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The Stranger

The Drift Inn Tavern could be seen as drab by some with its dated décor, but to locals in the seaside town of Bremerton, the dive bar was like the tide with folks drifting in and drifting out.  

It’d been that way since the 1950's, and over the years it grew to be more than just a bar. It was a communal watering hole, a place of sustenance for the soul, and a place to be accepted, where the bartender didn’t judge and wasn’t stingy with a pour.  

And in the early 90's, it was exactly what 57 year old Marilyn Hickey was looking for: a place where everyone knew her name. 

And so it was that September night in 1992 this divey version of Cheers welcomed Marilyn, or the “Elvis Lady” as she was called. 

At just five feet tall, Marilyn was shooting the shit as she played pool, her outgoing personality and trusting nature drawing people to her.

If only she’d been a little bit more suspicious that night as she started talking to a young man. A stranger with collar length reddish-brown hair. Folks later would recall seeing her companion, but nobody knew his name. 

After last call, Marilyn and the young man stumbled out of the Drift Inn together and got in a cab. They drove for just over a mile before they were dropped off at Marilyn’s apartment. 

It would be the last time Marilyn was seen alive. Her body would be found with scissors plunged through her heart. The only clue was the sketch of that stranger, who seemed to have disappeared without a trace.  

That is, until new technology revved up a case that had gone ice cold.

A DNA profile found at the Scene of the Crime matched DNA from the scene of another brutal murder. Two years after Marilyn’s death, Cheryle Barratt, was found stabbed, sexually assaulted and slashed to death.  

After almost 30 years would two cold case detectives finally get some justice for not only Marilyn, but Cheryl too?

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