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  Mercury spacesuit boot, other artifacts stolen from National Museum of Naval Aviation

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Author Topic:   Mercury spacesuit boot, other artifacts stolen from National Museum of Naval Aviation
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-11-2005 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Pensacola (FL) News Journal via Trey Goodman (colonelgumby):
Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a former National Museum of Naval Aviation employee accused of stealing artifacts from the museum and selling them on eBay.

Sherrie Shaw of Pace was charged with dealing in stolen property, forgery and theft after a U.S. Navy "Black Widow" Cross and its citation, a Purple Heart and its citation and a Mercury astronaut space boot were advertised for sale on the popular Internet auction site in late 2002 and early 2003.

Matt T
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posted 08-12-2005 04:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A worrying trend, and one that almost no-one (myself included) is taking seriously. At least, not seriously enough to stop buying stuff with no background.

Following the Max Ary allegations I decided that in the future I would request some background info on any items I bought through the reputable space auction houses.

So far my repeated attempts to elicit any info beyond that given in the auction catalogue have yielded nothing. Not even a refusal, the matter has just quietly died.

The anonymity of sellers and the unwillingness of the auction houses to furnish further information has two major adverse results. First it leaves us, the collectors, wide open to buying stolen goods. Second (and possibly more importantly) it kills all the item's historical provenance.

It's a thorny issue for auction houses; they might be naturally reluctant to put a collector in touch with a seller who has more items in their attic in case they decide to deal directly. However, passing an email of queries to the seller and then returning the answers seems to me a fairly safe way of preserving the history of these items, while simultaneously providing some details about the chain of ownership.

1202 Alarm
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posted 08-12-2005 05:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1202 Alarm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's why I was so glad to buy the Apollo Window Cover from you on eBay, Matt! You gave me all needed details and valuable information, including past owner, his own source, etc. I was able to track the piece from its origin. Something that would have been impossible from any auction house.

I will never buy an item without full information on origin and previous owner.

Spacepsycho
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posted 08-12-2005 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most of the serious collectors have always taken provenance seriously, especially to maintain the chain of custody of important pieces. Don't forget, there were many artifacts that were given, taken, thrown out and recovered and auctioned off by NASA or it's contractors that never came with proof as to it's origin.

Obviously nobody wants to buy stolen artifacts, but is a piece taken home by a NASA worker in the 70's considered "stolen" or a collectible to remind him/her of the program they worked on? From where I sit, thank God these guys took stuff home, because it's the only way most of the important artifacts make it onto the market for private collectors to buy.

There are auction houses selling items as "flown" when they aren't, because they get to add another couple of zeros onto the price. The problem is many of these items can't be proven one way or the other, so greed steps in and all of a sudden the artifacts becomes a flown piece. NASA or it's contractors didn't keep great records as to every piece of hardware on M-G-A that flew, so it lends itself to fraud by dishonest people. I'm not talking about "Stowage List" items, I'm referring to actual pieces of hardware used in the spacecraft.

I've bought many artifacts from people who worked on the programs that I know for a fact are flown, but I can't say they are because the worker didn't leave anything to prove it's history. There are other pieces where the worker left notes saying exactly what mission the artifact was flown on. I live a short drive from Downey where many NAA workers live and I can tell you, EVERYONE took stuff home.

Is it stolen or is it a piece of memorabilia? These things were taken home after the item was thrown out, the project was canceled or the item was never going to be used again, so is it considered stolen? Unfortunately many of the workers didn't document these items or even leave notes, but they are 100% authentic. Don't forget, after Apollo was canceled, these artifacts weren't worth anything, other than to the guys who worked on the project.

All of a sudden in the last five years, the prices go crazy for anything flown and for hardware. Like any collectible field, when the market is hot, people do stupid things (like stealing from a museum) or dishonest things (like saying something's flown) because there's big money involved.

The problem we're all having to worry about are criminals who are stealing important artifacts from museum collections that are easily tracked, then selling them through auction houses. If you demand the auction house offer provenance on every piece of hardware, close the doors because that will never happen. It's too much work for them to research every piece, they don't have the resources and they consider themselves nothing more than brokers of artifacts brought to them.

