2 Episode results for "Ed Don Rushton"
Songfacts Podcast: Author Ken McNab on The Last Days of The Beatles
The Music Box
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That's friends without our best beans. I'm Lester Holt tonight. On Dateline one young woman one family family. Dozens of investigators linked by DADS for life was the sweetness of personality that drew people to her so her body was found. Why would anyone do this? Motives were thrown out late jealousy. Some kind of love triangle a massive law enforcement project that had gone over twenty five years. I just say. Could you give us a little something here. There is a new technology where they can take DNA of the killer and create a sketch certain characteristics like hair color color skin tone for the first time we had a face face to put with the boogeyman. Your jaw dropped to see the lease I picked up and put a car on it. Just shed it's done. There's an Andrea Canning with music box. It's a pretty little thing when cicle frivolous but three decades ago this music box became something else. Aw a symbol of deadly intent to that give you chills Seattle music box absolutely oh gift from an evil soul. He had bought ought to music box prior to her being abducted and a clue for the homicide. Investigators who never gave up on this case women grew up afraid having having heard this story and they deserve an answer. The whole community deserved financer. Agawam in western Massachusetts who sits is the home of six flags. New England's biggest theme park. The town itself is small with a wholesome vibe generations of families have grown up here here but on April Sixteenth Nineteen Ninety two. I was in the spotlight for all the wrong. Reasons is just like any typical day. You're you're on your way to work exactly just another typical day. Just another typical day until it wasn't so fear Maynard back then a clerk at Brittany's card heart and gift shop notice something strange. She pulled up to the store that Thursday morning a parked car. That shouldn't have been there. It belonged to Lisa's eager eager. Lisa worked evenings at the store during the day. She was a teacher's aide Jovan and really couldn't quite figure out you know why she would be there her At that time she would be out the middle school. was that on Djing. Seeing her car definitely was odd yes. Sophia parked and went inside. The the door was unlocked and the music was on the lights. Ron so that's weird. Yeah like maybe she had opened the store maybe she I signed something there and you know maybe had a break between classes or whatever some swan something. Maybe she called. Lisa's name. No answer went up and down the narrow aisles past the coffee mugs the porcelain knickknacks the music boxes and cards. I walked around the counter where the cash register was and her purse. was there So then I kind of started thinking. That's odd it's odd. Why would her purse be there? And she's not exactly she checked. The back of the store door saw that one room was a mess. Were you worried that you were going to look into one of these rooms and possibly find Lisa in there. That was the first thought. UH In my head was if something had happened to her that that I was going to finder there but twenty-four-year-old Lisa's Zieger wasn't there wasn't anywhere in the store. Is Your heart pumping. I was Cardi panicked at that point I knew something obviously happened and to her so I just my first instinct was to just run and call the police. She ran to a store across the road to call all nine one one. They told me I needed to go down right away. Britney's car CIA. Detective Wayne macy. The Agam Police Department was assigned. The case. You had over there right away. Did did how much information do you have very little at this point in time or adjusted somebody was missing from that store. Once inside. macy's macy saw Lisa's coat as well as her purse. The messy storeroom the untouched cash register. And it doesn't take a detective even to know when someone's belongings belongings left behind like that. It's not a good sign right. It's not you know in your heart and your mind when those kinds of things are left behind. Obviously this is not going to be a good thing. macy and his colleagues had their video camera out searching for clues. Meantime the news spread to. Lisa's mom. Deasy Gert I got a phone call. I from the school the school where Lisa work during the day as an aide lied. She said you know hasty. Do you know where where we so might be. She's she didn't come in and I said I I don't know maybe she overslept. D- Didn't think anything of it but then Lynn Roger Sohn. Lisa's older sister got a call. This one from a friend who told her that Lisa was nowhere to be found. My anxiety was through the roof. I was completely right away from from the phone. Call on word. Is this because her personal belongings were left behind in her car. Is that in. The ambulance door was open. Yeah she would never do that. She would have never left that store at risk by leaving it on lock ever. You're lynn raced over to her mom's office when Len came to the office to tell me she said Oh mom. Lisa's missing an an Portland. My my response was what do you mean with US missing. This is just unfathomable it's just unfathomable. What do you mean she's missing? She can't be missing just just not at all what you're ever expecting to hear an atom Massachusetts not no not at all but what was coming was even more incomprehensible it almost more than they could bear. Detectives are about to turn up evidence of a fierce struggle in the back of the gift shop Triggering a massive search for the missing Lisa. When we return there was a door to actually had what appeared to be a he'll market and there was a little bit of blood spattering way? You're gonNA find but you just keep looking and later a picture of a killer painted by DNA. It doesn't tell you who's a killer as but it can tell you what the killer looks like. Correct Lisa Zieger disappeared in April nineteen ninety two during her evening shift at a gift shop. Detective Wayne macy was called to the store the next morning. You're worried immediately very much. So shall we started looking in the store for closures to what could have happened there at the scene police swarmed the place and there was a a door to actually had what appeared to be A. He'll mark in it where somebody might have kicked. The boxers were actually flattened down like somebody might have been on those boxers and there was a little bit of sludge battering on some of the boxes. So you're looking at the beginnings of a of an abduction. They believed the boxes the dent in the door. Four and the blood splatter all pointed to a struggle. We started an immediate search of the surrounding area Dumpster areas back alley allie areas behind. This was kind of a strip mall type area and there was a Lotta little nooks and crannies that somebody could put somebody. Did your not find anything. No they talked to everyone who was in the area that night. Did anyone see anything there. Were a not not of any significant inch. Detectives developed a time line. What time are you thinking this happened? We're thinking somewhere between eight thirty and ten minutes to nine on natty. That's a really accurate. Small small window. The last transaction on the cash register was at eight twenty PM. A customer told police. She came into the store at nine but it was empty. She thought she heard a noise in the back and left so she was about forty minutes from closing. When this happened they soon had a working theory of what happened? There in a shelter took place in next door to gain some kind of control over Lisa there was also a side door and side door led to an alley and they probably went outside and just pull the car out and left from there and then just vanished and then just vanished. But where was she now. nope the AGAWAM PD the Massachusetts State police and the FBI launched an intensive search. Lisa's parents D and George per siblings and friends gathered third at the family home to wait. They were terrified. Who would hurt their fun? Friendly Lisa the girl with the cornflower Blue Eyes. She was bubbly China's Lynnwood to say when she laughed. She laughed like this to cover but if she was laughing. You're laughing too. She had an infectious giggle and and She was small but her personality was pretty big. Lisa's life was full packed with her many interests. So this is Lisa's artwork artwork. Yes yes yes. Some of it Summers from college from High School these are pretty colors to town blew. Everything has ten Lewin at according to Lisa and she was always sketching in her spare time. Yes she just something she loved to do she did something else. Lisa love to dance here. She is at her parents anniversary anniversary party a year before she vanished. Kim Murray one of her oldest friends we would go out to clubs and we would. I'll