Adrienne Simpson and Tyler Terry have been likened to the notorious criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde.
Simpson and Terry criss-crossed multiple states spanning more than 1,000 miles in May, chalking up dozens of charges in a rap sheet that included a combined four homicide charges in South Carolina and Missouri — with investigators tying them to a fifth slaying in Tennessee — while also wounding three men in separate shootings and riddling six vehicles with bullets.
During their alleged crime spree, the South Carolina couple led Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey's deputies on a high-speed chase topping 100 mph. Simpson was behind the wheel of a 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage while Terry fired a volley of gunshots at six pursuing officers, striking three patrol vehicles, according to court documents.
“They were extremely dangerous. They became even more dangerous after the initial murder,” Dorsey said during interviews with NBC News this month. “That danger increased because they no longer had anything to lose. I believe that’s what led them to not having a concern for anyone else’s well-being after that.”
Through court documents, police statements and jail records, NBC News pieced together a timeline of the duo's alleged crime wave, which centered around three dates: May 2, May 15 and May 17.
Their M.O. was to hit unsuspecting victims quickly, police said, during sprees that terrorized communities over a period of hours.
Simpson was mostly the getaway driver in the dark grey Mitsubishi and Terry was the gunman, according to arrest warrants.
The couple began their felonious rampage by killing their former lovers in their home state, police said. Terry, 26, and Simpson, 33, had dated for about three years, court records said. Other victims were seemingly casualties of being at the wrong place at the wrong time when Terry and Simpson accosted them in robberies, attempted robberies and a burglary, police documents show.
A motive for the prolonged violence was not explicitly stated by authorities in records.
Terry’s attorney, William Frick, said his client is "innocent until proven guilty."
The couple is now jailed in South Carolina on no bond. They were arrested a week apart last month. And although investigators only began understanding the full extent of their crimes after Simpson's arrest on May 17, they secured key details in the slayings with her cooperation, records said.
Sunday, May 2
The South Carolina couple’s spate of crimes is believed to have started shortly after midnight the morning of May 2 with the killing of Simpson's husband, Eugene, in Chester, South Carolina, according to arrest warrants.
Terry was allegedly in possession of a 9 mm handgun, while Simpson carried a nickel-plated .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Simpson told police that she and Terry "shot Eugene Simpson and dumped the body on Stroud Road," a warrant said. Police recovered her husband's body based on information she provided, the warrant said.
Eugene Simpson’s body, which had gunshot wounds, was found in a ditch May 19, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. The 33-year-old had been reported missing earlier in the month, police said.
They then moved on to their next alleged victim — Terry's ex-partner, 35-year-old Thomas Hardin, in nearby York, according to an incident report from York police.
The city's police chief, Andy Robinson, said Hardin is believed to have been killed between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
Hardin’s friend asked police to conduct a welfare check because she “had not heard from him since last night and because that was unusual,” police said in the report.
An officer, who knocked on a front door that was slightly opened, got no answer. The door opened wider when the officer continued to knock, police said.
Hardin’s body was found “motionless on the floor, between a couch and a door,” police said. The case was being investigated as a homicide. Terry was listed as a suspect in the report.
Hardin identified as a woman on social media, police said.
WBTV in Charlotte also reported that Hardin identified as a woman, but his friends said Hardin did not have a preferred pronoun and still went by the name Thomas.
Reports also placed them at a Chester Taco Bell that same day, where Simpson was seen driving. Terry got out of the car and fired into a 2007 Maserati, striking a victim in the arm, arrest warrants said. The man’s injuries were considered “life threatening,” according to the warrant. A second man was also shot at, police said.
Terry and Simpson are also accused of violently burglarizing a residence in Chester. In that incident, a man was shot in the arm and shoulder area, also causing life-threatening injuries. Terry is suspected of being the shooter. Police say he also shot at a second victim, causing the man “to flee out of his back door fearing for his life,” a report said.
Domestic violence allegations
In a pile of paperwork connected to Terry and Simpson’s alleged crimes in South Carolina, authorities also released an arrest warrant for Terry accusing him of beating Simpson a year earlier, on May 5, 2020.
The report said Terry had previous convictions in North Carolina in which Simpson was listed as the victim. During last year’s alleged attack, Terry was accused of repeatedly hitting Simpson, causing her to lose hearing in one ear and her right eye to be swollen shut, according to a warrant. The attack caused Simpson “to fear for her life,” the report said.
Simpson’s mug shot following her May 17 arrest appears to show her left eye is heavily bruised.
Simpson’s attorney, Geoffrey M. Dunn, who is handling the cases against her in South Carolina, declined to comment.
Frick, Terry's attorney, said late last week he was collecting evidence in Terry's cases in South Carolina and did not want to comment extensively.
He said Terry was “in good spirits” and he reminded the public to keep an open mind.
“The burden of proof is on the government. Our client is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Frick said.
The couple’s relatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Sheriff Dorsey said Simpson and Terry are equally responsible for their crimes. He said their actions were motivated by their needs at the moment.
“I can’t pinpoint one motive that kind of sews all this up in one big box,” Dorsey said. “It appears that they were opportunists. They reacted violently and in the worst kind of way to achieve their goals that they had at any given time.”
