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305: Case 261: Shari Smith & Debra May Helmick (Part 1)

2023-09-22 | 🔗
*** Content warning: Sexual assault *** [Part 1 of 2] When 17-year-old Shari Smith disappeared from the end of her family's driveway in Lexington, South Carolina, there were immediate concerns for her wellbeing. Shari had a rare medical condition that could turn fatal without her medication.  But any concerns that Shari’s illness could have caused her disappearance were quickly quashed after the Smith family received an odd phone call, prompting the largest manhunt in South Carolina’s history. As the taunting calls continued, the question remained - where was Shari? And was she still alive? --- Narration – Anonymous Host Research & writing – Elsha McGill  Creative direction – Milly Raso Production and music – Mike Migas Music – Andrew D.B. Joslyn Sign up for Casefile Premium: For all credits and sources, please visit casefilepodcast.com/case-261-shari-smith-debra-may-helmick-part-1
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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On the afternoon of fraud, I made thirty one. Nineteen, eighty five bob smith sat in his home office, the father re run a business selling electronic schoolboys and signs a job that provided the flexibility to work from home The arrangement was particularly welcome on this unseasonably hot day, as it allowed bob to relax by the pool with his wife before sitting down to do some work. At around three thirty p m Bob looked out the window, He's office was on the second floor of his family, south carolina home. With the view whose over the expansive front yard of their large rural property at the end, of the seven hundred and fifty foot long driveway Bob saw the famine your side of his daughters, blue chevy, chevette, hatch bag.
Car belonged to seventeen year old sharon face smith or sherry. Yes, she preferred to be called Sherry was returning home from a pool party at the home of a classmate, as was habit. She stopped at the end of the driveway, to check the mailbox before heading down to the house. Bob go back to work, but after five minutes, or so the house was noticeably quiet Harry usually burst in asia to say hello to parents and tell them about her day bob looked outside and to notice that sharia chevette was still ongoing at the end of the driveway hey wondered if she had received a letter and was reading it in her car minutes past and sherry's car didn't barge bob gonna bad feeling Sherry had a rare disease called diabetes, insipidities.
commonly known as water diabetes. The candy jim, was characterized by a whole mind malfunction that prevented sherry's kidneys from retaining warder, resulting in. Strain thirst and frequent urination without with medication or large quantities of water share. It was under the constant threat of severe and even fatal dehydration. Therefore, never went anywhere without her medication, bob kids, did whether sherry could have ducked behind a nearby bush to urinate this myths I've wage uttered off platt springs, wrote a long stretch rough. lee ten miles outside the town of lexington. It was a quiet spots. Rounded, by woodland and sherry It have easily relieved herself without anyone noticing were case scenario. She might have become dehydrated and disoriented or maybe even lost consciousness.
not wanting to take any chances bob jumped into his own car and quickly drive to the end of the driveway The engine of sherry's car was still running the driver, side door was open and mail was scattered on the ground. Bob got out of here. And peered inside of sherry. Show that the case, was still in the ignition and the damp tell she taken to the pool potty lay across the driver's seat Decided on the passenger sate sat sherry's handbag Her medication and wallet wherein side the sandal she'd been wearing that day was sitting on the floor. Bear footprints lead from the car to the mailbox, but they stopped there.
Sherry herself was nowhere to be seen. Officers from the lexington county, sheriffs department book called and quickly arrived on the same bob smith and his wife, yoda assured the policeman Sherry had no reason to run off she, in the prime of her life said to graduate from Hoss Go away, though, in just a few days, sherry
was a talented singer and she'd been given the honor of seeing the national anthem at the schools. Graduation ceremony she'd been looking forward to it immensely a born a former sherry had been accepted to study music at columbia college in south carolina later that year in the Meantime she and her graduating classmates would be celebrating the end of their schooling with accrues to the bahamas for her pet, it's. The only explanation, fisheries disappearance was that something terrible had happened. Jerry was particularly close to her rota system, twenty one year old daughter who was already living away from home, while studying. the sibling shed a love for singing and often performed gospel favorites around the lexington. Collectively known as the smith sisters. They aimed to carve a career
For themselves, in the christian music industry. As soon as sherry disappeared, an officer was summoned to collect adorn from the nearby city of charlotte and drive her back to lexington. dawn admitted to police that her father with strict and that this could sometimes be a source of banks. Fishery Sherry had occasionally expressed a desire to go stay with dawn, but never under any circumstances, did dorm think her little sister would take off on her own. There was a close knit family and, although Sherry craved a bit more freedom, she knew her. It's always had her best interests at heart,. even on the unlikely chance that shari could have run away, she wouldn't leave her lifesaving medication behind place didn't believe the smiths had anything to hard and thy way.
