CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
COLD: The supper club
OGDEN, Utah — The search for Sheree Warren presented Ogden City Police Department with a problem.
An informant had told detective Chris Zimmerman in October of 1986 that she believed a former police reserve officer named Cary Hartmann was responsible for a string of unsolved sexual assaults. Zimmerman had also developed evidence suggesting Cary had made thousands of obscene lingerie survey phone calls to women in northern Utah during the 1980s.
Related: The search for Sheree Warren’s remains, part 1
Worse yet, police in the nearby suburb of Roy, Utah were viewing Cary Hartmann as a suspect in the unsolved Oct. 2, 1985 disappearance of Sheree Warren. Cary and Sheree had been dating at the time Sheree was last seen.
Cary had friends within the Ogden Police Department, dating back to a stint he’d served in the department’s reserve corps. And this was the problem that detectives faced. They needed to prevent those officers from learning Cary was the target of a burgeoning investigation.
Cary Hartmann’s lingerie survey phone calls
The full story of the Ogden Police Department’s investigation into Cary Hartmann in 1986 and 1987 has not previously been told. The detectives responsible kept much of their work off the books. They hoped to keep Cary from realizing he was a suspect. But COLD has obtained previously unreleased police records through public records requests. They provide new detail about how the case against Cary Hartmann progressed.
Detective Chris Zimmerman asked a judge for permission to monitor Cary’s home phone number beginning in November of 1986. In his application for a “pen register” device, Zimmerman wrote “Hartmann has deviant sexual preferences similar to those of the suspect in the recent series of rapes in Ogden City.” Zimmerman also noted “Hartmann has lived within close proximity of the victims.”
Related: The untold story of the search for Sheree Warren’s remains, part 2
The judge approved the request. In a formal report, Zimmerman wrote he monitored Cary’s phone number by pen register from November 23, 1986 through the end of December, 1986.
“Hartmann made approximately 1,900 calls,” Zimmerman wrote. “Approximately 200 of the calls were to friends or acquaintances. The others were picked at random, going through the phone book and picking last names with girls’ first names or first name listed as initials only.”
“He had made literally thousands of those types of calls, which is pretty bizarre,” said Former Weber County Attorney Reed Richards
Pen register devices did not record the content of phone calls. They only captured the number dialed. This meant Zimmerman was not able to listen to what was said on those calls. Instead, he had to himself call numbers he observed on the pen register and speak with women who answered. Some described having received obscene lingerie survey phone calls from an unidentified man.
Zimmerman also confirmed by speaking with multiple victims from the serial rape investigation that some of them had received lingerie survey phone calls prior to being attacked.
One of the women who’d reported being attacked also told Zimmerman she’d gone to a bar called The Galleon where Cary Hartmann worked. She’d heard Cary’s voice on the intercom and recognized it as the same as the man who’d sexually assaulted her.
Zimmerman presented his findings to Weber County Attorney Reed Richards, who agreed police needed to question Cary.
“We decided we’d find somebody that kind of knew [Cary] from his association with the police,” Richards told COLD. “We landed on Chris Zimmerman.”
Cary Hartmann’s arrest
Detective Zimmerman drafted a search warrant for Cary Hartmann’s condominium. Then, on May 5, 1987, Zimmerman stopped by that condo. He invited Cary to come talk to him at Ogden police headquarters.
When Cary arrived at the office a half-hour later, Zimmerman confronted him about the lingerie survey phone calls. Cary reportedly admitted to making obscene phone calls but denied involvement with any sexual assaults. Zimmerman asked Cary to submit to a polygraph examination, which Cary agreed to do.
Related: COLD: The search for Sheree Warren’s remains, part 3
COLD obtained a copy of the polygraph examiner’s report, which stated Cary “was deceptive to questions.”
While Cary was taking part in the polygraph, a group of Ogden detectives were serving the search warrant at Cary’s condo. Roy city police detective Jack Bell, who was leading the investigation into the disappearance of Sheree Warren, accompanied them.
“I found a file on Sheree Warren in Carey’s [sic] file cabinet,” Jack wrote in his notes.
Jack was not able to seize those Sheree Warren files from Cary’s condo at that time. The scope of the search warrant was limited to potential evidence in the obscene phone calls case. Court records show the detectives took only an address book, a 1957 Playboy calendar and a 1984 daily reminder journal.
Detective Chris Zimmerman decided not arrest Cary Hartmann at that time. He instead asked Cary to take a second polygraph test a few days later, on May 8, 1987, which Cary agreed to do.
