Detectives in Alameda County, have been investigating a murder case since early March involving the death of two Pleasanton California victims. The male victim Ernest Scherer Jr, 60, in addition to his politcal ties was known in passing around the poker table a part time gambler, dabbling in the sport during his spare time.
The second murder victim was Ernest Scherer’s wife, Charlene Abendroth, 57. The couple was found murdered together in their pajamas in their home on the grounds of the Castlewood Country Club.
The couple after having been brutally beaten police say on March 7th, was found then a week later, when their daughter in Utah asked the authorities to do a welfare check on her parents. She had been previously unable to reach them and was becoming worried.
The detectives that are investing the case said that they are targeting the couple’s son, a professional poker player as a “person of interest” in the case.
Detective Scott Dudek told reproters that his office begins each investigation by ruling out family members and then friends, however in this particular case he has been unable to rule out the couples son, Ernest Scherer III.
The elder Scherer and his wife are said to have been beaten to death but an official cause of death hasn’t been released. The elder couple was married for 31 years.
Adding to suspicions against the pro poker player are reports that the police began a search for a red convertible Camaro directly after finding the victims bodies. Since then a 2001 convertible Camaro owned by the Junior Scherer was impounded by the police.
There is rumor of video footage including the car and perhaps the high profile, though largely in debt poker player.
Police said they obtained a search warrant for Scherer III’s 2001 Camaro convertible and searched the car, we don’t know at this time what, if anything was found but investigators have obtained a video that shows a similar car that resembles Scherer’s Camaro in the area around the time of the murders.
Investigators have also searched his Southern California home. In an effort to obtain information and a possible motive Alameda County Sheriff’s Detective Scott Dudek told reporters that he contacted a gambling website asking for information about any poker or other gambling debts that Ernest Scherer III may have incurred.
Dudek didn’t say why Scherer was a person of interest in the case but did say, “From the very beginning we look at family members and rule them out and unfortunately for Ernest Scherer III, he cannot be ruled out” said Alameda County SGT. Scott Dudek.
“We would hope to have all the family members cleared by now, but that does not appear to be the case.”
Ernest Scherer III’s house in Brea has gone into foreclosure proceedings since the murders and his wife and child have left the house. Ernest Scherer III has left the area, according to authorities. Dudek said that he has been in contact with him but wouldn’t reveal his whereabouts.
“We’re working on this case seven days a week, as many possible hours as you can, and we’re three months into it”, Dudek said.
Rumor has it Scherer is mingling among this years World Series of Poker events, according to our sources with the WSOP. However as of this morning he hadn’t registered to play in any events.
Police have not mentioned gambling debts as a possible motive for the poker playing specifically, however, with his home allegedly in foreclosure, police are looking into any possible gambling debts, Scherer has won $195,663 dollars since August of 2005 but there are rumors that he has lost a lot as well and could possibly be in debt.
George “Bernie” Devlin who has played poker with Scherer III in Utah in the past told reporters that he would often run into Scherer in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. He also said that he heard through other players that Scherer had lost a lot of money.
“I always had a strange feeling about him,” said Devlin, who said he no longer socializes with Scherer. “I never felt comfortable around him,” adding that “He’s highly intelligent.”
To clarify Ernest Scherer III is still at this time only a “person of interest” and hasn’t been charged with anything, as a matter of fact no one has been charged in this case. Those who used to play cards with Scherer III in Utah where he lived before moving to Southern California in 2005 say that he is polite and smart with a “few ticks”.
Looking into scherer’s recent poker play, you’ll see that the poker pro played very often over a three year span, and then lapsed, not seen much after the 2008 L.A. Poker Classic, where he cashed for a mere 3k. Could he have been hoping for a big win to clear up debt or was he just enjoying a high profile poker tournament?
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