Did no time in launching a full scale. Missing persons investigation within hours, dreams of locals braved, the sweltering hate to traverse the rugged terrain surrounding the smiths. Ten acre property police looked for, tie, attracts shoeprints or anything else. Could provide a clue as to sherry's whereabouts They found nothing had sherry become disoriented due to her medical condition. They didn't think so. would have wandered far a member Of this search party was checking platt springs road about half a mile from the smiths home when they found a red ban. It was believed, belong to sherry, police, wondered whether she could have intentionally left behind as some sort of clue as the hours passed, with no sign of the teenagers
police became steadfastly convinced that sherry's disappearance wasn't the result of her die babies Someone had taken her against her will. The last person to say sherry was her boyfriend, richard lawson, the two spent the morning in downtown lexington. Organizing travellers checks fisheries upcoming crews, once they were done. Sherry left, her shoe vat in the shopping center car park and driving reaches car to their friends pool party. The couple spend a few hours there before sherry caught her parents at around two thirty p m to say she was about to head home. Sherry and her younger brother fifteen years. Robert were expected to check in with their parents every now and then to keep them in the loop of their plans. Police cars, the suspicious I on richard lawson, but sherry's family did
think there was any chance. He would cause her any harm, sherry adored, richard He was an upstanding young man and the two were head over heels in love. They'd both been accepted to columbia college and were excited to be starting the next chapter of their lives together, regardless police question to reach it. He said that, after leaving the pool party, he dropped sherry back in her car in downtown lexington. The two sat in her car talking for about fifteen minutes. After that richard said he kissed, sherry, good bye and got back into his own car. They share the same route home sir richard childbirth, sherry for awhile before turning off in the direction of his own home. According to richard, he went straight home and didn't leave the house thereafter. He's alibi check down
This puts sherry arriving home alone, had around three thirty p m some ass is by had seen her standing at her mailbox about appearing side, They hadn't noticed anything odd or suspicious, but they did saying and unusual vehicle in the neighborhood around this time. The car, was described as a light model loads may be a law pontiac cranberry color one whit. record glancing in their rearview mirror and seeing the vehicle stop in the smiths driveway they caught a glimpse of the driver describing him as a male aged in his thirties when they drove past again about ten minutes later she These car was still there, but Sherry herself wasn't Given that the smiths smile was scattered on the ground police theorize that sherry's of doktor had accosted her at the mailbox. Shortly after bob smith,
Away from the window of his home office, the fact that bob hadn't witness to the incident was she a bad luck by all accounts. Sherry Smith was a popular while locked and a vibrant young woman. She was act fully involved in her school community and had been recently voted. Wittiest girl by her senior class. As a devoted member of Lexington first baptist church, she took her faith very seriously, and was an involved in drugs or any nefarious behavior, but to police didn't seem like an opportunistic attack. If sherry, hadn't, been targeted by unknown enemy police speculated whether someone could have followed her home the blonde hair blue eyed sherry was described as strikingly attractive. Some,
could have noticed her either before or after the pool body and being captivated by her physical appearance enough to covertly watch and trial her vehicle, or perhaps a database stalking, sherry for awhile, sherry work, part time at a local flea market. Police learned that, just two weeks prior, a male customer had been kicked out of the market for harassing sherry and other young women, this smith where an influential family in lexington, sherry's, father bob volunteered as a chaplain for the sheriffs department, as well as the county, jail and a youth correctional facilities, hand, his wife, Hilda often sang hymns to those incarcerated, and they were sometimes and by sherry and adorn police considered the
ability that a former inmates could have developed an obsession with sherry and attract her down upon their release. Alternatively, What if an inmate had a doubtful bob smith and targeted sherry is part of some deranged revenge. Claude. Inquiries were made into former inmates who had crossed paths with babo. Sherry Smith but there was no evidence to implicate any of them in the kidnapping. With no obvious suspects, emerging police. Consider whether sherry's abduction could have been financially motivated. The smiths weren't particularly wealthy. But the income they earned through bob's electronic sales and hailed as part time work as a substitute teacher afforded them a comfortable lifestyle within impressively large house. Although Family seemed like an unlikely choice to target police had to consider
what, if Sherry had been kidnapped for ransom, later that not as the search for a shower? continued. The smiths home phone rang on. The other line was an unknown mail. I have sherry, he said I want money antics painting a cool of this nature. Police honey start a phone tap which allowed them to trace the call to a phone booth in an undisclosed location. The cool was identified. His twenty seven year old, edward robertson, but anyhow that sherry would be returned was short lived when the coal was determined to be a hoax. Robert and was hit with multiple charges, including extortion and obstruction of justice. the bogus ransom was a huge waste of police resources for a case where time was Well, and truly of the essence, without
cherries, medication. There was, The very real possibility that she could become dehydrated enough to slip into a coma. when there was no sign of sherry smith by the following morning. Planes equipped within four a technology was sent down by the fbi authority. From surrounding caddies were brought into assist while trailer was set up in front of the smith family home to act. Does investigation headquarters led by Lexington county sheriff james met the search for the seventeen year old quickly became the largest manhunt in south carolina. Is history. Report came in that sherry had recently been threatened by some other students from her high school police. in today's claims and question to ever the gas to attended the pool party with sherry the day before, but no further, laser emerged.
