Posted by BOC Staff | Christopher Coleman,Garrett Coleman,Gavin Coleman,Murdered,Sheri Coleman | Wednesday 13 May 2009 8:36 am

Columbia, Ill– In the early morning hours of May 5, 2009, Columbia police were called to check on the welfare of Chris Coleman’s wife and children.


Sheri 31, Garrett 11, and Gavin 9, were found strangled in the family’s home at 2854 Robert Drive. Chris Coleman, Sheri’s husband and the boys Father, called police from his cell phone on his way home from a 5:30am visit to the Gym. When he did not get a response during the short drive, he called police expressing concern for their welfare. Coleman arrived on the scene shortly after police discovered the deceased.

Christopher Coleman, a security officer for Joyce Meyers ministries, and son of Revered Ronald and Connie Coleman has been questioned by Police and voluntarily submitted fingerprints. Through his recently hired attorneys, Arthur and William Margulis, Coleman maintains he is in constant contact with detectives, although they are not sharing any information with him. 


 Major Jeff Connor, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis:

“We’re still not prepared to call anyone a suspect,” Connor said, adding that he wouldn’t disclose any suspects name unless the person is charged.

He would not say whether there’s a threat to the general public, but said, “If we have information about a specific threat to anybody, we will release that.”  ”This case has taken top priority in all of law enforcement right now.”

In the week since Sheri Coleman and her sons have been murdered, the Major Squad Center has assigned 25 detectives to the case full time.

Coleman Fam

Chris Coleman had originally agreed to allow Sheri’s Mother, Angela DeCiccio make funeral arrangements closer to Chicago, but later changed his mind offering as an explanation that while Sheri’s family was welcome to attend, Funeral services would be taking place at his Father’s church.               Ms. DeCiccio and Sheri’s brother, Mario Weiss sought and obtained a temporary court order  delaying final burial, but the Memorial services for the family were held this Saturday with approximately 400 in attendance.

The family belonged to Destiny Church of St. Louis, located in Town and Country, Mo., where the boys were members of the church youth group.

The couple led a class in their home for eight weeks beginning Sept. 16 titled “Financial Peace: Dumping Debt and Cash Flow Planning” through their church. They teaching other couples how to get out of debt, stay out of debt and budget using the methods of Dave Ramsey, creator of Financial Peace University, a Biblically based training series for adults.

A message on the Destiny Church Web site from lead pastors Jim and Jessica Stern said: “Many of us in the Destiny family are mourning and rightly so, but let us not forget that God always finds a way to turn things intended for evil into something good.”

Sheri Coleman also was a member of World Outreach Missions.

This morning, 3 unmarked Police cars and an SUV full of detectives was staked out at the Chester Home of Rev. Coleman where Chris Coleman has been staying since the deaths of his family. At approximately 8am, the Coleman’s left the home for the Grace Church and were followed by the convoy of Law Enforcement. A source inside the investigation has confirmed to that the St. Louis MCU will not specify a suspect until that suspect is under arrest; although an arrest in this case is imminent.  




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  1. Cheryl says:

    My gut instinct- the husband went to gym as an alibi. Why would you call home @ 5.30 am & find it strange to not get an answer? Maybe they were early risers- but perhaps she was in shower & boys were sound asleep – my sister can sleep through a freight train coming through the house. He called police right away? its too fishy- doesnt sit right in the gut with me

    Right, my sources tell me they are waiting on a judge’s signature for an arrest warrant as we speak.

  2. Brenda in Virginia says:

    We have a nearly exact case right now in Christiansburg, Virginia. A woman who everyone loved found dead in her home by the husband who had happened to “step out” early in the morning and returned to find her dead. No arrests yet, but just like this case an lovely family to those only looking in from the outside and police have stated they “do not believe there was ever a danger to the general public”. Things that make you go “hmmmm?”

  3. Me says:

    What someone would do is….drive home first. Nobody rushes to call the police just because someone doesn’t answer the phone.

  4. EyesWIDEOpen says:

    There is a lot going on with this case. Apparently he has a girlfriend in Florida who was a very good friend of Sheri’s. Exact cause of death hasn’t been released, though it’s popularly rumored the three were strangled – I’ve heard one rumor of bludgeon.