listen to music and dance and she had her favorites Brits but If we were in a car even driving and and a song came on that she loved she would pull over to the side of the road into a parking lot and just turn up the radio and get out and dance so really yes really yes she would pull the car over. Yes this sounds like a dance like everybody's watching. Yeah kind of dance like no. No one wants the middle school kids. Lisa taught were drawn to that Zany. Fun Loving Spirit. David Zieger is her younger brother. I think that she decided to become a teacher because she always liked to be around children. You know I mean she was kind of a big hitter self. She was to enjoy life. And and see the silliness and and things and to be able to relate to kids that well at the time she vanished. Lisa was in love her boyfriend. Blair Miss Soya worked with computers. He lived in a house with a bunch of roommates including at bore Gaudy. Was Your House kind of the gathering place for all the friends parties dinners. Yes for young. So yeah we I mean all the friends would come there and we had a lot of fun. We had a lot of different parties and had family over a lot which was unusual for kids. Very Adam Blair. We're good friends and Co owners of the House. Were you happy. That Leeson Blair found each other. Oh absolutely I've never seen him happier. She seemed really really happy They were great together. Everyone talked about it. Lisa Sister Lynn was another roommate. So you all knew each other real. This was a tight-knit circle. France had Lisa spent a lot of time at your house. Yes in the days after she went missing. Lisa's Franz form their own search parties at went out with Lisa's boyfriend. I remember it was raining and cold and we walked through the woods and he didn't WanNa stop looking thing and I said you know we're soaking wet. Says he didn't WANNA stop looking. I wasn't going to stop so we just kept looking. What was the mood like? It was stressful stressful. But sick feeling they don't know what you're GonNa find her and then you wonder. Why are we doing this or what happened? Like she must be somewhere and but he just just just keep looking. Did you think that maybe she was okay or were you starting to lose hope. I don't know things happen so fast. They just were redefined her. Those were probably the longest ease of our lives. I mean there was a lot of in order to help the police. There was constant calls from them with with questions. And could you come down and look at this or does any of this sound familiar to you. I think there was so much of that year. Anxiety was kind of on high all the time and that was especially hard for her group of friends. Four days past in a heart thudding hand-wringing miserable blur mark and then on Easter Sunday. The ZIEGER Scott the news. They never wanted to hear coming out. There were tire tracks that that had been going in and coming out of possibly from the person who took Lisa here very possible. Yeah one mystery about to be solved another just beginning joining. You really didn't expect here when dateline continues. It was Easter Sunday nineteen ninety-two four days. After Lisa Zieger disappeared all kind of disbelief at the time. Stephanie buried now a reporter for the local newspaper The Republican I was just twenty years old when Lisa disappeared working at a restaurant in town and of course we were trying to sort through. Is it really true. Sifting through the rumors mors. We just couldn't really believe it because Agam is such a sleepy little town and it's very insular. Detective Wayne macy. AC was worn out that day. He and his team along with the state police and the FBI had been working long days searching for Lisa. Then they got the call. All that changed everything. McConnell came to the dish batch that a man walking his dog after dinner and actually observed what he believed to be A female body laying in the woods on a small hill. And do you head right over there. Yes the four of us Jumped in a car. We headed over there to that location. Listen it was a scant. Three miles from the gift shop release had been abducted when they got there. They found a dirt path leading into the woods. But a path that you can easily miss if you're just driving pasture simply especially at night simply a curb cut and we expect. The suspect knew exactly where he was going. Because you'd have to to. What we landscape has changed since that gray spring day it was much more open back then and muddy and it was had been rained on for basically three days and some sleep and a little bit of snowed so what we did was before that came in here? We walked in each other's tracks back all the way to disturb the ground we're about up to our ankles wound going out and there were tire tracks were tire tracks in that had been going in and coming automobile possibly from the person who took Lisa here very positively. Yeah that's what we have to go far before. They came upon a grisly scene so her body westbound right in this area. And what is the scene telling you well. She is partially clad She has a pair of Boo China and some of her clothing had been pulled down sexual assault Obvious Sexual Assault Defensive wounds on the hands dance things like that you believe. She's still alive when there was Evidence that There had been a scuffle in in this area and That she had ended up over there. And that's where the the The assault actually took place where she was killed. How did you know for certain? It was Lisa We had a description of her on that particular evening when she was wearing an and also a particular charm bracelet that we all were aware of and overcharging bracelet. We're still there a young woman with her life ahead of her brutally assaulted and stabbed multiple times detective. macy had the dreadful task of telling the family I can remember jumping into the car and rationing at a very high rate of speed down to the Zieger CH- house mm-hmm because I I thought that if I ever slowed down or stopped they might turn around and let somebody else do it. But he kept his nerve and kept driving until he got to the Zieger Kurt House and when I got there as I was walking up to the door I can remember thinking to myself. What is she the easiest to Shay Apish the best way to say the word dead? Deasy Gert spared him that way and came to the front door and I looked at him and I said you found her he said yes. I said she's dead doesn't check and he I I took this day okay. I think how brave he was what courage that took to come. I just I went down to my knees and it was something you you really leaving expect to hear your mind. Let it go that far. It's always like it could be this. It could be that but it's not gonNA happen it's GonNa Happen. I actually did something similar To mom and I almost went to my knees and then they took a deep breath in and said to myself. I got stuff to do there. There was a lot of stuff to do sad stuff hard stuff that night. Investigators brought Lisa's body out of the woods and the zegers began making arrangements so a shattered community. Could say it's goodbyes. How many people do think came out? Strangers let friends thousand and it was raining eastern eastern student rain inside funeral home. And we're so good and you couldn't talk with anyone but yet you didn't feel like talking for Lisa's brother David who had had flown home from California. It was a reminder of the tight knit community he knew as a child when big tragedies happen communities kind of joined together and have each other's back in Guam is no different. They did that. They did that for us. They put themselves in in our position. Imagine and if my daughter or my sister or one of my family members had this happened to them how would I feel a sleepy little town learn about real real fear. After Lisa's murder our parents were horrified and they started not letting US watch cars at after dark alone. Some some of the parents wouldn't let their daughters even go to work for a few days. After she was kidnapped everyone knew there could be a killer living among them. Someone who knew the area it side alleys it's unmarked pathways. This could be someone you knew. Yes could could be a resident of agawam right right. That's a scary feeling. It's very scary. Many women felt the same way. Signing up for self defense is classes and carrying mace. I know that I stopped talking to many of my male friends. At that time you know I was afraid to even carry on friendships with people. Oh because I didn't know what had happened to her. Investigators worked flat out for months. Little did they know that decades later they'd still be added. got it coming up. A possible motive. Motives were thrown out late jealousy. Some kind of love triangle and a possible possible suspect I would hear that definitively that he was the one who killed Lisa Zieger and the lonely wooded area on the Jaguars where his body was found was