• Alexyss Rubjerg

The Case of Tamla Horsford

Tamla Horsford, a beautiful African American woman, lived in one of the most racist cities in the United states when she was found dead. Authorities categorized her death as accidental due to intoxication, but there aren’t many facts that add up to that conclusion. The facts point more towards Tamla being murdered by 9 white individuals whom she called friends.

This week we are going over the case of Tamla Horsford, a woman who lost her life too early and under very mysterious circumstances. Tamla Horsford lived in Forsyth, Georgia, one of the more segregated cities that still exists in the US. The ratio of black citizens there is only at 4%. This was also the site of many different race discrepancies such as white supremacists blocking civil rights movements and more.

At the age of 40 through Tamla was a mom of 5 boys, married to her best friend, and a well-loved friend to many others. Tamla’s husband stated that she loved everyone, she was just so open and welcoming. She always made sure that her family was well taken care of and that came into play during the night she passed away.

The night before she was found dead she was attending an adult sleepover at an acquaintances home. Some sources say it was a good friend home but from what I have found it was simply another mom who’s son did football. That is how all of these women knew each other and they were celebrating another finished football season but also the host's birthday.

Because Tamla was taking care of her family she was a little late that night. She had been busy at home making dinner and even making breakfast for her family for the next day. Eventually, though she did make it over to the adult sleepover.

Her family later reported that she seemed excited about this party. She got along with almost everyone so she thought it would be a fun relaxing girls night. She even wore adorable feety pajamas with dogs all over them just to play into the party a little more.

That description may have sparked some memories of this case for many people. It only happened in 2018 so it is one of the more recent cases that the Great Unsolved has covered. There is that infamous picture of a bunch of white women, and Tamla sitting on a couch in Pajamas. This was a picture that was taken the night before she was found dead. There are also a lot of other pictures and videos available online, although everyone’s face is blurred besides Tamla. In all of these pictures and videos, she seems to be having a great time which is something that those who were with her that night refer to later.

Anyways, once Tamla got there they all had drinks and began playing some board games to pass the time. It is reported that throughout the night everyone had a good amount to drink and definitely Tamla. Others reported that she did seem intoxicated but not overly so.

Throughout the case, all of the other people that were at the sleepover, including about 7 women and 3 men besides Tamla I believe, continually made it clear to police that Tamla was the only one who smoked in the group. This means she was the only one going outside regularly so that she could smoke. To me, since I know the case already, this seems like the group of people simply trying to start a plausible story of how Tamla died, it seems like a coverup.

Around 1 a.m. is the last reported time that anyone at the party saw Tamla. They stated she went outside to smoke and they all retired to bed at that same time. However, Jose Berrera, the host's boyfriend, has a different story of when he last saw Tamla. He states that he went into the kitchen after everyone else had started going to bed and Tamla was in there still drinking. He states that she was fairly intoxicated but instead of making sure she was okay or anything he just left her there and went to bed.

This is the point in the case where things start to get a lot more confusing. It is reported that a stepdaughter lived on the first/basement floor of the house, kind of hard to explain but it was a home built on a hill so the basement had a patio and windows and such. Anyways this individual reportedly ran upstairs to the host's bedroom and said she needed to speak with Jose. Since she was obviously scared about something the woman (host) who owned the house was demanding that this individual tell her what was going on also.

Many believe it is very odd that this woman was adamant that she had to speak with Jose alone. This makes many people believe that maybe Jose had something to do with it and that is why she wanted to speak with him alone.

Anyways some report this time of discovery at 7:30 a.m. and others at 9 a.m. Their reasoning to why there are two separate times is that there was a time change that night and the clocks in the home hadn’t changed. Although this was 2018 and all phones and computers change the time on their own. Police later said that 9 a.m. was the correct time because they do not believe there was a large gap in-between when Tamla was discovered and the police were called.

I have a few issues with that assumption though. First of all, how can they make that assumption? Even if there were text messages or something that show these people didn’t get up until almost 9 a.m. they still could’ve been. If they were all in the same house and trying to cover something up then this would be a perfect time alibi for them. Also, if they had anything to do with Tamla’s death then there was no discovery time. They knew what happened and then went to bed and cleaned up, etc. Then decided on the time they would call the police.

The theory on what happened, in this case, is that for some reason Tamla was standing on the railing of the 16-foot high deck that comes out of the back of the home, and then she fell and died in the yard. This is the reason why people feel the need to keep establishing that she was the only smoker, so that way she was the only one outside and no one did anything or witnessed it.

