Skip to main content

The Self-Abduction of Tim Carpenter

It was right before Christmas back in 1998. If I remember correctly, the word character was being tossed around a lot by folks here in God's country. President Clinton was being skewered by a GOP-led special prosecutor about cum stains on a woman's dress, and Osama Bin Laden was establishing a nice foothold in Afghanistan. Locally, the George Revelle murder trial was going on, and police were working to find out who shot a local man five times and dumped his body in the downtown quarry.

That was the backdrop for a strange case of abduction on Springfield's south side. Tim Carpenter, associate pastor at James River Assembly, loving husband and father of two teenage girls, had come up missing. The founder of Christian Publishers Outlet and owner of Heir Press had failed to return home after a late night visit his Heir Press offices on south Campbell.

Police were sent to Heir Press the next morning only to find mysterious blood smatterings, a tan left shoe that belonged to Carpenter on the sidewalk and stacked up office equipment. Nothing was stolen. Carpenter's Geo Tracker was nowhere to be seen, and there were no witnesses.

Despite a groundswell of prayer groups, billboards, posters, aerial searches and news releases emanating from James River Assembly, police detectives stubbornly insisted that there was no evidence pointing to an abduction. This did not dissuade James River Assembly pastor, Rev. John Lindell, from quickly establishing himself as the point man for local media for the Carpenter story. From his Sunday pulpit, Lindell asked for a "miracle from God" while Carol Carpenter pointed out that Tim "would be really embarrassed. He doesn't like attention," adding that "whatever happens, Tim is glorifying God." In a sense, she was right.

What nobody knew at the time was that ole' TC was glorifying God with a cute little nurse living on the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee. Carpenter didn't meet Melisa at church or at a Christian publishing convention. They first met during the previous summer at a local cowboy bar called "Diamonds & Denim", when Tim approached her at the bar. She told police he had been very polite at first, explaining that he was newly divorced and trying to start his life anew. Later in their visit, Tim apparently started making Melisa feel a little uncomfortable and finally suggested something inappropriate. Shocked, Melisa grabbed her stuff and stormed out of the bar with Carpenter in tow, apologizing profusely. Undaunted, Carpenter kept after her with calls and visits, and a few weeks later was sending flowers, love notes and lingerie from Victoria's Secret.

Meanwhile, the Carpenter investigation seemed stalled. Local police had virtually nothing to say to local media, but they were making progress behind the scenes. It wasn't until police turned up a bill in Carpenter's mail, a pager service, that they discovered a frequent caller from the Memphis area. Detectives contacted Melisa soon after and told her the bad news. She was, of course, devasted but was more than happy to give police Tim's new cell number. The Christmas Eve long distance call from Detective Hamilton was one of the first Carpenter would receive on his new cell phone. He was at his apartment.

"How did you find me?" were the first words a shaken Carpenter uttered to police. Hamilton told TC that he'd caused a lot of worry back home and that his wife and family were anxious to see him. Tim seemed stunned. At this point, Hamilton inexplicably asked him if he had hit his head, and Carpenter said yes. The call ended, and Hamilton had the Memphis police send a detective to the apartment, but Carpenter refused to answer the door. He was busy. First, he had to hide all his ID (but for some reason, was unable to part with his Social Security card). He then proceeded to, justifiably enough, beat the hell out of himself. Something along the lines of Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar - only Carrey played a man who was cursed with the inability to lie.

Police contacted Carol Carpenter to tell her the news, and within a few hours Mrs. Carpenter, pastor Lindell and a couple of the family's James River friends flew in a private plane straightway to Memphis where the Lord, with a little help from the UPS man, helped Lindell and company find Carpenter's apartment. After hours of negotiating, they coaxed him into his own car, drove him back to Springfield late Christmas Eve and, on the quiet, admitted Carpenter into Cox North Hospital downtown.

This is where the story gets really interesting, particularly the role pastor Lindell played as self-appointed press secretary/spin doctor for the Carpenter family during their time of need.

More on this later . . .


Soprano2 said…
I didn't know the details about how they first met, or the incident in the bar, or the police call to his cell phone. Please post the rest soon, so I can learn more about the incident which showed that being a member of the biggest "Goditorium" in Springfield doesn't mean you're a good and moral person
Anonymous said…
I am one of Tim's daughters. No one is perfect and this telling of my family story has flaws itself. I do not defend my father's actions, but I would ask that anyone questioning them to be accurate with their facts.
Anonymous said…
Tim Carpenter went to work at ADT security services where he alledegly got into their database and took thier customer data and started his own alarm company working under Bays National Security Oklahoma license until he was able to provide the need documentation need to get his Oklahoma Alarm license. Now he has over 6000 accounts and is working under the name TNT Security Services in the Tulsa OK area. Would you want this man watching your business or home alarm? His alarm license number is OK Lic #879.
Anonymous said…
Good ol Tim is in fact in the Tulsa area, when he was working for ADT Security, He started TNT Security using Bays National Security License to work under, while alledegly stealing ADT client information data. He is running as he states one of the fastest growing security services in Tulsa. Why would you trust this person to monitor your alarm? I wonder what his clients would say if only they see this story and the many other stories about this on the internet! TNT stands for Tim N Tina Carpenter now changed to Tulsa no Tolerance.