lonely. No more no less than fifteen detectives assign. Investigators fanned out across the muddy patch. Gotcha land searching for anything. That would help them catch. Lisa's killer at this time. We're analyzing all of our evidence. We're continuing to follow up on leads. And we have investigators assigned to work around the clock I survivor. We have is a potent. They found buttons from Lisa's clothes and her Denim Adam skirt. They took molds of the tracks spotted on the pathway and they studied the autopsy report which said Lisa died of knife wounds to the neck but her body. We had another story to tell them. Did you find male DNA on her. We found DNA and the analysis came back. We always assumed at the time that it was going to be a male so this could be your ace in the hole could be are such exactly as they questioned. Lisa Circle of friends. Investigators asked the men to give DNA samples. They scrutinize the boyfriend closely. Nestle always do in cases like this but Blair's DNA. Hannah wasn't a match Andy. Alibi they ruled them out the secrets and their friends for their part never once suspected him. was there any part of you or anyone else who had to at least look at Blair. No big just because I mean now I can honestly honestly no never ever. In fact as investigators drilled deep into Lisa's life. There seemed to be nothing troubling. Did you learn anything about Lisa as far as like maybe an angry ex-boyfriend and an emmy somebody that may have wanted revenge on her. No we find out that there were some difficult situations in relationships with leash. That wasn't the case. She was just a regular person. A schoolteacher person who worked night. She had a lot of fringe She had a great family. One account did give them pause. Lisa's good friend Kim Murray told investigators that Lisa often talked about an eerie feeling that she was being watched. Yeah that night. Our Thursday night before all of this happened I stop by the store and she was there alone and I remember standing in front of the big windows in the store and she said that she was having that feeling again someone was watching her. Yeah and I said there's nobody Eddie out there. We never really got much more information out of Kim or anybody else's in regards to the particulars about that feeling and this particular case case it was probably significant significant. Maybe but not enough to go on and Anyway Aga- Williams. Detectives were swamped with tips ups. They followed up on everyone. You've found Lisa. Your job now is to find her killer. That's correct and there's I can't imagine what else was was much more important than that. Nothing at the time that was going to be more important than this particular homicide and we worked around the clock showtimes Schick. AM until two way on we would go home and and get a few hours sleep in shower up and come back at six. Am and do the same thing for Schick shelvin eight weeks in a row seven days usual week but as the days passed without an arrest some of the locals became obsessed with the terrible thing that had happened in their town. They would gather at the little coffee counter. Stephanie Berry and at the time you could smoke in restaurants they would smoke endless cigarettes and drink endless cups of coffee and and just talk about theories. Endlessly one theory about the killer's identity tore through town. A do vividly recall. All people sang. That kid has father owns E. BS. Oh he did was a popular restaurant in town just steps from the gift store where Lisa was working when she was abducted. The owner of the restaurant was Ed Burgundy his son is Edward Gotti junior I would hear ear that definitively that he was the one who killed Lisa. Zieger the same ed who owned a House with Lisa's boyfriend the same ed who helps search for her who comforted her family after her death and to helped carry the coffin at her funeral motives were thrown out late. Jealousy some kind of Love Love Triangle. People were calling stating that he might have been involved in this crime in one way or another detective. macy says many of the callers pushed the love triangle theory. Sorry but it was a triangle with a twist rumor that was coming in from an awful lot of people was that Ed had a relationship with leashes boyfriend and that at one point leash might have come home and found them in a compromising position. Both Ed and Blair and that now something would have to be done with Lisa. This is what we're getting a possible motive exactly and everything had to be investigated to which fullish I at Borghetti was so close to the zegers. He was like one of their own. Could this be possible coming up. A linked to police leads to accusations of a cover-up people were calling from Akron stating that. It was because his father which police shape which he wasn't that we're or hiding and when dateline continues at Gotti was one of Lisa's eager to close friends but now many in the community believed he may have killed her. Did you you have anything to do with Lisa's death absolutely not but ed says he understands why the police had to look at him in those early days after Lisa was killed. I mean that's what the police have to do. And and they had to talk to all of us. I mean you gotTa start somewhere and I was more than happy to talk to him. Tell him anything. I could tell them while. Ed was cooperating grading with police. The rumor mill went into overdrive one of the rumors. That persistent was that you were in a relationship with Blair and that Lisa Sakata you together and so you had to get rid of her. What's your reaction to the reaction is ridiculous? It's a rumer and that's all I'm going to say it's even ridiculous. Even address that the Gotti family name was well known in town at Father. Ed Senior was not just the owner and namesake of the family's restaurant he was also a retired Aga- one police detective and prominent member of the community says his daughter Shelly. My father was on the town. Council has a park named after him. He did a lot for this town so I think it was an easy target. Easy name to remember. The name was known in town and then it just spread it just snowballs no balls it out so I think I really think that's. That's what happened. Shelly says the rumors about her brother. Were hard to ignore particularly whenever someone called the restaurant to threaten confronted him. We're GONNA EG his car you know. Why did he do this? And what's the frustrating part is. You can't stop it. You can't stop it and they didn't even have social NYDIA. I don't know how it went around that fast. Making it even more frustrating says Shelly is that she knew it was impossible for her brother. Ed To have killed Lisa. Where was your brother that night he was here working with me and a whole crew of people never left never disappeared time? No actually not. He was here working with all of us. There's plenty of witnesses. Not only did ED seem to have a solid alibi. He also had the Zieger support. So how'd you feel when his name started emerging in public as a person who may have killed Lisa. I was angry three with people who are making the comments very angry. Because I knew he'd never did it but the chorus of accusations against him Kim was almost deafening says. Detective macy when you have everyone beating the drum in the town that this guy did it. You can't ignore that. No we wouldn't until we were sure that he had no involvement in. They had to follow up on information that his truck was similar to a suspicious vehicle. Seen by Witnesses and of course they had to ask him for. DNA You took a DNA sample from at Burgundy. Was it a match. No it was negative and his father who I knew very well at senior had come up and shut Wayne kept you. Just go forward and let the community know that Ed didn't and do it and I told Ed you can't do that. The Policy Department is not to admit to who your people of interest are period because at some later date something happened and you have to change story they had to consider whether Ed might have had an accomplice or that evidence could surface implicating him later. He wasn't it crossed off the list. But it was so frustrating. When you're in that position and they're spending the time on you and you're thinking to yourself this guys get away but for those who thought it was was ed who was getting away with Lisa's murder? The rumors turned into conspiracy theories show many people were calling for Magwar stating that. It was Abergavenny and that it was because his father which police chief which he wasn't that we were hiding it. The DAD was a detective. He would detective. And we're going to cover enough because somebody's relationship with somebody on. The police. Department is a direct and serious allegation against you all. That were the Unicorn Warren to think that anybody would do that. Many in Agawam continue to believe at Borghetti was involved in Lisa's murder