Spooky Story: The Linda Sherman Mystery
In 1985, Don and Linda Sherman were struggling to keep their marrage intact. They had separated and reconciled several times, but it seems divorce was imminent. Don worked in a machine shop, and Linda worked nights at the U.S. Government Records Center. They lived in a modest house in Vinita Park, a manicipality in northwest St. Louis County. On April 11th, Linda filed for a dissolution of marriage. Despite this, Linda continued to live with Don and their 9 year-old daughter, Patty.
On April 22nd, Linda clocked out of work at 2:16 AM and went home to sleep on the couch. Don took their daughter to school that morning, and at 6 PM Don says he saw Linda leaving for work.
He would be the last person to see her alive.
Linda never reported to work that day. Eventually, the police got involved in the search for Linda Sherman. Linda's family knew from the beginning that something was very wrong. They said that there was no way Linda would just leave her daughter without a word. In fact, everytime Linda tried to leave her husband for good, she had always taken Patty with her.
Five days later, police found Linda's Volkswagon Beetle at Lambert Airport's short term parking lot. Other than a couple of personal items, there was no trace of Linda. Of course the husband was the prime suspect, but investigators could not find one shred of evidence to prove he was involved in his wife's disappearance.
All the leads were exhausted, all potential suspects were cleared. Police turned to the media for help. Without a break, they could not solve this mystery.
Five years later, on June 28th 1990, flight attendants having lunch at the Casa Gallardo in Bridgeton, Missouri saw something very strange in the bushes. On the other side of their large window, they saw a human skull facing them. They thought it was a joke, and the manager shut the blinds. When he went out to investigate, it was clear that the skull was REAL. Bridgeton police came and the skull was taken to the St. Louis County medical examiner's office. The unidentified skull was stored on a shelf at the county morgue.
Fourteen months later, a strange envelope was mailed to the Vinita Park police station. Inside was an orange flyer advertising a Super Bowl promotion that the Bridgeton Casa Gallardo had run months ago. On the back, written in purple ink was:
BRIDGETON POLICE HAVE L. SHERMAN'S SKULL
Lt. Michael Webb of the Vinita Park police department immediately contacted Bridgeton police, and they confirmed that a human skull was indeed found at the Casa Gallardo there. Lt. Webb sent Linda Sherman's dental records to the county morgue where forensic tests proved that they were in possession of Linda Sherman's skull.
The FBI tested the envelope and letter, and found nothing. The sender had been very careful. Vinita Park police now had a homicide investigation, but no where else to go now. They did have new questions, however:
Where is the rest of Linda Sherman's remains?
Who sent this letter after the unidentified skull had been found by Bridgeton police?
Why write the letter on the back of a Casa Gallardo promotion?
Why would someone take just Linda's skull and place it in plain view of customers at the Casa Gallardo restaurant??? Someone had to have gone to where Linda's remains were buried, unearthed them, and just took the skull. The thought was horrifying.
In November of 2001, Linda Sherman's story was featured on the television program Unsolved Mysteries. After more advanced forensic years later, they are no closer to solving Linda Sherman's mystery. It's been 22 years now since Linda Sherman's initial disappearance, and 17 years since the gruesome discovery of her skull at the restaurant.
It remains an unsolved case to this day...