A North Carolina woman is shot in the face, but still manages to survive.

Police sketch of an African American Male

This man is wanted in the attempted murder


Gender: Male
DOB: 1975 approx.
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 150 to 160 lbs.
Hair: Black


 On Business Route 95, in Fayetteville, North Carolina State Troopers Chris Dew and Ron Knight stopped to compare notes during a routine patrol. According to Ron Knight, two minutes into their conversation they were interrupted:

“A lady walked out of the woods about 75 yards away and started towards us, staggering.   She had blood on her shoulders and she was coming in our direction… I laid her on the ground and the other trooper went to his car and called for an ambulance, and shortly thereafter an ambulance arrived, and transported the lady to the hospital.”

A woman sumbling out of the woods towards a police officer

A woman stumbled out of the woods

The young woman had been shot in the face with a twelve-gauge, double-barreled shotgun.   Her left jaw was completely shattered and she was unable to speak.   She had no identification.   It was not until ten hours later, when her condition stabilized, that she was able to write down her mother’s name and telephone number.   Police discovered that the victim was from Winston-Salem, 120 miles away.   Detective Ken Bishop, of the Winston-Salem Police Department, worked on the case with Fayetteville investigators:

“We conducted probably, a thirty minute interview with her.   It was probably the most severe injury I’ve ever seen for a person that survived.”

Although the victim could not speak, she was able to write down a detailed description of the savage attack and the attacker.   Police fear that if the man responsible for this hideous crime is not caught, he could easily strike again.   The young victim who was attacked, courageously agreed to be interviewed.   Because she has requested that we not use her real name, we will call her Debbie.   This is Debbie’s story…

A man holding the barrel of a shotgun

He shot her in the jaw with a shotgun

On the morning of March 22, 1990, Debbie made a large cash withdrawal from the First Union Bank in Winston-Salem.   When she left the bank at 9:40 AM, a gunman entered her gray station wagon and forced her to drive to a liquor store, three miles away.   The man went inside to buy whiskey, holding Debbie’s car keys and keeping a close eye on her.   Debbie was terrified because he threatened to kill everyone in the liquor store if she tried to escape.   The man then ordered Debbie to head towards Fayetteville.   For four agonizing hours, he threatened her life, drank heavily, and bragged that he had once killed a man in New York.   For Debbie, the journey was a living hell:

“A lot of the time, he just wouldn’t talk to me at all, and when he did, he was very abusive, very angry.   It got worse as time went on because he was drinking also, the liquor, and he would just get more angry and more irrational.   And I got more afraid knowing I could not reason with him.”

About three miles north of Fayetteville, the man forced Debbie to pull off the road. Debbie made an attempt to escape, but she was unable to flee from her kidnapper.   At almost that same moment, State Trooper Ron Knight noticed Debbie’s gray station wagon:

“I was going to cross over and check the vehicle and at just about this time I met a speeding vehicle traveling south on I-95 Business, so I turned, and pursued that vehicle.”

Blue jacket suspect was wearing during incident

He wore a blue jacket and gloves

Debbie was beaten and sexually assaulted, then left for dead after being shot in the face.   The next day, Debbie’s station wagon was found abandoned three hundred miles away, in northern Florida.   Authorities in Fayetteville investigated the crime scene.   Their search turned up a dark blue pea jacket and brown cloth gloves.   According to Ken Bishop, both smelled like petroleum:

“We think we’re looking at a person that works around that type of a product, and could possibly be a mechanic, somebody who works with greasy grimy motors, that kind of thing.   Possibly even somebody who drives a… heating oil type truck.”

Debbie’s assailant was about five feet ten inches tall and weighed between 150 and 160 pounds. For Debbie, until her attacker is found she’ll never feel completely safe:

“I’m going to continually feel like he’s there, he’s out there… I know it’s an unlikelihood that he’ll… try to find me, but it’s that fear of him being there, and that he also might hurt someone else.”

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




  1. Charlie

    The suspect’s DOB is appx 1975? So he was 14-15 when he did this??? How did he buy whiskey in a liquor store? I don’t think that DOB is correct, maybe 1965


  2. John Coffman

    I am rewatching all episodes in order. It infuriates me when I get through a segment like this with no update. How has this guy not been caught? There has to be dna on that coat and gloves.


  3. Z.W.A. Celebrities

    Find the segment here on YouTube along with the rest of the episode and the entire series with Robert Stack & Dennis Farina at Unsolved Mysteries Full Episodes
    You can Subscribe to the channel!!


    • Eric

      They said they have physical evidence. That could be used to ID the subject. Had this been tested for DNA? What about the jacket? Has I& been DNA evaluated and maybe find out more about the smell of the petroleum product that could narrow it down too. What gives. How can this wacko still be out there?


  4. Petaa Motex

    I would say this attacker is most likely Ernest Ray Cherry Jr. This attack was similar to an attack on another woman in 1993, enough to say these similar attacks are his m.o.


  5. Ed

    Did we get DNA from the perpetrator in the 1990 case of the woman who was abducted at the first union? Definitely need to check it again Ernest Ray Cherry as M.O.’s almost identical.


  6. Looking for updates

    Are there any updates on this case?


  7. James Burrough

    Why can’t lsw enforcement submit DNA from the jacket and gloves? If this guy drinks and commits crime he most likely has been in jail or may currently be incarcerated.


  8. Robert Stack Fan

    Season 3 Episode 12 with Robert Stack. On Amazon, this segment starts around 27:00


  9. Anonymous

    Hi, I was reading a thread about this case that I googled. Someone mentioned that this case was very similar to the Ernest Ray Cherry Jr rapist case that raped Chrissy Gallagher in 1992. Perhaps DNA would match between this guy and Ernest Cherry. Also maybe this guy is in prison already if he’s very violent.


  10. Bodes

    Where can I find this episode? The episode listed above doesn’t come up. Not sure what season and episode I know it was 1990


  11. Petaa motex

    This is the scariest sketch I have ever seen! Hope the guy gets caught soon!


  12. Rashawn

    He still out


  13. Margaret Steelman

    Can anyone tell me the year and episode number?