but detectives had to move on. They had other tips to follow other leads to pursue hoping that one of them would reveal. Lisa's killer coming coming up. One of his case fit. The lack detectives may have unlocked the mystery. That's kind of harm lament. Well Yeah I'm saying despite having DNA from Lisa Zieger it's likely killer. Detectives tasked with solving the case had so far har come up empty but it wasn't for a lack of grit. We had ten to twelve in our immediate detective bureau meeting on a daily basis and it also wasn't for a lack of tips. Those kept pouring in each one of those had to be followed up and discounted or kept going one of the true one. Such tip led investigators to bring a local man in for an interview along with the questions they had for him was an unusual request. They wanted to see his keys. There was one thing missing in the abduction of Lisa and that was a key off of her catering. A key belonged to her apartment. Shall we have shown that very possibly suspect had two key. Detectives had taken the law from Lisa's apartment and brought it to the station whenever they interviewed someone they would see. If one of the persons keys fit the lock and this time it worked one of the other other officers payment on whispered in my ear that the key at the lack of one of his keys fit the lack. That's kind of an Aha moment. Well Oh yeah then I'm saying Bingo and came up with the key and I said what is your key for education. My apartment and I said well. Then let's go to your department. Did you think that you might be looking at the killer. Absolutely but when they got to the man's apartment the Kief it has lock it was the key it turns out the man's key also fit. Lisa's lock because their buildings were run by the same management company which sometimes used the same locks. It was a deflating moment. We had show many of those moments. Like the call about a man who seemed fixated on the women coming in and out of leases his health club or the tipster who said a man borrowed his truck only to return it with blood stains all over the inside. Detectives determined neither of those men killed killed. Lisa your whole body. They also used hypnosis to help to women. Try to recall the license plate of a suspicious vehicle. They each seen the night. Lisa was abducted nothing and with the help of Interpol they traced an SUV from agawam all the way to Russia to check its tires against the tracks left at the crime scene. No match macy even met with F. B. I.. Profiles hoping they can help focus the search. So what were they telling you. As far as who the profile of who this would have been somebody between the ages of twenty two and and thirty probably on the lower end end of that age. who was from around the area of where the dumpsite was where where he left leash and also the card shop but the FBI profile didn't get them any closer to Lisa's killer in an investigation? You usually start out getting this much information and eventually it starts to go like this and you come to the point where you actually have person involved. This investigation kept going like this. It's getting bigger. We're getting bigger and bigger and sending us in different directions and every one of those directions have to be followed up whether they wanted to or not detective detective. macy and his team found themselves tangled up in bad breakup and ugly. Divorces has numerous women called tips pointing to their husbands and boyfriends as. Lisa's aces killer. Some of them had ulterior motives whether their husband had beat them abused or the the ex boyfriend had gone with another another girl like revenge reporting right and we actually had the kind of determination here is to what we're dealing with case in point the call that came in from an attorney across the country in Seattle. He stated that both he and his private investigator had come across some things that they thought might be of interest to us. Kevin Healey was that attorney. He was calling on behalf of his client Joyce Shera who confided in him her darkest fears about her estranged husband and Gary. She thought he was involved in a murder. Lisa's murder the couple lived in Massachusetts when Lisa was killed one town over from Agam and despite having no connection to her or Zieger family anytime any news came out. She said that he would be glued to the television. He needed to know every single little detail about the murder and the progress of the case catching the murderer joyce and her husband were going through a nasty divorce fighting eating over custody of their young son and he knew full well the links spouses sometimes go to gain the upper hand. But he says it was different with Joyce Everybody makes allegations but she had a visceral response that was so pained. It was clear there was. There's something more to it. It wasn't like she was just pulling something out of the news to use it as amunition in the custody battle it was real for her. That's why he felt compelled to reach out to the police department. This is the first time you're hearing about this man right detective. macy wanted to speak with Gary Shera. He didn't wait long because the same day. Healy called Soda. Gary he calls were stationed in wants to know if he is in fact suspect eager to clear his name. Gary said he'd come by the next day to meet with macy but instead macy heard from another lawyer this time it was Gary's divorce attorney. Ernie she said Gerry wouldn't be talking to police because the accusations against him were a setup concocted by his estranged wife and you had seen a bunch so those before with all these girlfriends you talked about calling in saying their boyfriend had done this or that at some point the credibility the other witness comes into question that credibility took another hit after detectives spoke with Gary's friends who described the Demons Joyce was struggling with. She was an alcoholic. She was depressed. Sunny things entered into this. So where does this lead go. Then at this point at this point we take it as far as we can and barring anything else coming in. We don't have enough to get a search warrant or a subpoena to Gary in and have him give us his DNA show it kind of goes on the back burner. Another name another accusation with no direct evidence. Implicating him in the murder murder and so it was filed away among the boxes of expanding case files and the detectives moved onto other leads in the fall of nineteen ninety-three three a year and a half after Lisa's murder the investigation got a national boost when the TV show unsolved mysteries aired a segment devoted to the case ace Massachusetts near the Western Connecticut. Border is a small town. Did the show give you hope it did. It has such a wide reach and it was popular. Show we'RE ECSTATIC ATTIC when they agreed to do the show. We picked it up because it was the family who was affected. The town that was affected. I mean the more we looked into it. It became a crime against the tail now. The show generated hundreds of tips many again pointing to add Borghetti. Were you aware that after unsolved mysteries air. That more more tips were called in about you again. I was aware that in again frustration of their spending. All that time. Answering the fallen about me when you just wanted to get tips on somebody else like move on. But for some reason it just wouldn't I don't know why automatically the show to provide the breakthrough. Investigators were hoping for at this point. We're getting used to let down. We just gotTa keep going and it moving ahead with any and all information that that's coming in wall. Investigators kept searching kept following leads billing more boxes. This Lisa's family kept hope and her memory alive. We want people to know that we will not forget we will not give up. Someone knows something and we hope that they will find the courage to come forward coming up a new face on the case even after ten years. Did you keep getting new tips. And all the time tips were coming in and later a message passage from the killer himself. Your John must have dropped to see the lease when dateline continues. Hey Guys Willie geist here here this week on the Sunday. Sit down. PODCAST I get together with Ed Harris to talk about his prolific career from the right stuff to westworld and now to to kill a mockingbird on Broadway. Get our conversation now for free. Wherever you download podcasts? Uh Lease Zieger. A budding artist had been murdered order. Nothing at the time was going to be more important than niche particular homicide. Some small town thought they knew who killed her and why motives were thrown thrown out late jealousy. Some kind of love triangle. ORB still no arrest. We just gotTa keep going keep moving ahead now. Many years after the murder new detectives were taking over the case. The answer is in these files who's just going to be a matter of time. They're about