Aliza Sherman was a 53-year-old mother of four living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents had immigrated to the United States in the 1950s after surviving the Holocaust. She shared a home with her husband of 31 years, Sanford Sherman.

Sanford ran a successful ophthalmologist practice for many years but closed it down after his office assistant quit. Aliza, who had focused on being a stay-at-home mother, got a job as an in vitro fertilization nurse at the Cleveland Clinic.

The couple’s relationship was rocky, and they were still living together even though Aliza had filed for divorce a year and a half prior. According to their children and police reports, the couple often fought. Their son Jason recalled,

“I have memories from when I was 3-years-old sitting on the carpet in the family room and covering my ears when they were fighting. The police were at our house numerous times throughout our childhood, because me or one of my siblings just called the cops when they were fighting.”

Aliza expressed her worries in an email she sent herself. “I am really afraid he is going to have me k*illed,” the mother stated. Her brother, Edward, gave an insight into Sanford’s character,

“He could be a good and gracious guy. But he had two sides to him. He was a guy who could be kind of tough and mean, even with his own family. He sometimes didn’t hesitate to exhibit that in an open setting with other people watching.”

On March 24, 2013, Aliza was in downtown Cleveland to meet with her lawyer, Gregory Moore. The court proceedings for her divorce were two days away.

Around 5:30 PM, Aliza walked towards the Stafford & Stafford offices on the 5th floor of 55 Erieview Plaza. She was just 30 feet from the building’s entryway when she was brutally attacked in broad daylight.

Aliza suffered 11 stab wounds — one in her right arm, two on the right side of her neck, and eight in her back. Kenneth Shepherd was on the 4th floor when he heard the woman’s screams. He ran downstairs and called 911. He told the dispatcher,

“There’s blood everywhere. I’ve never seen this much blood.”

Aliza was taken to the MetroHealth Medical Center, where she was pronounced d*ead at 6:14 PM.

When police arrived at the family’s home to inform them of the incident, 17-year-old Jeremy had already texted his 25-year-old sister Jennifer to ask where their mother was. Aliza had left that afternoon to run some errands and told Jeremy she’d return with pizza. Several hours and unanswered phone calls later, they knew something was wrong.

Authorities believe Aliza’s k*iller was caught on the surveillance camera of a parking garage near the crime scene. Footage shows a hooded individual running moments after the attack. Their race and sex are unclear.

Aliza’s lawyer had told her he was in his office as she arrived. But according to witnesses and phone and keycard records, Moore left an hour before and only returned an hour after the attack.

Aliza had complained about Moore being late to meetings and not answering her messages. He had even delayed the divorce proceedings several times due to being unprepared. Aliza tried to get a different lawyer, but the case was too far along, and she didn’t have funds.

In 2016, Moore pled guilty to one count of falsification for giving investigators inaccurate information regarding the case. He later also pled guilty to calling in bomb threats to three courthouses on days his clients were scheduled to appear in 2012. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

A year after Aliza’s mu*rder, Jennifer filed a lawsuit against her father. She claimed Aliza discovered Sanford had a secret bank account in her name during the divorce proceedings. The account, which had about $2 million at one point, had been closed by the time she found it. Jennifer argued the money should belong to Aliza’s estate, while Sanford insisted his wife knew of the account and claimed it was a joint asset since they were married.

During the trial, it was revealed that Sanford had a four-year-long affair and asked one of his friends how to get away with “a perfect mu*rder.” According to Larry Shanker, his response was,

“Don’t use your car or don’t let your car be seen. Don’t use a gun because it could be heard. Don’t use your street clothes. Use something that would cover up your entire body, your face, your hands.”

Jennifer settled the suit after Sanford paid $110,000 to her mother’s estate.

Aliza was well-liked in her community and devoted to her religion and family. Over 600 people attended her funeral. Her loved ones hold a yearly vigil in her honor and continue to fight to have her kil*ler brought to justice.

Ten years later, the Cleveland Police are still offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the perpetrator.

Jennifer has become an advocate for domestic ab*use victims and recalls her mother with fondness,

“She was my hero. I was in awe of her. She was the most selfless person I have ever known, who did everything to help other people and lift other people up without ever expecting anything in return.”

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