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Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone arrested for 1989 slaying of clerk at North Sacramento adult video store?

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014 - 11:00 pm

A long time ago – about 25 years – a clerk at Goldie’s in North Sacramento was killed. Was the killer ever caught?

– Walt, Woodland

Shirley J. “Sherry” McGowan, 56, the night clerk at Goldie’s Adult Video-Bookstore, was killed in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 1989.

When the day clerk arrived at the 24-hour store at 2138 Del Paso Blvd. at 8 a.m., he found McGowan’s body in a pool of blood. According to stories in The Bee, someone had crushed McGowan’s skull, repeatedly hitting her with one of the store’s heavy videocassette recorders.

Although a reward of $12,500 was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer, no arrests were reported.

McGowan worked the night shift because it allowed her to take care of her 86-year-old mother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

She reportedly could be tough with an unruly customer when necessary, but was also known for giving money to the poor and homeless.

Police said they believed McGowan locked the store’s front door about 4 a.m. for her nightly routine of cleaning the store. They believed she was surprised by her assailant, who may have been hiding in a video viewing booth.


Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke



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