Wednesday, June 21, 2023

215. For Sin Burns Like A Fire: Death of James Matheney

It is June 16, 1987, and we are in Nashville, Tennessee, and a beloved church named Emmanuel Church of Christ Oneness Pentecostal has experienced a substantial damaging fire. Detective Robert Moore reports to the scene. He quickly determined that the fire had severely damaged the structure, burning extremely hot. The organ had melted, and the chandeliers had fallen to the ground. The walls were black from soot and smoke damage. Although he could see the severity of the fire, he was not there to investigate the fire itself but rather something that the fireman discovered in the church's attic. Since there was no electricity, Moore had to use a flashlight to make his way. In the corner, he notices a pile of stuff, primarily unused wood, materials, just a bunch of stuff thrown on top of what looked like a rolled-up carpet. Wondering what could be on the rug, he begins to unroll it. As it unwinds, human feet appear, but the shock is yet to come. The body had no head, and half of the arm was missing. Upon closer inspection, he notices a belt with a belt buckle. The buckle had the initial ‘T’ on it. Only one person had such a buckle: the well-loved 44-year-old church pastor John David Terry. There was not a break-in, so robbery was out of the question. As the investigation begins, investigators will travel down a deep and twisty path to get a resolution. What they find out is difficult to believe, even for seasoned detectives. 

Join Jen and Cam on this episode of ‘Our True Crime Podcast’ entitled ‘For Sin Burns Like Fire: Death of James Matheney’

This episode is sponsored by HelloFresh, America’s #1 Meal KitUse our special code to get your discount today! Go to and use code otcp50 for 50% off, plus your first box ships free!

Listener Discretion courtesy of @octoberpodVHS
Music is courtesy of our executive producer @wetalkofdreams


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