The killer of a young woman escapes from jail.

Richard Bare

Suspect:

Gender:Male
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

CASE DETAILS

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.”

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

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.

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.

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26 Comments

  1. 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.

    Reply

  2. 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!

    Reply

  3. 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…

    Reply

  4. 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.

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  5. 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!!

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

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

    Reply

  7. 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.

    Reply

  8. Jennifer Tucker

    Richard Lynn bare .
    Where are youuuu?

    Reply

    • 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….

      Reply

  9. Jennifer Tucker

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

    Reply

  10. 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!!!

    Reply

  11. 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.

    Reply

  12. 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

    Reply

  13. 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.

    Reply

  14. 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.

    Reply

  15. 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…

    Reply

    • 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

      Reply

  16. 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!!!

    Reply

  17. 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.

    Reply

  18. rob

    has he ever been caught

    Reply