B utch Casey, Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers lay dead on the dining room floor of Butch’s home in Miramar, Florida. They had been beaten. They were shot in their heads. Executed.
It was 1994.
The discovery of the three bodies by a police officer who was investigating the disappearance of one of the women began a wild investigation into what became known as the Casey’s Nickelodeon Murders — one of the most famous in South Florida.
This is the story of the dramatic, 24-year saga that included two convictions, a hung jury, two death sentences and two successful appeals.
And three families that have still not seen justice served.
Casimir Sucharski Jr. — Butch Casey, as he preferred to be known — opened Casey’s Nickelodeon in the 1980s after his parents sold their bar with the same name in Buffalo, New York.
Over a decade of running the popular restaurant and nightclub on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in South Florida, Butch had become well known. He was the party king of the scene.
He was larger than life and women loved him.
His roguish good looks. A dazzling smile. Shaggy hair. He favored aviator sunglasses and silk scarves — and could actually pull them off.
He wore flashy chains and bracelets. A cartier watch. He carried a chrome-plated pistol in a holster and wads of cash in his boots.
Like most nights, Butch was at the bar in the early morning hours of June 26, 1994 — a Sunday — when Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers arrived on that fateful night.
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Sharon and Marie
Sharon had picked up Marie a few hours earlier at the Hollywood, Florida, home where Marie lived with her mother and 3-year-old daughter. They were looking to cap off a night out, and they were after-hours regulars at Casey’s Nickelodeon.
An article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel described their friendship.
From the newspaper article:
With her exotic looks, catlike eyes and don’t-mess-with-me attitude, Sharon L. Anderson never stood long in line outside South Florida’s trendy nightclubs or bought her own drinks.
The 5-foot-9 aspiring model with a penchant for 3-inch heels would see a line and announce, “I’m not standing in this!” Storming to the front, she would talk her way in, where men clamored to buy her drinks.
“Sharon knew how to charm,” said one of her best friends, Valerie Yap, who usually trailed in the wake left by Anderson and friend Marie Rogers, nicknamed Sasha.
Together, Anderson and Rogers made a head-turning team, Yap said. They looked like sisters. They were flirtatious, wise-cracking, street-smart and unattached. They carried beepers. Both lived with their mothers.
Anderson grew up in a neighborhood north of downtown Miami. She graduated from Miami Northwestern High School in 1987 and began pursuing a career in modeling and show business.
“She wanted to be like Barbra Streisand or Cher — be able to sing and act,” friend Richard Santel said.
Anderson recently landed serveral modeling jobs and was cast in a dinner show production of “Murder at Cafe Noir” at the Hollywood Beach Resort. She was active in a local theater company run by former “Miami Vice” co-star Phillip Michael Thomas.
Partying was also a large part of her live, but friends and relatives say drugs were never part of her fun. Anderson, Rogers and Yap liked Casey’s because they would seldom have to spend money there. There was always someone ready to buy them drinks.
Casey’s was also near Rogers’ house in Pembroke Park, not far from home and her 3-year-old daughter, Simone.
Anderson’s mother, Barbara, 48, a nurse, is baffled as to why the two women ended up at Casey’s home.
“He must have offered a job singing at the club or something,” she said.
After spending some time talking with the attractive, young women, Butch invited them back to his home a few miles away in Miramar, Florida.
They arrived shortly after dawn for an impromptu party that included wine and plenty of flirting by Butch.
Butch was in fine form, entertaining Sharon and Marie attentively. He tipped Marie back in a chair playfully. He donned a hat, then placed it on Sharon’s head. He worked his way around the room, checking his hair in a mirror.
Not long after the sun rose Butch was standing next to the dining room table where Sharon and Marie sitting. A man rushed through the unlocked, sliding-glass door that led from the pool area in the backyard. He had a machine gun — Butch raised his hands, but the intruder bashed him in the face with the butt of the weapon.