However, Tamla’s body was about 20 feet out from the railing which seems way too far away to fall. Which is the first big indicator of foul play.

Here is the full 911 call. At first, it is between the host of the party and an operator and then gets handed to Jose. There are a lot of things to listen to in this call so listen carefully and then we will go over them.

The most important thing is that Jose seems far too relaxed on this phone call. Someone who finds someone dead, no matter if you don’t really know them, would be panicking and trying to help as much as possible, but Jose did neither.

One big thing is that no one really seems to answer the question of is the simple question of if Tamla was breathing. Jose states that she was still, sometimes he states no she’s not breathing, sometimes he states he doesn’t know. It is almost as if he is just guessing and not even out by the body. Backing up that theory is that when the operator tells him that the police are coming he says he will get his shoes on and go outside. So it seems like he was never outside checking on Tamla.

He also talks about how he doesn’t know if there is blood because she is face down which many people seem to have a problem with. They figure that if Tamla fell from that 16-foot deck then she would’ve had a lot of blood on here and around her. Also, no one ever asks if there is police or ambulances on the way, they seem unconcerned with the situation. It seems like they did not care too much about Tamla.

Jose also states that there are security cameras out on the deck that they can check. Then there is the noise of someone else talking in the background and he quickly states that he was mistaken. It seems like something was deleted or covered up for some reason.

It is also revealed that four of the individuals that were there the night before had left by the time the 911 call was taken. This means either they had seen Tamla and left anyway or they panicked and left the home. This messes up alibis and the investigation from the start.

In the call, you are also able to hear Jose say that they can check the times that the security systems recorded the doors opening or closing. Well, personally this is the most interesting part of the case because it almost confirms her death was not accidental. This security system recorded the door to the deck opening at 1:49 a.m. and then closing at 1:50 a.m. then 7 minutes later it was opened again and not shut until the discovery of Tamla. When Tamla has her autopsy it was determined that her time of death couldn’t have been after 1:30 a.m. This was 20 minutes before that door opened and then was opened again which means someone besides Tamla was on that deck after Tamla was already dead.

Once again he stated that Tamla was the only one who smoked which is an irrelevant fact to bring up when on the phone with 911. Her death obviously was not caused by smoking but people kept reiterating this because they needed a story to go by.

Eventually, around 9:09 a.m. the police shown up to the home where Tamla was lying dead. The odd thing is that no paramedics came with. Some believe that this is because Jose stated she was not breathing but that is very unprofessional. It is seen as more of a racial point in this case due to the city being someone racist overall and choosing not to send an ambulance to see if there was anything they could do. They essentially gave up on Tamla.

The police officer that came first stated that when he approached that Tamla looked deceased, still not confirmed but they went with it anyway. Once again not offering help to Tamla. What if she wasn’t deceased, something could’ve helped her, but now we will never know.

When the autopsy did come back it was found she had many scratched/cuts on her shins, a broken wrist, broken neck, lacerated heart, and fractured back. Not to mention the scrapes on her face and several bleeding spots on and around her head. Her blood alcohol concentration was .23, the legal limit in the US is 0.08 so she was quite intoxicated. However, I think that fact that she was so intoxicated shows that she could not have accidentally fallen. To land in the spot her body was found in she would’ve had to stand on thin wooden railing on a 16-foot high balcony and jump about 20 feet out from it. This is extremely difficult to do sober so it would be essentially impossible while intoxicated.

To me, these injuries work with not just a fall but also blunt force trauma. These would be easy things to inflict if someone were trying to kill her and since it is mostly breaking bones it would not be very messy.

Authorities have even stated that her body was not found in a spot where she could’ve fallen from the balcony so she had to have fallen from the group level. However, they then said that with her injuries she couldn’t have fallen from ground level so she must’ve fallen from the balcony. They are going back and forth and seem just as confused as the rest of us.

Everything, in this case, points to a cover-up, the 911 call is especially damning. Jose states that he was the last person to see Tamla, he states that she was very intoxicated. He also states that there are security cameras and then takes it back right away. No one is panicked, no one is urgent for paramedics, and no one is trying to help Tamla, this makes it seem like they knew she was already dead.

The main theory with this case is that Tamla was the victim of a hate crime. She was invited to a party where she was the only non-white person. These other people were not considered close friends. She was the last one to show up, almost an hour late which gave time for people to plan what was going to happen. Then she passed no later than 1:30 a.m. and was not ‘discovered’ until 9 a.m. the next morning which gave them more than enough time to clean up and formulate a story.

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