Real Name: Tami Leppert
Nicknames: Her name is sometimes spelled as Tammy or Tami
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida
Date: July 6, 1983
Occupation: Actress, Model
Date of Birth: February 5, 1965
Height: 5’ 4”
Weight: 104 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female with Blonde hair and Hazel eyes. Tami was possibly pregnant when she disappeared. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers, a denim blue skirt, a gray purse, and flip flops. Some accounts report she was barefoot, such as Unsolved Mysteries, which is incorrect.
Details: Tami Leppert was an eighteen-year-old model and actress from Cocoa Beach, Florida. She had been competing in beauty pageants since she was four. She was a rising star, beautiful and popular, active in beauty pageants, and quickly building an impressive resume which included numerous modelling and acting jobs. Her mother, Linda, helped her with her pageants, modeling, and acting, as she was a theatrical and modeling agent.
Wing Flanagan was one of Linda's clients; he lived with her and Tami for several years. He and Tami were close and acted as if they were siblings. When she was 16, she was cast in a bit part in the 1982 teen movie Spring Break. After it wrapped, she went unsupervised to an out-of-town weekend party and came back as a different person.
Tami grew reclusive and paranoid. She began acting suspicious as if someone was trying to harm her. When someone would call, she would ask Wing to tell them that she was not home. The only thing she would reveal to her family and friends is that she "saw something she shouldn't have".
On one occasion, Tami told Wing that she believed that the neighbors were spying on her through mirrored windows in their new van. After two weeks of virtual seclusion, she was offered a small part in the Al Pacino film Scarface. She stayed with a family friend, Walter Lebowitz, and all went well until the fourth day of filming. After a violent scene was filmed, she had a breakdown on the set. Walter visited her and she kept saying that someone was going to kill her. During her hysterical fit, she brought up money laundering.
Tami quit the film and went back to Cocoa Beach. After speaking to the local police and seeing a psychiatrist, she began to improve slightly. However, she still suffered from paranoia. One night at dinner, she asked Wing to taste her food, believing that it was poisoned.
On July 1, 1983, Tami suffered another more serious breakdown. After briefly going outside, she found that the door was locked. She then grabbed a baseball bat and smashed the front window. She yelled and hit at Wing, believing that he locked her out. Linda was able to calm her down.
Tami was then checked in to the Brevard County Mental Health Center for a complete physical and mental health evaluation. Doctors found no evidence of drugs or alcohol use. She was kept there for seventy-two hours of observation. After being released, she told Linda that if anything happened to her, she wanted Linda to get even with a specific person. She claimed that this person was going to kill her.
A day later, Tami went out with her friend, Rick, and told him that she was probably going to be leaving for a while. On the afternoon of July 6th, 1983, she left her home with a male acquaintance. According to him, they argued while together and she finally ordered him to let her out of his car at the Glass Bank parking lot in downtown Cocoa Beach. She carried no ID with her, had no purse, and wore no shoes. She was never seen again.
At first, police suggested that Tami may have left home voluntarily. However, her family did not believe this. Linda noted that she was leaving in a few weeks to go to California, so there would be no reason for her to run away. Her family believes that she either met with foul play or has amnesia.
Suspects: Based on her behavior prior to her disappearance, Tami's family believes that she met with foul play. They believe that she saw something that she was not supposed to see and was killed because of it. They believe that her disappearance may have been related to money laundering. Interestingly, money laundering investigations were occurring in the area at the time. However, it is unknown if these investigations were related to this case.
The friend that was last seen with Tami, who allegedly dropped her off at the bank, was considered a possible suspect. However, there has been no concrete evidence to link him to her disappearance.
Several people suspect Christopher Wilder, a serial killer, as possibly having murdered Tami. He had abducted and raped at least twelve women and killed at least eight of them during a spree from Florida and through Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, California, and New York in 1984 before he committed suicide during a struggle with police in New Hampshire.
Several people believe that they had met on the set of Scarface in Fort Lauderdale and that Christopher made fruitless trips to Tami's home to ask Curtis to allow him to see her. However, it is generally believed that her disappearance during his murder spree could just a coincidence.
John Crutchley, known as the "Vampire Rapist", is also considered a possible suspect in Tami's disappearance.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 16, 1992 episode. Some sources have her first name spelled "Tammy".
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, Linda passed away in 1995, without ever finding out what happened to Tami. Her sisters are still searching for her. Recently, there have been some claims that she was killed by a ex-boyfriend. The theory has not been confirmed.