Sarra Gilbert is the sister of the late Shannan Gilbert, whose death in 2011 shocked the nation. Shannan’s murder has been a mystery until now. She is also the daughter of Mari Gilbert, who lost her life in the most serious way. Tragically, her killer was none other than her own daughter, Sarra.
The Gilbert family story has been featured in many books, films, and documentaries. However, here is the unvarnished version of what happened to Sarra Gilbert, her mother Mari, and her sister Shanan.
Find out what drove a daughter to kill her mother in the most brutal way she could think of. Also, read how many and what charges have been brought against her. Is there a chance that Sarra could be released early?
Sarra Gilbert Is The Third Daughter Of Mari
Sarra was born on 17 January 1989 in Ellenville, New York. Before her death, Sarra’s mother Mari worked at Walmart. She is Mari’s third child, after her sisters Shannon and Sherra Gilbert, and before her younger half-sister Stevie. Not much is known about their father. However, it was reported that he was schizophrenic and a heroin addict.
Sarra had three sisters, Shannan, Sherry, and Stevie Gilbert. The deceased Shannan grew up mostly in foster care.
Sarra Had A Tough Childhood
Sarra grew up in the care of a single mother who often suffered from depression and poverty. Her lawyer, John Ray, said Gilbert had been sexually abused by one of her mother’s boyfriends and her older sister had prostituted herself with her mother’s consent. In addition, her mother practiced “black magic”, which eventually led Sarra to believe she was a demon.
Her older sister, Cher, had also experienced the same terrible abuse. Cher also suffered from her mother’s boyfriend.
Some Say She Was Obedient To The Family
On the other hand, she was also the family archivist, the one who collects the records and keeps a hungry eye on the details of her sister’s case.
Sarra Gilbert Married A Drug Addict In Her Teens
Sarra’s love life is not ordinary. She aborted her first child at fourteen, dropped out of school at sixteen, and moved in with her boyfriend. He was a 22-year-old drug dealer named Manny. In 2009, they both welcomed a son, a boy named Hayden.
Elizabeth and Manny regularly broke up and got back together. Her boyfriend was serving time for drug arrests. On at least one occasion, Sarra sought shelter for victims of domestic violence. From the early to mid-2010s, Sarra became more dependent on her family, and on Mari in particular, than ever before. By all accounts, her mother helped her by taking the child in when necessary and becoming her daughter’s emotional support system.
Sarra Gilbert And Her Mom, Mari; Why Did She Kill Her Mother?
The Daily Freeman reports that on 23 July 2016, Sarra killed her mother with a fifteen-inch knife, stabbed her 227 times, and hit her with a fire extinguisher. John Ray, the Gilbert family’s lawyer, forwarded PIX11 information about what happened to Mari. Ray explained that Sarra had invited her mother to her apartment because she had heard voices.
The mother went to check if she was okay but ended up losing her own life at the hands of her daughter.
After the murder and the arrival of the police, Sarra’s first words to them were, “I am under arrest.” At her trial, Sarra said that her intention was to kill her mother, saying that “she was evil”.
Sarra Showed Dangerous Behavior Before Murdering Her Mother
Several months before Mari’s death, in February 2016, police had arrested Sarra in Ulster County and charged her with endangering the welfare of a child and cruelty to animals, PIX11 reports. She had allegedly drowned a puppy in front of her eight-year-old son, taken the boy into the woods, and threatened to kill him.
Mari’s daughter was subsequently detained again by authorities in May 2016 for criminal contempt. A source told PIX11 that she had violated a “protection order” that had been provided by her boyfriend.
Sarra Gilbert Apparently Struggled With Mental Health Issues Before The Murder
Attorney Ray revealed that the convicted Shanna’s sister had started hearing voices and hallucinating a few years before her mother was killed. He added that Sarra had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since 2014.
Doctors reported that she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, so she started receiving the long-acting injectable antipsychotic medication Haldol Decanoate.
Ray claimed that Sarra had not taken antipsychotic medication for almost eight weeks before the murder.
