Bernie Nelson has been a homicide investigator for 20 years and for the last 16 he has agonized over the murder of Sherry Crandell. Wondering, nearly every day if there was something he may have missed.
“This is a case that’s been bothering me for 16 years”, said Detective Nelson, “because I want to bring some closure to the family and for 16 years I haven’t been able to answer the question as to who committed this crime and also, most importantly as to why. Why did you feel that you had to kill Miss Crandell, you know, even if it was the fact that you were trying to steal something out of her office or even committing a sexual assault. Why did you have to kill her? Why did you have to take her life?”
In the days leading up to the murder Sherry Crandell was deeply concerned about recent thefts in the office and complained to the head of security.
The night she was murdered investigators think she may have found someone going through her things. The place was ransacked, and the 50 year old was tied up with items from the office.
“It appears that this was an opportunist who took advantage of this situation, and it went wrong”, said Nelson.
At the time, police took the unusual step of asking all of the men who worked at the Hospital Center to submit a DNA sample. It took some time, but they have all been ruled out.
Cleared by police when DNA left at the scene of the crime, came up without a match.
Detective Nelson says, “at any time, I may get a notification that someone who was arrested recently had their DNA submitted (to CODIS, the national DNA Databank) and a hit was made on Miss Crandell’s case. That’s a hope that we still hold on to.”
At the time of the murder homeless people had been taking refuge at the hospital and Detective Nelson has been working on the theory that one of them may have been involved.
Sherry Crandell was 50 years old and the mother of three when she was killed.
Two boys and a girl in a tight knit family still searching for justice and answers.