Lisa Ziegert Murder: Who Killed Her? How Was Lisa Ziegert Murder Case Cracked After 25 Years? – The gruesome killing of 24-year-old Lisa Ziegert in Agawam, Massachusetts, in April 1992 is detailed in the NBC episode “The Music Box.” Although Lisa Ziegert was discovered dead in 1992, her murderer wasn’t located until 25 years later.
NBC Dateline gives cases that are frequently overlooked over time an emotional touch through interviews with family, friends, neighbors, and authorities connected to the case.
Gary Schara, who was 50 years old at the time, was charged with first-degree murder after confessing to kidnapping and killing Lisa Ziegert in September 2017. Schara never explained why he killed Lisa, but the case was eventually solved. Read on to learn more about the 1992 murder of Lisa Ziegert and how it took 25 years to crack the case.
Who Was Lisa Ziegert?
Recently out of Westfield State College, Lisa Ziegert. The 24-year-old was employed as a teaching assistant at the Massachusetts middle school Agawam. Additionally, she worked another job at Brittany’s Card and Gift Shop. She was kidnapped on April 15, 1992, while she was working at the card store.
Ziegert was classified as a “missing person” after store owners discovered the store unlocked the following morning, Ziegert’s car and possessions left there, and after she failed to show up for work at Agawam Middle School.
Who Killed Lisa Ziegert?
Four days later, Ziegert’s body was discovered in a wooded region. Despite the fact that her murder was determined to be a homicide in 1992, her killer wasn’t found until 2017. According to PEOPLE, “she had been sexually assaulted, and a later autopsy report found that she had died of a single stab wound to the neck.”
Gary Schara had been a person of interest in Ziegert’s death since 1993, but he wasn’t arrested until Noelle DesLauriers, his then-girlfriend, gave the police letters that Schara had written. Massachusetts State Police Trooper Noah Packer told NBC’s Dateline that there were “three distinct letters.” One of them was virtually a letter of confession. A final will and testament were in another letter. He also left the Ziegert family a letter of apology.
— Kara Walsh (@karadominick) September 28, 2016
How Was Lisa Ziegert Murder Case Cracked After 25 Years?
Gary Schara’s estranged wife, Joyce McDonald Schara, claimed that her husband had murdered Lisa Ziegert in 1993. He had an odd preoccupation with the case, she revealed.
According to Sportskeeda, Investigators quickly rejected the claim, though, since Schara had no criminal history and many enraged wives and girlfriends at the time had been blaming their partners for wrongdoing them for Ziegert’s death.
Detective Sergeant Mark Pfau took over the investigation of Joyce Schara’s claim in 2001. Gary first denied his request for an interview, but a few months later, in 2002, he showed up at the Agawam police station. Before he was asked to provide a DNA sample to clear his identity and declined, citing his concern about being covertly cloned, there was nothing odd about him.
In 2016, authorities opened cold cases due to developments in DNA technology like digital compositing. State Police Trooper Noah Pack and Detective Sergeant Mark Pfau—who had been working on Lisa’s case since the beginning—started digging into the case files anew.
According to the NBC Dateline show, the two focused their investigation on 11 candidates who resembled the digital composite image created using samples discovered on Lisa’s body. Anthony Gulluni, the district attorney, asked the court for permission to force any suspect who refused to produce a DNA sample to do so.
On September 13, 2017, Gary Schara’s apartment door was answered by his roommate while he was away. Noah Pack was there. Back then, Schara resided with his then-girlfriend Noelle DesLauriers, who found him gone the day after she returned from her nursing shift, along with a letter addressed to her.
In the letter, Gary admitted to the 25-year-old crime and gave an account of how, despite not intending to kill Ziegert, he allowed himself to do a terrible thing on that fateful day. He also said that he had grown up being captivated by bondage and kidnapping. The letter’s last will and testament and an apology to Ziegert’s family were on the following two pages. He inscribed his name as GES (Gary Edward Schara).
DesLauriers claimed that Gary might have committed himself while also giving the police the letter. Mark Pfau understood that Schara had written the letter to assuage his guilt after learning that his DNA sample would match the murderers.
Detectives discovered Schara at the emergency room after he ingested a mouthful of ibuprofen. Pfau also remembered Joyce Schara telling him that on the night of Ziegert’s murder, she had bought a music box at Brittany’s Card and Gift Shoppe and had received one from Gary. At DesLauriers’ house, police took a sample of Schara’s saliva from his toothbrush and performed DNA tests. The results were clear-cut and connected Schara to the long-ago crime.
You can stream “The Music Box” episode on NBC.