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?
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.