By sunday the full weight Two sherry's disappearance was felt as her high school grudge Patient ceremony went ahead without her classmates and ignore. The enormity of this situation has a chair, Reserved for sherry, sad, empty and the national anthem was both. Armed by another student friend of sherry's, told the state newspaper, I won't believe I've graduated until they find her a part of our Emily is missing. When Lexington local betty harris Her real name saw the maid coverage of sherry's disappearance. It sparked a memory. On the afternoon of fraud, I made thirty one betty had been driving down platt springs road. When she saw a young blonde woman walking towards her mailbox, a man was approaching a couple of minutes late,
Betty was continuing down the road when she saw the blonde from the mail box in the passenger of a reddish colored car it was being driven by a mayo who looked to bay between thirty five and forty years of age, with a medium build and receding light colored hair. The car overtook betty before slowing down to a point that she was forced to be her home. Betty could say that the man was distracted by his female passenger. She didn't think much of it. so she saw the news and realise that the? U woman, she'd saying we sherry smith. The competent sketches of the man provided by betty and other witnesses, when notably different, however, their descriptions, he's cranberry vehicle were role similar instead, focusing on identifying the suspect by his appearance, police focused on identifying he's car
they collected a list of anyone, sherry associated with who drove a similar vehicle, including a ten days at her church, but as this rode into its third fruitless die. Grave concerns were held, fisheries welfare, even if kidnapper hadn't caused to sherry any harm they need. Be giving her copious amounts of water to ensure their survival. it had been an agonising couple of days for the smith family. They Are they in their home comforted by passing procession of concerned friends and relatives who brought the meals and to join them in prayer attainable ass. The gaieties station to themselves on the property round the clock ready to act. The moment any potential laid came through the leg. Sinking, community was on edge, parents kept watch lives on their children, while you
Women avoided going out alone, fearful of the unknown. Then had to twenty. I am on Monday june Third sherry's father bob was Ok from a restless sleep by the ringing of the phone bob answered, muffled distorted voice of an unfamiliar man, was on the other line. He asked to speak to mrs smith, Bob beckoned to his wife, Hilda, and she picked up the receiver. He was the call they'd been waiting for the main claimed that he had sherry to prove this wasn't a hoax. He described in detail the outfit that Sherry had been wearing had the time she went missing right down to the black india,
became she had on underneath the man assured yoda that her daughter was fine. She was eating and drinking plenty of water. The man said he was going to release sherry. The smiths They were saving more information in a letter from Sherry that would arrive at two p m the following day, the main time. The call I concluded Looking in the wrong place, tell sheriff met to get on channel ten at seven, I am and call off the search at the time technology required a cool lots of bay on the phone for fifteen minutes before them occasion could be ascertained given. Coal was short and instant trace couldn't be established. after some time, the call was traced to a phone booth outside of a grocery store approximate,
Twelve miles from the smiths home office has rushed to the same, but the booth was empty, a dust fast Prince revealed no discernible clues Investigators, weren't entirely sure what to make of the coal. The date I was about Sherry's bikini hadn't been reported on wheat shuddered credibility to the all is claims, but beyond that the alleged after having provided any concrete evidence to prove that he had sherry that she was indeed alive. Furthermore, he has and made any ransom demands which raised questions about the purpose of his call, regardless the police were taking no chances. The winner of the lexington post office was alerted and at four a m
He was joined by two officers to collectively sift through every piece of mayo addressed within the county. It was painstaking task. The hours take back with no sign of the supposed letter leading to death. Doubts as to whether it existed at all, then, at seven. I am success. Case file will be back shortly. Thank you for supporting us by listening to this episode. Sponsors. this episode of case Farley, sponsored by better help. How many times have you found yourself falling exhausted into bed, looking forward to a good night's sleep only to find that your brain won't stop talking
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Tennessee dot com. Thank you for listening to these episodes adds by supporting sponsors. You support case file to continue to deliver quality content. The white legal sized envelope was addressed to the smith family home in scrolling handwriting in side was a two page. You let our written on yellow legal paper signed sherry smith, dated June first, that three ten I am the title of delight, I gave investigators pause written in cursive at the top of the page, where the words, last will and testament the letter began, I love you mommy daddy robert dawn, richard, and everyone else obey with me.
father now, so please, please, don't worry. Just remember my weedy personality and a great special times we all share together please don't ever let this ruin your lives, just cable, Having one day at a time that Jesus some good will come out of this as the letter continued, sherry apologized for any disappointment, she might have caused and urged someone else today, place on the upcoming crews. She reiterated how proud she was of her family and how much she loved them. All the time concluded. I know you love me and will make me very much, but if you stick together, Like we always did you all can do it. Please not become hard or up said everything works. for the good for those that love the lord.
