commentary by Patrick H. Moore
Ultimate Disney mom Tammy Moorer shouldn’t be in the Georgetown County Jail. She should be home in Socastee operating her part-time travel agency, planning cruises and excursions, home-schooling her three children and keeping husband Sidney on a very short leash. In fact, according to senior prosecutor Donna Elder, at some point during this sordid affair, Tammy Moorer had Slammin’ Sidney on such tight lockdown that she actually handcuffed him to their bed at night while she slept so he could not sneak out (this sounds apocryphal), while password protecting his phone so only she could use it, and accompanying him to work and on personal outings. According to Elder, Sidney Moorer agreed to the restrictions to save his marriage.
If Sidney agreed to even half of these demands, I am sorely disillusioned – it’s not slammin’ for a man to be rigidly controlled by an insanely jealous woman like Tammy. And furthermore, by kowtowing to Tammy to whatever degree Sidney did, he encouraged her in her supremely unhealthy obsession by acting as if her lock-and-key tactics were justified.
Jealousy is not a pleasurable emotion; most of us have experienced it, and we’re well aware of how wretched it makes us feel. In extreme cases, it can lead to murder which arguably is what happened here.
But it didn’t start out this way. In the beginning, in 1997, when blonde, blue-eyed 21-year-old Sidney Moorer came to Myrtle Beach from Summerville and got a job at highly touted Broadway at the Beach’s Hard Rock Café, he had no idea that his co-worker, 25-year-old music lover Tammy Caison, an Horry County native whose family had been in the area for generations, would one day experience a jealousy so profound that allegedly nothing short of murder would satisfy it and that he would be required to participate in her bloodlust.
From her standpoint, the outgoing and self-confident Tammy undoubtedly had no inkling that this young man whom she found so attractive would one day drive her into paroxysms of jealous rage.
Sidney started Palmetto Maintenance LLC, which served local area restaurants. He was competent and his company enjoyed a good reputation. He and Tammy raised their children in a Socastee home owned by her father.
Things were so good that Sidney apparently even got along with William Caison, his father-in-law.
Somewhere in the course of their marriage, the notion that they were “swingers” arose, which seems mordantly comical considering Tammy’s enraged response to Sidney’s foray into “swinging”. (In Tammy’s defense, a “swinger” is certainly not supposed to get hung up on whoever he or she is swinging with, and you get the impression that Tammy feared that Heather was stealing her husband way from her.)
Tammy might still be impersonating a swinger had Sidney’s path not crossed with that of a young waitress, Heather Elvis, during one of his visits to her Broadway at the Beach workplace, the Tilted Kilt.
In an odd twist, at the court hearing on Monday, prosecutor Elder, citing witness statements and records, made a point of demonstrating that 20-year-old Heather Elvis and 38-year-old Sidney Moorer, 38, really cared for each other. But once Tammy Moorer, 42, learned of their trysts, the older woman invaded Elvis’ life, barraging her with threatening messages.
According to Elder, Nov. 5 was the last time Heather Elvis saw Sidney Moorer until the fateful night of Dec. 18.
In a truly creepy interlude, the Moorer family left South Carolina on Nov. 19 and drove cross country to the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California. They returned home three weeks later, six days before Sidney Moorer kicked the scheme into high gear by phoning Heather and telling her that he and Tammy were breaking up and that now they could be together.
* * * * *
Kirk Truslow, Sidney Moorer’s attorney, is not buying it. “This thing has snowballed into an outrageous witch hunt where there is no evidence. This case is extremely circumstantial at best. Lots of incredible speculation and rumors with this case. . . . There’s nothing you can point to in his life that shows a propensity to violence.”
In order to verify that the vehicle seen first approaching and then leaving the Peachtree Boat Landing belonged to the Moorers, the video surveillance of the vehicle was sent to the FBI in Quantico, Va., and to the S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team with a request to identify the vehicle. According to the reports generated by the agencies, the truck was a dark 2013 or 2014 Ford F-150, with a silver toolbox in the bed, a moon roof, silver rims and high-end bulbs in the headlights.
The MAIT Team investigators ran the records and discovered that there were 82 such trucks registered to owners living in Horry County. They then went and visually inspected 81 of the trucks before getting a search warrant and searching the 82nd truck which just happened to be owned by the Moorers.
The defense attorneys dispute the notion that the video of the truck connects Sidney and Tammy to the case. And they’re right to a certain degree; just because a Ford-150 matching the agency description was seen approaching and leaving the boat landing DOES NOT does not in and of itself prove that it was the Moorer’s vehicle.
The problem, of course, arises when the phone records come into the picture. Here’s Heather frenziedly phoning Sidney over and over again AFTER he tells her he’s breaking up with Tammy and that they can be together. Here’s Heather driving to the boat landing in the middle of the night. Such a curious journey can hardly be coincidental, not when combined with the series of phone calls.
What I don’t understand is why the police believe Heather was killed on the spot at the boat landing, unless they have evidence that they’re not divulging. Several rescue diving crews, as well as a Coastal Carolina University team with a scanner, did an “ultrasound like scan of the riverbed to Winyah Bay” but have not found Heather’s body.
It makes more sense to me that Sidney or Sidney and Tammy either lured or forced Heather into the F-150 at the landing and then headed back in the direction their house. Wouldn’t Tammy want to prolong Heather’s agony, at least to some degree? Merely shooting her in cold blood at the boat landing would have been decidedly anti-climactic.
A week or two ago, one of Sidney’s relatives said it’s up to him to “come clean” because Tammy’s certainly not going to. Somehow, though, Sidney does not strike me as a man with sufficient courage to BETRAY TAMMY by confessing to the whole bloody affair. At least not yet. But I’ve been wrong before. Perhaps Sidney’s just biding his time.
Because of the “lying in wait” nature of the alleged crime, if convicted both Sidney and Tammy could face the death penalty. Either one of them, however, could probably avoid that grim finale by making like the proverbial canary and telling the prosecutors who did what and why. Of course, we don’t know if either of them is going to take that drastic but eminently practical step.
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