A second man entered behind him as Sharon fled into a bedroom.
The two intruders began a 22-minute rampage, terrorizing the three partiers, ransacking the house, searching Butch’s pockets and boots. Butch fought back at one point, but it was a futile effort.
When the intruders were finished with their search, they each put bullets into the three victims, then fled out the front door.
Connecting the dots
The first indication that something was wrong came seven hours later and 70 miles north. A deputy sheriff in Palm Beach County spotted smoke over the Everglades and went to investigate.
He arrived on a quiet road in Belle Glade, a remote sugar-caning town, and encountered a burning car. A black Mercedes convertible with nobody inside.
The car was registered to Butch Casey so deputies from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office called Miramar police. An officer knocked on Butch’s door but left when he found nobody home.
But the families of Marie Rogers and Sharon Anderson were getting worried. Margaret Anderson, Marie’s mother, called the police. She told them Sharon picked up her daugher the night before and gave them a description of Sharon’s car.
She also told an officer that Marie often visited Casey’s Nickelodeon.
A Miramar police officer headed to Casey’s, and the pieces started to come together.
Scene of the crime
A bar manager at Casey’s told the investigating officer that Butch met Sharon and Marie the night before and they left together around dawn. And he hadn’t been able to reach Butch since.
Police returned to Butch’s home and pounded on the door. There was music coming from inside and Butch still wasn’t answering his phone. An officer made his way through the heavy folliage around the house into the backyard.
He looked through the sliding glass door and spotted the bodies of Butch Casey, Marie Rogers and Sharon Anderson.
A remarkable discovery
Butch Casey’s neighborhood became a full-on crime scene. Police and media swarmed the streets. Neighbors outside were stunned that such a brutal crime could happen in their quiet, suburban neighborhood.
But inside the house, police were about to make the stunning discovery that made this case so famous. It’s something one investigator called “the single most remarkable piece of evidence” he had ever seen.
First, they find a bedroom cabinet full of videotapes — as many as a hundred. They were recordings of Butch having sex with women, recorded by a camera hidden behind a teddy bear and a potted plant on a high shelf.
Then they discovered another camera in the living room. It was hidden on a shelf overlooking the back part of the house, including the dining room where the bodies were discovered. It was hidden behind a souvenir movie director’s clapper board.
It doesn’t seem so remarkable today, when video captures so much of our lives. But in 1994, such surveillance technology was rare in a private home.
The camera was wired to a video cassette recorder — and it was running when Butch, Sharon and Marie came in that Sunday morning. Police watched the trio’s after-hours party.
Then they watched, stunned, as the brutal crime played out before them. The two intruders rush in, their faces obscured so they wouldn’t be identified.
This clip has sections that are disturbing to watch.
With Butch Casey, Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers dead, one of the killers decides it’s safe to remove the shirt covering his head. He walks into the living room, directly in the view of the camera, and reveals his face.
The image is grainy and the focus soft. But it’s enough to give investigators a big break.
Miramar police kept the surveillance video secret from the public in the early days of the investigation. They bring in the FBI and enlist the help of NASA to enhance the face that was capture by the camera.
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They know second-by-second what happened in Butch Casey’s home that morning. But they don’t know why or who the killers were.
Was this a home-invasion robbery gone wrong?
Were the killers looking for something specific as they ransacked the house?
Was Butch Casey the target of a hit by people he owed money to?
Or was there something else going on?
About Felonious Florida
The Casey’s Nickelodeon Murders was reported by Lisa Arthur based on interviews, police reports, court records and media coverage. It was edited by David Schutz and Randy Roguski. Felonious Florida is produced by the South Florida Sun Sentinel and presented in audio form in partnership with Wondery. The series is produced by Schutz, Arthur and Juan Ortega. Web design and production by Yiran Zhu. The Felonious Florida team includes Randy Roguski, Danny Sanchez, Sean Pitts, Cindy Choi, David Selig and Dana Banker.
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