The results of that second polygraph were more damaging to Cary than the first, as they indicated deception more strongly than before. At the conclusion of the second examination, an Ogden police detective named John Stubbs interviewed Cary about his suspected role in the serial rapes. Stubbs later wrote in a report that Cary “said that he never had to force anyone to have sex with him.”
Ogden police arrested Cary Hartmann on suspicion of rape that evening, May 8, 1987. Cary’s parents and a girlfriend posted bond on his behalf the following day, allowing Cary to leave the Weber County Jail.
Days later, the Weber County Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against Cary related to four separate allegations of sexual assault. Ogden police obtained an arrest warrant and re-booked Cary into jail on May 12, 1987.
A loud thump then all goes quiet
Cary Hartmann’s arrest led to news media coverage, which in turn generated a series of new leads in the Sheree Warren investigation. One of those involved two women who’d lived above Cary at the time of Sheree’s disappearance on Oct. 2, 1987.
Cary had rented an apartment in the basement of a home on Ogden’s 7th Street beginning in May of 1984, after he secured a full-time job at Weber State College. The house belonged to an Ogden High School teacher named Kaye Lynn Terry, who lived on the ground floor with another renter, a fellow schoolteacher named Mary Courney.
Kaye Lynn and Mary came forward to speak with Roy police detective Jack Bell on May 13, 1987, the day following Cary Hartmann’s second arrest.
“They claimed that the night Sheree disappeared, she was actually there,” Jack said in an interview for COLD. “They recall hearing a loud thump and then all went quiet.”
Kaye Lynn Terry and Mary Courney provided detailed, typewritten statements to Roy police. The statements, obtained exclusively by COLD, described Cary as “objectionable” and “obnoxious” due to his “constant sexual activity” with multiple women.
Mary Courney said in her statement that the last time she saw Sheree Warren was “on an October night in 1985.” Mary described seeing Sheree’s car parked on the street outside the house. She’d heard Sheree knocking at the side door, which opened into a stairwell that descended to the basement apartment. Mary wrote she could hear Sheree crying as Sheree and Cary walked down those stairs together.
“[Sheree] said … people at work had told her that they had seen [Cary] with another woman,” Mary wrote. “She asked Carey [sic] how he could do that after all she had done for him … that’s when I heard what I thought was him hitting the wall really hard with his fist, then he said ‘[expletive].’”
Kaye Lynn and Mary were not able to tell detective Jack Bell the precise date when they’d overheard this argument, though their statements reveal Mary believed it had occurred on the night Sheree Warren was last seen. Mary wrote they’d only learned Sheree was missing a couple of days later, when they read about it in the newspaper.
“I wrote a short note and stuck it on his door,” Mary wrote in her statement. “He came up the stairs and … asked me if I had seen her. … I was positive I hadn’t seen her since.”
Cary Hartmann’s supper club
Kaye Lynn Terry and Mary Courney told police Cary Hartmann vacated the house on 7th Street in the fall of 1986. He moved into a condo off of 12th Street, near the mouth of Ogden Canyon. That was the condo police searched on May 5, 1987.
Ogden police detectives obtained a second search warrant for that condo on May 14, 1987. Roy police detective Jack Bell once again accompanied them.
“I was invited, which was by [detective Chris] Zimmerman,” Jack told COLD.
The second warrant was more broad than the first. It authorized the detectives to take clothing, firearms, photographs or documents that could potentially link Cary Hartmann to any unsolved sexual assault cases.
Jack Bell returned to Cary’s file cabinet. During the first search, he’d spotted a folder containing notes and newspaper clippings about the disappearance of Sheree Warren there. This time, Jack found a handwritten note that matched the one Mary Courney had described leaving on Cary’s door the day she learned of Sheree’s disappearance.
Jack also located a photo album containing pictures of Cary and a group of friends that allegedly went by the name “dinner club” or “supper club.” Some of the photos included members of the Ogden-area law enforcement community. Some were also sexual in nature.
The supper club discovery, together with the reports of Kaye Lynn Terry and Mary Courney, led Jack Bell to wonder if Sheree Warren might have made a discovery about Cary Hartmann shortly before her disappearance.
“Whether it was the fact he was raping these women or something, or had other girlfriends, or the supper club, or something that she confronted him about and he whopped her with something,” Jack said. “There’s theories, but they’re just theories.”
Hear what else police found in Cary Hartmann’s condo in COLD season 3, episode 4: The Supper Club
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