Tammy Tatum’s murder at the hands of Rudy Gaytan will air on Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen tonight on Investigation Discovery. Tammy Tatum, also known as Tammera Tatum, was found dead in her Longmont, Colorado apartment almost 25 years ago. What made the case memorable was Tammy’s one-year-old baby, Sadie, was in her crib at the time. Chris Hansen will interview Sadie, who is now 24 years old. The Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen episode chronicling the Tammy Tatum, Rudy Gaytan murder case is called “Deadly Compulsive,” according to People.
Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen episode “Deadly Compulsive”
A cold case murder is solved after DNA evidence seals one man’s fate while freeing another.
Mother Dead In Bed, Baby In Crib: Tammy Tatum–Jim Meadows Case
Tammy Tatum and Jim Meadows (Jim Medow) had been very much in love once, but now the couple was having marital problems due to Jim’s drinking and DUI arrests. Friends say at times Jim Meadow was abusive to his wife. His last scrape with the law landed him in jail and at a rehab treatment facility. But now he wanted to make up with Tammy, and the two were spending quality time together. In fact, Jim and Tammy became intimate on that dreadful night in 1993, according to Killer Instinct‘s documentary.
When Jim Meadows left Tammy Tatum that night, he had no idea it would be the last time he’d see her alive. Tammy had missed picking Jim up to take him to work. The auto mechanic found her body when he went to the apartment to check on her the next day.
After he arrived, Jim Meadows found the young mother dead in her bed. Tammy Tatum was unclothed, and her fingers had turned blue. It was obvious she was no longer alive. What was even more disturbing was Jim found their daughter, one-year-old Sadie, crying in the crib nearby.
Another Man Did It
Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen reveals police later figured out Jim had done it, and the state ripped Sadie away from her only living parent and placed her in a foster home.
However, they had it all wrong. Longmont detectives finally learned the truth about what happened to Tammy Tatum years later after another woman was assaulted in her home. DNA evidence confirmed she had been assaulted by a man named Rudy Gaytan. Gaytan, a married father, was the creepy next door neighbor she didn’t trust.
Rudy Gaytan and Jim Meadows knew each other from the rehab facility. Police say it was Rudy Gaytan, and not Jim Meadows, who strangled Tammy. Court records show Gaytan watched Jim leave the apartment and walk back to the facility. Then, acting on impulse, Rudy knocked on the door and barged his way inside, knowing Jim wouldn’t return that same night.
DNA evidence found inside Tammy Tatum’s apartment placed Rudy Gaytan there. Jim Meadows was finally able to regain custody of Sadie, and Rudy Gaytan was charged with Tammy’s murder.
Today, Rudy Gaytan is serving a 72-year sentence in a Colorado prison. Tammy Tatum’s story first aired on Forensic Files. It airs on Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery.
[Main Image via Investigation Discovery/Permission Use Granted]