    I live in a town relatively close to Columbia, we visit there often house hunting, in this neighborhood. It’s a quiet community. It’s all a shock, but I think the MCS will probably be making an arrest soon. They aren’t naming suspects, but the signs on the wall are pointing to CC.

  5. Felicity says:

    Evil is evil, and apparently going to church doesn’t stop it…just look at little Sandra Cantu and The Sunday School Teacher.

    This is a horrible, horrible crime and I pray that God will see that justice is done! Imagine the lives that are being torn apart by this! Just heartbreaking!

    I pray for the family and loved ones of this beautiful Mother and her two precious sons. May God give you strength and hold you up at this sad time.

    He is E V I L. This woman, gorgeous, devout, devoted Mom. If this is true regarding the cause of death, you gotta be one evil sob to kill anyone like that, let alone your family.

  6. EyesWIDEOpen says:
    From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

    Police question alleged girlfriend of man whose family was slain

    LARGO, Fla. — Police are investigating a romantic relationship between a woman in Florida and Christopher Coleman, whose wife and two children were slain last week at their home in Columbia, Ill.

    Detectives have acknowledged traveling to Florida last week. They were there to interview a woman described as Coleman’s girlfriend, a law enforcement source close to the case said Tuesday.

    A second police source confirmed the relationship. They did not say whether they think it played any role in the murders.

    Art Margulis, a lawyer hired by Christopher Coleman, said Tuesday evening he had no knowledge of anyone by that woman’s name.

    The Major Case Squad has not named Coleman as a suspect. He has been interviewed by detectives and was fingerprinted under court order as recently as Monday.

    Asked about the possibility of his client having a girlfriend and police interviewing her, Margulis replied, “We don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on the status of the investigation or whatever the evidence may be at this time.”

    His law partner and son, William Margulis, also declined to comment.

    Calls to Coleman’s family were not returned.

    A spokesman for Sheri Coleman’s mother said her family was not aware of any extramarital affair.

    The woman at issue attended high school in Largo, Fla., graduating in 1996, one year behind Sheri Weiss, a friend, who later married Coleman. Sheri Coleman was found dead along with their sons, Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9. CRIME STATS
    See stats around St. Louis and the nation in our searchable database.

    A call Monday to the home of the Florida woman’s parents was answered by a woman who declined to comment and said, “Nobody’s ever going to want to comment.”

    A woman simply said, “No,” when a reporter identified himself on a visit to the house in Largo on Tuesday; then she closed the door.

    The Florida woman’s online profile on says she attended college in Tampa. Public records say she worked in a bar and as a hostess for a gentlemen’s club in Tampa.

    She and her husband divorced in December 2004. No one answered the door Tuesday at the condominium she bought with her ex-husband in 2006. He appears to have moved, and did not respond to messages left at what a friend said was his cell phone number.

    A Largo police spokesman said that department had not been contacted by Illinois investigators. A St. Petersburg police spokesman said he was not aware of a visit by Illinois police and could not comment if he were.

    Christopher Coleman, a former Marine MP whose close family lives in Chester, Ill., is a security officer for the Joyce Meyer Ministries, a worldwide television evangelist organization based in Jefferson County. He had complained of what were characterized as work-related threats.

    Police have said they believe the victims were targeted and not chosen at random.

    The bodies were found by police about 7 a.m. May 5 after Christopher Coleman called, saying he was concerned that he couldn’t reach his family by phone. He had gone to a gym in St. Louis County; a police source said he told officers he left home about 5:30 a.m.

    Police have not released the cause of death, but neighbors said detectives told them the three were strangled.

    Sheri Coleman, a former Air Force MP who met her husband in the military, was a homemaker who was active in the Joyce Meyer operation.

    Christopher Coleman arranged for the funeral and burial to be in Chester, but his wife’s mother and brother, who live in suburban Chicago, went to court for an order to enforce what they said was his initial offer to allow a service there too. The sides reached terms that accommodated a funeral in Chester Saturday, a visitation in the Chicago area Monday and planned burial Tuesday at Evergreen Cemetery in Chester.