The auction houses will never refer clients to each other, it's the only way to maintain privacy and to keep control of the sale of other artifacts. If I had a customer with dozens of rare pieces, I sure wouldn't let anyone know who they were, because I'd be taking money out of my pocket. Expecting the auction houses to tell you who their clients are is not realistic.

I think most of the auction houses use due diligence when offering artifacts and they try to maintain the history of a piece, but it can't always be done. Unfortunately it's a buyer beware situation, but to not buy anything that doesn't come with provenance, is cutting yourself out of some wonderful things that pop up all the time that are legitimate.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-13-2005 03:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Further details from the Pensacola News Journal:
Sherrie Shaw took the stand in her own defense on the third day of testimony in her trial on organized dealing in stolen property charges. The six-member jury is expected to begin deliberations Monday...

The astronaut space boot, Shaw said, was in poor condition and had been discarded from the museum. Museum deputy director Robert Macon was about to throw the boot into a trash can when Shaw asked if she could have it, she said.

Macon testified that he would never throw the boot away nor give Shaw permission to take it.

"I would see no reason why I would give a historic Naval relic to a person just because they asked for it," Macon said. "It violates every rule known to mankind."

resident86
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posted 08-15-2005 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for resident86   Click Here to Email resident86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Words cannot describe how angry, how upset I am at reading this thread. I am a very good friend of the Shaw family and ran a search on Google for news of Mrs. Shaw's trial... and found this.

She's a good woman, a lady I consider to be like my second mother of sorts. She is caring, smart, funny, loving, and just a great person to be around. She raised two of the most wonderful, smartest kids, two people I consider my best friends.

Remember this before you go off spouting hateful words... family or friends of whoever you are talking about may stumble across your words. How would you think her two sons would feel if they came across this forum and read your stupid words? Their mother may be taken away from them for something stupid like this! God, I'm so upset. I can't believe this.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-15-2005 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by resident86:
Their mother may be taken away from them for something stupid like this!
While I can certainly understand your desire to defend someone close to you - but I would not begin to describe the subject of this case as "stupid." You may feel that museum collections are nothing more than pretty objects to look at it, but they are our record of history. History, I might add, that is more important than Ms. Shaw, you, or I. History that deserves to be defended and protected against all who would seek to "appropriate it" for their own benefit.

I have heard directly from one of Ms. Shaw's co-workers, someone who testified against her in court, and who paints a different picture of the situation than you do. So at best, the truth is somewhere in between. Before we start debating who is right, let's see what the jury has to say this week...

resident86
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posted 08-15-2005 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for resident86   Click Here to Email resident86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I see. Well, I'm not a co-worker of her's, just a family friend. I'm not sure exactly what I was trying to imply when I said stupid... history isn't stupid. I don't know, I'm just running ragged here.

I've just been so upset lately. I don't consider museum collections to be "pretty objects to look at." (I love the aviation museum!) I am a lover of history, and I'm studying to become a history teacher at university. If she took the items, I don't think she thought of it as stealing if that makes any sense at all. She loves the Navy. I think everything has just been blown out of proportion somehow. I mean, she could spend up to forty years in jail! If she did in fact steal the items (hard for me to believe) then she should have to do something to make up for it, and not spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Maybe the items did get mixed in with her collection. For example, I once checked out a few books from my local library and turned most of them back in instead of two. I have a large amount of books. A few weeks ago, I had to clean my house because of the hurricane and I found the two books right there in my collection! I thought they were part of my collection. (I have bought many books from library sales therefore they still have call number stickers on the spine.) Does that make sense?

Anyway, I will apologize if my comments are snappish and rude, it's just so hard to imagine my life without Mrs. Shaw. Thanks for replying Mr. Pearlman.

