Sherri Dally was kidnapped from a Target parking lot in Ventura County, California, in May 1996 and her husband Michael Dally filed a missing persons’ report shortly after. Authorities found that Dally had been handcuffed and led into a vehicle by a woman in a blonde wig posing as a security guard. While Dally was still missing, her husband began selling her belongings and authorities found that he had a longtime mistress, Diana Haun.
Just under a month later, Dally’s body was found in a ravine north of Ventura and authorities focused their attention on Haun and Michael Dally. The two had met at the grocery store where they both worked and began an affair, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sherri Dally (nee Guess) and her husband Michael Dally were high school sweethearts who married in 1982. Michael Dally worked at the grocery store while his wife was a daycare provider and the couple had two sons together, but the relationship was struggling.
“The marriage was marked by her fidelity and Michael Dally’s infidelity,” an article in the Los Angeles Times said. The couple had been together for over two years and went on a vacation together in Mexico before Sherri Dally was abducted and murdered. The case is back under a telescope thanks to NBC’s Dateline which is exploring the twists and turns of Dally’s disappearance and murder in an episode on March 12, 2021.
Dally Disappeared From a Target Parking Lot & Video Showed Her Getting Into a Vehicle With a Blonde Woman
Dally went to Target in Ventura on May 6, 1996, and video of the parking lot showed her being accosted by a woman who claimed to be a security guard, articles from the Los Angeles Times from that time reported. The woman handcuffed Dally, who thought she was under arrest, and put her in the back of a car. Michael Dally reported his wife missing but soon after was discovered to be selling his wife’s belongings even though she was still missing.
On June 1, Dally’s remains were found in a ravine by Cañada Larga Road north of Ventura and a coroner determined that she had been beaten and stabbed to death and was nearly decapitated. Police focused their investigation into Dally’s disappearance and murder on Haun early on, since she had receipts for the disguise worn by the woman in the parking lot and the car she rented that was involved in the abduction had blood on the seats.
Dally’s Husband & His Mistress Were Charged With Her Abduction & Murder
Haun was arrested twice, once after Dally’s disappearance but she was released without charges, and a second time on August 1 after Dally’s remains were found, according to a timeline of the case in the Los Angeles Times. A few months after Haun’s arrest, Michael Dally was also arrested and charged with murder and authorities said his motive was to avoid a divorce, which could cost him a lot of money, and to gain his wife’s $50,000 life insurance.
The two faced separate trials but both were ultimately found guilty by their respective juries and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Both had faced the death penalty. According to the Los Angeles Times, over 100 witnesses testified during Michael Dally’s trial as to the cruelty he showed his wife in their marriage. They also testified that he behaved extremely nonchalantly after her disappearance.
Dally’s sons, who lived with Michael Dally’s parents after their mother’s death, filed a lawsuit against Haun for emotional and financial losses of both their parents and received $6.4 million in compensation, although it’s unclear if they received the money since Haun already owed money for her legal defense, the Los Angeles Times reported.