver in the dark gray Mitsubishi and Terry the shooter.
The couple began their criminal rampage by murdering their former lovers in their home state, police said. Terry, 26, and Simpson, 33, had been together for about three years, the court records say. Other victims were apparently victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when Terry and Simpson approached them on robbery, attempted robbery, and a break-in, police documents show.
The authorities did not explicitly mention a motive for the ongoing violence in the files.
Terry's attorney, William Frick, said his client was "innocent until proven guilty".
The couple are now incarcerated in South Carolina. They were arrested a week apart last month. And although investigators didn't begin to understand the full extent of their crimes until after Simpson's arrest on May 17, their cooperation helped secure important details of the murders, the records say.
Sunday May 2nd
The South Carolina couple's crime wave is said to have started shortly after midnight on the morning of May 2, with the murder of Simpson's husband Eugene in Chester, South Carolina, according to arrest warrants.
Terry was reportedly in possession of a 9mm pistol while Simpson carried a nickel-plated .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Simpson told police that she and Terry "shot Eugene Simpson and dumped the body on Stroud Road," according to an arrest warrant. The police recovered her husband's body based on their information, the arrest warrant said.
Eugene Simpson's body, which had gunshot wounds, was found in a ditch on May 19, according to the Chester County Sheriff's Office. The 33-year-old was reported missing earlier this month, police said.
They then moved on to their next alleged victim - Terry's ex-partner, 35-year-old Thomas Hardin, in nearby York, according to a York Police incident report.
City police chief Andy Robinson said Hardin was believed to have been killed between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
Hardin's friend asked the police to conduct a social check because she "hadn't heard from him since last night and because that was unusual," the police said in the report.
An officer knocking on a slightly open front door got no answer. The door opened wider when the officer kept knocking, the police said.
Hardin's body was found "motionless on the floor, between a couch and a door," police said. The case has been investigated as a homicide. Terry was listed as a suspect in the report.
Hardin has been identified as a woman on social media, police said.
WBTV in Charlotte reported that Hardin identified as a woman, but his friends said Hardin doesn't have a preferred pronoun and still goes by the name Thomas.
They were also reportedly placed in a Chester Taco Bell that same day, where Simpson was seen driving. Terry got out of the car and shot a 2007 Maserati, killing a victim in the arm, the warrants said. The man's injuries were classified as "life-threatening" according to the arrest warrant. A second man was also shot, the police said.
Terry and Simpson are also accused of violently breaking into a Chester apartment. A man was shot in the arm and shoulder area and was also critically injured. Terry is suspected of being the shooter. Police said he also shot a second victim, causing the man to "fled his back door fearing for his life," a report said.
Domestic violence allegations
In a pile of paperwork related to Terry and Simpson's alleged crimes in South Carolina, authorities also issued an arrest warrant for Terry on May 5, 2020, accusing him of beating Simpson a year earlier.
According to the report, Terry had a North Carolina criminal record listing Simpson as a victim. During the alleged attack last year, Terry was accused of repeatedly beating Simpson, causing her to lose her hearing in one ear and swell her right eye, according to an arrest warrant. The attack caused Simpson "to fear for her life," the report said.
Simpson's mug shot after her arrest on May 17th appears to show that her left eye is badly injured.
Simpson's attorney Geoffrey M. Dunn, who is handling the trials against her in South Carolina, declined to comment.
Frick, Terry's attorney, said late last week that he was collecting evidence on Terry's South Carolina cases and would not go into detail.
He said Terry was "in a good mood" and reminded the public to stay open.
“The burden of proof lies with the state. Our client is considered innocent until proven guilty, ”said Frick.
The couple's relatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Sheriff Dorsey said Simpson and Terry were equally responsible for their crimes. He said her actions were motivated by her needs in the moment.
"I can't name a motif that puts all of this together in one big box," said Dorsey. “It seems that they were opportunists. They reacted violently and in the worst possible way to achieve their goals that they had at any given point in time. "
Saturday 15th May
Almost two weeks after the alleged May 2 crime frenzy that night, Terry and Simpson were suspects in a violent robbery that killed two other people, according to court records and statements from the St. Louis County, Missouri authorities.
The chaos started around 10 p.m. when a man driving a yellow Corvette on Highway 170 reported to police that his car had been shot at approximately 10 times. The man got away unharmed, but his car had three bullet holes, police said.
Just forty-five minutes later, Simpson and Terry reportedly found another target - a BMW carried by the Stanley and Barbara Goodkin couple. That shooting caused bloodshed, police said, killing 71-year-old Barbara. She was shot in the head.
