A small town has no clue as to why a beloved school teacher was murdered.
Agawam, Massachusetts, is a small town near the western Connecticut border. At the Agawam Middle School is a memorial to one of the town’s most beloved teachers, Lisa Ziegert, whose untimely death changed Agawam forever. Lisa had grown up in Agawam. After college, she returned home to teach special needs students at the middle school. Dee Ziegert, Lisa’s mother, remembers her daughter as outgoing and fun:
The afternoon of Wednesday April 15, 1992, was typical for Lisa. She left school around 4:30 and drove directly to a card and gift shop where she worked weekdays from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. At 5:30, Lisa’s sister Lynne dropped by:
At 8:45 the next morning, Sophia Maynard arrived, as usual, to open up the store. She was surprised to see Lisa’s car parked out front:
Police found signs of a struggle in the back storeroom and a few scattered traces of blood. Otherwise, there was no physical evidence at the card shop. That very day, the FBI and Massachusetts State Police launched a massive search for Lisa Ziegert. Dee Ziegert kept reassuring herself that her daughter was safe:
On Easter Sunday, four days after Lisa disappeared, her body was found in a wooded area on the edge of town. According to Captain Robert Campbell of the Agawam Police Department, Lisa had multiple stab wounds around her shoulders and throat:
The outpouring of love and shared grief was overwhelming. At Lisa’s wake, more than a thousand people stood for five hours in the rain to pay her tribute. As Agawam mourned, the authorities pressed their investigation. According to Captain Campbell, three critical phone tips came in that helped establish a time frame:
The third tip came from a witness who worked near the card shop. At 9:15, on the night Lisa was murdered, the woman was on her way home. This witness saw what police believe could have been the killer’s car. She also said that a man and woman seemed to be struggling in the back seat. The car pulled off the road, heading toward the area where Lisa’s body was later found. At the time, the woman thought it was just a carload of teenagers and drove on. Authorities are still looking for new evidence that might lead to the arrest of Lisa Ziegert’s killer, or killers. The vehicle seen by the witness was a late model, full-sized bronco or blazer, either dark red or dark blue.
UPDATE: In 2016, a composite image of a possible suspect was released based on DNA phenotyping. That composite was a contributing factor to authorities putting Gary E. Schara on their short list of suspects. Schara, who had been identified as a person of interest in the case as early as 1993, was arrested and charged in connection with the murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping of Lisa Ziegert in September of 2017. Two years later, on September 25, 2019, Schara pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Robert Stack and in season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.
Paternity test with the suspect’s child would have solved this 20 years earlier.
Joe you are exactly right. the eye witness accounts are being totally ignored in this case.
This is absolutely horrific. As happy as I am that Gary has been arrested, I feel like everyone is thinking the same thing. Where is the second person or persons? The eye witness noted in The original unsolved mysteries clip noted that there was a struggle in the back seat of the bronco or blazer. Yet not once since the arrest has this been brought up in the media. My guess is Gary has taken the full blame to cover for his accomplices.i could be wrong but I think the eyewitnesses version would make sense that more then one person was involved. Gary wasn’t from Agawam, and it was also noted whoever was involved would have had to know the area to find the location she was found. To me it sounds like he acted with someone from The area. So who is the person still at large?
I’m not sure there was a second person. The DNA evidence only seems to point to one person–no second profile was found. The eyewitness who saw the vehicle with two men and a woman may have seen something unrelated–it was never proven what she saw was connected, it was just an avenue to explore.
Lisa may have been killed in the store and then her body dumped, rather than killed where she was found.
My name is Kristine. I currently run the Justice For Lisa Ziegert Campaign and Forum. The Ziegert’s are friends of mine, it pains me to read this stuff. However, I will say that it isn’t up to me or to you if any information is pertinent or relevant to the case. If you heard something, speak up more than enough outlets you could submit any info to. I have personally spoken with both the district attorney and with detective Pfau who has been hard working on this case since the start. I can promise you that they very much want to see Justice for Lisa and are doing the very best they can to ensure that Justice will be served.
