DOWNS, Ill. (WCIA) – More than 30-years ago, a Mansfield woman was found dead in her home.
Sheryl Houser’s death was initially ruled a suicide, but decades later her estranged husband, Greg Houser, was found guilty of murder.
Now, her sister is making sure Sheryl is remembered. For nearly 30-years, Renee Fehr said she couldn’t talk about her sister’s death, partly because she was still waiting for justice.
The year was 1990, a year that changed Fehr and her family’s lives forever.
“My older sister Sheryl was murdered by her husband in the middle of the divorce. October 5th of 1990,” Fehr said.
Sheryl was married to a man named Greg house. Fehr said he was abusive and after years Sheryl decided to leave him.
But in the middle of the divorce, custody battle, and sexual assault charges. Greg strangled the 29-year-old and staged it to look like suicide.
27-years-later, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55-years behind bars. Fehr said she knew she couldn’t let her sister’s legacy die. So, she wrote a book.
“Sheryl was a born helper. She loved to nurse animals, tame animals, and have all kinds of pet animals when she was young. She went on to become a nurse, not just a nurse, but a neonatal nurse. To help baby humans start their life. That’s who she was, and I want to keep her legacy alive by continuing to help others,” Fehr said.
“The Wheels of Justice” was released last week. It’s the story of Fehr’s 27-year fight to get her sister’s killer convicted, and she said finally, during the process of writing down her story, she could grieve.
“I have to tell you, that I think I shed more tears writing the book than I did through the events as they unfolded,” she said.
She said even though her sister is physically gone. Writing the book made her feel closer to her.
“Going through her files, her records, and her notes. At times, I almost felt her presence in the room with me. I think Sheryl is proud of me, and I know she lived to help people. So, for me to continue that in her name, and her honor, I’m sure she’s proud of that,” Fehr said.
Her hope with the book is to help shine a light and break the stigma surronding domestic violence. She wants people to know they are not alone in their fight.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are many different resources you can utilize.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- Illinois Domestic Violence Victim Services: 1-877-863-6338
- Illinois Coalition Aganist Domestic Violence: 1-217-789-2830
- Courage Connection: (217) 352-7151
- Sojourn Shelter & Services, Inc.: 217-726-5100
- Dove, Inc.: 217-423-2238