Killed by hubby’s lover

The case... THREE’S A CROWD His mis­tress was on trial for killing his wife, but was Michael Dally the master­mind be­hind it all?

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Sherri Dally was mar­ried to Michael, and had two sons, then 7 and 9.

She loved her boys to bits, all three of them!

A woman with a huge heart, she ran a child day­care cen­tre from her home.

Michael worked as the night man­ager at a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket.

He de­scribed his wife as, ‘just your av­er­age mom’, and to any­one else they prob­a­bly looked like your av­er­age cou­ple.

How­ever, Sherri, 35, was slowly los­ing Michael to an­other woman.

Des­per­ate to hold on to the man she’d loved since high school, she’d lost weight, changed her hair, and sewed for him.

‘She never looked at an­other boy af­ter she met Mike,’ Sherri’s grand­mother said. ‘He was the only per­son in her life. He was her one and only love.’ Sadly, it wasn’t re­cip­ro­cated. ‘There’s no doubt he saw other women,’ one friend said.

Yet, Sherri was al­ways think­ing of oth­ers.

And 6 May 1996 was no dif­fer­ent... She did the school run, then went to a nearby Tar­get store to buy a night­dress as a Mother’s Day present.

She was about to go home when a blue-green car pulled up be­hind her van, block­ing her in. Sherri got into the car, driven by a woman with short, blonde hair.

And was never seen alive again.

A col­league of Michael’s, Di­ana Haun, 36, was later ar­rested.

Then, a week af­ter Sherri’s dis­ap­pear­ance, Michael filed for le­gal sep­a­ra­tion from her, claim­ing ir­rec­on­cil­able dif­fer­ences and seek­ing sole cus­tody of their sons.

The fol­low­ing week, Michael said he didn’t be­lieve Di­ana had com­mit­ted the crime. That they were ‘good friends’, had worked the night shift to­gether.

How­ever, neigh­bours said they were sig­nif­i­cantly more.

‘I’d seen Dally over quite a bit,’ Di­ana’s neigh­bour Wil­liam Chaney said. ‘I knew it was her boyfriend. You’d see them kiss each other good­bye in the drive­way and stuff like that.’

Di­ana was sub­se­quently re­leased due to lack of ev­i­dence. Then, in June 1996, skele­tal re­mains were found in a steep ravine north of the city. They were Sherri Dally’s. She’d been beaten and stabbed to death. Di­ana Haun was ar­rested again, but de­nied killing Sherri. Shock­ingly, Michael Dally was ar­rested, too, for slay­ing his wife. In Au­gust 1997, fol­low­ing her trial, Di­ana Haun was found guilty of mur­der, kid­nap­ping, con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der, and a spe­cial cir­cum­stance of mur­der for fi­nan­cial gain and ly­ing in wait. The pros­e­cu­tion de­scribed it as a hu­man-sac­ri­fice birthday gift to her lover. She was sen­tenced to life in prison with­out pa­role. But was she act­ing alone? Spec­u­la­tion about Michael’s in­volve­ment was rife. And, in Fe­bru­ary 1998, Michael Dally, 37, went on trial for mur­der, con­spir­acy,

sherri was los­ing Michael to his lover

and kid­nap charges.

Prose­cu­tors ac­cused him of mas­ter­mind­ing the kid­nap­mur­der with his lover Di­ana in or­der to avoid a costly di­vorce, and col­lect Sherri’s life in­sur­ance.

He de­nied any role in Sherri’s death.

But Sherri’s best friend, Deb­o­rah English, re­mem­bered a con­ver­sa­tion she’d had with Michael af­ter Sherri’s re­mains were found.

‘He said the body was not in the right place, that it had been moved,’ Deb­o­rah told ju­rors.

Based on po­lice pho­to­graphs, he told her his wife’s body had been moved about 10ft, and her wed­ding ring, too.

The court also heard two months be­fore Sherri van­ished, Michael told a col­league the pres­sures of pleas­ing both his wife and mis­tress were ‘killing him’.

‘He said it was hard hav­ing two women,’ a gro­cery worker also tes­ti­fied.

The jury heard in the weeks be­fore Sherri’s body was found, Michael sug­gested to co-work­ers his wife had been kid­napped and tor­tured.

‘He said, “I know some­thing you don’t know,’’’ his col­league re­vealed. ‘He said that she was hand­cuffed… He said that he thought that she was dead and tor­tured.’

And a fam­ily friend tes­ti­fied Michael ad­mit­ted his lover Di­ana Haun had killed his wife.

As the ev­i­dence mounted, it was also sug­gested Michael was in such a bad fi­nan­cial state, Sherri tear­fully re­moved their chil­dren from pri­vate school three months be­fore her death.

And two weeks af­ter her dis­ap­pear­ance, he cashed in his own $190,000 life in­sur­ance pol­icy for just over $1,000 to set­tle un­paid bills.

A for­mer pros­ti­tute then tes­ti­fied Michael spent money on drugs and sex while com­plain­ing about his fi­nances.

The de­fence, how­ever, painted a dif­fer­ent pic­ture…

They raised doubts about Michael’s true knowl­edge of his wife’s kid­nap­ping, sug­gest­ing he helped, rather than hin­dered, the whole po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

De­fence wit­nesses said ru­mours and leaks were rife, pro­vid­ing any­one and ev­ery­one with de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the crime.

The de­fence also claimed Michael was a heavy sleeper, which was why he didn’t an­swer the door when po­lice knocked af­ter mid­night on 7 May.

Two de­tec­tives in­volved in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said Michael was co­op­er­a­tive and as­sisted them with their en­quiries. That he sounded con­cerned about his miss­ing wife when he phoned them.

Michael’s fa­ther also took to the stand, giv­ing his son an al­ibi for the night his wife was killed. Lawrence Dally told ju­rors his son was at home.

As the trial drew to a close, the de­fence said ev­i­dence against Michael was thin, spec­u­la­tive, and failed to prove he had killed his wife.

‘This case is put

Michael’s fa­ther gave him an al­ibi stabbed: Wife sherri

to­gether on tis­sue pa­per,’ lawyer James Far­ley ar­gued in his clos­ing ar­gu­ments.

So did Di­ana Haun act alone? Or was Michael Dally guilty of mas­ter­mind­ing the cold-blooded mur­der of his wife?

M ichael Dally was con­victed of help­ing his lover mur­der his wife.

Con­cern­ing the death of his wife, Dally was found guilty of mur­der, kid­nap­ping, con­spir­acy, and ly­ing in wait, and sen­tenced to life with­out pa­role.

He was also or­dered to pay $10,000 to the state, and $15,000 to his wife’s fam­ily.

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