Stanley Goodkin, 74, escaped the shootout - but only narrowly.
He took a bullet in the chest but was rescued by a cell phone that absorbed the shot, police said. He then drove himself and his wife to a nearby hospital.
Terry and Simpson drove to a hotel parking lot around 11:40 p.m. where they met their fourth victim, Sergei Zacharev, police said. The police report said he was "shot and robbed of his belongings."
On May 19, officials from several departments held a press conference asking for tips. University City Police Department Captain Fredrick Lemons said the Goodkins and Zacharev had been ambushed.
"Two innocent victims were heartlessly gunned down by senseless violence," he said.
Lemons sought public help in determining who was in the "silver or metallic" vehicle that was captured on a blurry surveillance video.
Relatives of the families of both victims of the Missouri crimes declined to comment.
Zacharev, in a published obituary, is said to be a father and anesthetist who was born in Minsk, Belarus.
"Sergei was a talented doctor, a gifted back and spine surgeon, who decided to pursue a career in anesthesia after moving to the United States," the obituary said. "His larger-than-life personality was reflected in everything he did - singing, caring for his patients, spending time with family and friends. He was always helping others - whether at work or in his personal life."
Zacharev was 58.
Court records show Simpson once again worked with authorities to admit the couple's role in the killings, saying they tried to rob the victims.
She said that as they drove past the hotel they saw Zacharev walking in the parking lot, and Terry "had a gun on his lap and told her to drive back so they could rob him," a report from University City Police said.
Terry shot Zacharev from her vehicle, and Simpson then got out of the vehicle and stole Zacharev's school bag, the report said. Terry then made sure his newest victim did not witness, the court records say.
"She admitted that then Tyler Terry got out of her vehicle and shot the victim even more."
Monday 17th May
Memphis police declined to comment on whether Terry and Simpson murder suspects there.
However, police tweeted on May 17 that a man's body was found on a street around 2 a.m. The case is being investigated as a homicide, the police said.
Lawrence Buser, a spokesman for the Shelby County Attorney's Office, confirmed that Terry and Simpson are "definitely under investigation for murder." In a voicemail, Buser said if the couple were charged it would not become public until they were detained in Tennessee.
Further details about the Memphis murder or why authorities suspect the couple's involvement were not available.
"No one was wanted in our region more than Tyler Terry."
The beginning of the end for Simpson and Terry was at 11:11 pm. Police chase on May 17th that began in a bojangle parking lot in Richburg, South Carolina, approximately 650 miles from Memphis.
Court records show Simpson refused to stop for the police. Instead, she sped east on Highway 9. Sheriff Dorsey remembers hearing reports of gunfire over the police radio. He was at home but hurried to his unmarked Ford F-150 pickup with his .40 caliber service rifle in the holster.
Dorsey activated his sirens and lights and tried to break off the chase. About 30 customers refueled at a local gas station near the freeway in Richburg, Dorsey said. He got out of his truck and tried to get the customers to safety.
"I directed them either to go into the store or to get in their vehicles and drive around the store building," he said. "My intention was to get everyone off the main road so that if any shots were fired from the vehicle ... everyone would be in a protected position."
Simpson drove a different route, however, and fell shortly thereafter not far from where she originally took off from the police. Terry fled into the woods, which made the community nervous for a week, Dorsey said.
Between May 18 and May 24, the Chester County Sheriff's office tweeted about the search for him more than five dozen times.
The tweets urged residents to stay vigilant by staying inside and locking their doors while removing valuables and firearms from the vehicles. A reward for Terry's capture, originally set at $ 1,000, increased to $ 12,000. During that time, law enforcement agencies across South Carolina - as well as federal agencies like the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - assisted with technology and a workforce that grew to include hundreds of law enforcement officers searching the forests where Terry was last seen .
“No one was wanted in our region more than Tyler Terry,” said Dorsey. "It was very obvious that there was an extremely dangerous armed man in a wooded area with nothing to lose."
Helicopters and drones were also used in the search, Dorsey said.
While Terry was on the run, police also closed highways and delayed school.
The residents were on eggshells. But the tension ended on the morning of May 24th when Terry was peacefully captured while hiding in the thick bushes. According to an arrest warrant, investigators found him in possession of a stolen 9 mm pistol.
Dorsey said departments in several states are working to back up evidence against Terry and Simpson.
"It is our role as law enforcement officers to take them to justice and initiate criminal proceedings against them," Dorsey said. "They have committed many heinous crimes and affected the lives of hundreds of people in the worst possible ways."
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