Tammy Elanie (Crossley)-Koper
21 Years Old

August 12, 1968 to March 10, 1990

Once in a lifetime! Richard and Eleanor Crossley had a very sweet daughter to love and to hold. Now all they have are their memories. Tammy Crossley Koper, originally from Stubenville, Ohio, was a dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty who was full of life. She had so much to live for - so much to give! She left her parents with a beautiful little granddaughter, a heart full of love and memories to share.

Tammy loved being outdoors: swimming, playing ball and walking. She would walk miles with her mother every day. When se was small, Tammy was going to marry her daddy - every little girl's dream. Tammy had a short life, but she did so much: dancing, track, gymnastics and baton.

She had a football hero: her big brother Rich. All of her friends had a "thing" for him. Tammy had a special friend: her little brother Tim. Together, they shared their secrets.

Her favorite color was pink, and she loved roses. Tammy received her first rose on her 16th birthday from Bill. Her favorite foods were pizza, ice cream and caramel turtles.

Tammy did well in school, but school was not her thing. She was on and off of the honor roll. When she was in high school, she participated in the Y-Teens and Spanish Club, was on the yearbook staff, a member of D.E.C.D. and was an aid in the guidance office.

Tammy's first boyfriend was John Downard. He was six and she was five. Her best friends were Lorrie Deller and Lorrie Myles. The three of them were like sisters. When Lorrie Myles moved away, Tammy was sick.

Christmas was the holiday for Tammy. She loved everything about it.

Tammy's daughter, Bethanie, looks up at the sky at night and asks if the stars are angels because the one twinkling the brightest is her mommy Tammy.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On March 10, 1990, Tammy Crossley Koper, 21, originally of Stubenville, Ohio, was killed. Tammy, her husband Mark and their 18-month-old daughter, Bethanie, lived in Front Royal, Virginia. Mark took Tammy, who was six months pregnant, and Bethanie for a drive. They drove to a state park near Winchester, Virginia. When they left the park, they drove down a dirt road with very few houses on it. Mark stopped the car supposedly because they were having car trouble. He and Tammy both got out and walked to the front of the car. At this point, Mark shot Tammy in the back of the head with a .45 caliber gun. He then put Tammy's body in the trunk of the car and drove 60 miles to Fauguier County, Virginia. Mark then dumped her body in a wooded area off of a dirt road. Through all of these events, Bethanie was in her car seat in the back of the car.

The next day, Mark reported Tammy missing. On March 15, Tammy's body was discovered by a man on a walk. After finding the gun and blood-stained boots at the house, Mark admitted to shooting Tammy, but claimed it was an accident. Tammy never knew that Mark had two girlfriends - one was pregnant.

On June 29, 1990, Mark Koper entered two "Alford" guilty pleas to the first degree murder of Tammy and to the felony firearms charge. He was sentenced to 62 years in prison. He is eligible for discretionary parole consideration on October 18, 1999. He will reach his mandatory date on March 31, 2031, subject to change with earning or loss of good time credits.

 

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Tammy Koper