She read Sun Herald’s series on a domestic violence survivor. Then she sent this letter.

The Sun Herald wrote a three-part series on Dawn Franklin, a woman who was nearly beaten to death in George County by then-boyfriend David Adele.

Franklin barely escaped and later found out that Adele had a history of domestic violence — and he had killed before.

In May 1992, Adele found out that his former girlfriend Sherrie Stockwell had a date with another man. Stockwell had left Adele because she had enough of the beatings. She filed a restraining order against him, but that didn’t stop Adele from going to the home they once shared in Cahokia, Illinois. He tied up Stockwell and beat her to death on May 8.

Days later, Adele admitted to police he had killed her. A white sheet was draped over her body.

Stockwell’s daughter, Stacey Anderson, found Franklin’s stories on after a Google search. She wrote a letter to reporter Margaret Baker, who arranged a meeting between Anderson and Franklin in Biloxi.

Here is a copy of the letter Anderson wrote to Baker before sharing her story with the Sun Herald:


My name is Stacey Anderson and I recently found and read the story about David Adele and Dawn Franklin from 2016. The reason that I am reaching out is because I was hoping you would be able to help me find Dawn so I can meet her. The previous girlfriend he murdered on May 8, 1992, was my mother, Sherrie Stockwell and her story is exactly the same as Dawn’s except with a different outcome.

In a strange twist of fate, we are actually going on a trip to Biloxi, MS in a few weeks from now to attend a family wedding (We live in Wisconsin). The timing seems perfect.

If you able to help at all, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Stacey Anderson

Bay City, WI

Margaret Baker is an investigative reporter whose search for truth exposed corrupt sheriffs, a police chief and various jailers and led to the first prosecution of a federal hate crime for the murder of a transgendered person. She worked on the Sun Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Hurricane Katrina team. When she pursues a big story, she is relentless.