Richard
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posted 08-15-2005 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by resident86:
Maybe the items did get mixed in with her collection. For example, I once checked out a few books from my local library and turned most of them back in instead of two. I have a large amount of books. A few weeks ago, I had to clean my house because of the hurricane and I found the two books right there in my collection! I thought they were part of my collection. (I have bought many books from library sales therefore they still have call number stickers on the spine.) Does that make sense?
The difference is that you still didn't sell them on eBay. Furthermore, even though those books were relatively worthless, you still realized that with your large collection, they were still not your property. In this case, we are dealing with an extremely rare Mercury spacesuit boot worth thousands of dollars. I find it hard to believe that she has over 30 such spacesuit boots lying around and it just got mixed up in her collection.

I do believe your statement that she loves the Navy, but she still may love her lifestyle slightly more.

However, although the current evidence is pretty damning, I will give her the benefit of the doubt until ALL the evidence is presented.

resident86
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posted 08-15-2005 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for resident86   Click Here to Email resident86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sorry Richard, I should have clarified that I was thinking about the medals. I totally forgot about the boot (and the fact that this IS a forum about space stuff.) Mrs. Shaw has a medal collection and some of the musuem's medals got mixed in with hers.

I have no idea why she had the boot though.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-15-2005 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your loyalty to the lady in question is to be applauded and I understand your wish to defend a family friend.

I understand she collects items herself and it is this point that I personally find difficult to understand. I can recall how and when I acquired every artifact in my collection. I am sure the same can be said for every collector on this site or indeed any collector of any subject of note. I am quite sure the lady in question is no different.

How she can then "mix things up" with her own stuff, particularly items of significant historical note, beggars belief. A Mercury space suit boot for example....... not the sort of thing any collector would overlook surely?

resident86
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posted 08-15-2005 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for resident86   Click Here to Email resident86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Rick for the words. I understand what you are trying to tell me. I don't know why she didn't return the medals, because I think she had planned on doing so and they were in a box in her garage. Like I said earlier, I don't know why she had the boot. Perhaps it was her own personal stress or something and that's why she didn't return the medals or boot. However, I'm not part of the family, so I don't want to divulge any personal information. I don't know exactly what happened and I probably never will, unless she herself explains it to me. Even if she's convicted, it'll never change my feelings. She's like a mother to me and always will be.

It's just hard to think about Mrs. Shaw stealing things!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-15-2005 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Associated Press:
A former employee was convicted Monday of stealing medals, citations and a Mercury astronaut's boot from the National Museum of Naval Aviation and selling them on the Internet.

A six-member jury took two hours to find Sherrie Shaw, 43, guilty of theft, forgery and dealing in stolen property.

Circuit Judge Linda Nobles said sentencing would be set after Sept. 14. Shaw could face a penalty ranging from probation to 20 years in prison, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

Kandi
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posted 08-16-2005 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kandi   Click Here to Email Kandi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sherrie Shaw is my aunt. I can't believe the things I am reading! Sherrie is the last person in the world that would steal from anyone. She is a wonderful women with a great family who stands behind her. Sherrie is not guilty!

STEVE SMITH
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posted 08-16-2005 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have the same feelings ( very mixed) about the Max Ary/Cosmosphere situation. Sheer dis-belief that such a good, accomplished man could do such things.

I some times think betwwen eBay and collecting mania and the build up in prices, we have created a monster of greed.

thump
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posted 08-16-2005 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kandi:
Sherrie is not guilty!
I hate to say, but a jury of her peers has deemed otherwise.

kyra
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posted 08-18-2005 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The big question which strikes me (with both Ms. Shaw and Mr. Ary's cases): What were ANY museums' pieces doing in the homes of these individuals?

If you like a document or award make a photocopy or lasercopy of it. Take lots of pictures with your own camera. But never ever let any piece leave the premises.

If anything is discarded get the paperwork to prove it and keep it with that item, and backup copies of that paperwork in a safe for the rest of that items life (or yours).

How collections could get mixed together is truly beyond me. It is a poor example of not only conservatorship, but collecting as well.
I have a sympathetic heart and really did not want to believe what I was seeing here.