I will not share any details of the case, or any information at all about the Ziegerts. I kindly ask that if you have valid information that it be passed along the proper channels. Should you feel you can’t trust specific officers, etc I can assure you that many other very qualified officers can be trusted. You can go as far as contacting the FBI. Please DON’T blast random info or he said she talk with anonymous names etc. Her family has gone through enough and shouldn’t have to sit here and read these things some of you are saying. And yes some of it disturbed me to read.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION PLEASE TELL SOMEONE IN THE FBI OR STATE POLICE OR AGAWAM PD, YOU COULD CALL THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.
I will be updating her case as often as possible ,and am in the works to begin writing her story. I just ask that you keep in mind Lisas family and friends read these comments.
and if you saw something or heard something say something
thank you ‘
JUSTICE FOR LISA
why didn’t they do a paternity test with the child of Schara and ex-wife??? The suspect would be the father. FBI needs to do better.
Justice strange how it goes from multiple dna source to single source dna I think gary will be coming forth with his acomplice after sitting a while everyone is buying then there was one blood dna at the cardshop and dna at the scene both gary eye winess accounts women in back seat of a bronco struggling with man then who was driving ev eryone is buying this then a man stalking her which was not gary my god wake up
You are absolutely right. There were three in the van and others who were involved. This will eventually take my life but I know what I saw the night of Lisa’s murder.
Seems like certain people are working awful hard to establish the narrative that it was one and only one killer.
So I guess this means Gary won’t make it to the Big E this year?
I’m Lisa’s cousin. Please if you have information say it. You can even tell me or better my lawyer and nothing will happen to you. Be human and let are family rest please.
They got him!!!!!!!
God Bless the Ziegert’s! May they finally be able to have the closure they so desperately needed and that was long overdue> Also so happy that EB can finally hold his head high and be free of speculation… ROT IN HELL Gary Schara!! R.I.P Lisa!! We have never forgotten you and will never forget this day of justice!!! <3
Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out
some additional information.
What about using a psychic, such as Tyler Henry, to help with this murder? Lisa had a face of an angel and I hope that they catch the person(s) that did this.
I agree about using a psychic…I am one myself, but the sad thing is that people will not believe in it.
All that is needed in this case are the eye witness accounts. The victim herself was the evidence. HER blood and clothes tells the truth. There will be no coverup in this.
I just saw this case on a Dateline rerun. I am so frustrated that nobody thought to do a paternity test on the dna evidence and compare it to Schara and his ex-wife’s child. Maury Povich has been doing this since 1998,
David, I am sorry to tell you that Brian Woodville is absolutely correct. I have been looking into this case (and others) for several years, and have nothing but personal grief to show for it. A colleague of mine has been the subject of numerous malicious prosecutions for merely mentioning anything about this case. These people can ruin your life, and use the court system to do it. Believe me, I have no desire to cause you or your family any disrespect, quite the contrary. I have stuck my neck out to reveal the truth, and they have tried to ruin me for it. And yes, I have names. They are scattered throughout several police departments in western Massachusetts (particularly Hampden County), and even into Worcester County. It all goes back to “Matty” Ryan, and the crooked lawyers who came out of his office when he was the longest-serving District Attorney in Massachusetts history. Sorry to say, but I don’t think anything will change soon with these “usual suspects” running the show.
Eye witness account
I agree 100%.
And yet all you people were wrong. It was one man…no police cover up, no one from Agawam….. Y’all played games and wasted this family time over lies. Sad! Glad real killer is finally behind bars and people can stop playing games!
Yes!!! The man that everyone pointed to in Agawam is owed an apology!
How awful to be accused of something so horrible with no facts. This was all speculation or flat out lies. Shame on all of you that posted your theory’s….SAD!
Hope we find out who did it,.My Dad was found Dead in spfld Mass in 1987,unsolve
John Q public
Homicide hunter Joe Lends could solve this fastH
I’ve looked through all these stories and their comments, and the comments on this sad story are by the far the most bizarre. You can tell by just looking at this woman’s picture she had a pure, beautiful spirit, you need a divorce if you are married to a rotten person that would think she deserved to die, but I feel that you are a liar or an attention-seeker. Please volunteer your time at a shelter for the homeless or an animal shelter rather than leaving nutty comments.
Eye Witness Account
The comments are not nutty. They are accounts of what I saw and heard on the night Lisa Ziegert was abducted and murdered. What is most bizarre is what actually happened to her.
