Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Crime Case #1

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin has a population of a little less than 10,000 people. It is a tourist destination and during the warmer months the population typically doubles. The City is located on the Door County peninsula, which juts out into Lake Michigan.

Sturgeon Bay has a relatively low crime rate. The crime rate is about half of that of Wisconsin. The City records a mere one homicide about every 10 years.

Ship building and ship maintenance are one of the main industries in Sturgeon Bay. The ship builders in the community recruit employees from throughout the world to work at their facilities.

On May 30, 2004, a 22-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman was reported missing by her mother who had not heard from her daughter in several days. The mother lives in Green Bay. The daughter lived alone in Sturgeon Bay. The mother told authorities that her daughter had recently been dating an individual who was physically abusive toward her daughter. The mother also said that the woman has disappeared in the past by just simply taking off.

The woman was employed at a local shipyard. Authorities spoke with her employer. The woman had not shown up for work since May 25.

Authorities entered the woman’s residence. Everything appeared to be in order.

Authorities spoke with the woman’s neighbors. Two of those neighbors were Randall and Sharon Fisher. Randall Fisher worked at the same shipyard as the missing woman. The Fishers had lived in Sturgeon Bay only about 6 months. The Fishers said they had seen the woman at her residence on the evening of May 25. They said they hadn’t seen her since then. They also said they had seen the woman’s boyfriend at the woman’s residence two days later. He was alone. The Fishers went on to say that in the past they had seen the woman with injuries to her face consistent with a beating. The woman had told them the injuries had been caused by her boyfriend.

The boyfriend was on probation. He was arrested and incarcerated for a probation violation. When authorities spoke with him, he said he hadn’t seen the woman since May 23. He denied being involved in her disappearance. The boyfriend had a criminal history that included several physical assaults.

Authorities learned that the woman had an account at a local bank. When the bank was contacted, authorities learned that the woman had personally closed her account of $527.00 on May 28.

On June 10, Sturgeon Bay authorities were contacted by a local victim advocacy group. The missing woman had shown up at their office by way of taxi cab. The woman told authorities that she had been kidnapped and was held against her will by her neighbors, Randall and Sharon Fisher. The woman further stated that she was handcuffed and gagged for several hours per day for nearly 2 weeks. The woman appeared to be intoxicated and had a BAC of .08%. She had 3 unopened cans of beer in her possession. The woman also claimed that criminal street gangs, such as the Latin Kings and Imperials, were after her. It was also known that the woman was a frequent user of illegal narcotics. The woman’s parents from Green Bay responded and took the woman to their home.

Authorities looked into the Fishers’ background. It was learned that in the past 20 years the Fishers had lived in over 30 different locations throughout the country. It was also learned that in 1988, Randall Fisher had been arrested for the abduction and assault of a 23-year-old woman in Michigan. Fisher had held the woman against her will, showed the woman a pair of handcuffs, and had threatened to use the handcuffs on her. He ultimately released her.

Authorities contacted the 22-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman and spoke with her further. The woman went on to say that she had been abducted by her neighbors, Randall and Sharon Fisher, and she had been forced to have sex with both of the Fishers.

The woman said that during the first several weeks of May, she was having numerous arguments with her abusive boyfriend and he would frequently beat her. She stated she was friends with the Fishers and she had confided in them about the beatings.

The woman said that on May 26 she was alone at her residence sleeping. At about 3:00 a.m. she was awoken by the sound of somebody pounding on her rear door. The woman thought it was her boyfriend and she was concerned that he’d break the door down if she didn’t open it. The woman was surprised to see that it was Randall Fisher when she opened the door.

Randall Fisher told the woman to get dressed and pack some clothes. The woman refused. Randall Fisher then produced a stun gun and a knife, again telling the woman to get dressed. He also stated, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I don’t want to hurt you.” The woman complied with Randall Fisher by getting dressed and packing a few belongings.

Randall Fisher handcuffed the woman behind her back and gagged her with a neck tie. The woman said Randall Fisher had brought the neck tie with him and it had a large knot tied in it. He had placed the large knot in her mouth and had tied the tie behind her neck to prevent her from screaming.

