The killer of a young woman escapes from jail.

Left: Richard Bare with long hair and beard, Right: Richard Bare with medium hair and mustache

Richard Bare


DOB: 7/6/64
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 145 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown, dyed blonde
Defining Characteristics: Panther tattooed on his right forearm
Remarks: $10,000 reward


Search party recovering Sherry Hart's body from the bottom of a cliff

She was found at the bottom of a cliff

In Ashe County, North Carolina, a body was discovered at the bottom of a 200-foot cliff that the locals call “The Jumping Off Place.” Police quickly identified the body as Sherry Lyall Hart, a local woman who had disappeared without a trace eleven months earlier.

Sherry was last seen alive outside a local restaurant in January 1984.   The 24-year-old divorcee was supposed to meet a date. Sherry’s daughter, April, was just six years old at the time:

“I just thought she hated me and didn’t want to come back cause she had me.   And she didn’t feel like she was responsible for me. And I just didn’t think she loved me anymore.”

Mysterious car pulling off to the side off the highway in the middle of the night

They pulled off to the side of the highway

For months afterwards, April heard rumors that her mother had run off to Florida with a lover. But now that a body had been found, investigators immediately reopened the case.   They located a witness who had seen Sherry on the night she vanished.   She was seen with two high school friends, Richard Bare and Jeffrey Burgess.

Special Agent Steven C. Cabe laid out a possible scenario that involved Sherry accepting a ride with the men:

“We interviewed many people, and as a result of those interviews we feel that we have developed a scenario as to what occurred that evening. At some point in time, this riding around led them to an area.   And during this riding around, Sherry Hart asked to make a rest stop.”

Sherry Hart smiling with a red dress on

Sherry Hart

Authorities allege that Sherry and the two men pulled off the highway about a quarter mile from the “Jumping Off Place.”   Bare, who was apparently carrying a handgun, attempted to sexually assault Sherry.   When she resisted, he forced her at gun point to the edge of the cliff then pushed her off.

Richard Bare and Jeffrey Burgess were charged with the murder of Sherry Hart. Conviction could have led straight to the gas chamber. But four months after his arrest, Bare escaped from the county jail.   Burgess was released on bail pending his friend’s recapture. Years later, the trial has yet to begin.

Gravestone that reads " Sherry Lyall Hart Feb 10 1959 - Jan 15 1984

Sherry Hart’s gravestone

Terry’s daughter, April, has said she’s had trouble moving on:

“It won’t never get behind me. I can’t take looking at her grave knowing that she’s down there.   I want her to be here with me so I can just give her a hug. And just have her in my life again.”

The FBI still includes Richard Lynn Bare on its list of “Most Wanted” fugitives.



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




  1. Ernest

    Richard Lynn Bare The Party Is Over You Can’t Run Forever You Need To Turn Yourself In Is Better This Way I know you will spend the rest of your life in prison but is better you do so You be Doing Yourself Your Family And Everyone else a Favor If You Do Trust me Is Better than Turning Yourself in then to run for the rest of your life if there are people who are hiding you they are as Guilty as you are and your putting their lives in danger for doing so they could go to jail for hiding you from police and from justice so Turn yourself in and make it easy on yourself Remember you are doing God’s work in Jesus Name Amen.


  2. Chip

    At this point I hope they never catch him. There should be a limit of how long you can be on the run. Maybe 20 years for murder. If you get away with it you get a reward and a clean record. Maybe…. $100,000 a year so $2 million. Makes me happy he screwed the justice system.


  3. David Ray Green

    I’d believe that Richard Lynn Bare’s family is helping to evade justice!!!


    • KaREY

      I agree. If the sister helped him escape jail, why wouldn’t she help hide him all of these years? Sadly most of the people who know the truths are dead or really old! . I feel like things of this nature just get forgotten about and people move on. I feel bad for the family of the victim, but also for the family he left behind and never came back to contact, such as his daughters. I am sure they would like to know of his existence… safety… whatever. I mean, since all witnesses are dead and no one can testify… it’s kind of like he would never be punished anyhow…. but the mental anguish from anyone who knew him or was born of him is horrible and he’s a horribly selfish person to take an innocent life but also screw up lives of his own young children. Why would his family protect him? What good did it do them? I am sure they had to provide him with money and such. It isn’t like he could just go get a job… how hard was it then to create a new identity and get a new social security number and such? I don’t know. I come back to this case and read a lot… and I search for him often but I don’t know enough to know who I am really looking for. Maybe he will die one day and everyone will get some closure that way??