There was no return address when bob. smith was shine. The letter, a desperate helplessness washed over him, he immediately recognized the handwriting as his daughters, the coal. had been wrought. This was no It wasn't just the title of the letter or the funnel farewells. It contained that escalated concerns about the doctors intentions, fishery, At the end of one paragraph, she'd written in paris, This is the haunting words casket closed. A cursory examination of the lead are revealed no fingerprints or any other identifying clues. Only thus to get his had to go by was the postage stamp a commemorative doc day clay, but this was a little help. Has the stand Was a relatively recent design and was currently in wide circulation.
Although the envelope it did, confirm one helpful detail. It was postmark The june one from the city of colombia just thirteen miles east of lexington wherever sherry had been taken. It couldn't be too far. the letter was immediately sent for detailed forensic testing, a process that could take weeks. In the meantime, bob and hailed, a smith made an impassioned plea on television with bob urging Whoever it is that has a daughter, sherry. We want her back, we miss her. We love her place and Back home, where she belongs. Hilda, righted she's so important to us, nothing in them Load is more important right now all we ask is just whoever you are saying. Sherry back home.
Fifteen thousand dollar reward for information was announced with one officer declaring the search is not going to stop as long as there is hope. anticipation that shares of doktor would call again investigators. up a recording device on the smith families home phone. If he did make contact the smiths were at used to keep him on the line for as long as possible at three o eight p m and that same monday, the phone rang Sherry sister dawned answered it Was the same mayo call out from earlier? He asked to speak to her mother. Well, I'm not really sure playing africa's. I haven't had any word from sharing and I need to know.
Well, I don't know why two or three day called bercow The call was soon traced to pay phone at a pharmacy in Lexington there was no sign of the collar or any discernible clues. However, the location itself was of particular interest. The phone bessie was part of this same shopping center, where sherry had part her car while attending the pool party on friday. This added weight to the harry that Sherry's abductor might have spotted her that day and followed her home. The smith family didn't know what to make of this turn of events. While contents of sherry's saliva were deeply troubling. They refused to give up hope that she still be found alive, maybe
Harrowing words were meant to some kind of code. a date or seven, that same nod. The phone rang again when dawn answered. She immediately recognized the voice of her sister's kidnapper. He asked if she had come down from charlotte dawn said yes and asked who she was speaking too The cooler ignored her and said. I need to speak to your mother tell her to hurry. Hilda picked up, the call aroused did you received. The letter said I hilda respond. That she had to prove it. The cholera, third, I tell him one thing that the letter said share he had a drawn a love heart with a combination of hers and her boyfriend richards names in it. He would I told the kola this confirming that
two page, a letter was written on yellow legal paper. The kola stated. ok. So you know now that this is not a hoax call. Him and ass to. Why he's request for sheriff mats to call off the search? Hadn't been mad, saying. I'm trying to do everything possible to answer some of your prayers. So please, in the name of god, work with us here, Hilda spoke kindly to the man asked if he could just tell her whether sherry was ok without her medicine, the cold said that shari was drinking to gallons of water per hour and going to the bathroom afterwards he told Would he had to hurry as he knew the coals were being traced, This has gone too far. He said, please forgive me
All I told healed ought to have an ambulance ready at their home hake. I'm too- that if anything happened to Sherry. In addition, into her request for a closed casket. She I, but to have her hands crossed over her chest as though in prayer listen to us, please, the cooler implored forget lex, john Kennedy looking salute at county. Do you understand sherry, favorite west's no strangers when we give the location. Hilda reassured the call that nobody was going to cause any harm. She just wanted to know whether shari was with him. The kola said he And tell hilda that, but quote. I want to tell you one other thing: Sherry is now part of me, physically, mentally emotionally, spiritually.
our souls are one now Hilda begged all I to tell sherry how much her family loved her and that they do anything to make her happy again, the collar painted he's demands to have an ambulance ready. Hilda urged him to call back again later. That nod saying God bless you for taking care of my baby, the cold. continued. Gotta go now, listen, listen! Please! Please! Please forgive me for this. It just got out of hand. Cherry is protected now she's Part of me now and god look after all of us now good night, the phone call left investigators scrambling for answers. The kidnappers still
Adam, provided any proof of laws and remained unclear whether sherry had been harmed or not. The call was traced to a gas station just off the interstate twenty highway. Approximately eight miles from the smith sign. But again the kola had left behind know whether that, although The information gained thus far did allow renowned f b I criminal profile, I john Douglas, to put together a twenty two point profile of the perpetrator according to douglas Sherry's of doktor was a white male, most likely in his mid too late twenties, but possum. In his early thirties he was single, but probably they married in the past or had a history of I owed relationships if he had, it out of his own, that child would no longer be in his custody.
