The Sun Herald has details
The final chapter in the 1987 Sherry murders is nearing completion when the couple’s home in North Biloxi is demolished in a few weeks.
Nobody’s lived in the brick rancher at 2430 Hickory Hills Circle since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Biloxi Council on Tuesday voted to let the Community Development Department advertise for bids to tear down the building and clean up the yard.
A neighbor across the street was also the FBI agent who began the investigation of the murders of Judge Sherry and his wife:
The Hignights were acquaintances, waving neighbors, with the Sherrys. They remember only one or two families renting the home since the murders and Hignight’s wife, Lou Ann, said they didn’t stay long.
She doesn’t have any tangible evidence but she said, “I think it’s haunted.”
Royce Hignight says he doesn’t believe in that stuff.
He was a special agent for the FBI and started the investigation into the Sherry murders on Sept. 16, 1987.
The horror of what happened that day is remembered throughout the city and the state, said Hignight.
Vincent Sherry was a judge with the Second Mississippi District Circuit Court and partner in a Biloxi law firm. Margaret Sherry was a former Biloxi Council member. There was no forcible entry into their home.
Hignight said the judge was in the den of his home when the gunman shot him three or four times in the face. His wife was in the back bedroom when the shooter aimed at her and missed a time or two.
“Evidently she fainted,” he said and the assassin put the gun to the back of her head and pulled the trigger several times.
Lou Ann Hignight said it was “spooky” how the neighbors went about their lives for three days while the couple was dead inside their home.
The person who found them was Vincent Sherry’s friend and business partner, Pete Halat of Biloxi.
The investigation into the murders took investigators in a lot of directions and eventually was tied to the Dixie Mafia and a lonely hearts scheme.
Prisoners placed ads in a national magazine for homosexuals and extorted money from the men who replied to the ads.
“It took a lot of years to unravel it,” said Hignight, and Keith Bell finished the investigation for the FBI.
“They were the hardest of the hard core criminals,” Hignight said. They implicated Halat, by then the mayor of Biloxi and the lawyer who oversaw a trust account.
The Dixie Mafia had discovered money was missing from the account, and Halat set up his friend and business partner, Sherry, who was killed along with his wife.
Halat remains in jail and the house where they were murdered is just a reminder of what happened there.
A special assessment will be attached to the property to cover the city’s cost and Creel said once the house is gone the land will be handled like a tax sale
“I hope this is the final ending to this saga,” Hignight said.