  4. Rhodie VanArsdale

    I did a search on but they’ve a listing for a Richard Lynn bare, sr 57 in El Paso, Texas I wish I could upload screenshot I took with my phone..


    • Tammy Babcock

      I’m Sherry’s cousin and I have missed her so much. It would be a blessing for that devil to be brought to justice.


      • Milk Mccormick

        I know this dude from a kid up… I always had a Sinister feeling about him I would say his family probably does know where he’s at or they wouldn’t be so defensive but I’m guessing he may very well be on the border of Mexico going back and forth from the United States… that’s why they have been unable to catch him


      • Milk Mccormick

        I know this dude when I was a kid he used to live down below us and it was a very cowardly act that he did and his running proves he is a definite coward he is out hiding scared to death somewhere but what makes it difficult to catch him as he is maybe only border of the United States and Canada or Mexico because he was hiding out with relatives in Delaware when the FBI had him apprehended and he managed to escape….. and you can bet that bare looks at the internet all the time to see what the status on him is…..


  5. B. Walker

    I have lived in Ashe County my entire life and have heard so many stories, I was engaged to a very close family member of his for ten plus years and have seen a bunch of pictures he was in my ex’s mom and dad’s wedding a couple of years prior to this, my ex’s mom made the comment several times that he was very strange and had mean streak a mile wide. I feel for Sherry’s family she was so young and didn’t deserve what happened to her neither did her family. I hope everyone who is looking for answers her family and his get what they need I know it was hard on parts of his family who had to deal with the things done…


  6. Pete

    If that guy ever tried doing stuff in my area which is Brentwood Pa that guy would been beat by up me and my boys


  7. Charles Switzer

    To evade capture for nearly 40 years, I doubt he is anywhere near North Carolina. He seems to be skilled at what he is doing. My condolences to the deceased’s family.


  8. Greg Roten

    Lynn is my cousin , I grew up around him but even back then he had an aura about him that made it uneasy being around him. Be very careful about saying his family is hiding him!! Not all of us are like him. but be guaranteed we can be a mean bunch, but we’re mostly honest about things. Not all of us as I said are like some of the family


  9. Find follow ups

    Unsolved- why are you not commenting on some of these possible leads? This case should have any and all comments acknowledged and investigated!


  10. B gt

    My name is bradlee farmer I’m a relative of bare now 21 I just found out about this my g maw Alice Lambert just passed
    she knew all about him


  11. Matt Settle

    Few questions for Mr. Bare providing he is still alive. He has nothing to lose or to hide. Bible says the only thing to fear is fear it self. After this many years has past Mr. Robert Bare I would like meet you contact me at (336)903-7600 address is 381 Excutive Drive Wilkesboro North Carolina 28697.

    1). What prevented some of you from turning him in and collecting on reward money?

    2). If Robert Lynn Bare is still alive today what reason would he have to continue running from his past, if he has nothing to hide?



  12. Jen tucker

    If you would like to contact me it’s or you can hit me up on my Facebook at Jennifer Baltimore.


  13. Jen t

  14. Jennifer Tucker

    If you would like to contact me bare’s other daughter brandie or Larry griffem please send me a Facebook request @ Jennifer Baltimore or my email looking forward to talking to you.


  15. Matt Settle

    I notice some of you claim to know this man, question here if some of you knew him and had knowledge that he was on the run from the feds why did you not turn him and retrieve your reward?


  16. Rob Tresino

    I did some research. Apparently authorities believed a man named Richard Presnell may have been Bare, but Presnell moved shortly after and fingerprint analysis never took place.

    If you look up the name Richard Presnell in a Facebook searh, youll find one or two men from the Carolinas with private pages. If Bare is being protected by family, and limiting any social activity to avoid capture, he probably uses social media under a fake alias like Richard Presnell. The one account for Robert Presnell shares no private info, however, his facial features look as I expected an aging Bare would look and hes wearing a Carolina Panthers cap, matching the region Bare was raised. This all might be a coincidence, but worth looking into.


