A despondent college drop-out murders his ex-fiancée a few weeks after she breaks up with him.
On September 18, 1980, police in Kansas City, Missouri, responded to reports of a shooting. Investigators found a murdered female victim. Her name is Tanya Kopric. She had emigrated from Yugoslavia to study medicine in the United States. She was determined to beat the odds, to build a career and a life in a new country.
By the age of 34, Tanya had achieved her goal; she was a doctor at a Kansas City hospital and she had also found someone to share her successful life. Richard Bocklage was a pharmacy student at the University of Missouri. He was young and dynamic and quite attentive to Tanya. Soon after they met, he moved into her apartment. Six months later, Richard proposed and Tanya accepted. But her friends weren’t so sure it was the perfect match. Tanya’s friend, Ivan Gregoric, had his reservations:
Richard spent more and more time with Tanya and less time in class. He was on his way to flunking out. Jane Leigh was Richard’s academic advisor:
On July 19, 1980, university officials notified Richard that he had been expelled. Richard begged Tanya to use her connections to get him re-admitted. Finally, on September 2, after months of Richard’s increasingly erratic and sometimes violent, behavior, Tanya broke off their engagement and kicked him out of her apartment.
Two weeks later, Richard Bocklage returned to class pretending he had not flunked out. But university officials refused to accept him back. Bocklage wrote to the admissions office begging school officials to reconsider his case. His appeal was denied and a secretary was ordered to call him with the news.
On September 18, at 3:45, right after Bocklage got the call denying his request, two professors saw him driving towards the dean’s office. They immediately headed in the opposite direction. Bocklage roamed the hallways searching for the dean of admissions. Under his arm, he carried a large manila folder. Some witnesses thought it hid a weapon. The dean wasn’t in, so Richard left.
Three hours later, Tanya returned to her apartment after work. But before she could get out of the car, she was shot three times in the head with a .45 caliber semi-automatic.
By the time police and paramedics arrived, Tanya Kopric was dead. According to Detective Warren Miller with the Kansas City Police Department:
Six days later, Royal Canadian Mounted Police found Bocklage’s car approximately 935 miles north of Kansas City. Richard was seen by two people in the area. He then dropped from sight.
Two months after Tanya was murdered, her parents in Yugoslavia notified police that they had received an unsigned letter that had been postmarked two days before the murder. The envelope was addressed in Richard Bocklage’s handwriting: It read, in part: “Dear Kopric family, Your daughter, Tanya Kopric, has been executed in Kansas City, Missouri. She has caused so much grief, anguish and turmoil to so many Americans that this act was necessary. Her execution was inevitable.”
Richard Bocklage is wanted for capital murder.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.SUBMIT A TIP
I am a viewer of old Unsolved Mysteries episodes and the case of Richard Bocklage came on again and it just hit me, this guy I vaguely remember as a teacher/counselor in 1994, Dick Hill, looked very similar. I looked in the yearbook and compared Bocklage’s and Hill’s pics and it’s startling to me. To it looks like a 14-year age progression.
I have the 2 pics side by side for comparison. It would relieve me to have a professional look at the side by side pics and tell me I’m wrong. I realize you guys get a lot of tips and this is probably a dead end but my conscience will keep buggy me if I don’t at least submit a tip.
The comparison pic can be seen here
Definitely not him but good on you for trying.
You are telling this to random people on the internet. Why not tell this to the authorities?????
SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 AT 12:21 PM
This “Pat Miller “ looks eerily identical to Richard Bocklage
Wough! I just got chills down my spine. Either that’s him or he has an identical twin. Someone should send this in to KCPD.
This “Pat Miller “ looks eerily identical to Richard Bocklage
Forgive me if I am wrong, but “Pat Miller Alvin ISD” looks eerily identical to this guy
NOVEMBER 16, 2018 AT 5:06 AM
His family is still in St Louis. According to them, he died in 2005.”
This is utter hogwash. I am one of his closest living relatives. His “family” doesn’t live in St. Louis. I do, but no one else.
We haven’t heard from Richard since before the murder (1980). Of course, if he is dead (which we all assume so) we would like to know where his remains are so I think you’re pretty spreading such lies.
Someone created some new age progressions of Bocklage in his 60s.
This guy has a blog with an interesting interview with Richard’s cousin and it has some of the best information I’ve read on this case: http://www.LastTraces.com
I can’t believe there aren’t any updates on this
Died how? Where is his body?
His family is still in St Louis. According to them, he died in 2005.
He has to be dead 35 years have passed If he stayed in America and was not captured I’d love to know how he did it
not necessarily, he could very well still be alive. Think of the man who killed David Eugene Hurley in 1992 and the other man who killed Richard Aderson in 1997. The guy who killed Hurley was in his mid to upper 20s at the time and the guy who killed Aderson was in his upper 40s to early 50. Neither one has been identified though today they would be much older. No reports have said that these two wanted murderers are dead.
Aye! That’s my third cousin…. He still gone lol.
I see an obituary for a man named of “Richard Bocklage”. in Missouri:
This may be worth passing on, Unsolved.com?
What a lazy lowlife to fail in school blame and murder his girlfriend, then write to her parents blaming her murder on herself!
Rick the Rooler
He’s definitely lazy. He seems a bit stupid as well. The best I can add to this would be that he hasn’t traveled far; possibly a state away but no farther. There would probably not be a need to contact his parents or family members as they probably disowned his worthless ass a long time ago.
You know there is a Richard Bocklage registered in Kansas City, KS. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he never left Kansas.
Has anyone checked into this? I doubt it is the same guy, but it would be worth taking a look.