Stunned.  Saddened.  Shocked.  Petrified.  Sick to my stomach.  Those are a few of the emotions that went through my mind as I watched NBC (along with 2.9 million Americans) on Friday night.  I didn't know it but I was watching that time period's most-watched show for Adults in the 18-49 demo and it centered around one of the Jersey Shore's most shocking murders. It was a Dateline NBC titled "The Betrayal of Sarah Stern."  Betrayal is a good word to describe it.

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Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern (Courtesy of Lauren Bahr)

...but perhaps that doesn't go far enough.  This was an astonishing betrayal and pure evil.  At just 19 years old, Neptune City resident Sarah Stern disappeared.   She was an artist and recent high school graduate with her whole life left to live.  Her car was left abandoned on the Belmar Bridge.  An Uber driver called 911 to report the empty vehicle.  Over the next 18 months, startling revelations came out and NBC shared them over the course of 2 heart-wrenching hours.  Maybe you remember this story?

Among the shocking reveals:

  • Two of Sarah's high-school friends were responsible for plotting her murder.
  • Liam McAtasney was caught on tape confessing the murder to another friend.  Without care or remorse, Liam shares vivid details about how he planned it, how he executed it, how he didn't get the jolt of energy he'd hoped for (yes, he said he expected there to be some kind of high), and a whole bunch of other horrible stuff.
  • Preston Taylor, Sarah's junior prom date, assisted in planning the murder and throwing her body off the bridge.
  • The reason for the murder was money.  Her late mother had left her a large sum of money, which she had found in a shoebox, and moved to a safe deposit box.  After murdering her, the two discovered it was only around $7,000.

Watching the story unfold and taking it all in, I felt so bad for Sarah and her family. This shows me that some people are just evil.  It also tells me that when you have money, don't tell even your closest friends.

If you'd like to check out any of our articles and coverage on Sarah Stern over the years, click here.

If you want to watch the full episode, click here.

Remembering Sarah Stern

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