  7. EyesWIDEOpen says:

    I hope your sources are right, Blink. He is a definite flight risk IMO.

  8. dddeerma says:

    If he is part of a LE motorcade, he will find it hard to run. I find it despicable that he would hide behind the doors of a church and that the church would let him. If the girlfriend is aware that he is married, I hope she is checked out thoroughly as she may be part of a planned crime. Women: do not poach others’ husbands. God will get you for things like that.

    In the words of my friend P- “Poachers get Shot in these parts.” Who breaks the BFF code and schtups her husband?

  9. Mike says:

    It is funny that no one has mentioned that it could have been a hitman that he hired to do the killing. Think about it, they had cameras setup on the house because of threatening letters and if someone came into the house, they would have known how to get in the house without being on camera, plus it would have no proof of him just someone else so he would not be afraid to give info to the police because he knew it was someone else, someone he hired to kill.

    I really believe he hired someone to kill them and that person did it.

    I agree with you this is highly calculated, but it was him, imo.. Note the forced entry of the screen door, but the basement window was open with no sign of forced entry.. er go.. I am not saying it is impossible it was a hit, but if it were, that guy would have been 3000 miles away, not 10 minutes and calling the police when he couldnt get a single response at home where everyone would have been sleeping. I would be willing to bet Sheri discovered something and his gig was up. Threats at work? You get threats you got to LE, not tell your neighbors why your putting up a camera. I just know Im going to hear there is a heaping mountain of bad and ugly skeletons bustin to get out of his closet.

  10. Jaelin says:

    I just look at the photos of those beautiful boys and I am sick. They will never grow up to go to prom, attend college, get married or have kids of their own. All because their cad of a father couldn’t keep his pecker in his pants. DISGUSTING!!!!

  11. Ramona says:

    I dispute the comment made by Jaelin. I do not believe this was because he was unfaithful to his wife. As terrible as adultery is (and I am one who still believes it is a horrible, unspeakable act) how many men leave their families for another woman and still manage to avoid killing them? How many men have killed their wives and yet left their children alive? To murder children, especially your own takes an evil that is far beyond adultery, beyond common murder. That takes a depth of betrayal that borders on Cain or Judas Iscariot.

  12. shoozeyque says:

    Isn’t it amazing that when the husband steps out of the house for a short period of time to do an errand or whatever, there’s a grisly crime scene when they return?

    This guy’s story is totally illogical and does not add up. What a stupid story. When I first heard about this, right away the red flags went up. And the messages on the wall, one in particular, said in effect, “I told you this would happen.” Sounds like a personal threat to me.

    How convenient when this guy steps out to go to the gym just 5 minutes away and somebody just happens to be lurking around the corner to sneak in and murder his family. No, this is not a stranger crime.

    Also, why would you have to call police when you are only minutes away from home. He was setting up an alibi for himself, that’s what he was doing. Then they say he took out life insurance policies on his wife last December.

    What is it with these men with families who think the wife and kids are in their way so they can have their freedom to play? I’ll tell you what it is, and it’s spelled M-O-N-E-Y. These kids are his flesh and blood, for pete’s sake? How can anyone do that? These men don’t want a divorce because it’s way easier to knock off the wife and kids so they don’t have to part with any of their assets. Don’t they know that the spouse is the first one law enforcement looks at in these crimes?

    There is a runaway epidemic of these murders happening in our country, crimes just like this and crimes against wives or girl friends who are pregnant. The husband doesn’t want the baby, so voila! Let’s knock her off and all my troubles will be solved. NOT!

  13. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Ramona, you parallel my thinking on that subject. If it is the father, imagine what those boys were going through knowing their own father was killing them…and the poor wife. Did she know of the affair? Did she succumb to the same fate as Laci Peterson since it’s been rumoured the reason Scott killed her was because she’d found out he’d been unfaithful when his lover (who didn’t know he was married…told Scott’s wife had died) sent a Christmas card with a picture of the 2 of them on it?

  14. Alejandra says:

    Can be a series killer? That kill families and made that people belive is the husband? Why is happening so often ?

