A woman disappears the night after her son’s wedding and is found murdered.

Terri McClure

Terri was found in her car, murdered


In Reno, Nevada, 38-year-old Tim McClure lived with his mother Terri off and on throughout his twenties.  Tim and his mother were often seen together at the slot machines or dining out.  Even after Tim moved away, he remained close to his mom:

“She’d do anything for anybody.  She’d give you the shirt off her back or last nickel to anybody.  She was just… a real kind-hearted woman.”

Her son Tim was a prime suspect

In 1983, Terri McClure was 62-years-old and living alone.  She was thrilled when Tim called to tell her he was getting married.  His wedding took place on Friday, January 14, 1983, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  The wedding party celebrated by doing a little gambling.  Then at around 10 PM, Tim walked his mother to her car.  She planned to drive straight home to Reno, which was about an hour away.  The next evening, when Tim and his new bride stopped by to visit Terri, they noticed signs that she had not made it home:

“It just appeared as though she hadn’t been home and it was at that point I just had the strangest feeling that something was wrong. There I was you know, on my honeymoon, after getting married and she’d taken time off from work and did not find her at home.  I just, I couldn’t understand it.”

She had taken out a life insurance policy

Tim called various family members and friends of his mother.  Since no one had seen or heard from Terri, Tim called the police.  Three days later, on Monday, January 17th, Terri McClure’s car was found in the parking lot of a Carson City casino.  It was a half hour drive outside of Lake Tahoe.  The keys were in the ignition, the doors were locked, and Terri was sitting upright in the front seat.  She had been shot twice in the head.  The day after they found the body, Carson City detectives questioned Tim.  He was shocked when they asked him if he wanted to have an attorney present.  It soon dawned on Tim that he was considered a suspect:

“I started to feel like a victim and I thought why should I have an attorney? I mean this is my mother’s death.  You should be investigating it on another level rather than thinking of me as doing it… I couldn’t understand why.

Why did Tim fail a polygraph test?

Tim told the police that on the night of his wedding, he walked his mother to her car and then returned to the casino.  He said his wife was still gambling with her parents, so he gambled alone for two hours.  He then rejoined her and they went out dancing until dawn.  Tim also told the police that, two days before his mother’s body was discovered, he searched the main highway between Lake Tahoe and Reno.  Detective Sergeant Burau of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office became suspicious when Tim said he was looking for Terri’s purse:

“We again found this odd that he would attempt to retrace his mother’s steps for the purpose of finding something that nobody knew was missing.  On the 16th nobody had any idea her purse was missing.”

Tim also drove through the parking lots of the casinos along his mother’s route.  According to Tim, he proceeded at a slow crawl through the lots of every casino except one:

“Sometimes you get a gut feeling.  You could maybe think of the holy spirit… guiding you.  There was perhaps a feeling of keeping me away from there to save me from finding her. I thank God I didn’t find her. It would’ve destroyed me to find her.”

It was the same casino parking lot was where Terri’s body was found two days later, on Monday, January 17th.  Police estimated that Terri had been dead since Friday, the night of Tim’s wedding.  Police were also puzzled by a call Tim made to cancel one of his mother’s credit cards.  The credit card company said Tim made the call on the Friday before his mother had disappeared.  However, Tim claimed he made the call on Monday the 17th, the day Terri’s body was found:

“I had reported her credit cards missing, I called on Monday.  The woman had written down that I called on Friday which I couldn’t understand.  It’s just one of the strangest things I have ever heard of, because I called on Monday and how she could’ve mistaken that for a Friday and then mixed up my words like that, saying she had been murdered.  I had no idea she’d been murdered.  All I knew was she was missing and that’s what I told them.”

Investigators also discovered that, six months before Terri McClure was murdered, she had taken out a $10,000 insurance policy on her life.  Tim and one of his sisters were named as co-beneficiaries:

“I didn’t think my mother would take out an insurance policy.  It just wasn’t like her.  I mean, they’re thinking that I, you know did this for a reason.  I mean, my share is only $5,000.  I mean that’s ridiculous.”

