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Update: Accused Murderess Approaches Next Court Date

The former La Grange resident was arrested in Palos Hills in July, six years after her boyfriend was shot to death in her home.

Sherry Halligan remains in Cook County Jail without bail awaiting her next court date regarding the alleged shooting murder of a man in her former La Grange home.

Her Aug. 4 case was continued and will pick up at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 30, in room 110 of the 5th Municipal District Court building, 10720 S. 75th Ave, in Bridgeview. She is to appear before Judge Joseph Hynes again.

Halligan, 51, charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend five times in the chest after he refused to commit to marry her, was sent back to jail in July after more than six years on the run.

She had been living about 10 miles away from the La Grange crime scene, police said.

She was arrested July 16 at a condominium in the 11000 block of Sycamore Lane in Palos Hills, just three days after the Chicago Crime Commission put her on its Chicagoland Most Wanted List

After publicizing the list at 10:30 a.m. July 13 and after Halligan's photo was shown on television news reports, the Chicago Crime Commission received an anonymous message at 2:30 p.m. that day on its Web site, said Arthur Bilek, executive vice president. The commission notified the FBI and La Grange police, he said.

A Palos Hills man living in her building or in the same complex had recognized her photo and provided the tip, according to Michael Holub, La Grange police chief.

Members of the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force and La Grange police arrested her in the condo without incident, according to the FBI.

She is charged with murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Halligan had changed her name to Cathy White with new identification cards, had a different hairstyle and colored her hair to dark red from blonde. When police asked if her name was Sherry Halligan, she replied, "maybe,'' and after further questioning, said, "yeah, it's me," Holub said.

Her current boyfriend told police he met her in Forest Park, Ill.

As to where she had been for the past six years, "she wasn't talking much," Holub said.

Police believed Halligan had been enrolled as a student at Morraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, which is across the street from the condominium where Halligan had been living. But, Maura Vizza, a Morraine Valley spokeswoman, said there is no record of Halligan taking classes there under either name.

Bail was denied at Halligan's arraignment July 19. Her next apprarance is at 9 a.m., Aug. 4, in Room 110 of the 5th Municipal District Court building, 10720 S. 75th Ave., in Bridgeview.  

Before she turned herself in for murder in 2003, Halligan had been arrested on escort-service and prostitution-related charges, police said.

Halligan, then 44, had been having a long-distance affair with Florida resident Dennis Campbell, 53, when the killing happened Jan. 30, 2003, in the single-family house she rented at 1050 S. Sixth Ave., in La Grange, police said.

She had asked Campbell to marry her. When he rebuked her, she allegedly shot him five times in the chest with a handgun and fled, leaving Campbell to die, Holub said. She turned on the radio or television set to cover up the sounds he was making as he was dying, police said. 

Halligan later turned herself in, police said. She was released on a $50,000 cash bond and several subsequent court dates were held.

But on April 21, 2004, when she failed to appear as scheduled in court, a murder warrant was issued for her arrest. On Oct. 5, 2005, a warrant of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was added.

Her car was found later near Midway Airport in Chicago, leading police to believe she may have fled the state, Holub said.

The gun used in the murder has not been found, police said.

La Grange Police Lt. Renee Strasser, a sergeant of investigations at the time, was one of the first officers to the crime scene. It was "horrific," she said. Strasser said she has thought over the past few years about the case, "as would anybody who had a role in it," and her department has followed leads with the FBI.

She talked to Campbell's son and said, "He was absolutely relieved. Now, hopefully, justice will be served."

The Crime Commission's Bilek said, "We're very pleased we were able to help law enforcement in this matter. We got a person who allegedly murdered her boyfriend to stand trial. We're glad we got her before she lost her temper with another boyfriend."

Bilek said this is the first list the crime commission has published since the 1930s, when the FBI started its Public Enemies List, but the commission is considering putting out a second list.

"They were the worst of the worst, " he said about the 10 listed. 

The commission decided four months ago to put together such a list of those who committed serious crimes in the Chicago area because of "violence going on in the street and rising concern that criminality is part of everyday life," Bilek said.

After contacting federal, Cook County and city of Chicago law enforcement agencies, the commission had 140 possible names. The list was narrowed down, and the commission added Halligan to list because it was a case handled solely by suburban police.

As of July 21, no other persons listed on the current list had been caught.

Halligan also had been profiled on "America's Most Wanted" and "Chicago's Most Wanted," according to the FBI.

Visit the Chicago Crime Commission Web site to send an anoynomous tip, or call 312-372-0155.

Kelsey Grant July 08, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I'm glad you caught her,that's terrible that she lost it'&killedb her boyfriend cause of wanting martial ties.but we see if the community stepup,you can apprehend the violent person and get justice.

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