Real Name: Richard Gerard Bocklage
Aliases: Dick Bocklege, Dick Boch
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: September 1980
Details: Richard Bocklage is a former pharmacy student wanted for the murder of his ex-fiance, Dr. Tatjana "Tanya" Kopric in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 18, 1980. He was eleven years younger than her and had grown up in St. Louis. He studied pharmacy at the University of Missouri. She was from Yugoslavia and had immigrated to the United States in 1975. They had started dating in March 1980; a few weeks later, he moved into her apartment. Six months later, they got engaged. However, her friends did not like him and felt that he was just using her for money.
Richard began spending more time with Tanya and less time in class. Midway through his sophomore year, he fell behind in his studies. At certain points, he became close to dropping out. On July 19, 1980, he was notified by administrators that he was academically ineligible. He demanded that Tanya use her connections in the admissions department to get him re-enrolled. However, she refused to help him. Soon, he began to exhibit wild mood swings. Three weeks later, on September 2, she broke off the engagement and kicked him out.
Two weeks later, Richard returned to class and acted as if nothing had changed. His professor contacted an administrator who spoke with him. He argued with the administrator and then angrily left. He later wrote to the admissions office, begging the officials to reconsider his case. At 3 pm on September 18, the admissions committee met to determine his fate. They all agreed that he should not be readmitted.
Hoping to avoid a confrontation, the committee quickly dispersed. At 3:45 pm, two professors spotted Richard driving toward the dean's office. They immediately headed in the opposite direction. He roamed the hallways, searching for the dean. He carried a manila envelope; some believe that it contained a handgun. Three hours later, Tanya returned to her apartment after work. As she exited her car, he appeared and shot her three times in the head with a .45 automatic pistol. Two witnesses identified Bocklage as the shooter. Investigators learned that he had purchased the pistol just weeks prior to the murder.
On September 24, Richard's 1975 Oldsmobile Toronado was found abandoned in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, 900 miles away. He was seen by two local residents. However, Detective Warren Miller believes that he has since returned to the United States. Two months after the murder, Tanya's parents received a letter from him, postmarked two days before. In it, he stated that she had been executed and that her death was necessary and "inevitable". He has never been found. In 2021, Richard's cousin told an investigative journalist that the Bocklage family have not seen or heard from him since before the murder. Richard's cousin also indicated that the FBI visited her in the early 2000s. At that time, she says, the FBI believed he was spotted committing robberies across the country on interstate freeways. Richard Gerard Bocklage is 6'0" tall and weighs 175 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes, and surgical scars running vertical under each underarm. He has family and friend ties to St. Louis and Minnesota. Today, he would be sixty-five-years-old; his date of birth is July 12, 1957.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 3, 1991 episode. It was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted in 1992 and again in 2001.
- Richard Bocklage on Unsolved.com
- Suspect is sought in fatal shooting- September 21, 1980
- Last Traces: What Happened to Richard Bocklage? (includes police reports, court documents, articles, interviews)
- Inverness forensic artist could help solve 41-year-old Stateside murder mystery - June 28, 2021
- Websleuths Discussion of Richard Bocklage (includes articles)
- AMW Discussion on Richard Bocklage
- SitcomsOnline Discussion on Richard Bocklage (includes articles)