to try an amazing. DNA tool that can paint a picture of a suspect certain characteristics like hair colour and I call her skin tone. A suspect would left behind a charming clue. And and something else you read the letters just do that. This was the guy here again. Is Andrea Canada. In the years moved slowly for Zieger family each anniversary of leases murder marked by a vigil with no arrest chronicled by NBC C. Affiliate W. W. l. p.. They come every year to sing to pray yes. It was six years ago today. That native Lisa Zieger disappeared appeared. Eager to murder is an act of one. Despite the passage of nine years the zegers found touching ways to mark the milestones. Lisa should have been the maid of honor at Linz Wedding. My husband and I went to the cemetery brought her a bouquet that she would have carried. That is a really nice way to include her in your wedding thing. Yeah they all had an actual K.. For Leisa the family raised. Money for scholarships and Lisa's name and help dedicate memorials to her. There's memories and reminders of Lisa everywhere. She still makes a difference at every vigil. Every press conference every event there was leases mom standing front and center the face of a determined family. We want people to remember Lisa for what she was and also to remind people. This is an unsolved case. No one has led the charge more than you to insuring that it stayed active and that people cared and people were paying attention. This is a real mother's love right here. I never refused an interview. I never refused refused working on something so that if they saw me then they saw Lisa they remembered about Lisa. I think it was helpful in in keeping Lisa story relevant a kept it very real to everyone for a number of years. We did Memorial Golf Tournament and we raise Bunny for scholarships for Kizza Highschool. But Lisa's brother. David says at times family paid an emotional price for their efforts it. It became some kind of mental drain for my family because all it reminded us is another years gone by and we still have no no answer. She's got no justice so it just became too much and we stopped at. Lisa's unsolved murder. Also weighed heavily on detective. Wayne macy who who with the passage of time had grown close to Lisa's parents. Deion George Ziegler Te. This family that started off strangers really became like family to first first day shooting under steps from that day on. I have so much respect for both Georgian de mainly because I don't know how does you And Lisa herself held a special place in his heart. I never met Lucia but I know her. I know picture because in my mind and I am. I visited the grave quite often during the investigation. Just talking to her letting her know Brad given up but after a decade of investigating Mesa had still not been able to solve the case. Did this case haunt you did there were eight murders in Guam that I remember and we seven arrests and seven convictions. Leashes leashes with only one that was on stalled. macy had worked tirelessly to find. Lisa's killer. Investigators had crossed oceans. Running down leads. They had built a massive case file filled with names of potential suspects names of people who had been cleared names of people who had refused to submit the DNA samples all those boxes and file cabinets. Proof that the case never went cold it was never far. From all of our thoughts on the forefront really because even though you have a larceny or a bank robbery or whatever other crime you're going after leashes the number one case. The effort wasn't lost on Lisa's family. I think that you do feeling well. They can only give resources to for so long. It's not their fault that There is nothing there to find so I think it was always astounding. Yeah they comfort. Every time that they would remind us that this will never be a cold-case cold-case but despite macy's best efforts he would never see an arrest on his watch. You retired in two thousand and three with this case unsolved. That's a bitter pill to swallow as you walk out the door that police station for the last time I had thought about that And in thinking about not retiring but I truly add enough. Sometimes you have to know when to pass on the torch and and to give it to somebody else switch them fresh energy new ideas. Just give it to them and let them fly would that somebody was sergeant mark bow. You Work uh-huh patrolman on this case from day one and now fast forward ten years you're in charge of the whole case that's correct. We may see retires. I get promoted. And then when he leaves the detective bureau the the cases assigned to me so much to do so much to do so much to do with regards to where where the case stands thou- faced an enormous task of combing through file cabinets and boxes filled with evidence and leads reading every every note and document that was gathered throughout the years elite. A tip of phone call would come in in the investigators we'd take it and they start defile and that individual and they'd worked at file as far as they could take it at that time so even after ten years did. Did you keep getting new tips then. All the time tips were coming in kept get hitting dead ends hidden did it. But then you pick up another file and you and you run with that. How frustrating was that hitting getting so many walls? It was very frustrating. Because you you saw. The time and effort of the previous investigates in your team are working hard and you kept the faith that it was that the answer was in these files and it was just going to be a matter of time time it turns out was was on their side. Another decade passed but then a groundbreaking tool and DNA analysis emerged and investigators were about to take a giant giant leap toward identifying leases killer coming up a picture of a killer drawn by DNA for the first time we had a face to put with the boogeyman. Who League to what do you think when you see that sketch it was two thousand fifteen anthony? Gloomy was the newly elected district attorney for Hampton County. Gloomy may have been new to the job that he was no stranger to the Zieger case. How old were you when the spider happened? I was twelve years old and I grew up in an adjacent place. You remember the case. I do as a lifelong resident of Western Massachusetts. The looney understood what was at stake that I now how have inherited this investigation and have an opportunity and a responsibility to investigate this case and make my best efforts. In my team's best efforts to bring justice for Lisa and her family was a remarkable realization at the time gloomy also realized the asset he had a detective FAO detective -tective foul had more experienced. Certainly with this case in had institutional historical perspective on the case that very few had at the time gloomy decided their best chance to crack the case would be to match foul with an investigator who could bring with them a new perspective and the latest investigative tools rules enter state trooper noah. Pack your the newest member to this investigative team. What did you think about the case? I thought it. It was a massive law enforcement project that had gone over twenty five years hundreds if not thousands of reports hundreds if not thousands of witness statements. Hundreds of DNA samples have been taken dozens of law enforcement. Investigators had worked on it quite frankly. It was overwhelming. What are you seeing with your fresh eyes? I'm seeing a lot of names. Names coming out of files names of people who've come and it becomes a task of trying to figure out whether or not we've looked into these people if if they've been eliminated and whether they should be looked into in greater detail. Foul unpack got to work. Seamlessly combining their different skill sets and years of experience experienced to focus on finding. Lisa's killer. I love the dynamic. Two of the young guy gets paired with. Please forgive me. That's okay the the old guy and you guys come together and have an have both have unique approaches to this that complement each other perfectly. It really did it really really did. And it's it's It was a friendship that was formed as well. I mean there's a partnership with a true friendship that was formed in a lot of respect to the young kid in a Lotta respect coming back to the old guy and he did get called my dad. I know we can't along with a fresh approach to the investigation came a new take on how to approach the DNA The da decided to try something called pheno typing so DNA. Phenol don't typing is essentially reverse engineering. DNA It doesn't tell you who the killer is but it can tell you what the killer looks like correct certain characteristics like care caller and I call her and skin tone including ethnic background gloomy had the DNA from the crime scene analyzed by Para Bond labs the leaders in DNA pheno typing technology but with a nearly twenty five year old