I Agree With What This Person Had Said I Was Beat Up A Lot But I Had To Fight Back To Protect Myself! Then People Had Started Being So Mean To Me! But I Don’t Wana Disrespect This Woman I Feel So Guilty Right Now! But My Question Was The Why Was She Murdered?
About 3 days ago they took DNA from a neighbor of mine for this case. I hope this family will finally get some peace. I can’t imagine what they have gone through.
. All original eye witness accounts prove that there was more than one killer. Her blood and clothes worn by her killers the night she was abducted from the Walnut Street Exchange business district prove there was more than one killer. Her blue peasant skirt, white embroidered blouse, and the purple
Her clothes are the evidence.
Wow eye witness if u know all this and u know who did it I am very good friends with two cops in Chicopee who are honest caring cops who will help trust me
Stop torturing Dave and his family!! If you can post anonymously here than you can relay your info to Dave or the US Attorney’s office! Hell you can even print out a letter on the computer and mail it in. Stop toying with people’s grief and if your claims are legit, get off your behind and do something!
say it here
If anyone has honest information to say, say it here, I’ll make the unanimous tip for you, just say it, I will do it for you.
If you were an eye witness to something involving this case and DON’T come forward, you can be charged.
I can’t be charged because she was raped and murdered. I am female and cannot be charged with rape or murder. I am only an innocent person who was put in a situation that would affect me for the rest of my life. The evidence speaks the truth. The police know who murdered her because they were at the crime scene when she was abducted. As an eye witness account I am mortified that law enforcement as well as the justice department are not giving honest answers to the family Lisa Marie Ziegert.
You mean law enforcement isn’t being straight with the Ziegert family? Shocking..
Listen people, this is business as usual in Agawam. From officers that steal from the police union to pay their own bills, officers who abuse their power to officers that COVER UP for their fellow officers, the Agawam PD is corrupt to its very core.
To the Ziegert family: Maybe, just maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to compliment or defend the APD. Their conduct stands in direct conflict with your high praise of them. Murders are routinely solved without a body, the scantest evidence (a paint chip) or eyewitnesses. Here you have not one but 2 crime scenes, DNA and now an eyewitness account. Isn’t it just amazing that in 25 years, they don’t have any progress to show for it?
The only thing that amazes me is that they haven’t framed anyone for it (yet)
And yet we finally have the killer and all your crazy comments were just crazy!! No police cover up, no one from Agawam….just a young punk from Westside who is now in jail. DNA match and a confession letter. So glad you can no longer torture this family with your craziness
Release the names. “You’re scared for your family”..but then you come back with..”I’ve been told to keep my mouth shut but I can’t any longer?” Any hackers on here that can trace this “eye-witness?” IS ANYONE ELSE THINKING that the “eyewitness” is actually the killer? Or potential accomplice? Seems like a lot of self hate in his/her text..possibly from not only being a witness, but someone involved. If it’s you. Release the info. Take the plea.
I completely agree with u in this “eye witness” possibly being the killer seems like a game to this so called “eye witness” just seems off
To “Eye Witness account” I understand if you’re afraid for yourself and your family. Those are real reasons to be afraid, but the truth does need to come out.
Many years ago, I was told by someone in law-enforcement, some disgustingly horrific things were done to that young woman.
The truths need telling, to anyone and everyone that will listen, and it CAN be done anonymously.
Email every reporter, politician, law enforcement agency etc, you can think of. Email her family, friends or strangers, ask them to tell everyone THEY can think of.
As for “Text A Tip”, personally, I’ll NEVER believe it’s 100% anonymous, NEVER!
I do have a place for you to check out, even the US Government can’t track you, because it’s totally encrypted and based in Switzerland. If both the sender and receiver have it, it’s totally 100% safe, because then both sides are encrypted. https://proton mail.com Check it out.
PLEASE do the RIGHT THING, nobody deserves what she went through. Just point them in the right direction, they’ll check out EVERY lead. This case was never closed, someone that wants to help is out there still, and they believe, with the right leads, he can be found.
That photo they released today….put it next to the rumored suspect’s yearbook photo. The similarities are eerie. Even if this man was cleared 20 years ago, can’t they ask him for another DNA sample now that his connections are no longer running the police department? Just a thought. I grew up in Agawam and lived there at the time of the murder. The twin was heartbroken, and it was pretty clear the majority of the town knew who did it.