  17. Wade Foster

    He lives in or around San Antonio TX. Have not seen him since the late 90’s buy certain he is still there. Him back in 1990. He was a friend of my roommate. He does not deny being on the run from escaping jail. However, he never eluded to what the charge was. He goes by Bear, only name I knew him by. He has a black Panther tattoo on his fore arm. Last time I saw him, he looked exactly like the pic on the right listed in here. I notified Unsolved Mysteries years ago when I first saw this episode, but not certain if it was investigated. I do not know how to find him at this point as it’s been years. However, I know someone whom may no how to contact him, or possibly his where about. It sickens me this idiot is still free, if he committed this crime. The guy is bad news, and very dangerous. There was always something about him that bothered me when I first met him. Now I know….hope he is captured.


  18. Briana cox

    I’m related to sherry. My mom is was Amy Hart. my family and April need justice. If you have any information at all please let them know. But he will get what he deserves!


    • Anonymous

      I have told them where to find him and whom can lead them to him. Both years back and just today. No one listens. He goes by Bear, he is not trying to really hide, he brags about being in the run after escaping jail in North Carolina, though never mentioned the charge. He also had the black panther tattoo on his fore arm. He looks exactly like the picture of him to the right on this site. He was my ex-roommates friend, and lived across the courtyard from us back around 1990. The last time I saw him was 1998. I no longer know where he is or how to contact him. I did not know him well, but my ex-roommates did. I am certain he is still in San Antonio TX or the surrounding area. If you want to pick up the trail. Start with Leonard Heimann, you can reach him at Mustang Equipment off 1604 in San Antonio. He knows him by Bear as the rest of us did. Show him the pics listed on here. It will likely be difficult to get him to talk, but he will. He may not know where he is anymore, but he can give you his last where about. Though he may still be in contact. I suggest getting the word to San Antonio Police, and Bexar County Sheriffs office. My guess is, he is in and out of jail, or at least was back then. Also get that poster up all over the San Antonio area. You will find him there. But make no mistake, he is dangerous. He also seems to drift around. It’s more likely to find him through circulating fliers. I am 100 percent certain it’s him. Beyond this, I do not have anything further for you. Likewise, I would prefer to stay out of it. Unsolved Mysteries has my contact info and I have alerted them.


  19. Amy L

    I swear I know this guy from Florida wrote in probably 9 years ago now but never got a response from anyone…not even sure the guy still lives in Florida because when I started asking questions about his tattoos mysteriously him and my now exs mom split up…


  20. Anonymous

    So sad for that young mother, what a horrible death. So sad for her daughter who grew up without her. Hopefully, if the culprit is still alive and out there, he will be caught and justice will be served.


    • T Bare

      This man is my uncle. My father’s brother. I can vouch that the hills of NC are thick, and my family IS a mean bunch. I fully believe he has been protected by them.

      If i had a way to track him down I’d be the first to get in line to do so.


  21. Anonymous

    Mr. Jeffrey Burgess , has since passed away, and will never be tried in a court of law!
    Hopefully, Mr. Richard “Lynn” Bare will face justice . However, with Mr. Burgess, his partner, now dead, how can they prove anything?
    Hopefully through DNA evidence, if we can just catch him!!


  22. Anonymous

    He looks like a man that is now in amarillo , tx.


  23. Salvatore

    I think I saw Rich Bare one time when I was hitchiking to Florida to visit my grandparents. I was hitching down interstate 95 from N.J. and I’d get rides to this big truckers rest stop, out in the middle of nowhere in N.C.,like where there is trees and farms all over the place. At the rest stop there are restaurants and rooms with televisions, so I was watching t.v. for awhile (1985), and I fell asleep. When I woke up a couple hours later, there was someone else sitting nearby, and we started to talk. He had long hair and a marijuana leaf tattoo,and some other tattoos that I couldn’t see under his blue t-shirt, the marijuana tattoo looked fairly new and he looked just like Richard. So we kept talking and we walked back toward the highway to keep hitching. So like about an hour later someone stopped to give us a ride, and all of a sudden he refused to go, at the time I started to believe that he was really dangerous and was kind of happy he refused to come along. Like he seemed to be a felon, but I was very lonely and I had nobody to talk to.


  24. Jennifer Tucker

    Richard Lynn bare .
    Where are youuuu?


    • Larry J Griffin

      Ms. Tucker…my name is Larry Griffin. I am a historian, author, and investigative reporter for The Record located in Wilkes County, NC–the county from which Lynn escaped in 1985. I have written over 15 articles on the death and disappearance of Sherry Hart since September, 2017. Recently, I reviewed the substantial case file at the Sheriff’s Department in Ashe County, where your biological father lived and learned that he had a child with Dorothy “Dottie” Jenkins Staley. Are you that child? I certainly would like to talk with you, regardless. I look forward to your response….


