Real Time Investigation: The Mongo Murders, an introduction
“Your world crashes. Everything that you remember as a person, who you used to be, it changes.” Sherry Musilek, Terry Anderson's daughter and Darleen Anderson's step-daughter, said. “Someone had to go on that property that knew them and knew their routine.”
Musilek describes her father as a loveable man. He was loud, a Navy veteran and avid outdoorsman.
“Dad was just a good guy. Warm, caring, hard-worker.” Musliek said. “Loved to fish. Loved to hunt. Loved the outdoors. My dad worked for Asplundh tree service at the time. And, he cut down trees. But, mostly he was the supervisor and pretty much told people what to do.”
She says Darleen was his polar opposite. Describing her as quiet and reserved, a "hummingbird."
“Darleen, she was so kind. I spent a lot of time with her when I would visit. Because Amanda was young. We would go there, go shopping. She was very, um, just soft spoken. She loved garage sale-ing. We would go to garage sales and go to estate sales. Boy, we would sit there for hours! And I’d be like, uh, ‘I’m done!’ And she would still, let’s go see one more! She got me into it. And Just knick-nacks. She had a doll collection. Great cook. Worked for Kraft Foods for decades.” Musilek said.
With Darleen's gentle demeanor and Terry's likeability, as real as the mystery in Mongo is, it's still hard to believe.
“I remember everything. I remember where I was when it happened. I got that call. I was at work.” Musilek said.
It was Musilek's sister, Amanda Anderson, who found the first body. She worked with Terry and went to the house to pick him up for work. Sherry says Amanda walked into the home where she found Darleen's body on the couch. At first, she believed Darleen had been shot. Sherry wouldn't know anything more for several hours. She lived on the southside of Chicago. She loaded up the car with her husband and their 2-year-old son.
“All the way there, we’re thinking ‘Oh my God. What happened to Darleen and where is dad?’” She explained.
When they finally got to Mongo, they were unable to get to the home because of all of the police vehicles. They parked the car down the road. Sherry's husband Eric got out and approached investigators while Sherry and her son stayed in the car. Soon after, a detective got into the car with Sherry. He had her dad's wallet in his hand.
“(He) handed it to me and said ‘This is your dad’s wallet.’ And it had everything in there from his social security card to his gun card, everything. He said ‘I found your dad. Your dad’s deceased and he’s in the pole barn.’” Musilek explained. “Both of them had blunt force trauma. Darleen was in her living room on her couch. It was at night because she had her lounge clothes on to go to bed.”
At first glance, it would seem the murders happened during a run-of-the-mill robbery.
“Some stuff was taken. There was his .22 rifle that he carried around with him all of the time… There were some coins... There was a crossbow.” Sherry said. “None of Darleen’s jewelry was taken. It was just really some odd… an old muzzleoader type gun that was soldered like 10 times was taken. It just seems some really bizarre stuff was taken that had no value, really.”
Our Real Time Investigation into the Mongo Murders has taken us across and out of Michiana. From the scene in rural Mongo, the city of LaGrange, Cedar Lake, Howe, Sturgis, Michigan, and Chicago. We went to LaPorte and New Carlisle on the trail of a potential suspect and even exchanged letters with a convicted murderer who is in prison. Investigators believe he knows more than he's letting on.
“He won’t talk. We’ve attempted to talk to him.” LaGrange County Prosecutor, Greg Kenner, said. “He’s still somebody we’re still interested in. And obviously you know he’s in prison, obviously you know that. So.”
However, family members and friends don't believe whoever committed the murders did it alone.
“I don’t believe their theory! I don’t believe it!" Musilek said.