The Unsolved Murder of Mary S. Sherman

Rumors surround the murder of a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon who was found dead in her apartment.

Jennifer Baldwin
5 min readJul 25, 2021


(Source: Meta Zahren on Unsplash)

Mary S. Sherman, age 51, was a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in the research and treatment of bone cancer. She worked at the Ochsner Medical Clinic in New Orleans, Louisana, during the last part of her career in an attempt to perfect a treatment that would help people worldwide. She was a woman with a bright future ahead of her who may have made breakthroughs into cancer research, but her life was cut short.


At 4:00 a.m. on July 21, 1964, a resident of the Patio Apartments named Juan Valdes made a call to the New Orleans Police Department because he could smell smoke and feared the building was on fire. When police officers arrived, they found Apartment J was on fire towards the back of the building.

Firefighters soon arrived and found the bedroom of the apartment was in flames. When they pulled out a burning mattress, they found the body of Mary S. Sherman lying face-up on the floor just beneath the mattress.

When the firefighters put the fire out, they discovered Mary had suffered severe wounds from the burning fire. She had been burned on the right side of her body so seriously that her liver, intestines, and lungs were exposed to the elements. The fire had also completely incinerated her right arm and torso leaving nothing in sight.

The mattress and Mary’s body were the only objects in the room that had burned, allowing the fire department and police officers to take stock of the scene. What they found was disturbing as there was blood splattered on the walls and covered the floor. It was then they realized Mary’s death was more than an accident; it was murder.

The Investigation

The medical examiner determined Mary had been murdered and suffered multiple stab wounds in addition to her burns. She had been stabbed in the abdomen and the heart, as well as had a multitude of stab wounds to her arms which appeared to be self-defense wounds. The medical examiner believed it was the precise stab wound to the heart that ended her life.



Jennifer Baldwin

Teacher * Psychology * Unsolved Crime * Forensics * Mystery * Animal Lover * Fashion * Southern California