On February 14, 1983, one month after their wedding, Detective Sergeant Burau asked Tim and his wife to take a polygraph test:

“The results of those polygraph examinations would strongly suggest deception on both the part of Timothy McClure and his wife.  And in the interviews they had no response.  They could not respond to why the machine was telling them they were being deceptive.  They had no answers.”

All the circumstantial evidence was eventually submitted to the Nevada D.A., but he deemed it insufficient to arrest Tim McClure.  Eventually, Tim McClure was arrested for the murder of his mother.  However, the D.A. ultimately decided not to prosecute.  The case was dismissed “with prejudice.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season one with Robert Stack and season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Patrick

    This Tim guy has a perfect scenario for everything and to many coincidences to be innocent.


  2. Jonathan Albertson

    This is one of the most clear-cut cases of premeditated homicide I have ever seen. The district attorney must have been completely incompetent or perhaps held a grudge against old ladies to conclude that there wasn’t enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant for this douchebag. You can almost feel the lies permeating out of him as he tries to convey the utter BS he conjured up to cover murdering his own mother.


  3. L Fitz

    I did Terri’s hair the day of the wedding, I owned an operated the beauty salon, downstairs in the Nugget Casino..She told me she was going to her son’s wedding at Lake Tahoe, mainly to keep peace in the Family…..she wasn’t happy with her sons choice in women, especially his wife to be…..She said she better go he’s probably going to need money, an laughed, but, she said he just might be surprised…some changes were coming……I wished her well and told her to be careful on the road to Tahoe………..Later, I did the woman’s hair who did the re-enactment of the case……..I thought about the son right away and perhaps I should have come forward….I think she was killed at Lake Tahoe and then brought to the Carson Casino, because someone would have heard the shots…motels are located all across the back of the Parking lot……..Rest in peace Terri….I only knew you briefly…but a lot can be told while getting your hair done………


    • michaeljwise@yahoo.com

      Oh wow, it is nice to hear from you. If you would like to get a copy of the segment, I can send one to you, please e-mail me. Maybe there is something in there that would jog your memory.


  4. Johnny

    Wish they could solve this case. No doubt Tim a good suspect here but a robbery murder sounds more likely. Tim had a strong relationship with his mother and can see no motive for killing her. The UM fans have been vocal on this case and have posited a few intelligent theories. It’s been over 30+ years since Terri was murdered. I think a Cold Case Squad in Nevada with fresh eyes and a fresh look could solve this mystery. Justice for Terri I think should be most important.


  5. Becca

    If any of Terri’s family read this. I’m looking for info on her final resting place. Any info would be appreciated.


  6. Anonymous

    So based on circumstantial evidence youd convict someone. Well i probably would too but this doesnt scream obvious to me. Police can easily make things up to try to make it look like they want it to so they can get an arrest. They dont care. Well some do some don’t. If a coo thinks someone did it they will make sure it looks that way until they get their guy. Even if they get it wrong. There are too many hear says in this story doesnt sound like actual facts against the guy. Sounds like someone making stuff up to get an arrest. And 5000 doesnt seem like enough to murder but then again hed have to need or want it real bad. Where’s that evidence???


  7. Anonymous

    I would like to know more about the gun that was used. Did police check if Tim owned a gun and if it was registered or that he bought a gun?


  8. Johnny

    I remember this Unsolved Mysteries case. Suspicion was on Tim McClure but I don’t think he killed his mother. Tim and Terri had a close bond and she would have helped him out if she was in a jam. I doubt Tim shot his mom that viciously. There might have been blood spatter on his tuxedo or whatever he was wearing. Not always visible in the dark. It would have stood out when he went back to the casino. There probably are 2 scenarios to this crime. Terri might have stopped on the way to another casino with the urge to play the slots or some other games and was killed. Another scenario is someone from Tim’s past who he might have wronged or owed money. The shots to the head look like a professional hit. It’s also possible a criminal was hiding in the back of the car and showed himself as she was driving after a few miles. Directing her movements until the final shots. I agree with Tim $5,000 doesn’t seem to be a reason to kill his mother. This case may never be solved.


