Killed by his own daughter
Her mum ill, Cheryl had wifely ‘duties’...
Cheryl Pierson’s childhood wasn’t easy. Her dad James, was an aggressive, ‘foul-mouthed’ bully. He taught his three children to be silent when adults were in the room. Not to drink water at mealtimes until they’d finished their food.
If they did anything wrong, they were smacked across the face, threatened every day.
Then, when Cheryl was 10, her mother Cathleen was diagnosed with kidney disease. As the illness took hold, Cathleen needed to sleep downstairs, needed lots of care.
A difficult time for the whole family. Indeed, James Pierson certainly seemed to struggle. Because it was then that he started to abuse his own daughter Cheryl. ‘I had to take on wifely duties as far as the house, but also the intimate things you do with your wife,’ she later said. Raped and abused on a near-daily basis, Pierson threatened to kill Cheryl if she breathed a word to anyone about his acts. In February 1985, Cathleen died, leaving Cheryl and her siblings in Pierson’s care. Cheryl suffered in silence. Endured being forced to have sex with her own dad up to three times a day. ‘The more I fought, the more aggressive it became,’ she said. Despite the unthinkable abuse, Cheryl managed to carry on as normal at school, was popular, had lots of friends, and loved being a cheerleader. Then Pierson threatened to start abusing Cheryl’s 8-yearold sister and something snapped inside her. One day at school, in November 1985, Cheryl mentioned a plot she’d seen on the news involving a hitman. She asked if anyone would be willing to kill someone for money.
Of course, no-one took the request seriously. She was just a nice, innocent child.
But then she confessed to school friend Sean Pica that her father abused her.
Horrified, Pica agreed to kill him for $1,000 (about £750).
Pica later said that after Cheryl had mentioned it, they went on school Christmas break.
‘And, man, I thought about her every day of that break. I just couldn’t let it go. So I just went and waited and shot the guy on his driveway.’
One dark Wednesday morning, in February 1986, Pica hid behind a tree in front of Cheryl’s house.
Pica – 16 years old, a Boy Scout, with braces on his teeth – was clutching a rifle.
When Cheryl’s dad came out of the house to go off to work, Pica shot him in eryl Teenager Ch
Why did she do it?