But, in my opinion, I'm not surprised the jury saw the case as they did. Whatever the intents were in certainty can only be known by Ms. Shaw. Serious errors in judgment were made in even the most sympathetic outlook. I hope whatever sentence befalls her in mid-September it gives her a chance to reflect on what has occurred here, and perhaps one day she will be the better for it.

guest
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posted 08-18-2005 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for guest   Click Here to Email guest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe laws should be passed to make it illegal to own a private military collection if you work in a military museum. To say that you collect military items but not Naval Aviation items is a farce. A Navy pilot is first a sailor, a Marine pilot is first a Marine. Their issue is universal to their branch and during times of combat; Marines will use Navy items, Navy may use Air Force and so on. This issue presents a conflict of interest.

Owen Miller
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posted 12-21-2005 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Owen Miller     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Mercury boot has been recovered. I was able to examine it last week at NMNA.

Richard
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posted 12-21-2005 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the final sentencing?

Owen Miller
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posted 12-21-2005 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Owen Miller     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sentencing was supposed to be today. I have not heard how it went. She faces another round of charges next month. From WEAR-TV:
A former Navy museum employee convicted of museum theft will be sentenced today.

Sherrie Shaw was convicted in August of stealing artifacts from the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

She was also wanted for failing to appear in court on new charges of perjury during the investigation and tampering with evidence.
Shaw was ordered to appear for arraignment but didn't show up.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2005 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard:
What was the final sentencing?
From the Pensacola News Journal:
Family members wept openly on Wednesday as a former National Museum of Naval Aviation employee was sentenced to jail time for stealing artifacts from the museum and selling them on eBay.

Sherrie Shaw of Pace was sentenced to a year and a day in state prison, followed by six years on probation. Shaw was taken into custody moments after Circuit Judge Linda Nobles announced the sentence.

The 44-year-old mother of two also must pay more than $3,200 in restitution -- the estimated value of the items she sold on the popular Internet auction site -- and is prohibited from working in a museum and selling or trading military artifacts.

cindy zort
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posted 12-22-2005 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cindy zort   Click Here to Email cindy zort     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well you all got your wish. A person whom has served her country and gave to her community all her life is on her way to prison. Wow now this is justice. People who drink and drive and make and sell drugs still room the streets. But make the front page and you get time. Justice, sweet sweet justice. A little harsh don't you think?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2005 07:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cindy zort:
Well you all got your wish.
Our only wish Cindy, is that our history is treated with the respect and care it has earned and deserves. That artifacts do not end up in recycling bins and that museum pieces aren't misplaced as if they didn't matter, regardless if by mistake or on purpose.

Those entrusted with caring for our history must be held responsible when they fail at that job. A jury of her peers found Sherrie Shaw guilty. If she still feels she is innocent and there is cause, she can file an appeal.

However by her own statement (from the article linked above) it does not sound as though she plans to object:

This court may not always be right, but it's the one I signed up to defend. It's the one I believe in. We're not always guaranteed justice, but we're always guaranteed the opportunity for justice. If the jury says I'm wrong, I will not war with this court. I will not war with this country.

Philip
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posted 12-22-2005 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyway, as said before... a worrying trend indeed!

cindy zort
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posted 12-22-2005 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cindy zort   Click Here to Email cindy zort     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds to me as if all you have is a vendetta against my sister. If you knew the whole story maybe you wouldn't be so quick to judge. Besides what do you care? You got your wish. The museum told her they would get her if she didn't comply with there wishes and they did.

Sherrie is a very smart woman. The statement she made before sentencing proves it. Although she is innocent she accepts the courts decision until of course she has her appeal. And yes there will be an appeal.

She will do her time with integrity, hold her head high, help all those who need it while she's there. Then she will leave your crooked town and come back home where she will be worshiped and loved. I am proud of my sister she has stood up for her right. Didn't accept a plea and weasel out. Appeal, you're darn right there will be an appeal.