  15. livinginca says:

    I wonder if the threatening to go to his employer about the affair. Why kill your family. What could he have done to make someone kill his famiy and not harm him? Doesn’t make any sense!

  16. melissa says:

    i really think that the husband/dad killed his wife and 2 son’s, and the glove was found where chris coleman took the direction to get to the gym come on now he dumped the glove out the window or something and took off. i hope they find him guilty and i hope he gets the death penalty for what he did to his wife and 2 boys……..

  17. emily says:

    I just cant understand the selfishness he needed to have inside him to even think about a horrific crime like this, let alone actually going through with it. I am just speechless, I grew up in Columbia Illinois and not saying that this doesnt happen in places like this, my kids went to school with her kids, ive seen her shopping with the kids, and have cut their hair, i know he will get what he deserves, but i cant get the thought out of my mind what he was thinking while stangleing his family, his own blood, what a demon!! God bless Sherri’s family and those beautiful baby boys

  18. Lori says:

    Innocent until proven guilty, folks. Don’t try this guy in the media. Your comments are possibly completely correct, but until the evidence against him is collected, this evidence is circumstantial.

    What? There has been a substantial amount of physical and direct evidence already collected, and prior to it’s collection as you say, its not evidence it’s “stuff” posing as possible evidence.

  19. shoozeyque says:

    You know, just an aside comment here, but remember the Mark Hacking case a few years ago? 2005 to be exact. Well, this guy looks amazingly like him. No hair, same coloring, similar features? He killed his pregnant wife and dumped her body at the local dump. I think he also tossed the bloody bedding at the dump. How awful is that as well? He was the one who faked going to medical school. Turns out he never went to college. He shot his wife in the head with a .22 rifle. He pleaded guilty and this case did not go to trial.

  20. Jay says:

    I am so SICK TO DEATH of these evil bastards taking out their whole families! All for what – to bed a skanky whore and to not pay alimony and child support? What an EVIL SOB. This will go to trial because he is too selfish to admit guilt-wants to look innocent to his mommy and daddy, who will, no doubt, stand by their murderer son. He is guilty as the day is long. I hope he gets death, after being tortured in jail by other inmates. His soul is on the highway to hell.

  21. murders says:

    Daddy did it. It’s cler. I know involved in the court case in another murder where the pastor killed his wife in Virginia. It took 4 1/2 yrs. to arrest Rick, I knew all along he did it. From day one I saw the scratch on Rick’s face that Patty Jo made. Clean enough evidence for me! Unless there is a serial killer on the loose, which I don’t think there is in Columbus, it has to be someone who is REALLY clost to the family and who is made enough to kill.

  22. joe says:

    You people with your guilty upon accused mentalities are disgusting. You’re the reason why innocent people end up in jail. You’re the reason for atrocities like the Salem witch trials and mob violence.

    You have no first hand knowledge on the events and yet are ready to lay judgement through your completely unrelated lives. Absolutely disgusting.

    Police: Mom, 2 sons slain in southwest Ill. home
    By BETSY TAYLOR – May 5, 2009

    COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) — A mother and her two young boys were found slain Tuesday in a southwestern Illinois home where police had investigated suspicious activity.

    Police had previous contact with Sherri and Chris Coleman related to “some interaction between an unknown individual and them,” said Jeff Connor, deputy commander of the major case squad of greater St. Louis. He declined to elaborate.

    Neighbors in the well-kept subdivision said the Coleman family received threatening letters and their mailbox was tampered with in the past week.

    Joe, this 3 week old article you posted is already known., The receiving threats excuse is well known in this circle.
    Respectfully, next time, if your going to carte blance refute an entire online community, bring your facts along

  23. wilfish4774 says:

    I truly don’t understand this business. The guy had his eyes wide open when he got together with this woman, went to bed and helped with the origination of these lovely children and family. There were numerous other rational avenues to take for this fellow. Why this totally illogical one? Even if one factors in the quote, “loud argument” the night of the incident. How can someone decide to hurt the children? It seems that this sort of thing goes deeper than a simple argument or money troubles. Could it be that this guy has some mental problem? It sure does look like the moral values of the family unit are breaking down in this soceity.

