SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – In 2010, Sherry Black was found murdered at her South Salt Lake bookstore.
It took nearly 12 years before Adam Durborow was tracked down and convicted of her murder.
This is the story behind the investigation, and how a cold case detective caught their killer.
“He was working at a Walmart in Orem,” said Ben Pender, the cold case detective with Unified Police. “It was a Saturday. We felt with all the evidence we had on him, that we had the goods on him.”
And then they saw him, Adam Durborow. The man suspected of murdering Sherry Black in 2010.
“This morning, we made an arrest in the Sherry Black cold case,” Sheriff Rosie Rivera announced at a press conference.
By 9:25 that same morning, Durborow was in custody, about to be interviewed by detectives.
Pender entered the room laying down snacks and water. It was going to be a long morning for Durborow.
“The reason you’re here today is because of the Sherry Black case,” Pender said to Durborow.
The interview was recorded by authorities, and ABC4 obtained a copy.
“We don’t have you here because we’re wondering if you did it or not,” Pender continued. “I know you did it, okay? I’ve been working this for 5 years. It’s not about the who, it’s about the why.”
Durborow had one hand handcuffed to the table. He was wearing a mask. It was at the height of the pandemic.
“I went into the bookstore,” Durborow said. “I had no intention at all to do anything. It was a bookstore. I love books. I don’t know (why this happened).”
It all began on November 30, 2010. South Salt Lake City police surrounded the home. The media had converged there as well.
An ABC4 correspondent reported it this way: “64-year-old Sherry Black was found stabbed to death inside her South Salt Lake business Tuesday afternoon. She was discovered by her husband. Right now, police do not have any suspects.”
“We’re very careful about what is put out there,” said Gary Keller, the spokesman for SSLCPD. “We do not want to compromise the investigation at this point nor the prosecution when it comes to that.”
But inside the bookstore, blood possibly from the suspect was found. There was no match when police used a national database called CODIS, Combined DNA Index System.
Black owned a bookstore that specialized in LDS books, many were collectibles.
At the time, there was a statement issued by Black’s son-in-law, Greg Miller, the CEO of the Larry H. Miller group, which previously owns the Utah Jazz.
The murder led to the closure of the bookstore. In 2011, her daughter and husband spoke about their tragedy to ABC4.
“I have anger,” said Heidi Miller, Black’s daughter. “Don’t get me wrong. I find myself being angry.”
Black’s husband sat next to Heidi.
“They said there no signs of trouble, no threats, not even a robbery,” Earl Black said. “[I was] very surprised that we’d never been robbed or any problems that way.
“Unfortunately, the tips didn’t work out because it’s a sketch, viewers had a hard time differentiating a sketch from a photograph,” Pender said.
Meanwhile, the man who eventually would be convicted of her murder was watching the developments.
“Every now and then,” Durborow said during his interview with Pender. “Most of the time I just, honestly, I just pretended it wasn’t me.”
In the final segment of “To Catch A Killer” on Friday, Pender turns to a novel approach: investigative genetic genealogy, which is beginning to make its way into law enforcement investigations.