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Tallahassee Isn't Sunshine All the Time in a Sunshine State

True Crime of Tallahassee

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

When people think of Tallahassee they think the capital of the sunshine state but Tallahassee has some dark secrets. Many residents of Tallahsse are oblivious to all the true crime that happens here. Here are five crimes that have shaken Tallahassee to its core. 

Unsolved triple homicide

It was 1966, a few days before Halloween when things started to get scary. During this time usually people would be scared of ghosts and goblins but, for the people of Tallahassee, they feared a killer. The Sims family were residents of Tallahassee. They were a well liked family with a daughter and like everyone, getting ready for Halloween but sadly never made it to that day. The Sims were found brutally killed in their home. The mother and father were in their bedroom with bullets and bruises all over them. Looking into the daughter's bedroom she was also shot and unclothed. This incident took the people of Tallahassee by shock because no one knew who could possibly do this. Sheriff Larry Campbell was on the case and there were no possible leads to the killer, everything seemed hopeless. The case was unsolved for months, but then one day a woman went to the police station and talked to Campbell. She told him that she knew who the killer was and asked if she would go to jail if she helped with the killing. Campbell did not lie to her and told her that she would go to jail because she was an accomplice and with that information she refused to reveal who the killer was. To this day no one knows who killed the Sims and it seems like this case will always stay a mystery. Many people in Tallahassee are not just who the killer is but they are also unaware of this incident. 

“I do [think more people should know about this incident] because I think the best way to stop violence and stop crime is to be educated,” junior Aidenn Hafez said.

Ted Bundy killing  

This killer is a well known serial killer: Ted Bundy. He admitted to killing 36 different women, and sadly two victims were residents of Tallahassee. On Jan. 15, 1978 on FSU campus in the house of Chi Omega Bowman and Levy were killed in their doom room at 3 a.m. This incident in this sorority has changed many people's lives even now. 

“My sister is in the Chi Omega sorority in Georgia and she told me that no guys are allowed in her sorority house because of the incident,” junior Suzanne Beshears said.


This has affected many people from all over because of how gruesome the incident was. According to reports, Bundy came into the sorority house and strangled the two girls with a sock before leaving the scene injuring three other women before getting away. People were in shock at who could kill not one but two girls in a house full of people and get away. The people who Bundy injured were hospitalized and not in a conscious state so people could not rely on those girls for more information on the case. It was Jan. 24, 1978 when Bundy was caught. This was the last killing for Bundy and he was trialed in Leon County and found guilty. Although everyone was happy that the killer was caught no one will be able to forget the horror that came from Tallahassee that day.

Yoga shooting

Some people will go mad because of something they never had. On Nov. 2, 2018 a man went into the hot yoga studio and opened fire. This man who has remained anonymous was planning on doing this killing for months. He did not live in Tallahassee and did not know any women in that room but he decided that the hot yoga studio was where he wanted to change the lives of thousands. From multiple reports, they say that the man had mental problems and had an unknown hatred for women and decided that killing women would satisfy him, but it did not. He ended up killing himself before police arrived to help the rest of the women. Many women did survive the attack, but not all. Maura Brinkley and Nancy Van Vessem died that day. Both women were residents of Tallahassee and friends with many. They got their life cut short because of someone else's hatred. This incident took many people by shock and the studio was closed down a few weeks after, flowers and pictures were on the door of the empty lot for years.

Dozier School for Boys

Did this school discipline or did it destroy? The Dozier School for Boys was a school for misbehaving kids. The school would take the boys for years and once put into the real world again the boy would be perfect. This program lasted for years before something seemed off with it. In the back of the school there were hundreds of unmarked graves that would randomly pop up and people started to notice some of the boys would go missing. The mayor at the time decided to take a closer look at the school and found nothing but terror. Many reports say that the boys in the house were severely abused. Many boys would be starved, hit, chained and sleep deprived until they could not take it anymore and died. Most of the boys in the school did not have parents so they could not tell anyone about this horrific torture they indured. The mayor ended up closing it in June 30, 2011 on many accounts of child abuse.

“It sounds like something really horrible from our history that people should know more about,” social studies teacher Christine Piepmeier said.

Assassination of professor

July 18, 2014 was the day an assassination took place. Dan Markel was a law professor at FSU, well liked by his students but not by his family. Markel had a wife, Mrs. Markel, who seemed to love him but she deceived residents of Tallahassee. For months the wife was planning on killing her husband, she fell out of love and wanted his money so she believed killing him was the best option. She hired her brother for the case and so the plan continued. He was successfully murdered but only a few days later did the media realize who did the horrific act. The wife was first under investigation and she stayed solid to her case but it was the brother who cracked under pressure. He admitted to doing so and told them that the sister had planned the whole thing. They both went to the country and pleaded guilty to the whole murder. The wife got 19 years for second degree murder and the brother was charged with first degree murder.

Tallahassee has dark secrets that many residents do not know about. All these things happened in or near Tallahassee and not many people are aware of how dark the capital of the Sunshine state truly is.


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Andy Poll

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