sample. There was no guarantee the process would work. If it did parabak would be able to create the composite. Sketch of what. The person with that DNA might look like the authorities. Hope they or someone would recognize the sketch warrant it Tokyo year and a half but PABON was able to complete its report. Thank you all for coming. Thank in Particular Ziegler family. Who here there is all of at this kind of intrigue? We have a big announcement regarding the Lisa Zeqir as so. We're all in pens and needles. Today I am releasing the Snapshot Composite Sketches as as developed by paramount to the public to composite sketches were generated one of the person at age twenty five and the second of what he may look like two today. These facial images represent a new and significant development in this investigation. Could these sketches help. Ide- Lisa's killer when they released that sketch sketch. Perhaps because I didn't understand the science behind I will confess. I kind of rolled my eyes like that guy. Looks like lots of people I I was expecting being more from this big announcement. What do you think when you see that sketch disappointment that I didn't know who it was by looking at it watching movies and TV shows? You think that you're going to see this this profile picture and you're GonNa say I know that guy and then I looked at the picture and I know I got nothing. He doesn't look like anybody that I can. I can recall all. So that was a little deflating thing after being so anxious to see what this picture look like but David says the sketches still made a huge impression impression on the family for the first time we had a face to put with kind of nebulous the boogeyman. You know for lack of a better term. This kind of mystery person who done such a horrible thing on the disappeared into the mist. What were the physical characteristics and traits coming from this profile Brown hair brown is fair skin and European ancestry and that effectively statistically eliminated people who didn't meet that criteria so that's a helpful tool very the authorities like Z.? Gertz weren't able to match the sketches to any single individual but plenty of people around town felt they. Could we got somewhere or to the tune of one hundred and seventy tips that came in after the initial press release related to pair on did Edmore. God's name get called again on a tip anything different from before nope just basically to say the same stories that would just would never go away with regards to his involvement in in the case but soon after taking office Diego Looney finally dismissed those stories. There were suggestions that Ed had will make relationships with people roundly roundly so he says boyfriend that was something that was explored and found to be totally false false as well. Where those rumors linking his truck to the suspicious vehicle? Seen that night there was concrete forensic evidence against that theory of the case Ettore Gotti accused and hounded right burr to and a half decades had nothing to do with. Lisa's death. Did you tell at Burgundy this no and law enforcement when does not make statements eliminating suspects prior to the case being resolved but investigators felt they were now one step closer to that resolution armed with an Nigeria of what leases killer might look like they went back to those file cabinets started by macy and his team and took a long look at all those names. They called the name down to only those men who matched the paragon profile but had refused to submit a DNA sample one. Where do you go from there because these these individuals had refused to provide their DNA voluntarily? We were essentially going to go to the court threw a grand jury proceedings to essentially compel them to provide their DNA sample apple. The grand jury voted to order the meant to provide their DNA. Eleven men were in the first batch. Trooper packed began knocking on doors. I serving the papers. Some of the men were more familiar to investigators than others including one made quite an impression over the years coming reason for not providing a DNA sample. He stated fitness afraid of cloning. That's got to be a new one. I for you. There was a first and last when dateline continues it was August. Two thousand seventeen a grand jury decided sided eleven men who fit the paragon profile should turn over their DNA to investigators. One of the eleven was Gary Shera Trooper. Pack went to was home. Shera wasn't there so pack asked his roommate to deliver a message. We have some important paperwork that we need to serve him. Here's my card. Please have them call me as soon as possible possible. No one had matched Shira's face to the sketch but sure his name wasn't new to detectives remember. Police looked into them in nineteen ninety three three months after Lisa was murdered Gary shares name. I was reported to the AGW on police department. By an attorney who is representing Gary's soon to the ex wife. Her name was Joyce Sheriff and she suspected that her husband murdered. There were a number of concerns that she had represented to her attorney that then got relayed back to us about his potential connection to this case one of her concerns was that he had an unusual interest in the case any time the news was on the body was found in his story. Came on officials. Say they've got several leads and are hopeful for break. In this case he would come running in from the the other room to see what was being said on. TV back then. He wouldn't talk to police and detectives were told. Joyce wasn't credible. They also received lots of similar calls. You had a lot of ex wives. Girlfriends seeking almost like revenge. Exact on their partners ex partners so the tip from Joyce's attorney went into the massive file along with all the others it went on like that for years. Investigators methodically following up on hundreds. It's of persons of interest. It wasn't until two thousand to ten years after Lisa's murder that sergeant FAO followed up on that tip and called Gary Shera in for an interview. What happens he's willing to talk this time in two thousand and two he's willing to talk We we we did a short interview with them with the hopes again. sample from him and he was cordial. He was polite. The detective brought up. Lisa's murder. Shera was bank. He danced around it in a sense. Like I think I remember that I think I remember reading about it in the paper and when the detective ask for DNA Sheera refused. What's what's your gut telling you that he's not willing to give up his DNA was well? It was it was odd but yet it wasn't because it's it's your constitutional right. Did that to give it and numerous people through the years refuse to give it now. His reasoning was odd. He stated he was inch afraid of cloning. That's got to be a new one. I for you. There was a first and last that made an impression on the detective but Shera had no no criminal record. No connection to Lisa. And there was no evidence linking him to her murder so Shera remained in their file and investigators again moved John Six years later in two thousand eight detective spoke to him again. The list is getting smaller and names are coming Back Cup again and Gary shares name comes back up become so let's let's try to get them back in again. Do you do the interview this time. I talked to him out in the lobby but I do not conduct the interview and and As we walked in he says I got no problem sitting and talking to people. But I'm not giving my DNA. And I was like that's fine. We just wanted to go over a few things with you. And in Put Him in the interview room to other investigators to interview this time it was reported. Investigators kept it friendly low. Oh cute hoping he changed his mind about the DNA. Sarah appeared relaxed even friendly. He was a very personable guy. Did you know that kind of instinct. Interesting articles out with newspapers you headlines Jeans anything like that. I saw. Aw while Sheriff said nothing about Lisa. He said plenty about his ex-wife. The Sheriff told them about his relationship with his wife her drinking problem and their acrimonious divorce and custody battle. was that just kind of a normal thing. I guess somebody venting about yeah. He was the ex husband. So He's not gonNA talk favourably with regards to the ex wife. The first time is your sense worries. How how would you say that? I really don't know that's shoot outs quarterbacks turning on courts as persons of interest in Anything jump out at you. He was afraid of the DNA. He would not touch anything. He kept his hands to himself. I mean to the point where he wouldn't even lean in you know it have any part of his poor sel touching the table except a drink of water. Though drinks the investigators instigators and came back with three bottles or water. You know I think that the hopes of if they started drinking he started drinking. I mean he pushed the Waterside. He