Randall Fisher led the woman from her house, across the lawn to his house. When they got to the Fisher house, Sharon Fisher was sitting on the couch drinking a beer. Randall Fisher took the woman into the basement. He removed the handcuffs and told her to remove her clothing. Out of fear, she complied. Randall Fisher handcuffed her in front and sexually assaulted her on the basement floor.

Randall Fisher told the woman that he and Sharon had decided it was time to take the woman as their “white slave.”

The woman fell asleep on the basement floor. In the morning, Randall and Sharon Fisher spoke to the woman while all three were in the basement. Both told her that they were going to keep her as their white slave.

The woman said she was kept handcuffed in the basement all day. That evening the Fishers took her upstairs into the living room where they started drinking beer. After several beers, the Fishers took the woman into the bedroom and removed her handcuffs. The woman was told to remove her clothes. Both the Fishers then sexually assaulted the woman. The woman passed out during the assault.

The next morning, Randall Fisher drove the woman to her bank. He instructed her to go into the bank and close her savings account. He told her to not to tell anyone in the bank that she was being held captive. Out of fear, she complied. She returned to the car with over $500.00.

Randall Fisher drove her back to his residence. For the next 10-12 days, she was sexually assaulted daily by Randall Fisher. Sharon Fisher sexually assaulted her 3-4 times in that period. The woman said that she was almost always handcuffed and either Sharon or Randall Fisher was always with her. She said at times, she was handcuffed to a large table in the basement and the basement door was blocked with a large refrigerator.

The woman said that one night she overheard the Fishers talking about how they were going to dispose of her body and she decided she needed to escape. The woman said the Fishers momentarily left her alone in the basement without handcuffing her. She was able to push against the basement door enough to move the refrigerator and escape the residence. She went to a third neighbor, told him what happened, and called a cab to take her to the victim advocacy office.

Randall Fisher was already incarcerated in jail on charges unrelated to this matter. He refused to speak with authorities about this matter when contacted in jail. Authorities spoke with Sharon Fisher. Sharon Fisher admitted the woman had been at their home the entire time, but had been there of her own will and the woman could have left the home anytime she wanted to. Sharon Fisher also said on two occasions during the woman’s stay there was a “threesome” involving the woman, Sharon Fisher, and Randall Fisher. Sharon Fisher said this activity was consensual amongst all the participants. Sharon Fisher let officers look around her residence. A stun gun was found and seized from a bedroom.

At this point, a witness approached authorities. The witness told officers that Sharon Fisher had confided in her that she and Randall Fisher had indeed kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and held the woman against her will. Sharon Fisher had told the witness that she and Randall Fisher had kept the woman in a room in the basement that they referred to as the “secret room.”
Sharon Fisher was arrested and a search warrant was obtained for the Fisher residence. Officers attempted to interview Sharon Fisher further. She refused to speak with them.

Officers executed the search warrant on the Fisher residence. Several items were seized during the search. They included pornographic magazines depicting bondage, sexual gratification devices, and a book titled Die for Me. The book had been found under the mattress of a bed in the Fisher bedroom. The book Die for Me is a true story about the serial killers Charles Ng and Leonard Lake. The book tells how Ng and Lake abducted women to be their sex slaves. The women would be held in a “secret” chamber on Lake’s California property. Ng and Lake would torture, sexually assault, and ultimately kill the women. The book indicates that Ng and Lake would use a stun gun and handcuffs on the women. They would also gag the women with an apparatus that had a ball on it that would go into the victim’s mouth, and then be tied behind the victim’s neck.

In the basement of the Fisher residence, officers found the room that the witness had referred to as the “secret room.” The lone door to the room opened outward into the rest of the basement and there was a large refrigerator outside the door. Scuff marks on the basement floor indicated the refrigerator had been pushed in front of the door to the “secret room” at one time or another.

A red carpet had also been seized from the Fisher residence. There appeared to be blood on the carpet. DNA testing later determined that the blood belonged to the woman.

On March 7, 2005, Sharon Fisher went on trial for false imprisonment, possession of a stun gun, sexual assault, and obstructing police. A jury found her guilty of all charges. She was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

On May 4, 2006, Randall Fisher went on trial for kidnapping, false imprisonment, possession of a stun gun, sexual assault, and obstructing police. A jury found him guilty. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

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