How Did Jerry Cassaday Die?

Image Credit: Forensic Files/CBS Reality

The sudden death of Jerry Cassaday in Odessa, Missouri, resulted in a murder investigation being kicked up a notch hundreds of miles away. The documentation and evidence found at Jerry’s apartment showed a clear connection between him and the murder of Bruce Miller in 1999, just months before Jerry’s death in 2000. In ABC News’ ’20/20: You’ve Got Jail,’ the creators focus on why Bruce was killed and how his wife and Jerry were involved with his slaying. So, let’s find out what happened to Jerry then, shall we?

Who Was Jerry Cassaday?

Jerry Cassaday was a former police officer who used to work as a pit boss at a casino in Reno, Nevada. A few months before Bruce was killed, his wife, Sharee, met Jerry in person at the casino while she was in town for a convention. By then, the two had already talked to each other online and began a full-blown affair later. According to someone who knew Jerry, he met Sharee during a challenging period in his life. He had moved to a new city, and his marriage was ending.

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Over the next few months, the two met up in Reno and continued their torrid affair. The authorities later found extensive communication between Jerry and Sharee, including sexually explicit messages, photos, and videos. However, Sharee had also lied about Bruce being in the mafia and being abusive towards her. In reality, he was a businessman, and there was no evidence to suggest abuse.

Sharee also told Jerry that she was pregnant with his child twice despite being unable to do so because of a surgical procedure she had many years ago. Nevertheless, Sharee sent him pictures of sonograms and a growing belly. The photos also seemed to show bruises, alluding to Bruce being abusive. Furthermore, Sharee claimed that Bruce was the reason for both the pregnancies ending in miscarriages.

Evidence showed that Sharee and Jerry planned Bruce’s murder together. The messages had them discuss the murder, with Sharee helping him find the salvage yard where Bruce worked. One of her messages even said, “Are you going to be able to live with this the rest of your life? Because I can.” Ultimately, Jerry drove up to the salvage yard in Flint, Michigan in November 1999, shot Bruce in the chest, and fled. However, after the murder, the relationship between Jerry and Sharee ended, and she began dating someone else.

How Did Jerry Cassaday Die?

By the time Jerry had killed Bruce, he had some trouble with the law and lost custody of his son. Once Sharee left him, Jerry struggled even more; he began abusing alcohol and drugs and lived with relatives in Missouri while undergoing rehabilitation. On February 11, 2000, Jerry was found dead inside his apartment in Odessa. The 39-year-old was in an easy chair with a Bible in his lap and a self-inflicted wound caused by a .22-caliber rifle.

Image Credit: Find a Grave/Dawn K.

Jerry’s brother, Mike, later found a briefcase with four notes. Three of them were addressed to different family members, while the fourth instructed him only to open the briefcase in the presence of an attorney. Mike remembered his brother telling him about leaving town in November. According to Mike, if Jerry didn’t come back, he asked his brother to look for a briefcase under his bed.

The letters contained Jerry’s confession, and the suitcase had printouts of his online conversations with Sharee, thus implicating her and kicking off an investigation that ended with her conviction. Part of the letter read, “After Sharee and I got together, I found out she was married. She lied to me and lied to me, made promises, as you well know, and I believed them all.”

Read More: Where is Sharee Miller Now?