Sheldon Kerrick (alias Robert Sawyer) was a plumber who kidnapped and murdered five boys in the 1970s.
In 1968, Kerrick took on the identity of Robert Sawyer, a man who died from unknown causes. Two years later, he murdered a boy, put his body inside a box, and left it at a quarry. The box was eventually found, and the boy's murder was investigated by the authorities, though the boy would wind up remaining unidentified. The case became a center of obsession for the father of Millie Vizcarrondo, who was a fingerprint analyst; this wound up straining their relationship. Eight years later, Kerrick kidnapped four Puerto Rican boys while they were playing basketball, and murdered and buried them one by one. He was assisted by two unwilling teenagers, Carlos Guzman and Anna Gable, who thought he would kill one or the other if they did not cooperate. In addition to killing the boys, Kerrick molested Gable repeatedly after drugging her with stolen medication. He claimed to both that he had killed the other when they were actually still alive. Afterwards, Kerrick stopped committing crimes and became afflicted with pancreatic cancer as an older adult.
Kerrick's crimes went unsolved until 2005 when authorities find the body of one of the Puerto Rican boys, who had been buried at the same quarry as his first victim. Millie, who by that point had become a CSU technician, teams up with Detective Stabler to solve the case. Over the course of the investigation, they connect the case to the quadruple kidnapping and eventually find the bodies of the other three boys underneath a shed that Kerrick used in the commission of his crimes. They also manage to locate both Guzman and Gable, with Gable revealing that Sawyer wasn't his real name. After realizing that the real killer had stolen the deceased Sawyer's identity, Stabler realizes that Kerrick had been fingerprinted in 1978 when he took a polygraph test, but no one had ever bothered to put his fingerprints into the system since he was not arrested.
By running Kerrick's fingerprints from 1978, the detectives are able to identify Kerrick and track him down. After the Special Victims Unit learns about Kerrick's pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Novak offers to arrange for him to be sent to a hospital prison ward where an oncologist would be able to take care of him, as well as immediate compassionate release when his condition worsens, in exchange for pleading guilty to all of the charges against him and giving the identity of his first victim. Though he took the deal and cooperated to most of the terms, Kerrick claimed he had no memory of the boy's name. He died from his cancer sometime afterwards. (SVU: "Name")
- 1970s: Anna Gable (force-fed stolen medication and molested repeatedly)
- 1970: An unidentified boy (murdered and dumped in a quarry inside a box)
- 1978: The quadruple kidnapping:
- Juan Alvarez (murdered and buried in a quarry)
- Hector Padilla (murdered and buried underneath a shed)
- Esteban Morales (murdered and buried underneath a shed)
- Michael Rodriguez (murdered and buried underneath a shed)