Real Name: Timothy Barry
Aliases: Tim Barry
Wanted For: Murder, Escape
Missing Since: May 1990
Details: Tim Barry was a happily married man with a loving wife Andrea, children and the respect of his friends in Everett, Massachusetts. Tim was close to his wife's family; after their father died, Tim became the unofficial head of the family. On Thursday, October 6, 1977, his sister-in-law, twenty-three-year-old Nancy Brown had the day off. She started her day early, doing laundry. The only other person in the house was her sixteen-year-old sister Moira, who was home sick from school. Early that morning, Moira heard Nancy slam the back door to the porch and turn on the radio in the kitchen. After that, Nancy mysteriously vanished, along with her car.
That evening, their mother Ida contacted Andrea and Tim, concerned about Nancy's absence. The couple, along with Andrea's sister Allison, rushed to the home. They called several of Nancy's friends, but nobody had heard from her. Andrea noticed that Tim began acting somewhat strangely after Nancy disappeared. He appeared to be acting more nervous than everyone else. The family split up and decided to search again. While in the basement, Ida found her daughter's glasses on the stairs. This made her family very concerned because she was practically blind without her glasses.
The next day, investigators began to search for her. The day after that, her car was located in a store parking lot. Interestingly, Tim had suggested that they look in that specific lot. Her car was unlocked and the keys were under the seat. There were no apparent signs of foul play. However, they discovered that her car alarm was not set, which was unusual as she always had set it. The only other evidence in the car were some particles of sand. Nancy's family tried to cope with her disappearance.
A few days after the disappearance, Allison gave birth to her child. As the sister were talking, they mentioned how they wished Nancy was there to see the child. Suddenly, Tim became angry about them talking about Nancy all of the time. He said that she was gone and there was nothing they could do about it. Andrea noticed that he was very moody and was not acting like himself. She also noticed that he was starting to drink heavily. At around the same time, investigators had asked him to take a polygraph; he refused.
Evidence continued to point to Tim Barry--especially after they learned that he had been charged with the murder of another soldier while he was in the military in Germany. A military court acquitted him of the murder, but noted his so-called "clairvoyance". He had led investigators to both the victim and the murder weapon. This discovery led investigators to believe that it was more than just a coincidence that he suggested the location of Nancy's car.
On April 25, 1979, he went to a church and confessed to Nancy's murder. He told the priest that he broke into the home at around 5 am and waited for Nancy in the basement. He said he abducted her and blindfolded her. He then put her in her own car and made her sit on the front passenger floor. He wore a fake mustache so no one in the neighborhood would recognize him. He drove her to a beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts, twenty miles north of Everett. He forced her to walk through the dunes into a heavily wooded area. He carried a hunting knife and a shovel. He claims that when she stood up to him, he decided to kill her and bury her.
The priest convinced him to confess to the police. After his second confession, he led them through the woods behind the Ipswich beach to Nancy's body. His wife's family was shocked that he would commit such a horrible crime. On February 11, 1980, Tim Barry was convicted of second degree murder and kidnapping; he was sentenced to life in prison plus five to ten years. Eight years later, Tim was labeled a model prisoner and began working in lower-security places. While working at a government office on Election Day of 1988, he escaped when he asked to go to the bathroom. His escape was made easier due to the crowds and confusion on the first floor, which had several voting booths.
Over a year later, during Memorial Day weekend in 1990, Tim walked out of the woods and arrived at his sister's home in Vermont. He briefly spoke with his children before leaving. He has not been seen since.
Extra Notes: The original airdate of the case was November 11, 1994.
Results: Captured. As a result of Unsolved Mysteries, Barry was captured on November 7, 1994 in Akron, Ohio, just days before the segment aired. He was working as a truck driver under the name John Prendiville. At a federal court hearing, he waived extradition and was put in the custody of the U.S. Marshals. He was returned to Massachusetts and is now serving the rest of his life sentence.
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