Real Name: Michael Angelo Emert
Nicknames: Mike, Mikey
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 4, 2001
Details: Mike and Mary Beth Emert were prosperous partners in Seattle-area real estate and had been married for several years. They lived in Redmond, Washington, and seemed to have the perfect life. All of that changed on January 4, 2001, when he went to meet a man named Steven who was interested in buying a house that he had shown him the previous day. Steven apparently walked with a limp and carried a cane. They met at a local mall at around 11:30AM. They then went to the house, located in Woodinville. It was in its own private lot, far away from neighboring houses.
At 12:30PM, the house's owner returned from work to have lunch. She entered through the garage and was alarmed to find the front door ajar. She was also disturbed by the sound of running water upstairs. She found a trail of blood that led to the bathroom, where she found Mike's body. He had been brutally murdered, stabbed nineteen times, and was placed in the bathtub with the shower running. His black Cadillac Escalade was later found abandoned at a nearby shopping center. His cell phone and wallet were found in Seattle. It is unknown why the killer left them there.
The police discovered the crime had been meticulously planned. They believe the house was chosen because it was far away from any others. They also believe that Steven may have been hired to kill him, with his handicap merely a ruse. This would explain how a "crippled" man would be able to take him down. Investigators believe that the cane he had might have had a knife in one part of it which was used to kill him. They also believe that the shower and sinks were left running so that the killer could get rid of trace evidence on Mike's body, his own hands, and his weapon.
Although Mike's diamond ring and expensive watch were taken from his body, investigators do not believe robbery was the motive. They also believe that the killer was a professional hitman. However, one question they were never able to answer was who would hire a hitman to kill him. Mary Beth and all of his coworkers were eliminated as suspects. Investigators looked back into his history but could find no one that may have wanted him dead. No motive for the crime has ever been identified. A $5,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Suspects: Police believe the man calling himself "Steven" was the killer. Mike told Mary Beth that Steven was in his fifties, walked with a limp, carried a cane, spoke in an East coast accent, and claimed to have been relocating from Northern California. Some believe that the cane was a ruse and possibly the murder weapon. Police believe he picked the house because of its secluded location. They also believe that he may have committed other murders. He has never been identified.
A transient named Jeffrey Solo was investigated as a person of interest in the case. He walked with a limp and matched the description of "Steven". He also had previously served time in prison for fraud. He denied any involvement in the case and was later cleared. It is interesting to note that he is the father of famed soccer player Hope Solo.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 12, 2001 episode.
Jack Brown of Ypsilanti, Michigan is another murdered real estate salesman.
Results: Unresolved. In May of 2011, DNA found at and near the crime scene was linked to sixty-two-year-old former police officer Gary Krueger. Investigators discovered that he had died several months earlier; he had drowned in Lake Washington after fleeing the scene of a home invasion. His motive for the crime is still a mystery. He was also linked to the three previously unsolved murders of Mario Vaccarino, Jim Barry, and Terry Dolan. He is also a suspect in the murder of Cheryl Grose. These circumstances imply he may have been hired as a hitman, but who hired him if anyone is unknown.
Another theory is that the murder was real estate related. After retiring as a police officer, Gary worked a short time as a real estate agent. One of his other possible victims, Jim Barry, was a real estate attorney. His crime partner, John Alan Bradshaw, had previously been convicted of arson and money laundering. Bradshaw also vanished after the home invasion and is believed to have drowned.
- Mike Emert on Unsolved.com
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- Mike Emert - True Crime Diary
- Mike Emert on Find a Grave