Saturday, May 15
Nearly two weeks after the alleged May 2 crime spree, Terry and Simpson were suspects in a violent robbery spree that night that left two more people dead, according to court records and statements from authorities in St. Louis County in Missouri.
The mayhem began at about 10 p.m. when a man driving a yellow Corvette on Highway 170 reported to police that his car was fired at about 10 times. The man escaped uninjured, but his car was left with three bullet holes, police said.
Only forty-five minutes later, Simpson and Terry allegedly found another target — a BMW carrying married couple Stanley and Barbara Goodkin. This shooting caused bloodshed, police said, killing 71-year-old Barbara. She was shot in the head.
Stanley Goodkin, 74, escaped the shooting — but barely.
He took a bullet to the chest, but was saved by a cellphone that absorbed the shot, police said. He then drove himself and his wife to a nearby hospital.
Terry and Simpson moved on to a hotel parking lot at about 11:40 p.m., where they came upon their fourth victim, Dr. Sergei Zacharev, police said. He was "shot and killed and robbed of his belongings,” the police report said.
On May 19, officials with multiple departments held a press conference pleading for tips. Capt. Fredrick Lemons with University City police said the Goodkins and Zacharev were ambushed.
"Two innocent victims were heartlessly gunned down by some senseless violence," he said.
Lemons asked for the public's help in determining who was inside the "silver or metallic" vehicle captured on blurry surveillance video.
Relatives of both victims’ families in the Missouri crimes declined comment.
Zacharev, in a published obituary, was said to be a father and anesthesiologist who was born in Minsk, Belarus.
"Sergei was a talented doctor, a gifted back and spine surgeon who decided to pursue a career in anesthesiology after moving to the United States," the obituary read. "His larger-than-life personality came through in everything he did — singing, taking care of his patients, spending time with family and friends. He was always helping others — whether at work or in his personal life."
Zacharev was 58.
Court records show Simpson again cooperated with authorities and admitted the couple’s role in the slayings, saying they were attempting to rob the victims.
She said that when they drove by the hotel, they saw Zacharev walking in the parking lot, and Terry "had a gun on his lap and told her to drive back around so they could rob him,” according to a report from the University City police.
Terry shot Zacharev from inside their vehicle, and Simpson then got out of the vehicle and stole Zacharev’s satchel, the report said. Terry then made sure his latest victim didn't live to be a witness, court records said.
“She admitted Tyler Terry then got out of their vehicle and shot the victim more times.”
Monday, May 17
Memphis police declined comment on whether Terry and Simpson are slaying suspects there.
However, police tweeted on May 17 that a man’s body was found on a road at about 2 a.m. The case was being investigated as a homicide, police said.
Lawrence Buser, a spokesman with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, confirmed Terry and Simpson “are definitely under investigation here for murder.” In a voicemail, Buser said if and when the couple is indicted, it would only become public when they’re in custody in Tennessee.
No other details about the Memphis homicide, or why authorities suspect the couple's involvement, were available.
'There was not another individual wanted in our region more than Tyler Terry.'
The beginning of the end for Simpson and Terry was the 11:11 p.m. police chase on May 17 that started in a parking lot of a Bojangles in Richburg, South Carolina, about 650 miles from Memphis.
Court records show that Simpson refused to stop for police. Instead, she sped away eastbound on Highway 9. Sheriff Dorsey remembers hearing reports of shots fired over police airwaves. He was at his home, but quickly rushed to into his unmarked Ford F-150 pickup with his .40-caliber service weapon in its holster.
Dorsey activated his sirens and lights and tried to cut off the chase. At one point, at a local gas station, there were about 30 customers filling near the highway in Richburg, Dorsey said. He got out of his truck and tried to direct customers to safety.
“I directed them to either go inside the store, or get in their vehicles and drive around the store building," he said. 'My intentions were to get everyone away from the main highway so that if any shots were fired from the vehicle … everyone would be in a protected position.”
Simpson, however, drove a different route and crashed shortly thereafter, not far from where she initially took off from police. Terry fled into the woods, which began a week of the community being on edge, Dorsey said.
Between May 18 and May 24, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office tweeted more than five dozen times about the search for him.
The tweets urged residents to remain vigilant by staying inside and locking their doors while also removing valuables and firearms from vehicles. A reward for Terry’s capture, which initially was set at $1,000, grew to $12,000. During that time, police agencies from throughout South Carolina — as well as federal agencies such as the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — assisted with technology and manpower that grew to hundreds of law enforcement personnel searching the woods where Terry was last seen.
“There was not another individual wanted in our region more than Tyler Terry,” Dorsey said. “It was very apparent there was an extremely dangerous armed man in a wooded area that had nothing to lose.”
Helicopters and drones were also utilized in the search, Dorsey said.
While Terry was on the lam, police also closed highways and delayed the start of schools.
Residents were on eggshells. But the tension ended the morning of May 24, when Terry was peacefully captured while hiding in thick brush. An arrest warrant said investigators found him in possession of a stolen 9 mm handgun.
Dorsey said authorities from departments in multiple states are working to shore up evidence against Terry and Simpson.
“It is our role as law enforcement officers to bring them in and build a criminal case against them,” Dorsey said. “They have committed many heinous crimes and they have impacted the lives of hundreds of people in the worst way you can imagine.”