And yet he was cleared TWICE. Real killer was finally caught. Let me know when you’re ready to apologize to his face
If the people that gave all this information (whether true or not) afraid or not the Zeigert family needs closer. Use the anonymous tip line, they will never know who you are. The info that you gave Eye Witness sounds very truthful. Do the right thing. I don’t think your that scared seeing you have the option to use the tip line. Sleep well!
You say you’re an eye witness, and you’re afraid to go to ANY authority, in any way. However, you come on here and write this cryptic post and you’re not afraid anyone will track where your writing this from now? BS
Eye Witness Account
I have been to the authorities. I have talked to Lisa’s mom and contacted her brother. And if the police department had contacted everyone on that bowling list there would not be an unsolved murder. Her blood and clothes worn by the suspects is everything to me. She thought me something no one else could.
Someone knows. No doubt about that, someone knows. I’m born and raised in Feeding Hills and to this day the one name that continues to come up when Lisa is being discussed is Ed Borgatti Jr. the son of an Agawam cop
Watch and see how quickly this post/his name gets deleted. Interesting, isn’t it? The family will even defend this guy, claiming his DNA was tested 20 years ago, LOL. Is that so? And who exactly collected his DNA? Who maintained the chain of custody after it was collected? The Agawam Police? What a joke…
Do tell… How do you feel having an Agawam cop assigned to this case who was fined by the State for COVERING UP for a fellow Agawam officer’s crime? Or how about the fact the APD collected evidence with their bare hands? Or the fact that an APD cruiser was reported in the vicinity of the card shop the night she was abducted? Or the fact 2 Agawam cops refused to submit a DNA sample?
Everyone still feeling good the APD is working hard trying to solve this one?
So it came out who the killer was and it was Gary E. Schara of West Springfield, Ma. 1987 graduate of Longmeadow High School. Wanna go apologize to Ed’s face now. He gave his DNA, he was cleared. He fully cooperated with Police and yet people like you dragged his name through the mud. All of you trolls should be ashamed of yourselves.
How can you name names like that? I could throw out your name and then that would follow you around forever. not cool. On the other hand if he is innocent why not submit another DNA sample? Should be no problem right..
Wasn’t there a report the cops in town were covering it up? Well just get the name of every Agawam cop working in 1992 an go down the list. Get their DNA and test it Shouldn’t be very hard now is it? The more I think about it the more likely it is its a cop or someone related to a cop.
When the murderer and the cops investigating are one in the same – or related – you get “unsolved”
This morning they released a sketch of the suspect.
If anyone has legit information, come forward and stop helping the perps get away with this. Have some guts and do something about it.
The reason why Lisa was raped & murdered is because our society puts SO Little Importance on public school education that college educated school teachers are forced to have a 2nd, part time job just to be able to financially survive. email@example.com
Eye Witness account
Miss Ziegert was not murdered because of her second job at Brittany’s Card shop however she was abducted from that place of employment. While there are many eye witness accounts of what actually happened the night of April 15, 1992 some will not come forward with the information because of the group that is behind this horrific crime. I can only state as an eye witness account that her blue peasant skirt, her purple sweat shirt and at least a piece of her white embroidered shirt came back to the crime scene where she was abducted from. I have received many threats to keep my mouth shut but I can’t. The killers had boasted what they had done to her but I saw who was wearing the evidence- which is her blood and clothes
So it was announced earlier this week that the alleged killer was arrested based on a DNA match. Based on the eye witness information you claim to have, do you believe the police have now solved this murder? Did Gary Schara act alone in committing this heinous crime? You mentioned that a “group” of people are behind this crime. Do you still stand by your statements? Please come forward and share your information, as an arrest has now been made.
I stand by all my statements. I believe that there is more than one killer behind this murder. My eye witness account of her blood and clothes coming back to the crime scene which was where she was abducted from is all the proof I need. When I saw her blue peasant skirt it was not torn in half.
I miss her alot. She was a great teacher and friend. I hope they find who took her life. And when they do I hope they blow their head off. Rip miss ziegert.
Crime watch daily look at lisa ziegert video
Bowling alley witness
There is no justice in a murder and a slaughter.A teacher who taught special needs students does not deserve to die this way.