He would aid the live alone. Always parents saw outer relatives this wouldn't bade the perpetrators. First cry he likely had a criminal record that included anything from making of saint phone calls and peeping and praying to full blown sexual assault. He'd cape trophies taken from these victims he'd have a penchant for pornography with a particular last for bondage, undecided masochism Evidence indicated that Sherry smith had been taken by force likely at north for gunpoint. These cindy guided that the perpetrator wasn't particularly charming more attractive. He knew he wouldn't be able to louis sherry into his car through any other means. He was actually overweight and suffered from low self esteem he's
I would be motivated by he's prevailing fantasy of exerting panama over unattainable women. He likely picked female victims that here no chance of our relationship with in his daily life. Therefore, forging a sense of power and control those victims would likely be children, nor young girls as heed And at all women to intimidating invite The guy is determined that the perpetrator was using a variable speed, control device to alter the sound of his voice. These indicated a knowledge of electronics that suggested the perpetrator luck. Worked in electrical contracting, a job that provided Flexible hours and the freedom to move around the device distorted the coal as voice. He couldn't disguise he slight southern accent in his first phone call
perpetrator, had told Hilda smith, to expect a letter from sherry had to pay em to a clue. was their usual mail delivery time. This, in addition to the perpetrators, knowledge of the surrounding counties and his use of various pay phones gave John Our goal is no doubt that the offender lived locally or what at the very least familiar with the area. The perpetrator knew that don't smith had travelled down from charlotte. It also used sherry's middle name, Faye did it main, he knew this smith family on a personal level, the pay Fine locations also suggested something else of note. H Cool had come from it different location and a chair had been. What clean the factor At the offender new he's calls were being traced, coupled with these use of a voice. during device in
hated a knowledge of forensic proceedings who where he was investigated We're dealing with someone of above average intelligence. John Douglas determined that the perpetrator was meticulous and obsessive in his daily habits he likely had every Planned out with the tone of his voice here, seeing that he was reading from a script. he was a rigid thinker who probably had an unsuccessful previous career in the military. Sheriff james mats told reporters. feel when looking for an extremely sharp individual in one regard and an extremely psychotic, vigil in another regard. He said seems to be almost skits one who thinks clearly and acts are rationally.
By tuesday june, for the investigation into sherry, smith's disappearance rolled into its fourth day, convinced that the purpose right. I was following the story in the media. The Smith family made another television appeal: fishery, safe return with dawn telling her sister were not a family without you, Hilda added sherry, we love you so much wages, not going to give up on finding you I know, you're being taken care of. We just feels ouch assurances from the lord that you will be with us again empathetic of their plight The community continue to rally behind the smiths with volunteer distributing over ten thousand missing person. Posters around town Concerned citizens contributed to the reward pool, increase, sing the amount to twenty five thousand dollars. Still nothing.
to the identity of sherry's kid nabob by night, a clock on tuesday night over twenty four hours had passed since the offend our last made contact. The smith family sat on edge unable to sleep as they awaited further instructions they weren't even sure would come. Then, at nine forty five p m The phone finally rang. Don't answer that was sherry's a doctor ass the door to put him on the other line and to grab a pencil and paper. This is shared design words. He served so listen carefully. say nothing. Unless your asked on, These calls a tight and traced, but that's a relevant now, There is no money demanded, so he
sherry phase last request on the fifth day to put the family at rest- sherry faye being freed- remember. We are one so now when located you locate both of us together, we are one: god has chosen us, respect all past and present requests The call I told the women to drop down the actual times and advance. He said the kid Having happened three twenty eight p m on friday made thirty one and that sherry quote, had the fear of god in her Three ten, a m on Saturday june, one she wrote her last will and testament. at four fifty eight. I am the to quote, because
One soul hilda asked the cooler what he meant by that. He continued no question now and instructed them to have an ambulance ready between four and seven o clock. The following evening, pray as and relief coming soon he said polly learn to enjoy life. Forgive god protects their chosen. Again, he ordered a sheriff mats to call off the search, adding. Blessings a near you will receive a last instructions where to find us hilda pleaded with the man. Not to kill her daughter. He ignored her concluding we love and miss you all.
