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There is no motive for the murder of a Seattle realtor.
Mike and Mary Beth Emert of Redmond, Washington, had it all. They were inseparable soul mates. They were also prosperous partners in the competitive world of Seattle-area real estate. Few couples shared a bond so intimate. But on January 4, 2001, their dream life together was shattered. Mary Beth received a call from her mother that Mike had been murdered:
Mike Emert’s murder was as mysterious as it was shocking. It appeared to be carefully planned and meticulously executed. But why would anyone plot to kill an unassuming realtor with an exemplary past? Mike’s killer left behind few clues, but enough to make investigators believe he may have used a most unusual weapon.
On the day he was murdered, Mike wrote in his date book that he planned to meet a prospective homebuyer named Steven. He planned to meet him at 11:30 at a local mall. He told Mary Beth that Steven was in his 50s, carried a cane and spoke with an East Coast accent. Steven was interested in a house Mike had shown him the previous day.
At 12:30 PM, the owner of the house, Gail Garland, returned from her job to spend her lunch hour at home. She entered through the garage and was surprised to find the front door ajar. Then she heard the sound of water running upstairs. A trail of blood, still wet, led toward the bathroom. Mike Emert was dead. He had been stabbed 19 times.
Investigators believed that Steven, the supposed homebuyer, committed the brutal murder. They also think Steven chose this house because it was isolated from most other homes in the neighborhood. James H. Doyon was a Detective for the King County Sheriff’s Office at the time of Mike’s murder:
If the mysterious Steven had methodically planned Mike’s murder, it was also possible that his handicap was merely a ruse. Detective Doyon believed this would explain how a man in need of a cane was able to overpower Mike:
But if Steven was a professional hit man, who would have a motive to kill Mike Emert? Investigators considered Mike’s wife, Mary Beth, and his business rivals as possible suspects. But all were eliminated. They also checked Mike’s background to see if he had any enemies who might want him dead. But according to Detective Jon Holland, that probe also proved fruitless:
Was Mike Emert the victim of a random killing? Or was his death the result of an elaborate murder-for-hire scheme? To this day, this case remains unsolved.
Gary C. Krueger was named as a suspect in the murder of Mike Emert. Krueger was a former Seattle police officer who died in 2010.