These four photos depict 1. The card from the club Shari met Bradford at. 2. Bradford’s photo of Shari in the Mojave Desert on July 4, 1984, taken probably just hours before her murder. 3. LAPD bulletin distributed by St. John and Detective Mellecker to the general public describing Jane Doe 60’s (Shari Miller) sutured wound in hopes the hospital where she received the sutures might identify her. 4. Shari’s “To Do” list written at a gathering of her friends. On it, this chilling entry: “Bill Bradford. Meat Market. 6:00 p.m.”
There are several reasons why this entry (evidence in the Bradford case) is particularly chilling. Testimony from the last person to see her alive came from a boyfriend with whom she spent several hours watching television before she left to meet Bradford at the Meat Market the night of July 4. He testified Shari was apprehensive about Bradford’s proposed “photoshoot” and asked him to leave the door unlocked because she expected to be back soon. She appeared to be nervous about this meeting.
To me, this list revealed a young woman with hopes for the future (her intent to attend Otis Parson’s School of Design), a wide-ranging list of friends, an appointment to have the stitches removed on July 9, money owed and money due and an appointment to a rehab center. Her list filled an entire page.
Bradford’s photo of Shari holding a can of Budweiser, dressed in cut-offs, a patterned shirt, and flip-flops perched on a rock pike, is heartbreaking. Her wistful expression made me wonder if she realized the tragedy about to unfold. I wondered if this talented young woman with a bright future ahead might have been worried that the man taking her photo wasn’t really a photographer. He was a guy she met at the Meat Market bar, played pool with and strutted around with cameras slung over his shoulder. Who was Bill Bradford really?