Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Biloxi Confidential

Discovery

When Vince and Margaret hadn't been seen or heard from in a few days, those closest to them began to wonder. He had a busy day on the bench and a full docket looming before him. He was known to show up late at times, but never to fail to show entirely without giving some type of advance notice. Halat and an associate, Chuck Leger, decided to investigate for themselves. The scene that greeted them at 203 Hickory Hill Circle was a gruesome one.

The Sherry Home
The Sherry Home

After noting that both Vince's and Margaret's cars were in the driveway and that the dogs were barking inside the house, Halat decided to enter through the unlocked front door. According to Humes' account, Halat told Lynne Sposito, the Sherrys' oldest daughter, "I walked a little into the house, and I saw your dad's feet. I didn't want to see any more. I didn't want to go in any further. I didn't want to find your mom."

Halat called the police and they responded immediately. By 11:00 a.m. September 16, 1987, the normally quiet residential neighborhood was swarming with police and investigators. Shell casings were found and gathered up as evidence. The murder scene was roped off and investigators searched for further clues. Neighbors were questioned and one of them, Brett Robertson, claimed he saw a yellow Ford pull up in front of the Sherrys' house around 7 p.m., but he was unable to give a detailed description of the driver. Initially the police had little to go on, other than descriptions of the murder weapon and a getaway car, both of which were too general and generic to point to anything conclusive.

It didn't take investigators long to conclude that the twin murders had been a planned hit. Robbery did not appear to have been a motive. Vince's still-full wallet was found on his body and Margaret's purse containing $42 and change, plus credit cards, was undisturbed. Nothing of value was missing from inside the home, and there were no signs of theft.

In addition to the shell casings, small pieces of foam were also found scattered around the area from which the shots had been fired. Authorities correctly surmised that the foam came from a silencer attached to the barrel of the gun, which explained why no one in the neighborhood reported hearing any shots fired.

Investigators began piecing together other clues. Whoever did it, they theorized, must have known the Sherrys and their plans. The murders, coming just before the Sherrys were scheduled to leave for Baton Rouge, suggested that the killer had known they were going away and wouldn't be missed for a few days, thus allowing the killer more time to make a clean getaway. Also, whoever had done it would have needed to get past the family dogs, who were known to be hostile to strangers. This pointed towards someone who was a frequent guest in the Sherrys' house and known to the dogs. This suspicion was underlined by the energy with which the two dachshunds had harassed the police officers who came out to investigate the murders.

But who did it? This was the big question with which investigators were left, and none of the clues led to any one specific individual. Developing a list of those who might have done it was their next task to tackle.

 

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