What was the motive?
One more outstanding question has been rattling in my brain for quite some time. Why was Theresa murdered?
A number of possible motives have been suggested—the most common ones being sexual assault and drugs. But are we limiting the investigation by not considering other possible motives?
If we can narrow down the motive, it might help us eliminate possible suspects or add new ones to the list.
So what are the usual motives for murder? (And which of them might apply in Theresa’s case?) The following book excerpts provide these insights:
"Motive for murder can be divided into seven specific groups: 1) Profit; 2) Elimination; 3) Revenge; 4) Jealousy; 5) Conviction; 6) Sadism; 7) Sex....Removal of the person who happens to be 'in the way' is the determining factor in a great number of murders. In the true elimination murder the continued existence of the victim is inconvenient or dangerous to the killer."
- The Detection of Murder - A Handbook for Police Officers, Detectives, Coroners, Judges and Attorneys, by Paul B. Weston and William F. Kessler
“For example, an investigation of the homicide of a known narcotics trafficker that results from a drug deal gone awry will take a completely different dynamic from that resulting from a domestic dispute between a husband and wife.”
- Evidence Collection by Joseph J. Vince and William E. Sherlock
“There are certain types of homicide where the motive for the act is not always apparent or is truly unknown. This is more characteristic of homicide incidents that have occurred simply because of some altercation over a trivial matter, or some homicides that involve children…”
- The Cambridge Handbook of Australian Criminology, by Adam Graycar and Peter N. Grabosky
In my opinion, any of the following could be realistic motives for murder in Theresa’s case:
Sexual assault (Theresa was found semi-nude but the coroner found no apparent signs of trauma. There was some bruising seen under her armpits prior to the autopsy. Could that have been due to the force applied when dragging her to final resting place? Can bruising happen after death?)
Profit/robbery (Theresa’s wallet was found without any money in it. As I mentioned before, I wonder if anyone checked her banking activity leading up to the day she was murdered. Can that be done now?)
Drugs/concealment of another crime (Maybe she saw something…)
Relationship (Was there someone who was romantically interested in Theresa and felt “rebuffed” by her…resulting in a “if I can’t have her, then nobody will” attitude?)
Another question to ask is: What kind of person would benefit from Theresa’s death?