      • Heather

        Hi my name is Heather Hart Carpenter. April is my half sister. Just wondering if you or anyone has looked into some of these comments about him being in Texas I’ve seen a lot of comments about someone matching the Pic living in Texas. My email is or contact April I know you know how to contact her.


  25. Jennifer Tucker

    Richard Lynn bare is my biological father. I hope to meet him someday.


  26. Danielle

    Sherry’s daughter April is my best friend. She deserves justice. If anyone has any info on Richard bare they need to turn him in!! This girl had to grow up without her mother!! So sad!!!


  27. Johnny

    This case gave me the shivers. The recreation of Sherry marched to the cliff’s edge and pushed over shocks me in its brutality. They were high school friends so Bare knew Sherry had a young daughter, April. It was a senseless murder. I wonder if it was Richard’s plan from the beginning to want a sexual encounter with Sherry or was the plan spur of the moment when they stopped. He had a gun with him so he was prepared for violence. Richard has evaded capture many years. He must have financial help and good at disguises. Dying hair, glasses, beard/no beard, etc. There are plenty of places to hide mountain ranges North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia. The only positive the police know Richard is the perpetrator. Other cases, they have no idea who is the offender. Justice for Sherry hopefully soon.


  28. Anonymous

    That is scary knowing this guy is still out there. I hope by keeping this on unsolved mysteries someone will recognize him.. Lots of love and prays to the young lady family..super sad


  29. Chester

    It is believed that the Bare family has helped him all along in hiding. My inlaws are kin to this family. I was told the Bare family can be a mean bunch of people and take care of their own.


  30. Tracy Stillwell

    I took the picture from this website and a picture of my old boss and put them side by side. If it is not him he is a scarily close match. I do not recall if the panther tattoo was on his left or right forearm, but it was on his forearm. A detective working the case called me back in 2003 and spoke to me expensively on the phone. I assume after all this time he was cleared as a suspect. You never know if it is a case of watching and trying to prove evidence or identity. After all these years since I saw the episode on TV that faithful night, it is still something I think about. I hope whoever it is is caught someday.


  31. Tracy Stillwell

    I turned my old boss in in 2003 he looks like the pic and has a panther tattoo. I was told by a detective they would put the salon under surveillance and was asked if they could contact me in the future. I never heard anything again. The salon is closed. I was checking up and found him again on facebook in Florida. I wonder if he was ever cleared…


    • HottMess

      Tracy..Could you possibly give me more information? I would like to see the pic of your old boss and know the name so that I may do my own research…Thanks


      • Tracy stillwell

        His name was Dennis Franklin.
        The salon was Franklin’s salon and spa.
        Phoenix AZ. Bell and 7th st.
        My sister found his Facebook in Florida. This was years ago. I just decided to look on here again out of curiosity. I don’t have the pic saved on my phone currently. At the time I had just quit the salon. We got in an argument. He threw a phone at me. He also threw a chair. Someone called the police. By the time they got there I had cleared out my room.
        This was back in 2003.


      • Tracy stillwell

        My name is Tracy Stillwell my number is 602-377-4479. My name at the time was Tracy Tardif. His name was Dennis Franklin.
        The salon was Franklin’s salon and spa.
        Phoenix AZ. Bell and 7th st.
        I have since been married and moved. I was never contacted again after I spoke to the detective on the phone.
        My sister found his Facebook in Florida. This was years ago. I just decided to look on here again out of curiosity. I don’t have the pic saved on my phone currently. At the time I had just quit the salon. We got in an argument. He threw a phone at me. He also threw a chair. Someone called the police. By the time they got there I had cleared out my room.
        This was back in 2003.


  32. John Doe

    If he knows of Mr. Jeffrey Burgess passing away, he may feel as if the justice system has no way of proving his guilt, since he can now put the blame on his deceased partner!!
    He may not care now, if he does get caught,
    And let his guard down, and return to visit his relatives, in Ashe County, NC!!!


  33. Anonymous

    They should surveilance the grave site! I bet he visits there! He is much older now and will probably stop by, if he hasn’t already! This is such an injustice! I hope he is caught! Well, what about DNA? Dental visits over the years; do dental offices not keep a DNA database? There is surely a way to track him.


  34. rob

    has he ever been caught


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