Spacepsycho
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posted 12-22-2005 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cindy, you know what, nobody on this site really cares one way or the other about your sister, so chill out with your rantings and baseless accusations about what "we" collectors feel or think.

A jury of her peers got to see all the evidence in open court and they made their decision based on the facts. Do you honestly think there's a vendetta against her or that anyone here has the time to devote to conspiring against your sister?

The fact is that we, on this website, are fascinated and devoted to the preservation of space history and historical artifacts from the space program. We are on this board for our passion with the space program and to share that passion with like minded others. Period.

What's painfully obvious is how your sister violated the trust given to her by borrowing, stealing, taking or dumpster diving for historical space relics, then selling said items to line her pockets. Do you actually think that anyone believes your sister "FOUND" a flown Mercury boot in the trash, then sold it on eBay, then was surprised that someone took notice?

Come on, give us the courtesy of having two brain cells and don't curse us for putting two and two together, then coming up an answer that you don't like.

I have no doubt that your sister is a wonderful person who loves her family and is a great mother. The fact still remains that, as wonderful as your sister is, she did some incredibly stupid things, for which she's going to spend time in jail. Do you honestly think that society enjoys paying to incarcerate your sister because of her own greed or stupidity? Don't you think it's your sisters own actions that put her in the situation she's in?

Fact: Your sister is a thief, she broke the tenants of her responsibility and trust to protect and maintain historical artifacts. She then sold those stolen items for personal gain to enrich herself. She was paid by the museum to protect and preserve of our space history for generations to enjoy. Unfortunately she chose to violate that trust, for which she's being punished.

I'm sure she's sorry for what she's done now, but like the old adage goes, "It's not how you act when you're in the spotlight, it's how you act when nobody's looking, is the true mark of your character or lack of it". Apparently your sister didn't think anyone was looking, so the true measure of her character was exposed.

James Brown
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posted 12-22-2005 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said Ray. Thieves are never sorry, apologetic, until after they have been caught.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2005 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Before tempers further flare or feelings are further hurt, I want to caution both "sides" from lobbing insults at the other. We do not need to lower ourselves to name calling or assigning titles.

Cindy, the "wish" to which you refer "we" had was not that your sister was found guilty and sentenced, but that the Mercury boot was never stolen and then sold. Our wish was that cases such as your sister's didn't serve to further the divide between collectors and our national museums (and their conservators). Even if we accept that your sister only made a mistake, its one that has far reaching consequences that impacts our community directly.

At the same time, we need to recognize that your family will hurt as a result, and that is equally unfortunate. You certainly didn't do anything to warrant your own life being interrupted, nor did your sister's other family members.

Sherry's actions have affected us all. Our anger or disappointment shouldn't be directed between us.

FFrench
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posted 12-22-2005 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cindy zort:
If you knew the whole story maybe you wouldnt be so quick to judge.

This statement intrigued me: while a common statement made by those defending crime perpetrators, it is of course quite possible that there is more to the story than could be revealed in court. If you are legally allowed to tell us, Cindy, and if Robert is comfortable with it appearing on your website, I'd be interested to hear the whole story from your point of view here.

cindy zort
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posted 12-22-2005 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cindy zort   Click Here to Email cindy zort     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, thank you for your comments. We as a family are hurting. This has never happened to anyone in our family and we are truly devastated. We beleive in our dear sister and daughter's innocent. And there truly is more to the story then meets the eye. It is political and need not be discussed at this time. I will leave this site now and not bother any of you anymore. It is a collectors site and I don't belong. I just love my sister and it hurts me when people talk her down. She has done so much for so many. Please have some sympathy for our family and let it go.

warstuff
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posted 12-23-2005 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for warstuff   Click Here to Email warstuff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been monitoring the posts of this website regarding the Shaw trial for some time now and feel it is time for me to address it. I am a historian in the Pensacola area and was at the entire Shaw trial, something none of you can say no matter what side of the argument you are on.

The evidence against her was absolutely overwhelming. The rest of the people in the courtroom, the judge, the jury as well as myself were all obviously astounded by the amount of overwhelmingly solid evidence against her. There was nothing but hard, cold, heavily documented facts that without a doubt proved Shaw was stealing from the museum.