a good rest tonight, goodbye the call was traced to pay for I met a convenience store like mary nine miles from the smithsonian. Again, no fingerprints or other evidence had been left behind. officers established road blocks in the area, but nothing brought them closer to identifying the perpetrator or finding cherry base down? The call? Is instructions police feared that they could be done? with a murder suicide. However behavioral profile, I just douglas believed that the perpetrator was quote two full of himself and his perceived power to take his own life based on these pattern of promising and withholding information douglas thought was more likely that the kidnapper had already killed, sherry but didn't want to reveal
the location of her body because he was continuously returning to visit her corpse whatever the case. Invest god is needed to be ready for when the next cool came the following day, they came up with a plan They d activate a majority of pay phones in the area and keep a covert eye on the few they left in order. This would hopefully forced the perpetrator to one of the fund and that was under surveillance, the selected. pay. Phones was set to go down just after midday on Wednesday dream five had eleven. Forty five. I am fifteen minutes before the scheduled shot down the phone rang at the smith families, home hilda answered.
carol, Burnett Eric the mall to find the large number one one point: one quarter: pile paranoia at white frame, building for backyard, pics or awaiting god to do the cause. The case file will be back shortly. Thank you for supporting us by listening to this episode. Sponsors hi folks. This is don king, hey. When the grandkids come to visit. Do they plant themselves in front of the tv all day? There is no way to spend the summer. One of the best ways is to get them outdoors and take them fishing on one of tennessee's
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in this episode, dad's boss, supporting our sponsors. You support case file to continue to deliver quality content. The location that Sherry schmidt said doktor described was in salute a county. Roughly sir Eighteen miles west from the smith family home by this boy, Sherry had been missing for five days. eggs and investigators fear the worst they ordered sherry's family to stay home, while they followed the cause instructions taking extra precautions in anticipation for what they may find. but the family remained tirelessly optimistic that sherry would be found alive with her mother hills preparing an overnight bag in anticipation of a hospital stay. A helicopter was despatched to the masonic large, a white two story,
loading surrounded by dense woodland. With their aerial view. Those on board could say something through the trees. Roughly fifty fate behind the lodge about eight fade into the woods. Was the unmistakable side of a human body A team of offices quickly converged on the scene Seventeen year old, sherry smith was lying face up on her back barefoot dressed in the same clothes she'd been wearing on the day she went missing. Persons was pulled over her body in a manner. One investigator described does like a shroud. All of the jury? Sherry had been wearing at the time of her abduction was missing, except for a goat necklace given to her by her boyfriend. richard and a single gold, stud earring. It was immediately clear that sherry had been deceased for several days. The race,
in hate wave had caused a rapid, a day, composition, making it impossible to readily determine the course of time of her death however, investigators were fairly certain. They knew exactly what time Sherry had passed away during his dream for phone call to hinder and don't smith, the perpetrators said, Hey and sherry had become one sole led for fifty eight. I am on June one this way, the likely the time she had died. If This was accurate, immense sherry had passed away just twelve hours after she d been kidnapped. while this would have been enough time fishery to forsake as a result of her diabetes, it wouldn't have been life threatening it was. Therefore unlikely that she died from her medical condition, but Gary's body showed no signs of physical violence, such as a gunshot or status,
and no evidence of sexual assault The only identifiable clue as to her cause of death was residue from doctype that was found on her face, which indicated the possibility that sherry had being suffocated. The killer, had also caught a significant chunk of hair from sherry's head likely to remove doctype that had gotten stock. Regardless of the exact cause of death of pathologist, determined that whoever had kidnapped sherry was directly responsible for death. therefore be traded as a homicide, no matter what, A thorough examination of the surrounding woods failed to provide any further evidence. However, Line of saplings leading to sherry's body had been flattened down, indicating that shit worries killer, ideologically driven to the back of the masonic lodge and then dragged her,
About eight fade into the woods. The sheer accuracy of the directions provided by the kola strengthened. The investigators belief that he had indeed been returning to visit cherries corpse. However, they didn't think that was the reason he delayed revealing the location. It was me Likely that the killer is buying time, knowing the longer sherry's body, lay undiscovered the less chance there would be over. Covering crucial forensic evidence. If this was the case hit bolster the theory that the killer was familiar with criminal proceedings, the location, the crime scene also strengthened the belief that the killer leave to locally them. sonic large, was in a remote area with no for traffic, not the type of play, she'd stuff upon by accident.
