Investigation Discovery’s ‘Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?’ covers the tale of various married individuals, who come across a crime their spouse committed during or before their time together. In the episode titled ‘The Halloween Bride,’ we are introduced to the late Tabatha Lynch and how her body was tampered with after her tragic demise. It also includes interviews with the victim’s loved ones, reporters, and law enforcement officials, who were either in Tabatha’s life or were involved in the investigation.
Who Was Tabatha Lynch?
Tabatha Nadine Nixon Lynch was born on May 23, 1976, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Tulsa resident, apart from being a beautiful person inside and out, was also a smart and intelligent woman who worked as an insurance adjuster. She had a loving and supporting family, most of whom adored her, including a brother, nieces, and nephews. She was also a single mother of four children, who were aged 4 to 18 before tragedy struck.
She was also admired by her sister-in-law, who had only words of praise for her. During a conversation with News on 6, she stated, “She was a beautiful person inside and out. She had so much love in her heart. She always tried to help everyone. She was a great mom and a good friend to so many people. So many people loved her.”
What Happened to Tabatha Lynch?
After dealing with severe health problems for several years, Tabatha Lynch passed away from natural causes on April 27, 2015, at the young age of 38. It was a sad time for her family and loved ones, who organized a private funeral a few days later. On April 30, 2015, with the open-casket funeral moments away, a mysterious woman named Shaynna Lauren Sims entered the funeral home in Tulsa. In order to gain access to Tabatha’s casket and dodge any kind of suspicions from the deceased’s family members and funeral home staff, she claimed to be a professional makeup artist who had to prepare the body for viewing.
When Shaynna reached Tabatha’s body with a sharp knife in her hands, she mutilated the body by cutting off the latter’s breasts and a toe, smearing her makeup, slicing some portion of skin from her forehead, and pulling more than a few strands of hair out of her head. Not only that, Shaynna also stole the shoes from the dead woman’s feet. Upon finding out that the 38-year-old’s body was tampered with, the family reported the incident to 911 immediately.
The authorities couldn’t find any piece of evidence other than some locks of Tabatha’s hair next to the casket, so they took their investigation to her apartment where they ran into Shaynna, who had broken into Tabatha’s apartment and stole a few things for the road. She was arrested on the spot and when the police frisked and searched the woman, they found a knife that had Tabatha’s hair, a pair of scissors, a box cutter, and several cosmetic products, in her possession.
Upon further investigation into Shaynna, they found out that she was driven by jealousy to do what she did with Tabatha’s body after discovering she might have had an affair with her estranged husband. Shining more light on this, the deceased’s sister-in-law, JuliAnn, said that although Tabatha and Shaynna’s husband knew each other from high school and remained good friends over the years, they were not involved romantically.
Where is Shaynna Lauren Sims Now?
During the trial of Shaynna Lauren Sims, the jury was shown pictures of what the defendant did to Tabatha Lynch’s body and it was enough for them to return with a guilty verdict for her. Charged with multiple crimes, the 28-year-old Shaynna, in 2017, was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison — seven years for first-degree burglary, five years for unlawfully taking out a body part from a deceased body, two years for unknowingly hiding stolen property, one year for unauthorized dissection and one year for disrupting the peace and decorum of a funeral.
In early June of the same year, Shaynna was released on bond; all she had to do was not visit Tulsa County if not for medical appointments and emergencies. But, just four days into her release, she violated the condition by returning to Tabatha’s apartment and trying to contact her children. As per reports, she wore a wig in disguise but to no avail as her GPS ankle monitor was noticed by the people around her who reported her to the authorities, after which she was taken back in custody.
A few years later, in 2021, based on the federal ruling on tribal jurisdiction, the conviction and sentence of Shaynna Lauren Sims was overturned and dismissed, resulting in her release from prison after serving just four years out of her 20-year sentence. She argued that the state didn’t have the right to prosecute her because Tabatha was Native American and the crime was committed within the Creek Nation. In another turn of events, a couple of years later, in February 2023, a warrant for Shaynna’s arrest was issued, which led to her arrest yet again. Currently, she continues to serve the remaining years of her sentence at Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center at 601 North Oak Street in Taft.