Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Blood Oath Murder


Sherry's friends described her as a small woman who laughed loudly. She was also said to be kind, generous, selfless, loyal and loving, as well as overly-trusting of men.

Sherry Harlan
Sherry Harlan
"She was too trusting of [men]," a friend said. "She had a history of meeting men in the oddest places and getting hurt...she didn't think she could live without a man...she was a magnet for the wrong type."

According to friends and acquaintances, Sherry had met Christensen the previous summer on a social-networking site.

"She fell for him hard and fast," said a friend. "She looked at him as if he was the best thing in her life and the best thing that was ever going to happen to her."

Christensen, the cops learned, had been sent back to jail in Snohomish County in September 2009 for possession of a dangerous weapon. Sherry had apparently told a neighbor prior to Christensen's release from jail in December that he had told her wanted to move in with her, but that she was against the idea. The neighbor told police that Christensen was "controlling, possessive and obsessed" with Sherry. He watched her constantly and shadowed her when she took Roscoe for walks. The neighbor reportedly advised Sherry to "get rid of him;" and, although a part of her wanted to do so, she was unable to bring herself to end the relationship. Later, Sherry decided that she would end her relationship with Christensen, but, for reasons that remain unclear, she changed her mind and took him back when he was released from jail in December 2009. Some speculated that her fear of him had caused her to reconsider ending the relationship.

"We're all just heartbroken," said a friend. "My wife and I both told her she needed to learn to live and be happy without a man before she could be happy with a man...unfortunately, she never got to that point."

According to another neighbor, Sherry had reportedly told her landlady as well as a friend at work "to keep an eye on her" because "she didn't know what was going to happen to her."

"She didn't say boyfriend or husband or whatever, but she was afraid of something," the neighbor recalled. "You could see it in her eyes."

"He stressed her out," said another friend. "She told me herself that she was afraid of him. He broke her car. He broke her cell phone. He shot her dog in the eye with a BB gun."

Christensen also supposedly had a shoulder injury and was on disability; he did not have a job.

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