The space boot was not all that she stole and shipped out of state to be sold. Remember she was not on trial for just theft; she had a total of three felonies she was on trial for. She also stole a Navy Cross and citation that were presented to William A. Smith, the man who is credited with single handedly saving the USS Enterprise and the lives of the thousands of men aboard her during the battle of the eastern solomons during WWII.

She also stole a purple heart and its citation also related to Enterprise. Both the cross and the Purple Heart were on display at one time in the museum and this was documented with photographs.

Also, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found what ended up to be box after box of research materials, books, documents and US Navy manuals in her home. They were not neatly packaged to be returned or to be sold, but on her bookshelf in her home and on her nightstand next to her bed where she could see them everyday! These items were stamped as being property of the National Museum of Naval Aviation right on the inside covers. One can only assume that she was using these to write her eBay descriptions.

Her excuse that the things got mixed in with personal items or that she forgot about them and she didn't know where they came from is bogus, only a fool would buy that. I don't know about you all, but as a collector, I think I would remember if I owned a Mercury space boot (one of only about ten in existence), a documented Purple Heart and Black Widow Navy Cross from the USS Enterprise, which was also the most decorated ship of WWII I might add.

The "they got mixed in" defense is not a defense at all; the museum's items shouldn't have been at her house to begin with, that is still stealing, hello! When she discovered them she could have shipped them back to the museum, but that wouldn't have made her any money. She had no problem shipping them to New York to be sold so that she could make a few bucks off them.

Pay attention here - in open court, for the record, she admitted that she was creating false documents and forging the names and signatures on them so that she could send them along with the items she was selling in order to bolster their provenance. She was not only stealing, but RIPPING OFF the buyers TOO! I am not making any of this up folks, it is all public record and the transcripts of the trial are available for all of us to view. If you don't believe me, please get the transcripts and have a read.

The statement that the museum was out to get her is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Are you suggesting that the museum made her steal the items and ship them to be sold? Or made her falsify documents? The NCIS, the Navy's investigative body won't even investigate a case unless you can prove more that 10k in property was stolen and the newspaper said the stuff was valued at only $3200.

So I guess the big bad evil museum created a government conspiracy that went through Washington to Tallahassee and baked up a giant conspiracy that involved the US Government and the state of Florida as well as every local law enforcement agency, the FDLE, the eBay investigators from California and a string of witnesses from all over the country. Some of the evidence dated back to the 1960s when the items were first received; did the museum fake that forty years ago?

Remember folks; it was the State of Florida that took her to trial, not the museum, not the US Government. Anyway, please don't take my word for it, do a Google search on "Sherrie Shaw" and see what the newspapers and TV stations say. Also, obtain a transcript of the trial from the Escambia county clerk of court and find out for yourself. You will find what I'm saying it true.

Also, I heard from a very reliable source that she was never offered a plea so she couldn't "cop" one if she wanted to.

Remember, Pensacola and the Florida panhandle is a military stronghold for active, reservist and retired military personnel from every branch of service. The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a centerpiece for our pride and heritage. The people of our area take stealing our heritage very seriously. I am very happy to see that some on this website do too.

Please understand, I do feel very sorry for her family, especially her sons. However, criminals must pay and she is a criminal without a doubt. She has six years of probation after she gets out of prison, which I believe means she can't leave the state during those six years. Hopefully during that time she can get the help she obviously needs and do something to lift the shame she has brought to her friends and family.

All of you, keep up the good work and let us remain vigilant to other thieves who seek to rob us of our space and military heritage.

wickball
Member

Posts: 83
From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 12-23-2005 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wickball   Click Here to Email wickball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well stated, Jeff, hopefully this case and the media coverage it received is enough to deter others who may be in similar positions from the temptation to steal for personal gain. As the poster above my computer says, this was "Man's Greatest Adventure" and the artifacts left over from it must be safeguarded for all the generations to follow.

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