Sherry's family were anxiously sitting at home, holding a silent prayer when they saw a patrol car heading down their driveway. They immediately knew that sherry was dead as door later described to tv series I witness hill, immediately fell apart. Sobbing not my sherry, not my baby dawn record. I'd never heard crying like that. Until that moment,. When the news reached the lexington community and outpouring of grief was accompanied by an increasing sense of fear,. If sherry killer wasn't identified. What would stop him from striking again. friends of sherry's, feared they could be targeted next, her coworkers from the flea market grew increasingly afraid that the strange man who had harassed, sherry was responsible and would set. He saw.
john them on the afternoon, of Thursday june six sheriff mats held a press conference. Appealing to the perpetrator directly met stated We are concerned that this person may take his own life if he doesn't turn himself in. We don't want him to do that. I want to reassure him that we have no intention of killing anyone or we to do is take this person into custody we're trying get this person to surrender. He needs help and we want him to get it. having fun jerking us around. He can continue investigation is going full blast and we're not stopping until we catch him. I promise. charlie case was a well known investigative report out with local colombian new station. W I ass to
a half hours after the press conference child It was in his office when he received a phone call for an unfamiliar male who explained that the core was regarding sherry face. Smith said that he wanted to use charlie as a medium bordering, listen carefully. I can't live with myself. Child and I need to turn myself in I'm afraid. the kola gave charlie a set of instructions once they ended their conversation. Chow Why was the goal sheriff change mats and let him know this no hoax, to prove that he was the one responsible, fisheries abduction. The kola described the sherry's last will and testament in detail. Charlie. Was to appear on the news that evening to broadcast sheriff mats home phone number as proof that the message has been received The following morning, charlie
was to go to the sheriffs home along with sherry's praised the call a problem. he will call them then and turn himself in here, then give charlie and exclusive interview in which reveal every detail about sherry's abduction. Are explained. It just went bad, I know her family and well. I just made a mistake. It went too far. All I wanted to do was to make love to her. I didn't know she had the rare disease, and I just got out of hand- scared and I have to do the right thing. All calls made to the new station will automatically recorded So when charlie got off the phone, he was able to notify investigators immediately when they
heard the audio. They had no doubt that the voice belonged to sherry's killer, however, They were highly sceptical of the call is claiming that he was going to turn himself in. He was getting far too much enjoy meant from the power he willed it in this situation,. It had been an agonising day, fisheries loved wants, as they came to terms with the reality that sherry would never becoming home. The third the evening. News came and went without charlie case fulfilling the killers request to make public television announcement. Things were quiet at the smith residents bob was at the funeral home making arrangements, for he thought his burial, while hilda was in a sedated sleep at eight fifty seven pm. The phone rang Sherry's art beverly, answered a telephone.
Operator announced that she had a collect call for don't smith. Beverly responded that dawn couldn't come to the fine. A male voice then came on the line and ask to speak with hilda, who bob smith real, rising? Who she was talking to beverly went to find dawn, as soon as dorm picked up the phone. She read. acknowledged the muffled voice of her sisters killer, though, We are told dawn that he would be turning himself in the following morning. He claimed that Mary had requested. He do so on the fifth day after her body was found, he explained that he would no longer be giving an exclusive interviewed a trolley case. However, he had arrived a detailed, a letter describing exactly what happened to Sherry, along with peaches and about thorn
if Charlie would be receiving a copy or I got out. I am, and all I wanted to do with my globe- madonna been one hundred per cup of tea. He heard don. I hope Your family early dawn urged the call on not to take his own life. She said she wanted to help him and that guy would always forgive. The Allah responded that he couldn't live with himself, nor could he live in prison or face the electric chair, I'm sick. He said This is the way it's going to have to be. The I went on to explain that sherry was very strong wills and didn't cry once during her ordeal. She wasn't scared. He said she knew that she was going to be an angel
claimed that sherry wanted her family to treasure. Her golden necklace and study earring. He then made a disturbing offer. Did dawn want to know how her sister died due We said yes, according to the kola Gave Sherry the auction, did you want to be suffocated? Shot or given a drug overdose. She chose suffocation. Jerry then wrote her last will and testament at her own volition. The cooler then quote, I d love to Sherry before tying her to the bedpost with electrical cord. He Proceeded to cover her head with doctype until she could no longer breathe, dawn asked if Sherry had been afraid, the call responded. She was not. She was at peace.
