The Scene / Act One

Sharee - Sheree


Bonnie M. Wells

Sharee / Sheree

Sey Von Sharee was published on April 12th, 1991. It was about an unconscious hawk that I'd found in Little Hocking back in 1973.

The story ended with......And then, in the fall Sharee and I parted ways. I moved to town and Sharee moved deeper into the woods...deeper into the area where spoken language is not needed, where a friend is a friend regardless...back to the wild side of life.

I would not hear the name Sharee again until 1996. It would be spelled a little differently then, but pronounced the same. As time passed I would come to believe that the drama that unfolded in 1996 was nothing more .... nothing less .... than a modified re-enactment of my story!


Sheree Petry was 36 years old and a massage therapist who had come to this area in 1993 from Arizona.

Although she resided in Williamstown, West Virginia with her cousin Sharon, and attended Marietta College, Sheree already had her own business. She and her partner Kathy operated a massage business called The Body Works, and the future looked bright.

May 25th, 1996

Sheree Petry was found murdered and dumped, head first, into a storm drain at the end of Seventh Street in Marietta.

The location was only a block past a store called Food 4 Less., and directly behind and across an open field from the Shoe World store.

In the beginning, police claimed that she was alive .... unconscious.... but alive when she was dumped into the storm drain. Then something happened to change their minds, and they claimed that she had been killed in Williamstown and then placed into the trunk of her car and driven across the Williamstown Bridge and dumped into the storm drain. The killer had then driven her car across town and parked at a friends house and left.

And Then She Was Gone

I didn't know Sheree Petry, but a friend of mine met her just a week or so before she was murdered.

That friend was also involved in the massage therapy field as was her employer. It was through the employer that my friend met Sheree, and then she was gone.

And only after she was gone did I recognized the similarities between my old story and the murder of Sheree Petry, and began digging around through storage boxes in an effort to find a copy of Sey Von Sharee.

As soon as I located a copy, I wrote to Detective John Winstanley of the Washington County Sheriff's Department, and asked him to read the copy I sent and see if he didn't think there were far too many common denominators to all be "coincidence."

I also sent along a copy of another story that I'd written for The Washington County News back in 1991. That story was titled Yellow Jacket's Galore, and I felt that whoever had murdered Sheree Petry was a follower of my writings, and that the two stories came together in the killer's mind and would be acted out in reality.

Yellow Jackets Galore ....

was published on "May 24th," 1991.

As was another small story that I wrote about some kittens that had just been found in a shipment of shoes at Shoe World in Marietta. {See story clip - New Arrivals At Shoe World, But Are They Oxfords?}

In that same paper was an inverted advertisement. Something I'm sure my editor was not proud of.....especially since it was a religious advertisement. When one looked at the add as it was inserted into the paper they could see my initials...B M and W, and the number 7.10 which I saw as 7/10ths, and the large letters W O F.

[[ BMW are my initials, and I live 7/10ths of a mile from the highway out State Route 555 in Little Hocking. It made me nervous to say the least.]]

"Please re-read Sey Von Sharee ....

and see where I headed after I found the hawk," I pleaded with Winstanley. I "headed for my veterinarian." -- Dr. Barrett in Belpre.

The warnings were all delivered months in advance of our next murder.....Jenifer McCrady...the daughter of Dr. Barrett in Belpre!

Letters were also sent out to former Marietta police officer David Bernardo who, by the time of Petry's murder, was employed as an investigator with Crowl Investigations in Marietta. The business was located in the "Wharf" Building.

Darlene Crowl, owner of that agency, also received ample warning on more than one occasion. I'd even warned about "my vet" Corvette, which bore the license number 969. And I bitched and bellyached about Little Hocking, and how the school team down here was called the "Yellow Jackets" just like in Williamstown!

All any of it ever amounted to was a three month warning of the "coincidental murder" of Jenifer McCrady ... the daughter of my Veterinarian, who lived at 996 Dana Road, and who was murdered and hauled to Little Hocking!

[ That story will be told later. Back to Petry. ]

No One Listened

The state insisted that Sheree's friend Dennis Rydbom was her killer,and that the murder occurred in broad daylight, on a warm Saturday morning when most of Marietta was up and about.

And, as if that wasn't stupid enough, he chose to dump her body on a dead end street, right in front of several businesses and apartments!

September 2002: When the police "re-enacted" this crime, they used a vehicle exactly like Petry's (borrowed from a woman named Bonnie, no less!!!....and I was impressed!) and they conducted the experiment in broad daylight using a dummy as substitute for Petry. No one saw them! No one called the department to report that "another body was being placed into the storm drain! I was amazed at how unaware of their surroundings the average person really is. .... update follows .....

2007 Comments From Your's Truly!

My grandson had a Mazda RX 7 [1984] model for several months, and just recently traded it off for a vehicle that was a little 'younger' than he is!

