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Hundreds Say Goodbye to Peekskill's Terry Camper

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Hundreds of people turned out Friday to say their final farewells to Terry Lee Camper, a 53-year-old Peekskill resident who police believe was murdered by his wife and her lover last week.

“This is a homegoing celebration, O God,” the Rev. Lorenzo McMillan said at the packed United Methodist Church on Main Street. “As we celebrate the time that you gave us with brother Camper, may he rest in our hearts and in our minds, and we know you placed him there, O God, and that he will never be forgotten.”

Jaqueline Camper, one of Camper’s four sisters, thanked all in attendance for their support in such a difficult time and said her brother would be missed.

“He was a trusting, kind-hearted soul, willing to help anyone in need, a trait he held through his life,” Jaqueline Camper said. “I have to believe the Lord has called him home because he loved him as we did. I know that in death as in life he will be watching over us.”

Jaqueline Camper also thanked those who helped arrest the suspects.

“A special thanks to the Peekskill Police Department, who never stopped until they found the truth,” she said.

Terry Camper was born Jan. 27, 1959, in Hattiesburg, Miss. He was the son of Susie McLeod Camper and Otis Camper Sr. He graduated from Peekskill High School in 1978 and was employed at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Montrose. He was also a self-employed taxi driver for many years, and still gave rides from time to time in his car.

Camper, 53, was shot twice in the back of the head with a small-caliber handgun on Pine Street on Oct. 3. His body was found later that afternoon by a postal worker. Peekskill police said Camper’s wife of 10 years, Beatrice Camper, 60, and her lover, John Murray, 60, of Newburgh planned to collect on two insurance policies taken out on Camper's life.

Relatives filing out of the church said they were still in shock over the way Camper’s life was ended. Christopher Burkett, one of Camper’s cousins, said he didn’t deserve such a fate.

“Nobody deserved that,” Burkett said. “This was a woman that was supposed to love him. He took her in and gave her a good life, and her kids and grandkids. The grandkids love him. He was just a sweet person. This is something that she’s going to have to live with. She’s going to be found guilty in a court of law, but she’s also going to be found guilty from the man above.”

Terry Camper was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Cortlandt following the funeral.

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