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Dorothy Goods Tapper: The Murder Case

31-year-old Dorothy Goods Tapper was a beloved school teacher from Oak Park, a suburb in Chicago, Illinois. Dorothy taught 6th grade at Corkery Elementary School, and according to her fellow teachers and the principal, she was an incredibly devoted and energetic teacher.

On Thursday, August 29, 1985, Dorothy’s mum, Ora Goods, dropped Dorothy and Dorothy’s 10-month-old son, Alan, off at Near West Side Clinic, where Dorothy’s spouse, Doctor Edward Tapper worked as a gynecologist. Ora told she waved goodbye to her daughter and grandson and saw them walk inside.

It would be the final time she would ever notice Dorothy alive.

A few days passed and after not hearing from her daughter, Ora became worried. After making various failed tries to find her, Ora called the Oak Park PD and filed a missing person report on the evening of Sunday, September 1st.

Tragically, some of Dorothy’s remains had already been discovered.

The previous day, Saturday, August 31st, police in Portage, Indiana were summoned when an Amtrak worker discovered a human body inside of a plastic bag laying along some railroad tracks that ran beneath an overpass of Int. Hwy. 94. Investigators assumed the bag had been tossed from the overpass above.

(The location was nearly 50 miles from Oak Park, Illinois and it was just behind Jellystone Park Campgrounds in Portage, Indiana.)

At the time of the finding, Dorothy had not yet been reported missing. It was just after the missing report was submitted to regional news stations on Sunday evening, that a reporter made the connection between the two stories.

The body was verified to be Dorothy’s by using past x-rays of Dorothy’s spine for comparison.
Pic: Reddit

A forensic pathologist thinks whoever murdered and dismembered Dorothy had an understanding of human anatomy and probably had medical training. Dorothy’s head, arms, and legs had all been cleanly detached from her torso, using both surgical tools as well as a chainsaw.

The pathologist also assumed that Dorothy had been injected with drugs over 40 times using hypodermic needles in her chest and heart muscles. An X-ray disclosed that some of the needles were left inside of her torso. Nonetheless, according to the pathologist, this was done with accuracy and did not cause her death.

Dorothy was also hardly beaten and stabbed. The coroner placed her time of casualty nearly 24 hours before she was discovered. Her official reason for death was not determined.

It was also noted that the bags used to hold Dorothy’s torso, were the exact type used in medical laboratories.

Dorothy’s husband, Dr. Edward Tapper, was brought in for interviewing twice but was released both times. Edward voluntarily gave fingerprints to detectives.

According to the articles I read, at the time of Dorothy’s disappearance/death Edward was not residing in the same home as Dorothy. He was residing with his foster brother. It does not mention why.

Dorothy had met Edward at Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in the summer of 1983 when she had minor surgery. Edward was her attending physician.

The couple was wedded in 1984. Dorothy was Edward’s third wife, but even according to Dorothy’s mother, the couple appeared happy.

Nonetheless, their life was not perfect by any means. Beginning in April 1985, a grand jury had started investigating Edward. Edward was being accused of writing between 145,000 to 300,000 dollars worth of bad checks to pharmaceutical companies to illegally receive drugs to sell.

During the inquiry, Dorothy confessed to writing a 1,100 dollar check to a pharmaceutical company at her husband’s advice.

In November 1986, Edward plead guilty to felony theft and was convicted to 30 months probation and 500 hours of community service.

August 1988

On August 7th, 1988 two fishermen in Porter, Indiana, discovered a skull on the south bank of the Little Calumet River. The skull had been uncovered due to the low water level that day.

Utilizing dental records, the skull was verified to belong to Dorothy. The location of the skull was nearly 10 miles from where Dorothy’s body had been found. Unfortunately, the skull generated no new leads in the investigation.

Edward was apprehended a few more times. He was apprehended for custody of cocaine in 1988. Another probation crime was when he was caught with a gun. I don’t know what his sentence was in these cases.

The last mention I could discover of Edward or Dorothy’s son was that he was residing with Edward in Chicago and still had a connection with Dorothy’s mum, Ora.

Nonetheless, I have no idea what became of Edward or Dorothy’s son after 1988.

No detentions have ever been made and Dorothy’s case stays unsolved.

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