I figured he showed up with a Mazda RX 7 for one reason .... ten years ago, a case came and went that just never did sit right with me. There was something I had to know for myself. And I'm here to tell the world today -- "You cannot put a massage table in the back of a Mazda RX 7, and then toss a bicycle on top of it and shut the hatch. It will not work. There is not enough room. It's a crying shame that no one got to see the Marietta cops re-enact this crime. I certainly would have liked to have seen it, because I just don't think it happened the way they said it did." .... back to the original story ......

Some Things Were Never Found

Sheree's appointment book was "missing"....and never found.

That bothered me. Why would Rydbom steal her appointment book? Everyone knew they were friends. No one would have thought a thing about his name being in the appointment book. But, what if he wasn't the killer? What if Petry's killer was someone who had never been seen with her except possibly on a professional basis. Perhaps he hadn't actually been seen even then. But, suppose his name was in that appointment book and he knew it. That made more sense to me.

A Psychopath?

I'd been reading a lot of books written by former FBI agents such as John Douglas, Robert Ressler and others. These guys insisted that .... "almost all serial killers are psychopaths ..... but not all psychopaths are killers, much less serial killers. They also insisted that "the serial killer takes trophies! Items belonging to the victim. He keeps them so he can re-live the crime. The serial killer keeps track of his victims and works out his own plans and games."

According to police reports and court documents, when Dennis Rydbom was arrested for the murder of Sheree Ann Petry, he had many items of women's undergarments in his possession. Some of these had been seen by people he stayed with before he got his own apartment or house. Many of these items were identified by Petry's cousin Sharon, and several more were identified by people living in Arizona as gifts they had purchased for Sheree Petry several years before she was murdered. The police also found women's underwear that were reasonably new and for many of those items, Rydbom had a receipt to prove he had purchased them.

[[ note: At Rydbom's trial, the manufacturer of some of the under clothing identified by Sheree Petry's cousin and her 'husband' as belonging to Sheree, could not possibly have belonged to her because they were not made until after she died! ]]

Dennis Rydbom did not own a vehicle, but Sheree Petry owned a Mazda RX-7. When Rydbom was arrested the police found a Mazda RX-7 key chain in Rydbom's possession. Witnesses failed to identify the key chain as belonging to Petry.

Another thing that really bothered me about the Petry case was the fact that she was barefoot. This sent red flags up in all directions as far as I was concerned. Most of our murdered women were "barefoot." Sometimes their shoes were located within a few feet of their bodies. Sometimes they were never found.

Sheree's ** shoes along with her contact lenses and eye glasses were all located at her home. However, there was one Rebok tennis shoe located at the storm drain. It was never traced to Petry or anyone else that I'm aware of. Did sort of give a foreboding of "things to come though" .....considering the fact that Jenifer McCrady's "Reebok" tennis shoes were also found at her home.

[[ ** This would be repeated again in 1996 just 4 months after Sheree's murder, when Jenifer McCrady would be found - also down in a hole, also dressed in sleep wear, and missing the exact items that Petry was missing -- shoes, purse, eye wear. Jenifer McCrady's would be the third woman found in our area dressed for bed, but not found in her own bed. I refer to these three as my 'Sleeping Beauty Trio.' The Trio consists of Kimberly Fulton, Sheree Petry and Jenifer McCrady.]]

Common Sense

What "the state" said about the Petry case concerned me ... primarily because it didn't make good common sense. But what concerned me the most was what they didn't say... what they didn't want me or the people of this area to know.

Sheree Petry's business partner was a woman named Kathy. The same friend who had met Sheree just days before her murder already knew Kathy. She had been to Kathy's house in Marietta on one or more occasions, and had gone for a stroll on the walking trails in the woods behind Kathy's house.

But the thing that really upset me and concerned me the most was the fact that Kathy was the daughter of our murdered deputy sheriff Ray Clark, and no one wanted us to know it!

I found this astonishing, and awfully suspicious. What's the big deal about the same girl showing up around two murder victims? I didn't have a problem with that....I mean, after all this is Coincidence Valley here, so I'd expect as many twists and turns as possible! Just think how many times old Wild Bill's been in the neighborhood - even having the names of some of the victims [and their friends] in his diary, yet, he's as pure as the driven snow! So why wouldn't the state want people to know that Petry's partner was the daughter of another unsolved murder victim?

for more info see ... A Ray Of Hope

My Theory On The Petry Murder .....

... was a little different than the states. I was convinced I'd seen all the "clues" before .... in fact, I was pretty sure I was the one that had written them .... about five years earlier!

If you'd like to see "my theory" on this case, please click on the following link and continue with the Petry case and see the early warnings to the approaching McCrady case!

Bonnie M. Wells

The Scene / Act Two

Bonnie M. Wells

New Arrivals At Shoe World, But Are They Oxfords?

The Ladies

Yellow Jackets Galore

Return to Sey Von Sharee

Starlight Inner-Prizes

Lookin' For A Killer Series

Dreams Panned-Out Series

Without A Trace Series

The Symbolic Cases

Updates: 2-5-03 / 1-18-04 / 4-13-04 / May 2007 / May 2010 // BMW