she knew that god was with her. The call was traced, to a truck stop roughly fifty miles from the smith sign in the town of great falls, yet again, the court I had left behind and no evidence, but he's related. The had been significantly longer than the others and provided investigators with some deeper insights. Like in he's called a jolly case. The perpetrator had told dawn that he was a friend of the family. He's claims that he didn't know sherry had a rare medical condition. Disproved this assertion. Sherry Diabetes was a well known fact among her in a circle and if the perpetrated The smiths he would have. aware of this additionally, Investigators highly doubted that he would have given sherry the choice of how she died as profile
john Douglas explained in his book when a killer coals, even if It was true, it was incredibly, dubious that sherry would have chosen suffocation. The Douglas quote. He chose this. May because a prolonged he sexual thrill at the power he had over her and the length of time he got to enjoy watching her die. But there was something else: the kola said that had investigators on edge at the start of the coal he'd mistakenly said that all he wanted to do was make love to dawn. Dawn and sherry looked strikingly similar, and there was something I'm mistaken for twins, given that the perpetrator had specifically asked to speak with dawn and appeared to be attempting to establish a boy between them. Concerns were raised that it could be turning he's focus on dawn,
John Douglas behavioral profile was anything to go by the killer. Stop with Sherry what, if dawn, was next. The smith family was warned of this possibility, but they had no choice but to persevere. asked as investigated suspected the killer didn't turn himself in on fraud. A lucky had promised. saturday drew night was sherry's funeral One thousand moon is gathered to farewell the seventeen year old at lexington first baptist church. Carries murder, had a profound impact on the local community and elect. intense citizens, tied pink ribbons to sign posts, sent a letter boxes between the church and cemetery as a sign of respect, Sherry's path the urge to those in attendance not to blame god, saying god,
not do what has been done here. It is because of the confusion and the sin and the depravity of man that we ve come to an occasion like this. Investigators believed there was a high chance that Sherry's killer was among the ten days they filmed. The proceedings We're on high alert for anything out of the ordinary at the cemetery as the grave side service. wrapped up a man in his thirty suddenly leaped from the crowd. I'm sorry I'm really sorry. He shouted who who is responsible for this, I believe you're here I of you and I will not hurt. You come from What right now. He suddenly outburst caused such alarm that one of sherry's friends fell to the ground screaming in terror. The man immediately became a suspect even more.
When it was revealed that he owned a car similar to the one saying near the smiths driveway on the day, Sherry was abducted. He was taken in for police questioning and had he voice compared to the audio of the killer, but it didn't match ended. Was nothing telling him to the crime. shaken smith, family had only just returned home from the funeral when that to twenty One p m: the phone rang Dawn answered with the operator telling it was a collect call from Sherry. After accepting the charges dawn was once again met by the voice of her sisters killer. He told her he'd been at the funeral and. A police officer, had directed him into a parking space Several minutes he rented about he's fine, oh interactions with sherry. Speaking as though the two of them had a close relationship, and that sherry viewed him as a confidant.
dawn asked the caller why he didn't turn himself in as promised he responded. I didn't have the strength, I'm scared as hell. He ripped used to tell dawn where he had killed cherry. saying only that had happened in lexington county. However, he claimed he did want to reveal this information He promised adorn he'd call again the following saturday with the exact location, concluding the call. god bless us all, The call was traced to a gas station in the neighbouring state of georgia, roughly sixty miles from the smiths home predict, Billy there was no sign of the killer, nor any clues left behind the days take to buy with no further word from him.
Investigators remained unconvinced that he could have taken his own life. He was enjoying himself too much sheriff mats, told the press. I don't think he has the guards. if he was going to do it. He'd have done at by now. the man hunt intensified as the reward information increased to thirty thousand dollars. Investigators examined the footage from sherry's funeral on the look out for anyone even remotely suspicious a segment about shared. His case was aired on the local crime. Stop as tv programme with the sheriff mats telling the public somebody somewhere knows the killer. We ve gotta find this person before he kills again. Hundreds of tears came through to the police but the days continued to go by with no arrests.
Gun sales rose around south carolina with several household reporting receiving threatening phone calls against their children though the killer silence was mystifying. Investigate It is believed that was only a matter of time before the perpetrator made further contact with dawn he was given instructions on how to behave if he called again given his hunger for power door. was told to be compassionate and understanding so that he would feel like the one in charge The longer she could keep him talking the better their choice. Says at tracing the call, but despite his promise to call the following saturday, awake came and went with no further contact from the killer. Concerns arose that he could have fled into state where he could be on the hunt for his next victim. If experience had told the investigative tame anything
It was the killers of this nature didn't simply stop. If he wasn't apprehended. There were no doubt that he would kill again, investigators wondered whether they could lower the killer out by using dawn as a sort of porn sherry's would be. Eighteenth birthday was approaching, profile. A john douglas devised, a plan. What if they held a memorial service fishery on her birthday and made sure it was covered by the media this just now re ignite, the killers interest in dawn, Sherry collected, stuffed corollas. dawn could lay one on cherries grave in the hopes that the killer might be tempted to steal it as a memento cover. officers could delay in ways with round the clock, surveillance ready to catch Any suspicious activity
dawn was apprehensive about the plan, but she was prepared to go to any lengths to capture her sisters, killer The memorial was scheduled to go ahead on Tuesday june twenty five three days prior just after, midnight on Saturday june. Twenty two, the phone rang at the smith family home, Dawn answered the right, I told her- I was collect, call from sherry face smith dawn accepted. Thank you you know this isn't a hoax, correct came the old tooth and voice. He continued. You know, god wants you to join cherry Faye this month next month this year next year you can't be protected. All the time
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Transcript generated on 2023-09-24.