Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Sins: No Forgiveness: If Leaving Was Easy’ follows the disappearance of 26-year-old Jami Sherer in Redmond, Washington, in September 1990. Despite their best efforts, it took a decade before the investigators were finally able to solve the case and arrest the perpetrator. If you’re interested to know more about the case, including the killer’s identity and current whereabouts, we’ve you covered. Let’s begin then, shall we?
How Did Jami Sherer Die?
Jami Sue Hagel Sherer was born to Judy and Jerry Jerome Hagel on December 1, 1963. According to her mother, Judy Hagel, her daughter grew up in a large family with one elder brother and younger twin brothers. Being the only girl in the family, Jami shared a special bond with her mother. She worked in the Human Resources Department of Microsoft and was very popular and well-liked among her co-workers. Her friend, Janet Gilman, reminisced how she had a great sense of humor and was very affectionate.
She was 22-years-old when she met Steven Sherer, then 24, and the two started dating, even though her family did not approve of him. On July 17, 1987, Jami married Steven in Robinswood Park, and they had a little son named Tyler. Hence, it came as a shock when the 26-year-old disappeared on September 30, 1990, after calling her mother to say she would be right over after she made a quick stop at a Taco Time to pick up dinner in Redmond in King County, Washington. Judy was babysitting Tyler, and Jami was coming to pick him up.
Judy told the police officers that it was only half an hour’s drive from the restaurant to her home, but she got worried when Jami did not show up even after an hour. Concerned about her safety, Judy called Jami’s friends and her husband, Steven, but all of them claimed they had not seen her. She waited until the next morning, hoping that Jami would turn up at work. When Jami did not turn up at the office too or failed to take her calls, she called the Redmond (Washington) Police Department and filed a missing person report.
Who Killed Jami Sherer?
The officers interviewed Judy and Jami’s friends to learn she was in an abusive marriage with Steven. According to the show, Steven wanted her to dye her hair in his favorite color and get breast implants, but she declined to do so. The detectives also came to know that her friends and family had seen many bruises on her, and each she made some excuses to justify her injuries. However, they were sure that Steven was abusing her and asked her to leave him many times.
Jami used to insist she loved Steven and declined to break the marriage. But the investigators learned she had recently been considering her options and had allegedly told her friends she was packing her stuff to leave him. The investigators went to Jami and Steven’s residence to look for evidence but found no signs of struggle or anything that indicated foul play. Steven told the officers that he and his wife had got into a bitter quarrel before she went to pick up Tyler, alleging Jami had packed an overnight bag with her in the car.
The detectives initially declared that Jami’s disappearance was a domestic dispute and had run off from her husband. However, when she did not show up even after nine days, Jami’s family put advertisements in local newspapers, distributed flyers all over the city, and offered a $10,000 reward for any relevant information regarding her disappearance. The first breakthrough of the case came when the police located Jami’s car, a gray Mazda RX 7, in a church parking lot far from her residence.
The officers examined her car and found Jami’s overnight bag inside. However, they got suspicious when they discovered several mismatched clothes but no underwear. The car seat was also pushed back, attracting further suspicion since Jami was short and would have needed her car seat up. The police also brought in a tracking dog, who led them to a nearby bus stop. At this point, the investigators started suspecting foul play might have been involved and decided to question Steven again.
According to the show, Steven had a criminal record of abusing women and alleged his wife was having an affair with his friend, Toby Parker. The police learned Toby had a criminal past of drug abuse and domestic violence and brought him in for questioning. Though Toby admitted to the affair, he alleged Steven had threatened Jami before when she wanted to leave him. Since they had no incriminating evidence against either of them, the police had to let them off, and the case turned cold.
The case was reopened in January 1997, and the police interviewed new witnesses that shed a different light on the whole matter. A mutual friend of the couple, Jeff Caston, claimed he had seen a shovel in Steven’s car a few days before Jami disappeared, and the former had commented about disposing of a body in the forests of Washington. Steven’s sister also told the officers she had seen a large red spot on her brother’s carpet, though he claimed it was juice.
Where is Steven Sherer Now?
The investigators also noted Steven had started dating other women within a few days of Jami’s disappearance. Several witnesses also claimed they had seen him wear his missing wife’s underwear on his wrist. After obtaining a search warrant, the police searched Steven’s house to find a suitcase full of Jami’s clothes, jewelry, and intimate outfits. Based on all the circumstantial evidence, Steven was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in January 2000.
Steven’s defense counsel claimed the charges were false since the authorities had never been able to retrieve Jami’s body or any physical evidence tying him to the disappearance. However, he was found guilty and sentenced to 60 years in prison in May 2000. According to news reports, Steven decided to take revenge on Judy, his former mother-in-law, and paid his cellmate money to burn down the Bellevue house where she lived with his son, Tyler.
When the authorities came to know about the conspiracy through an informant, they staged a house fire and had local news cover it. Upon seeing Steven celebrate after reading the news, he was also charged with criminal solicitation to commit arson in April 2003. He was sentenced to life in prison, and the court denied his appeal in 2003. According to official court records, the 64-year-old is incarcerated at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center. However, Jami’s body has not been found to date.