NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Investigation’ brings to the viewers the work that went into getting Walter Ogrod off death row. He spent more than half his life behind bars after being convicted of killing Barbara Jean Horn, a little girl who lived in his neighborhood. Walter was sent to prison after a coerced confession and inmate testimony that was later deemed to not be credible. Over time, Sharon lent her support to Walter and asked for him to be released from prison after being convinced that the wrong person was behind bars. So, let’s find out more about her then, shall we?
Who is Sharon Fahy?
Sharon Fahy lived on Rutland Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her daughter, 4-year-old Barbara Jean Horn, and her husband at the time, John Fahy. When Sharon left for work on July 12, 1988, she could have never imagined what ended up happening that day. Barbara vanished after she went out in the street to play. A worried John looked for her but couldn’t find her. It was only in the evening that the authorities learned of the dead body of a child found in a box in the neighborhood. The Fahys later identified the same body at the Medical Examiner’s office as Barbara’s.
The investigation into the case turned cold despite a composite sketch of the suspect that was made through witness descriptions. About four years later, the police re-visited the case and interviewed people, starting with the Fahys. In the process, John was accused of murder, and the detectives reportedly attempted to force Sharon to implicate John. Ultimately, they were cleared of any involvement, and the authorities moved on to Walter Ogrod, a young man who lived across the street from the Fahys.
After a 14-hour interrogation, Walter signed a confession where he admitted to killing Barbara but recanted the statement soon after, claiming that he was coerced. But despite that, Walter was arrested and then convicted of Barbara’s murder in 1996. Sharon initially believed that the police had the right person. But over time, she began to have doubts regarding his conviction. When the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office looked into the case again, the information they uncovered was staggering. There was ample evidence, including DNA proof, that pointed to Walter not being the killer he was made out to be.
Sharon said, “I am sad and angry to find out 32 years later that key evidence was withheld from me, my family, and the courts. That evidence more than likely would have kept Mr. Ogrod off death row.” She became a vocal supporter of Walter’s release and no longer believed that he was responsible for Barbara’s death. She also expressed anger at the fact that her daughter’s killer was still walking free.
Where is Sharon Fahy Now?
After Walter’s release in June 2020, Sharon stated that she was happy about it but hoped to find the real killer. She said, “We hope that we will be able to get the person who took Barbara Jean away from us to pay for the crimes that he did and hope that he didn’t hurt anyone else.” As per unconfirmed reports, Sharon seems to have separated from John sometime after Barbara’s murder. She still lives in Philadelphia and fondly remembers her daughter, regularly sharing her photos on social media. She and her family were also hoping to hire a private investigator to look into the case.
Read More: Where is John Fahy Now?