Loving husband, Father, Preacher, Employee for ADT. ha ha ha ha! I would say Hypocrite for the Love of MONEY! Can someone STOP THIS MAN?
Anonymous said…
WHAT poor TIM he is laughing all the way to the bank each and every day. I work for the jerk and most of his employees and slaved contractors know the truth. The IRS would eat this man to death if only they looked a little deeper into this company.
Anonymous said…
Why would the State of Oklahoma let this man get his State Alatm License? Give this man a inch and he will take a mile and everthing else he can get! He had one of his contractors get hurt in the last year, the contractor ended up in the hospital and out of work for a few days, what did Tim do not much he did stop by the hospital and that was it, (He only allows his contractors to work for him)This is aginst Fedral and State rules. (He pays them $400.00 per month to have TNT striping on their vehicles). This will at some point catch up with this man. I too say if you choose this company to monitor your alarm, He has all your information too. What will happen to that information? ADT information was not secure, The church lost thousands, What would your information billing, credit card, bank elect do for this man? Just something to think about.
Anonymous said…
Tim was a member of James River Assembly so all this should be no surprise. A false church with a false doctrine. What can you expect when they operate outside the Bible?
Anonymous said…
you people are crazy and don't know any of the facts. There are so many holes in your story.
Anonymous said…
I tell you I wouldent trust him or his company TNT Security Services to monitor an alarm on my dog house.
Anonymous said…
I used to know him when he moved to Tulsa and remarried. Everytime I'd talk to him I got a creepy vibe and never really knew why... this makes sense now!
I agree with some of the other people that have posted. Why in anything holy would you trust this man with securring your home?
His big plan for TNT Security is to sell it off in the future...perhaps right before it bombs and let someone else take the hit? He is a shady, shady person...
Anonymous said…
If this story happened in 1998 why is this blog posted in 2005? Why is it that with thousands of tim carpenter's in the world that this is on the first page of google if you type in his name? (someone has paid to have this article have search priority) Why is it that all the comments have to do with security companies? This is a joke that other security companies have blown up and are lying about to do anything to try to compete with Tim and TnT. They took a bad time in someone's life and made it seam worse. If there was any crime committed than he could not get an OK manager's licence. If you want to check something check with the BBB. If you want to know why TnT is the fastest growing security company in OK ask a customer.
Anonymous said…
A bad time in someone's life? More like a photograph of the man's moral character. He lets his wife and daughters think that he has been abducted. He cheated on his wife. If you go to the Springfield Journal you find that his businesses were failing, and hiw way out was to pretend he had been abuducted and possibly murdered?
Anonymous said…
Yeah!All the security companies that Tim is in competition with conspired to make up all those DOCUMENTED FACTS about him.RIGHT!
Anonymous said…
He's simply a crook and that can be verified by the majority of his employees.
Anonymous said…
Check your facts, Tim doesent have a doesent of a license and infact it is under his wifes name.
Anonymous said…
Cut this loser some slack, just don't vote for him to be father of the year or husband of the year. I would also recommend choosing someone else to give your social security #, password and other private information to. He's shown what kind of moral fiber he has. What happens if he gets into a little financial trouble? Are you really gonna trust that your house will be safe from this guy? I can actually forgive all of the issues except for bailing on his kids and making them think that he was gone forever. All over a piece of a**. Wow, I bet Tina feels like she is in a strong and safe relationship. Good luck Tim! We all deserve a 2nd chance. (Just not in such a sensitive industry)
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know more about Tim Carpenter? I want to write his story.
Anonymous said…
I think the reason you hear about this some years later is that sooner or later the truth catches up with you. Tim has made some very poor choices in his life and his integrity appears to be very poor. As for his license, That is sad for the people of Oklahoma that trust his company to watch their homes and business and do not have all of the facts of his past in order to made their decission on an alarm company.
Anonymous said…
As for Tim Carpenters Company TNT Security Services The company holds the State Alarm License #879 under Tim Carpenter Alarm License #3937 for Manager for most of the operations he also uses David Polk for his license for working on Commicial Fire Alarms. Never the less there is alot of things to watch out for when dealing with this subject and any company he has his hand in.
Anonymous said…
The story is very sad. I knew this family and attended church with them. Who knows why people do the things they do? The church tried hard to help him after this situation, but he didn't want help. I'm sorry for all the family and church were put through by his actions.
Anonymous said…
Everyone is quick to point the finger and crap on someone, huh?? Ridiculous that anyone would ever write anything negative about someone else in the first place, regardless of whatever they "supposedly did." We do not know the whole story and it is also NONE of our business. So, you are obviously not happy with your life when you find fault in someone other than yourself. Remove the friggin' log out of your own eye, ya hypocrites! Let's see all of your pristine lives faultlessly blogged on this page...go on ahead and air out all the crap you've done and then fix that instead of trying to put a great man down. Not that you ever could, imbeciles.
Anonymous said…
I know Tim, I worked with him and for him. I believe in him and I am standing up for him. This man, has basically been crucified on this website without defense. And for what? Let's face it, you do not know what happened. I don't know what happened. We weren't there, we didn't witness anything personally to know the truth if it bit us. What we read first, or what so and so told us ,or something we have gotten second or third hand MUST be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In most cases it's not and we all know that to be true, don't we.
This is the Tim I know personally. Tim has more character and integrity than any man I know, him and my Daddy. He is kind and thoughtful. The ladies in the office were always recipents of his thoughtfulness with flowers at their desk weekly for years.
He is always putting others before himself. He's the last to get a plate and eat, making sure everyone else has eaten first. The only way you will ever get to pay for lunch is if you sneak and pay before he notices.
He is very humble. He never talks about himself in a glorifing manor. All the great things he has done will remain silent and unnoticed by many here on earth.
He and Tena worked tirelessly for years, day in and day out. No one works longer or harder than Tim. Providing for all the employees and contractors a way to make a good living so we could take care of our families. We knew where we stood with Tim and he under promised and overdelivered to his employees and customers. Espically the customers. Going above and beyond, without regard of the loss of money only making sure our customers were happy. Maybe that's why TnT has 2 awards from the BBB in Tulsa and that TnT was voted Best Of The Best in 2010. About the slave wages in a ealier comment. That's just silly! By far the best paying job I've ever had. If you worked hard you got paid great for it. If you did work hard and didn't sell as many or install as many you didn't get paid as much. That's fair! The only ones complaining were the slackers wanting something for nothing; but don't they always!
Tim is the best man I know. I am proud to say he is my mentor. He is a marketing genius an excellent business man. He knows what works and what doesn't. I trust him with my life and my family's lives. I love him and greatly respect him. You won't meet a better man

