The killer of a young woman escapes from jail.
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:
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:
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.
Terry’s daughter, April, has said she’s had trouble moving on:
The FBI still includes Richard Lynn Bare on its list of “Most Wanted” fugitives.