1984 Cold Case Homicide Closed
Bloomington, IL - On February 28th, 1984, at approximately 6 a.m., Gary L. Sheppelman, 37 years of age, was found slain inside a business at 1504 Morrissey Drive, Bloomington, IL. known at the time as Schenk's Tavern. The initial investigation determined that Sheppelman suffered a number of fatal wounds inflicted by an edged weapon and a blunt weapon. Further investigation indicated that Sheppelman, who was employed as a bartender at the tavern, was killed sometime between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on February 27th, 1984.
After two years of investigation and four grand jury hearings, no additional information or new leads were generated from the public on this case. On October 2nd, 1986, the Bloomington Police Department placed this case in an inactive status.
In December 2014, the Bloomington Police Department conducted a review of the case. During this review, detectives were able to generate new information from a witness that was now willing to talk, due in part to the passing of the suspect. The suspect, Aaron O. Patrick, who was a 42-year-old resident of Bloomington at the time of the crime, passed away on June 2, 1992.
The case file was submitted to the McLean County State's Attorney's Office for review in 2015. The McLean County State's Attorney's Office advised the Bloomington Police Department that information in the investigation would have been sufficient to charge Aaron Patrick with homicide, had he still been alive today. It is believed Patrick acted alone in this crime, and there is no information at this time which would lead to others being charged.
Late last week, the Bloomington Police Department located and notified Mr. Sheppelman's surviving sisters and brother of our findings. The Sheppelman family was grateful for having been provided closure on the death of their sibling.