  9. Deborah

    This case has bothered me terribly since I first saw it years ago.
    I know a lot of people may not believe in psychics, but there have been many cases solved by using their abilities.
    Has anyone else thought about this?…….There’s certainly no harm in trying especially after all this time. It’s wrong that it seems to no longer be a priority to the investigators.


  10. Remains Anonymous

    This case was clearly a textbook example of forensic stupidity. So many questions were left unanswered and, without any of the information of reports from law enforcement or medical examiners, there are so many different ways to theorize what happened in this case. After seeing the segment 3 times and re-reading the synopsis of the case over and over, I honestly believe that Terri was shot post mortem after being placed in the parking lot of the casino. Having grown up in Carson City, I am family with the Nugget Casino where Terri was found. They did not have surveillance in that particular lot in 1983. Yet, I know that particular lot was fairly busy night and day and I would find it hard to believe that for nearly 3 days NOBODY noticed a car with bullet holes in the window and a person with bloody bullet holes in their head. A theory I have is that Terri could have been lethally drugged (and now a second possibility comes to mind that she may have been strangled or asphyxiated in some way) and then moved to the casino parking lot during a lull (approximately between 2 and 3 am) in the early morning of January 17 where she was then shot post mortem and her purse taken to make it look like a robbery gone bad.

    But where are the toxicology reports? Where are the medical examiners notes that determined approximate time and cause of death? I can understand it that in 1983 technology wasn’t much of a help in forensics, but they had new information in 1992…yet the prosecutor dismissed the case “with prejudice” meaning that the case can never be reopened. That leads me to believe that the prosecutor may have been handsomely bribed or dangerously threatened to dismiss such a case with prejudice.


  11. maria shannon

    How is it that the casino that has camerss every where werent looked at?. Evrry casino has them surrounding the location..Front door. It is amazing how he didn’t go back to his wedding party and his bride. Two hours he gambled by himself. Omg. That’s more then enough time to follow his mother and pull her into the parking lot.
    While taking the poligrsph test he closed his eyes. And that is s sign of someone trying to hold his breath to calm the heart rate down by having no visual distractions So much evidence was overlooked. While watching his face in the TV interview his eyes shifted to the wrong side for memory. He was telling a lie. He got asst with murderer. Prosecuters failed to provide. I’m a sick about this. Her son propped his mother up I. The car I. A loving manner. You must not close the book on this. Look st his own car for blood drops. Shame on the prosecuters. I know he did it. And his wife knows
    about it

    the outside world sees died not


    • Jennifer

      I’m with you 100% !! Nothing makes sense of his story!! And you can see he clearly lying he’s a horrible actor !!!! So sad. They should have picked him up based on the fact he had no alibi for 2 hours after “walking” his mother to her car. Where are the cameras!!???? Awful – I hope he is paying for it mentally at least.


    • Remains Anonymous

      Keep in mind that the murder occurred in 1983. Technology was considerably primitive to what it is today. Also, the particular casino in which Terri was found shot in did not have cameras in that particular parking lot in 1983. I grew up in Carson City, and while I was fairly young at the time, I know that casino didn’t have any security in that particular parking lot. Still, that parking lot sits by a main highway and surely there would have been some witnesses around the approximate time Terri would have been at that casino. One theory I have is that Terri may have been lethally drugged, moved to the casino parking lot, and then shot post mortem at a more convenient time of the early morning when patron traffic and automobile traffic would have died down significantly.


  12. Lorrytayaba@yahoo.com

    WOW!!!so no one has been arrested or convicted of this murder??the son undoubtably did this!why can’t they gather more ammunition against this rotten piece of cr#p!