Others Say She Lied About Her Drug Addition To Mental Health
In contrast, during her trial for her mother’s murder, prosecutor Emmanuel Nneji said that she started using drugs in her early teens and misled everyone into believing that drug-taking behavior was a mental illness.
In addition, Sarra’s younger sister, Stevie, reported that she tormented and belittled their mother for years before she killed her.
She also added that it was jealousy that prompted Sarra to kill her mother. Stevie claimed that Sarra would have killed her too if she had the chance.
Sarra’s History With Drugs
Her addiction to illegal substances reportedly began in her teens. In July 2016, she overdosed. Hayden’s mother believed she had taken ecstasy, but others say it was more likely LSD. She was admitted to Albania Medical Centre. Sarra survived after doctors encased her in ice to lower her temperature, which was 107 ̊F.
Where Is Sarra Gilbert Now?
The 32-year-old is currently serving a life sentence of no more than 25 years, the maximum penalty provided by law. As has been reported in several reports, Ulster County Judge Donald Williams said if he had anything to say, she would never walk free again.
However, Williams said he would try to make sure Gilbert gets the mental health care she needs.
For most of the 40-minute hearing, Mary’s daughter stood silently swaying next to her lawyer, John Ray. But when it was her turn to address the court, Gilbert briefly groaned and begged for mercy.
Her son Hayden lives with his father’s relatives.
Her Sister Shannan Gilbert Died Mysteriously
Shannan Marie Gilbert went missing on 1 May 2010 in Long Island. Police found the 24-year-old’s body more than a year later, on 13 December 2011, in a marsh on Ouk beach, Oxygen reports.
Just before her death, Shannan, who was in the business of providing sexual services, had gone to visit a client. Police received several panicked calls before her disappearance. One call, believed to have lasted more than twenty minutes, was from Shanna herself. During the call, she allegedly shouted “They are trying to kill me!”, according to PIX11. However, it is unclear to whom she was referring.
Her death made her famous as a serial killer from Long Island. A psychiatrist revealed that Shanna’s death caused Sarra to experience her first deep mental breakdown.
Cause Of Sarra’s Sister, Shannan’s Death
Just days after police found Shannan’s body, her clothes, mobile phone, and handbag were found; about a mile away. Initially, police said she died of accidental drowning, reports NBC New York. However, a forensic medical examiner later determined that the cause of death was inconclusive.
Shortly afterward, the family also asked a forensic pathologist to carry out an independent autopsy on Shennan’s remains. The examination found that her death was consistent with homicidal asphyxiation, as a small bone was missing from her neck, possibly indicating that it was broken when the perpetrator killed her.
Other Hidden Facts About Sarra’s Sister’s Death
During the investigation into Sarra’s sister Shanna, the authorities uncovered several other grim facts. The remains of 10 other people were found on Gilgo beach. Four of the victims lost their lives from suffocation; all were sex workers.
Sarra’s Other Sisters After Shannan’s Death
After Mari’s death and Sarah’s conviction, Sher and Stevie (together with Ray) continued their mother’s work, seeking justice for their dead sister Shannan.
Netflix Released A Series Based On Sarra Gilbert’s Family
In 2020, Netflix released an adapted version of the true story of Sarra’s mother, Mari Gilbert, and her sister, Sarra. The adaptation tells the story of Mari’s hunt for answers about her daughter’s death.
This was not the first time her sister’s death took on a fictional twist. In 2011, Shanna’s fate got a television version called 48 Hours. The following year, her story was featured in another documentary called “Missing. In both projects, Sarah starred as herself.
Quick Facts About Sarra Gilbert
|Real Name||Sarra Elizabeth Gilbert|
|Height (Approx.)||5 ft 4 inches|
|Weight (Approx.)||84 kg|
|Shoe Size||Update Soon|
|Profession||Nothing as she is a convicted murderer.|
|Crime||She stabbed her mother to death on July 23, 2016.|
|Punishment||sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.|
|In the News for||Netflix movie “Lost Girls” was released on March 13, 2020, and is based on Gilbert’s family.|
|Hair Color||Dark Brown.|
|Date of Birth||January 17, 1989.|
|Age||31 years old as of 2020.|
|Zodiac Sign/Sun Sign||Aries.|