Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: The Invisible Hand of Death’ chronicles how 27-year-old Timothy McClure mysteriously died inside his girlfriend’s Colorado Springs, Colorado, apartment in the early hours of March 1989. As the perplexed investigators tried to figure out the method of death, it led them to an unfortunate and tragic solution. If you’re intrigued and want to find out more regarding the case, including how the victim died, we’ve your back. Let’s begin then, shall we?
How Did Timothy McClure Die?
On March 1, 1989, the Colorado Springs Police Department received a 911 call at around 3:34 am from the 200 block of South Prospect Avenue in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The dispatcher reported an unconscious male requiring medical assistance, and the responding officer entered the apartment to find a white male lying on the floor. The victim was still alive and surrounded by four people, as the first respondent started performing CPR and requested immediate medical help.
The Emergency Medical Team (EMT) arrived, loaded the unconscious individual into an ambulance, and rushed to the hospital. The detectives learned he was 27-year-old Timothy McClure, who was announced dead upon arrival at the emergency room. They interviewed his mother, Barbara Marsh, who informed them that her son was an enrolled student at Pike’s Peak Community College and was studying to be a lab technician. He was married once before and the father of three children.
According to the episode, Timothy’s kids lived with his former wife in a different state while he lived with his parents in Colorado Springs. However, the mystery surrounded how Timothy had died since he had no visible injury marks on his body. The show explained that his hyoid bone, a part of the throat’s structure, was discovered intact. As a result, the medical examiner could not determine the method of his death, though he ruled the manner of death as homicidal. It was later discovered that he was strangled to death.
Who Killed Timothy McClure?
The detectives looked around the apartment to find unmistakable signs of a struggle inside. They saw broken bottles, overturned lamp sheds, and scattered furniture and discovered a clump of human hair on the floor ripped off somebody’s head. As they moved down the hallway, the investigators spotted two holes in the drywall, obviously from human feet. It seemed as if somebody had kicked two holes in the wall. Outside, the responding officers had handcuffed four witnesses, who initially refused to cooperate with the authorities.
Perplexed about how the death of the 27-year-old, the detectives spoke with the coroner examining his body. He informed the officers about the intact hyoid bone and hemorrhaging in the whites of Timothy’s eyes, which suggested asphyxia. But without the fractured hyoid bone, the medical examiner could not conclude manual strangulation and was unwilling to say ligature strangulation. With the method of the murder ruled undetermined, the detectives interviewed his mother, Barbara, to learn more about the victim.
Apart from her son’s past and how he was striving to make his life better, the grieving mother informed the police about Timothy dating a girl named Deborah Lincoln. The police found a shaken Deborah outside, who seemed shocked by the incident. Between tears, she told the officers about her living arrangement, where she lived with two other roommates — a girl named Leah Hawkins and a guy, Joe Minerly. Deborah claimed they had been friends since school and got along well and that Timothy stayed with them sometimes.
According to Deborah, the only problems were caused by people not living there and how there was always someone crashing on the couch. The show explained her flat was akin to college dormitories, where people always seemed to be coming in, going out, or residing for a few days without prior notice. Deborah claimed she returned home to find a stranger sleeping on the living room couch but did not give it much thought, given their living accommodation’s history. She discovered Timothy playing cards and drinking whiskey with Joe.
Since she had classes the following morning, Deborah retired to bed early and claimed Timothy climbed in with her in the early morning hours. Since he reeked of whiskey, she sent Timothy out of the room to sleep somewhere in the living room. Deborah claimed she did not know what happened next and was awoken by struggling noises. She rushed outside to find her boyfriend unconscious on the floor and claimed the police separated her from her roommates before she could learn more.
The detectives also interviewed Leah and Joe to learn Deborah was speaking the truth, and their version of the events corroborated. Joe claimed he did not even know the stranger sleeping on their couch, except that he was Leah’s friend. Leah informed the officers she had visited one of the city’s shelters for homeless people and found Alonzo Teja there. Since she had lived in the shelter for a short time, she was empathetic for the people there and invited Alonzo to stay at her place for a while. However, she and Joe both accused him of being Timothy’s killer.
Where is Alonzo Teja Now?
The police discovered Alonzo was blind, and he told the officers how someone had stolen his sleeping bag. Without it, the shelter did not allow him to stay, and the empathetic Leah, whom he met for the first time, invited him to crash on her couch. He alleged he was sleeping when someone attacked him in the middle of the night, grabbing his hair and pulling him up. The detectives understood the clump of human hair belonged to Alonzo, which got torn off when Timothy instigated a fight with him.
As Alonzo struggled to comprehend what had happened, his survival instincts kicked in, and he grabbed Timothy by his throat. He had Timothy in a choke hold, using his forearm to restrict his oxygen supply. Timothy struggled to set free, kicking things down and making holes in the drywall. As he started to get limp and could not answer Alonzo, the blind person thought his aggressor still wanted to fight him. However, the other roommates rushed in and called 911 as they tried to resuscitate their friend.
The El Paso County grand jury focused on a legal principle known as ‘Mens Rea,’ which can be freely translated as the ‘guilty mind.’ The legislature suggests that an individual commits a crime when they willfully and knowingly do something illegal. However, Alonzo did not intend to kill Timothy, and he was only putting up a fight for self-defense. Hence, the jury found him innocent of the ‘accidental homicide’ and acquitted him of all criminal proceedings against him.