There is no motive for the murder of a Seattle realtor.

Mike Emert

Mike’s body was dragged down the hall


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:

“The realization that he was gone started to sink in while I was still on the telephone with my mom, but still, still hoping that, you know, maybe he was alive and maybe they were wrong, you know.  Maybe it wasn’t Mike. And I think it was just shock and disbelief.”

Was this a professional hit?

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.

Mary Beth and Mike Emert

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:

“It appears that he may have reconnoitered and actually singled out this home as the best place to assault Mike. Now that suggests some sophisticated  criminal thinking going on.”

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:

“I think it’s possible that the weapon was this cane.  And the cane might have been one of these sword canes or a cane with a knife in it. So maybe the initial blitz assault to stun Mike was striking Mike with the cane from behind. The knife portion of the cane was used to kill Mike. Mike was nearly six feet tall, weighed 187 pounds. I think we have an offender here that was able  to overcome a man of Mike’s stature and then drag his body perhaps about 18 feet from one room to where he came to rest. The water in the shower was turned on, and the two faucets in the vanity sinks were found running. That, to me, speaks of an attempt to get rid of any trace evidence. Hair, fibers, things like that would be washed down the drain. He’s cleaning his hands off in the sink, cleaning the weapon off in the sink. This was probably not this individual’s first murder, or certainly not his first violent assault.”

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:

“While conducting hundreds of interviews with people, even going back 10 years ago, and a prior business that he was involved in, we have not interviewed anybody that can establish why somebody would want to have Mike Emert killed.”

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.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Brie Baker

    R.I.P. But why did the police think that Jeffery John Solo was the killer. and then Hope Solo hearing about it made her woried and she had a soccer game in china that week. She was so consernd she wanted to know where her dad was and if he was safe. And Note: Hope Solo was only 19 years young whe this happened. Can anybody explain that?


  2. Anonymous

    So, why is this case still here if it was solved?


  3. Ralph

    This story is similar to a murder in Winnipeg back in the late 80’s…Real Estate sales woman Irene Pearson killed in similar fashion & a note on the show home saying “Back in 9 minutes” …which is odd number & maybe a lead to her killer? This note & Mike being stabbed times maybe be linked…but there was also a cop that was a suspect in her murder. Drugs may have been involved in Irene’s murder…


  4. Kristie Emert

    My husband would like details and a reach our from the family as he is trying to find me


  5. Chantal

    RIP both the suspect and the victim May God bless both of u Just Remember God Forgives!


  6. polock

    That type of brutality smells of a jealous husband….hope somebody checked to see how faithful he really was…


  7. Michael

    Looks like this was solved – Gary Krueger was the murderer.


  8. carolee

    The case apparently has not been solved to the satisfaction of authorities. The person believed to have killed M. Emert (Krueger) is dead, so police cannot question him to determine motive. If Krueger was a professional hitman, as evidence suggests, who hired him? And why? These questions linger still.


  9. Anonymous

    I just watched this on tv and I just got this over wheeling feeling.. I think it was his wife… Her story was too good to be true and she even looked like she was lying…. The story she gave was too much In detail I hope u all look into this case a lil further.. For mike


  10. Dee Jay

    Gary Krueger killed 3 other guys Jim Barry, (real estate attorney) Terry Dolan (retired cop) and Mario Vaccarino (Seattle Hotel and Restaurant Employee Union President) and their murders have identical similarities.


  11. Dee Jay

    Gary Krueger killed 3 other guys Jim Barry, (real estate attorney) Terry Dolan (retired cop) and Mario Vaccarino (Seattle Hotel and Restaurant Employee Union President) and their murders have identical similarities.