Turning 30: Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. There are people who know things, yes, but they don’t need their lives ruined. Some of them may have families to protect. And, even if they knew something (assuming it is something “new”), who would you suggest they go to with the information? The Agawam police? Ha! The Massachusetts State Police? Ha-ha! The Hampden County District Attorney? Ha-ha-HAAA! The FBI? Oh, pleeeeeaaase. Ever heard of Whitey Bulger? You think it’s any different in the western end of the Commonwealth?
So, instead of asking “who did this?” ask instead “who has been covering it up?”
I turned 30 today an i was six and just moving to the town of Agawam when Lisa ziegert was murdered. I always thought to myself how could a town it just seems so peaceful going off such a catastrophe this woman was supposedly loved by all let you all know something and not one of you is speaking up! Everyone stands around and point fingers at who they think it is but those who do know hide shamefully like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Maybe it’s time to make her family and her will go public again how can you let this happen to somebody in our town someone who cares for our children. I wish I knew something so I could speak up. So her family could get piece. . But in this town it’s always been who you know or who you blow sorry the family if there’s any way I could help
I would not go to the Hampden DA with any information. It is part of the local closed system of connected players. Not sure abut the local FBI office either, after the retirement of Cliff Hedges. Springfield office is a substation of the Boston Office that allowed Bulger’s career to continue. When someone said, “Hey, let’s look for the girlfriend,” they had him in months.
Get an anonymous email identity from Yahoo using a public computer at a library where you don’t have to identify yourself to use it. The post what you know here and with the US Attorney’s office. No one will know who you are and the US Attorney will be on the spot.
Send me the information. Do you think I would rest until it was brought to light? Do you think I wouldn’t go to every network, make speeches on the steps of the courthouse until justice is served? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey dave what about the Agawam cops u really trust them? Cause I happen to agree their conduct is plenty shady not just this case but whole lotta others.
I don’t know but Agawam pd has been on this and nothin has been solved don’t seem rite. Something notright. They have covered up stuff before so for anyone to trust em I wouldn’t. Ur family has to at lest consider it
Her blue peasant skirt tells the whole story. Her blood and clothes worn by her killers is all the evidence I need.She was the best teacher in the state of Massachusetts. She taught me how to name her killers.
Do what Brain Woodeville says. Message coming.
The Lisa Ziegert murder was senseless. I remember this case Unsolved Mysteries years ago. A pretty young teacher beloved and taken against her will. Raped and murdered. This case can be solved as they have DNA evidence and some witness accounts. That’s better than most crimes of this nature. Someday, there will be Justice for Lisa.
I worked as loss prevention in the TJMaxx plaza at 1:30/2:00 pm the w.spfld police came to view r video due to an attempted abduction 2 spaces out the front door. Later lps from far end of plaza reported similar incident happened in there parking lot. My time of work can be verified. Thei incident at TJ happened &is verified by police. report.After all these years please speak with me.
Another unsolved stabbing…
So you hear banging (which was probably her kicking the door) no one come out and you just leave and don’t say anything or call the police… Sounds crazy to me smh. Poor women could have been saved!
There was a piece of carpeting found at a car wash, where it looked like somebody washed off a 4-wheel drive. Car wash manager said he sees that a lot after people go “four-wheeling” and that was his first impression. News reports said the piece of carpet had “pinkish” stains, but police said there was no connection. Not sure if it was ever tested. some said the carpet looked like it came out of the back of an SUV. April is far from hunting season, so it wasn’t deer blood.
I understand they have DNA evidence, because she was raped.
Not sure if you’ll see this, but once the carwash lead was released, someone did come forward who claimed to be the person at the carwash. Police verified that there was no connection decades ago.
It dose not say if the blood was tested if it was lisa all the blood testedmaybe one drop is the killer .n blood spill no foot prints was the store found unlock ed ..to meany un awnsred question.
Can dna separate adult dna from teen or child . Didnt saythng about boyfiend or anyone of inteest was the store robed or ony her.?
Karen and Jeff are correct. The “investigators” have known from the beginning. Two brothers involved. Cops protecting them.
Ummm NOPE it was ONE male and he has been caught.
You are absolutely correct.
They know who it is—-keep googling
Yeah they should look at a certain police officer on the APD. Pitty they never will
Cases like this makes me want to rip my hair out of my head!!! It really pains me:(