October 26, 1983: Argument Results in Fatal Stabbing of Terry L. Eppihimer


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA

October 26, 1983: The brutal sword slayer, 18-year-old Richard A. Hill, from New Hanover, has been convicted of the first-degree murder of 16-year-old Terry L. Eppihimer from Morysville, whose mutilated body had been found in a shed near the Boyertown Park on May 25, 1981.

Eppihimer had been stabbed 12 times with a three-foot sword and died of internal hemorrhaging due to a stab wound that penetrated his aorta.

The seven-foot-tall Hill had a criminal record, being arrested in September, 1980, for two burglaries in New Hanover, to which he pled guilty and was sentenced to six years’ probation and from six months to a year of psychiatric in-patient treatment at the Norristown State Hospital. After assaulting a patient at the hospital, Hill was transferred to the Montgomery County prison and released from there on March 30, just 26 days before the murder.

Hill and some friends had gotten into an argument with Eppihimer, over a stolen car part, and Hill was offered $10 worth of pot to kill him. A witness to the slaying heard Eppihimer tell Hill he would give him $20 if Hill didn’t kill him.

The trial lasted a week, and the jury deliberated 90 minutes before reaching the verdict.

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