just left it where the investigators you just put it on the table. Nine years after that interview trooper pack was standing outside. Shehri's door delivering the message to his roommate. Pack a cab no idea if sheriff would turn out to be. Lisa's killer or just another dead end coming up. A suspected expected killer. Friends never suspected just a regular everyday person and a musical clue. He had claimed that he had you purchased it in that shop. Hey It's Chris as you know sometimes it's good to just take a step back from from the day to day onslaught of news and take our broader. Look at the issues. That's what I'm doing each week. podcast why is this happening exploring topics ranging from school segregation to climate change. Well the way that I think of it is climate change will be to the twentieth century. What Madera West the nineteenth century? It'll be the central subject of questions about economic justice. Everything everything you care about in the world will be affected by climate and digging deep with guests uniquely qualified to analyze issues from mass incarceration to race relations. As you know for the first time in our history mystery at the national level whites are on the verge of losing their majority status in twenty years and I think it's no coincidence that our politics are getting more tribal. Join me for wisest is happening. New episodes every Tuesday wherever you get your podcasts After all these years investigators hope that Gary Shera would be forced to turn over his DNA. If it turned out that Shera really was the killer. He'd done a great job of hiding it. By all accounts scary lived in unremarkable life. He kept to himself. He worked a low profile job. He lived in a low profile location side from the months he was in Seattle. Shera lived most of his life near Agawam. He was shuttle car driver for rental car company. But in the past he'd also worked in bars and restaurants just a regular guy just a regular everyday person. Shero worked in Joe Stevens restaurant in the late nineties nineties after Lisa's murder. Joe New Sheriff's father. That's how we first met him. His Dad who's executive for a local company. Said I have but son. He says he's looking for a job. We'll set a by just a great handsome young man Very outgoing share also also had rave reviews from another restaurant so joe hired him. He was one of our dining manages for about two and a half years he was with us. Share got on well with with his customers. They enjoy them. It was very personable to everyone. Good conversationalist could talk big into sports. Love this sports and you know he could. He could converse with almost anyone not only did his customers take to him. Stevens daughters did to while they would play together. You know Gary would chase them around the dining room and there'd be giggling pick them up throw them up in the year but remember. There was a very different side to Gary Sharah. Tara if you believe his ex wife Gerry was a monster. Not only did she tell her attorney. She thought Gary Killed Lisa. She also told her siblings suggestion. Janice McDonald Janna says Joyce called her. The morning after Lisa disappeared and she told me Gary got home really late and he. You seemed really amped up. Any couldn't give her a definite answer where he was he kept saying Or just out. I was just out her her instincts were I think he was up to sell something. No good. She's convinced that he had something to do with the disappearance. I remember her. Anna tells me that night that he came home super duper late and they'll night is really kind of wild. I guess she knew that he was absent at approximately the time. That the murders happen. Joyce's attorney Kevin he'll eat. She knew that he came back with unexplainable cuts on his hands. Right after what turned out to be that the death of Lisa so again over a couple of weeks two or three weeks at all started coming together of maybe there actually is a link and there was more Jewish shared her suspicions about a gift she received from her husband a music box. She said he told her. It came from from Britney's gift shop was a little care. Sell Music box with a blue horse and Joyce love trinkets but she said that was the only trink at that. She never liked because she felt like it had something to do with Lisa's disappearance that stood out to her. He had claimed that he had purchased interested in that shop. Before the actual murder of Lisa and healing says Gary described the woman who sold them the music box. Well he he told Joyce as she told me that it was a little old lady grey haired which apparently doesn't fit an employee that was there. Were you able able to confirm that. It came from Britney's car shop. We were never able to confirm that. Definitively we wound up interviewing an employee who had worked at Brittany's card shop around the same time she she did say that this was consistent with the type of music box. That was sold at Brittany's at that time. So was that shares connection to Lisa. The detectives didn't know but even if it was is it wasn't enough if there were going to prove Gary Shera was Lisa's killer. They needed his DNA trooper. Pack who went to share his home to deliver court papers was waiting for him to call. Does he call now. The next thing that happened with Gary Shera was we had a surprise. visit at a state police barracks axeing Westfield coming up a special delivery. What are you thinking? I took a deep breath and my mind began racing and a suspected killer on the run. He just knew that this was the guy. Who's just that feeling? And you'd good when dateline continues Gary Sharon never never called Trooper Noah pack after the detective visited his home but what happened next was straight out of a cop show. Shares girlfriend showed up at the State Trooper Barracks Eric's the very next evening. She had a stunning story to tell them. She told us that she left early. In the morning to go to work. He was expected to leave after her to go to work. And when she she came home at the end of the day his personal belongings which he normally would have taken with him. We're on the counter. And she found the letters left behind for her. Those letters left detectives reeling and and crack the case wide open. There were three separate letters. One of them was essentially a confession. Letter the confession with staggering auguring. It said I abducted raped and murdered a young woman. Approximately twenty five years ago. I had no intention of killing her when I grabbed her butt. Events Spun Spun Out of my control. I have never regretted anything so much. Were you shocked by this. Yes we knew that we were going to solve this case with DNA match which we didn't expect to solve this case by Somebody Writing Confession Letters Shera outed. I hated what happened. I despised myself. I thought of turning myself in in hundreds of times over the years but I truly am a coward. Another letter was a last will and testament. He also left a apology. Letter for the Zieger family. It was short. I can never apologize enough for taking your daughter and siblings from you. He said I have regretted it and hated myself every day. A sense you read the letters he just do that. This was the guy it was just that feeling. And you've got you've been chasing an unknown attacker for decades for twenty five years and here we are with the state police in the state police barracks would these notes in front of us. It was a surreal feeling. was there one thing that stuck out from those notes. Aside from the obvious which is a confession violence he wrote in his note that he had been fascinated by certain types of violence For his entire life that stood out to us as being very unique. Doc I've never really been or even felt normal. He wrote from a very young age. I was fascinated by abduction and bondage could never keep it too far from my mind for long on that fateful day I let myself do something terrible. Did he say why now why Lisa the notes didn't say why he had chosen. Lisa has a victim. There was some indication that she was chosen. Perhaps to fulfill one of his fantasies that he hid clearly struggled with. Your must have dropped to say the lease I. I was at home and I received a phone call on my cellphone. What are you thinking? I gasped I I took a big deep breath and my my mind began racing. Then he received the letters on his cell phone. I got very emotional very excited and very hopeful that this was the moment that was gonna take this case in a different direction. Dozens of investigators had worked thousands of hours in sleepless nights. On this case after twenty five years we finally you know who did it and we just had to go out and get him. It was a race against time because in his confession letter Shera also wrote that he knew detectives were closing in on him. The state police were out the house with some important papers for me that will