Anonymous said…
Do you still feel that way about him? What about his first wife and the mother of his daughters (Carol Carpenter)? I know her. She is a wonderful lady. Did she deserve this "wonderful man?"
I am a little shocked to read all this...all these years later.

As his daughter it hurts to hear ignorant people spewing lies. Obviously so unhappy in their own life that they need to diminish another persons character in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

Want to know the truth...try talking to one of us. We would be happy to tell you the story. The true story that is. If you like thinking he is a home wrecker, horrible boss, and dishonest person then keep reading this CRAP!

People make mistakes. Poor choices. Unpopular life changes. Put on your grown up pants and shut your mouth.
Anonymous said…
I am with ya sis! We aren't hiding!!! Life goes on, forgiveness is golden, no one is perfect.
Anonymous said…
Seriously? This guys poor character is James Rivers fault? So what is their "false doctrine"? Because I haven't seen any and I am not even a member of their church or even their denomination. If you're going to make such damning accusations you should back them up with facts.
Anonymous said…
Before you blast John Lindell even more, please know that after Carpenter was located, Lindell admitted he had been wrong about the whole situation.

Popular posts from this blog

Aunt Norma's Dark Past

I was thumbing through some old Springfieldians and came across an interesting article that delves into state senator Norma Champion's early days at KYTV as host of the Children's Hour. Champion parlayed her television notoriety into a city council seat and eventually defeated Craig Hosmer in 2002.

Her record as a legislator has been, arguably, one of the least distinguished and vacuous in southwest Missouri political history. You can read more about Aunt Norma at All About Norma.

Anyway, back to the crack investigative reporting on Aunt Norma from Issue #1 (Summer 1992) of the Springfieldian.

"Champion hosted the popular Saturday morning children's show "The Children's Hour", sharing the stage with puppets, pets and shy, embarrassed children.

". . . While Champion's service on City Council raised no question of character, a closer look at Champion's television years may reveal another side of the candidate. . . .The controversy centers around a…

Psychogenically Fugued Up

Here's part of Carpenter's long-distance phone conversation with Detective Hamilton on Christmas Eve :

TC: How did you get this number?
SPD: Tim, we need to talk to you.
TC: How did you find me?
SPD: We spoke with Melisa.

At this point, Hamilton noted a crack in Carpenter's voice (farewell sweet Melisa), and he paused for several seconds.

TC: Oh.
SPD: Tim, where have you been?
SPD: Tim, are you okay?
TC: I, uh . . . I, uh, don't remember.
SPD: You don't remember?
TC: No.

One needn't ask Tim Carpenter for his definition of hell. It began when he finally opened his apartment door to allow wife Carol and pastor Lindell into his secret refuge. According to Lindell, he "cowered like a wounded dog" and refused to recognize anyone. And then there was that long, dark drive back home to Springfield from Memphis during the wee hours of Christmas morning. Could that have been anything but hell on earth?

When Carpenter found out he was being taken to Cox North, he became very…