Colorado – murder victim found sexually mutilated

Colorado – murder victim found sexually mutilated


Peggy Hettrick- Ft. Collins, Colorado

It is widely believed that due to police corruption, bad investigating and an overzealous criminal justice system, a murder suspect walked away scott free after the wrong man had been arrested, tried and convicted in this unsolved murder case.

2/11/1987, the body of 37 year old Peggy Hettrick was found by a bicyclist who saw what he thought was a mannequin only to learn that is was in fact the dead body of Peggy in a field in southern Fort Collins, Colorado.

The coroner’s findings were that, she died early in the morning, from a single stab wound in the upper left back.

She had been “sexually mutilated,” her left nipple and areola were removed, and it was found that someone had performed a female “circumcision” on her, including a partial vulvectomy, a procedure that requires high skill and quality surgical equipment to perform.

Because of a combination of misinformation, bad police work/investigating and an overzealous criminal justice system, a young man by the name of Timothy Masters was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder.

On January 22, 2008 a Colorado judge vacated Timothy Masters’ conviction and ordered him released immediately.

The list of things wrong with how the investigation, prosecution and original defense in this case is pretty long, that includes the fact that not even DNA samples obtained from the original investigation matched Timothy Masters but they did match another man.

That man was someone Peggy was known to have an intimate relationship with on and off…

Because of such a botched investigation however, it has left a great many wondering if the killer will ever be unmasked.

It was later discovered that investigators had two promising suspects in the case that they in fact completely and rather blatantly refused to look into during the investigation. Matt Zoellner, the sometimes lover of Peggy and the man who matched the touch DNA. He was a used car salesman at the time of the murder. It is doubtful that he had surgical experience enough or any at all to expertly carry out the genital mutilation that had been found on Peggy’s body.

The second suspect however did have that experience and had been a known to have an unhealthy obsession with female genitalia.

dr. richard-hammond-crimeshop.jpg

Dr. Richard Hammond had been arrested for secretly filming female genitalia which included members of his own family.

He put a camera into fake ventilation grates in one of his bathrooms. The cameras were specifically positioned so as to allow for very close up viewing of female genitals while sitting on the toilet. After his arrest, investigators discovered Dr. Hammond’s porn stash which made it all too clear that he had an unhealthy obsession with female genitalia.

Dr. Hammond was arrested roughly 7 years after Peggy’s murder, and investigators did note the possibility of a connection between his habits and the murder of Peggy particularly the genital mutilation and decided not to follow up on it.

Dr. Hammond did have the training needed so as to perform the mutilation found on Peggy’s body. What’s more is that in 1987 the good doctor’s bedroom window did happen to overlook the location to where Peggy’s body had been found.

Oddly, it was also noted that, out of normal habit, Dr. Hammond was home the morning after the murder of Peggy. He was usually already working on that particular day of the week.

Dr. Hammond committed suicide back in March of 1995, days after his arrest for the camera incident. Part of his suicide note read, “My death should satisfy the media’s thirst for blood…”

Just because he committed suicide does not make him guilty of Peggy’s murder, however Dr. Hammond is in all likelihood the man who is in fact, responsible for the murder of Peggy Hettrick.

Peggy was not a random victim. Our predictability based off of our habits are what allows killers to get close enough to kill however.

That means that the killer is typically closer than most suspect, such as a local, someone no one would ever initially suspect…that is until the individual makes a mistake.

Dr. Hammond displays all of the classic signs of a serial killer and had it not been for his suicide he might have ended up becoming a serial killer not to mention that is it is equally possible that he was a serial killer.

He found ways to quench his thirst for genital mutilation through porn and the filming of women using his bathroom, until he could not contain the thirst on that fateful night in February 1987.

He also lived near the crime scene which makes sense, killers like to kill where they feel comfortable and for most that is in a town they are familiar with such as his or her hometown.

The fact that his bedroom window overlooked the crime scene also would have allowed for him to relive the moment many times over.

Female circumcision is typically used as a way to control women’s sexuality, and it is also thought to ensure virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward, and to increase male sexual pleasure.

It is a very specific type of mutilation, when seen in cases such as Peggy’s it is considered sexually sadistic.

Which happens to be a psychological disorder and has been found to have the potential to be rather dangerous if other symptoms such as borderline personality disorder or psychopathy are present.  

The potential combos increase the likelihood of the individual acting on their sexually sadistic fantasies in some frightening ways. 

What is truly scary about someone like Dr. Hammond is that we will always be left wondering if he had other victims, victims we have yet to learn of.

Dr. Hammond for all intents and purposes is very much a sexual sadist who acted upon his deepest and darkest desires.

Cristal M Clark

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