  24. theshrink says:

    This kind of tragedy always leaves people flabbergasted and shocked. Many are ready to convict and hang Chris Coleman, while others remain in stunned denial that such a fine man could do such a thing. Understanding the criminal mind, there is a progression of diminished conscience through circumstances that creep up on a person without them even realizing it until it’s too late. At some point the conscience becomes dead and any act, no matter how unspeakable, becomes a means to a selfish end. No remorse, no grieving, only an act to appear innocent and victimized. I believe Chris Coleman has plead “not guilty” so he and his two attorneys can work a plea bargain and avoid the death penalty. He’s already busted, he’ll do whatever he can to save his neck. Interesting, he’s still thinking about himself, not the horrific killing he did to his beautiful wife and 2 precious sons. Chris Coleman is not mentally ill, he is a sociopath, without conscience.

  25. Denise Verdi says:

    We all need to pray for the family and friends of this mom & boys, as well as Chris’s family. This is so heartwrenching.

  26. robin mcfarland says:

    I watch the news everyday,i see stories that are real bad,but this story is,i think the worst of the worst,if you hate your wife that much..leave her,why kill her,and why,why,why would you kill your sickens me,my heart goes out to her family.they shouldnt have to go through this.All i can say is…THERE IS A GOD..and he will jugde that sick,heartless,evil,coward of a man..and i know it doesnt make things better but at least the mother and sons are together,lying next to each other and in heaven..i pray for her family everynight…i hope one day,they will have some peace…

  27. ann says:

    nah, the death penetly is too good for him let him rot in prison and think about what he did to his deceased wife and boys he will suffer more in prison.

  28. [...] Coleman Family Murdered, Chris Coleman Lawyers Up [...]

  29. Emma says:

    Gavin Coleman was in my glass the year he died.he sat behind me and was always taking apart mechanical pencils and his lips were always chapped. He was Gavin. He was a lovable 3rd grader in Mrs. Steckler’s class. I remember a time when he out smarted the sub we had while Mrs. Steckler had he baby in math. Gavin was very intelligent. That’s something everyone loved about him. I remember the day it happened people at school were saying that they saw Gavin getting into an ambulance and his dad with his hands over his face. The next day came and we heard that Gavin, Garett, and Sheri were murdered. At school we made a chain that had all the things we loved and noticed about him. We hung it on the ceiling and we always said that he’s swinging on the chain haha. To conclude this comment, Gavin, Garett, and Sheri were very graceful people. R.I.P.

    Very kind post Emma. I am sorry that this happened to your classmate and his family.

  30. Lisa Murphy says:

    I know the murders were committed in 2009- but I only found out about the case after watching an episode of “Web of Lies”(on the Investigative Discovery channel) in 2015-
    I watch ID and forensic files a lot-and there were many stories of unimaginable horror-but this horrific crime committed by Chris Coleman, is by far-IMO the absolute worst or the worst.
    This wasn’t a “heat of passion” crime-he didn’t just “snap”-this monster coldly calculated and plotted a very complex scenario-that he foolishly thought would be a way to throw blame on a mysterious entity-the boogy man you could say.
    So confident in his plan that it never dawned of this SECURITY EXPERT that his own computer was a virtual road map filled with damning evidence.
    But echoing previous comments-WHY???? kill those precious innocent little boys-there could never be any answer to that except to say that pure evil does exist-
    Its comforting on some level to know that he entered prison a healthy relatively young man-so he can spend the next 50+ years hopefully suffering-and the day will come when he wakes up and fully realizes what he has done-and what HE has lost- a beautiful,intelligent,loyal and loving wife-2 adoring little boys who worshipped the ground he walked on–ha literally had it all.

    One of the best things the prosecution did ( whether they take credit or not) was to release details from warrants very early. I say that because this case had every opportunity to shock public conscience- who would ever want to believe or envision a Father could murder his sons in such an intimately barbaric way? People have such a natural ability ( or protective/coping) to protect from some of the darkest evils.

    Of which, Coleman definitely is.

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