be a warrant to take DNA and that will send me away for life today. It will all end and I'll either take my own life. We're faced the music as it were. We'd find him for two reasons. The first is now. He's fleeing murder suspect and the second in his he was thinking about harming himself so we had to find him before he was able to end his own life as well so We started paying his phone and investigators located him down in Connecticut. It was almost ten at night four hours after reading those letters when police found shares car in a hospital parking lot they. I saw a suicide note on the dashboard of the empty car. The note read to whomever finds my body. I apologize for any psychological trauma incurred. You'd call mass state police thank you. It was an ominous. NOPE did it mean there would be no justice for Lisa coming up a race was on to catch a suspected killer before it was too late. Did someone find him in time and a long road owed finally reaches an end for a family and a detective picked up and put a car. Just shed Ed Don rushton pitch Police found Gary Sheriff's car in a hospital. A parking lot inside the car was a suicide note. There was nobody but investigators soon found Shera. He was in the emergency room he. He took a large quantity of over the counter pills. Did someone find him in time. He actually drove to the hospital in part. This car walked into the emergency room. Basically should we check in himself in while Shera was recovering in the hospital. Detective searches home even with that confession. They still needed his. DNA approval. Movie was Lisa's killer. They took his toothbrush and had it tested. The result came back the next day the lab representatives worked around the clock. Did you have your match Sean match when I got that call was unbelievable. It was Gary Sheriff's DNA at the Crime Scene The DA and his team delivered the news to D and George secret and their family. There was about six of them that came in to our kitchen. Did you faint. It is sat there like this and I went really. It spent twenty five and a half years it. It's Kinda like you're stunned. Stunned stunned is is the word and they're waiting for jump up and down. We're going the shoe good to be true. Exactly it's like after all this time it's really gonNA happen. I grew up in tyler vague. One diseases represent egg one and so to be able to say to them that we found on them. It was powerful September. Eighteenth two thousand seventeen. Da Gloomy made the announcement today. I am informing warming the public that the search for lease assailant is over. An arrest warrant was issued for Gerry e Shara in the twenty five year. Long search for answers is over. You know we. We waited for this day for a long time but it came. Did anyone at the press conference. No the name Gary Shera now our friend Gary did you do it. Kelly's a bigger thirds alleged. You did commit murder and aggravated rape and kidnapping now. He was behind bars. But despite the rock solid evidence against him his confession his DNA Gerry. Shera pleaded not guilty. The detectives had to get ready for a trial. After gregarious shares arrest. We had to essentially work the case backwards that meant travelling to the west coast where the sheriff had lived briefly after the murder. Were trying to create create. A picture of WHO GARY is and who Gary was before he was arrested. The detectives reviewed thousands of pages of court documents from the shares divorce Jason Custody case and discovered a remarkable statement from Joyce. She wrote Gary claim that he could only have sex with me if he was controlling was wearing his batman costume and held a knife to my throat. Gary has proven himself to be vicious and Mercilus an often sadistic at the time Shera denied it but decades later the similarity to Lisa's brutal death was eerie knife. Related Sexual violence was emerging as the theme in Gary Shares Relationships with women. Yeah and he had written twenty five years later. From a very young age I was fascinated by abduction an bondage. It's very possible that this was an expression of Gary's deviant fantasies that he wrote about in that letter as has Gary Shera languished in jail. Both sides got deep into trial. Perhaps but then a bombshell solloway where that you will truly the answer to the question the court of us. Hope you thank you. September two thousand nineteen almost two years to the day after Gary Shera pleaded not guilty. See to Lisa's murder. He was back in court this time acknowledging the mountain of evidence against him. Tell me in your home wars. Why we're we're here we're here to make changes to make a change of plea guilty? I understand yes. It was huge. Gary Shera was changing his plea to guilty. The zieger family was there to watch him do it as the proceedings began Deon Lynn. We're nervous us. There is a lot of anxiousness around the fact that until he actually said the words he can change his mind any moment. That was his right to do that. Finally they heard the words. They longed for sewer player pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree of Lisa's eager at correct that correct twenty seven years after Lisa vanished after de got the awful news on her front porch twenty seven years after the Adua Police Force got the case. Her family finally got justice. It was really good to hear him. Say the words that we we know that we've put him into jail for the rest of his life without chance for parole. Yeah it's like you're done you're done but one question lingered Shera never explained why he targeted Lisa. And I think we'd all like to know more about what happened in the store. Why Gary when in the store and why Lisa was chosen we can speculate? That is to what he went in there with the intentions of doing. But what matters. Is that the outcome resulted in. Lisa's death and it was a very violent crime. The estranged wife Gary Sheriff kind of the hero in this Gary's ex wife is definitely an unsung hero in this case if she had not made the initial show report to her attorneys with her concerns back in the early nineties. He might not have come up any other way. Sadly Joyce wasn't there she died in two thousand fourteen. My sister knew all along. You know she was unfairly painted as just you know personal struggles foles. That was just trying to blame as you heard her spirit. You were the twelve year old boy who followed this case and now more than two decades later near the district attorney who helps solve the case. Surreal just an incredibly gratifying moment. As I realize that this this was coming coming to an end and a very gratifying process To bring justice to the family there was one more ordeal for not that day after all the years of speaking out thanking law enforcement and rallying the community it was her turn to talk publicly in court about in her private pain. She is gone. I'll never hold her. Todd was her lacquer or shall important important stations would never guessed better we just. Can't we better. When does not get over the bridge leases friends were in court that day to Kim Murray? Do you still think about this all the time I do all the time now. I talked to her when I'm in the car going somewhere. Do you say to her. Or if I'm having a bad day you know. Just just talked her like she was there. You know she's with you with any of us. I think I really believe he was also there. What would you say to Lisa's family for standing by you when not everyone did and the rumors got really bad? It's a thank you and I just don't even know how much I appreciate them then. I can't to say when it was all over. Detective Wayne Macy who caught the case. The Day Lisa went missing man tried. It's so hard to push it over. The finish line. Had some business to take care of. I he went to the Zieger at home and we hugged him. We cry and we just talked about how great this was that had happened and that the guy was finally caught and I went to stop and shop picked up arose. Put it in a little wrapping and put a card on it. You just said Mesa. It's done Rushton fish and I put stone and it was done. The young woman with the cornflower blue is the dancer. The artist the teacher Lisa Zieger full of fun and laughter at peace. At at last I suppose I want people not to think of the horrible thing that happened to her. I want them to think of her is smiling smiling down on all of us and giving the joy that she shared when she was here. So that's what I want And that's all for this edition of Dateline. We'll see you again next Friday at nine eight central at of course I'll see you each each weeknight for NBC nightly news. I'm Lester Holt for all of us at NBC News. Good night the meet the press. Chuck Todd Cast. It's an insider's take on politics twenty twenty election and more candid conversations Sion's with some of my favorite reporters about things. We usually discuss off camera. Listen for free wherever you get your podcast.