The Horrific Crime Scene Of Gary And Jan Tyrrell

Gary and Jan Tyrrell were a lovely couple who lived in Springfield, Missouri. The two — who were in their early 60s — were known as upstanding citizens in their community and were always prepared to lend a helping hand. The Tyrrells were known for giving meals to children they didn't know and volunteered their time to help care for elderly people, as reported by the Springfield News-Leader. Jan also took time to knit accessories for cancer patients.

Gary and Jan had a shared passion for collecting rare coins, and Gary also traded and collected gemstones and metals. The couple had a daughter, Jessica, who lived in Oklahoma. She had a good relationship with her parents and always made it a point to check on them, according to The Cinemaholic. The Tyrrells lived a happy life and it seemed that they had no enemies, which was why their brutal murders in 2014 left their family and friends baffled.

The discovery of the murders

In 2014, Jessica Tyrrell became increasingly worried when her attempts to contact her parents failed. She decided to see what was going on and drove to her their house with her fiancé. Jessica noticed that her parents' vehicles were parked in the garage, and she immediately sensed that something was wrong (via The Cinemaholic). Jessica called 911, and emergency responders arrived at the Tyrrell home to investigate.

Upon entry into the home, first responders were met with a grisly scene. Jan Tyrrell was found dead on the first floor of the home, while Gary Tyrrell's body was discovered in a bedroom on the second floor. It was evident that the couple had been victims of a brutal attack. Authorities inspected the location and found out that some of the couple's valuables had been stolen, including their collection of rare coins. There was also a safe found in the home, and it was clear that there was an attempt to break it, but the culprit was unsuccessful.

The details of the crime

Taking Gary and Jan Tyrrell's background into consideration, it was difficult for friends and family to accept that they died in such a gruesome way. As reported by The Cinemaholic, Gary was beaten before being shot twice, while Jan died of blunt force trauma after being hit with a walrus tusk. Investigators found no sign of forced entry into the home, making them believe that the couple knew their attacker and willingly allowed them inside.

According to KMBC, the value of the coins stolen from the Tyrrells amounted to $22,000. There were other items of value found in the home, but they were not stolen by the perpetrator. Investigators looked into the people closest to the couple, and they zeroed in on a friend of the couple's named Mark Porter. Gary worked for the Mountain Grove school district before his retirement, and Porter was his colleague from 2003 to 2005. When questioned, Porter said that he had plans to meet with Gary on April 30, but he never showed up at the time of their supposed meeting.

Investigation into Mark Porter

Mark Porter told investigators that he had a close relationship with Gary and Jan Tyrrell, and he had been in their home a few days before they were found dead. He was requested to provide a sample of his DNA, but he refused. Investigators were suspicious of Porter, and they looked further into his relationship with the slain couple. It turned out that Porter had borrowed money from the couple and had yet to pay them, and he, again, tried to borrow an additional $250,000 but that time, Gary refused, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

Money may have been a motive for Porter to kill the couple, but that wasn't enough to have him arrested. Further investigations revealed that Porter sold silver coins a couple of days after the couple was murdered, and he got $18,000 from the sale. Detectives kept Porter on their radar, and they were able to get a sample of his DNA from a discarded coffee cup. It was tested against DNA collected from the crime scene and was a perfect match, which proved that he was present when the couple was murdered.

Mark Porter's arrest and sentencing

Mark Porter was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Gary and Jan Tyrrell. As part of a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, Porter entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to two life terms in prison. As reported by the Springfield News-Leader, the judge gave the maximum sentence possible, but he said that even that wasn't sufficient punishment for what Porter did to the Tyrrells.

According to authorities, Porter had problems with gambling, and when he was out of money, he turned to the Tyrrells for a loan. In court, Jessica Tyrrell talked about how generous and kind her parents were. Other family members also spoke about the close relationships they had with the couple. In the end, the judge said that Gary and Jan were everything that Porter was not. Porter, who was 54 at the time of his sentencing in 2015, will be eligible for parole when he is 82 years old. He will most likely be spending the rest of his life in prison.

Jessica Tyrrell filed a lawsuit against Mark Porter

Two years after the death of her parents, Jessica Tyrrell filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mark Porter. In the documents, Jessica claimed that when Porter murdered Jan and Gary, he deprived her of their guidance, support, and companionship. She was also subjected to pain and suffering as a result of their brutal murder, per KY3. Jessica is seeking what she says is a reasonable amount of money as compensation for the loss of her parents at the hands of Porter.

Porter is serving his sentence at the South Central Correctional Center located in Licking, Missouri. He will be eligible for parole in 2043, but the judge said during his sentencing that if the parole board ever asks for his opinion on the matter, he would always say that he is not fit to be out of prison. "There will never be a day that I say 'yes'," he stated (per Springfield News-Leader).