2004-09-08 10:39:45 UTC
Couple Collected Items As Mementos Of Murders, According To Court
POSTED: 6:00 pm EDT September 2, 2004
BALTIMORE -- Erika Sifrit made some shocking statements to the Secret
Service after the murders of a couple visiting Ocean City in 2002,
WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins reported.
Last week, the state's highest court upheld the convictions of Erika
and Benjamin Sifrit, both found guilty last year in the murders of
Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley.
Erika Sifrit is a self-described material girl who came from a wealthy
family. She considered herself to be exotic because she raised snakes
and crocodiles. She also said she used cocaine and Ecstasy five days a
The 11 News I-Team uncovered the court documents that reveal some
shocking statements Erika Sifrit made to the Secret Service about the
killings. The interview reveals that the Sifrits had a bizarre
relationship, Collins reported.
Erika Sifrit portrayed her husband as a racist, a bigot and a control
freak who was mentally and physically abusive.
According to the court documents, the only compliment she ever
received was that "she was a cool wife for going to strip clubs with
him." The only gift Benjamin Sifrit ever bought her was a .357 handgun
that she claims she never fired.
There's even a disturbing account of a test Benjamin Sifrit gave his
wife to see how far she would go for him. She recalled, after being
married for a year, that he wanted her to become pregnant. Court
documents indicate that she carried his baby for nearly four months.
Then, out of the blue, Erika Sifrit claimed her husband changed his
mind and ordered her to "get an abortion or I'm going to dig it out of
you," Collins reported.
After she terminated the pregnancy, Benjamin Sifrit then told her: "I
never wanted a kid, I just wanted to see how far you would go for me,"
according to court documents.
Erika Sifrit told investigators that they thought of themselves as
Bonnie and Clyde. She detailed numerous burglaries and how she sold
the stolen merchandise on the Internet bidding Web site, eBay.
Erika Sifrit claims in court documents that she and Benjamin Sifrit
planned a two-week burglary crime spree in Ocean City during Memorial
Day weekend in 2002.
In chilling detail, she recounted the murders of Crutchley and Ford.
She said Benjamin Sifrit, at gunpoint, ordered the couple to get
naked, asking, "Do you want to die?"
Erika Sifrit not only admitted how she cut Crutchley in two places,
but he recreated the actions, not knowing if Crutchley was dead or
alive at the time.
Three days later, Erika Sifrit said that Benjamin Sifrit told her to
get a tattoo of a snake on the same location where she cut Crutchley,
prompting only the second compliment Benjamin Sifrit ever gave her.
Erika Sifrit told investigators she ordered her husband to shoot the
couple who, at that time, had locked themselves in a bathroom.
She said: "I knew he wanted to kill someone because he asked me two
weeks ago if he could kill my family."
Erika Sifrit said her husband wanted to kill her parents, both sets of
grandparents and a wealthy aunt. She would be the sole air to their
money, and they would meet in Argentina, according to the court
These court documents, just recently unsealed, reveal that Benjamin
Sifrit liked the tattoo very much because its location reminds him of
the killings, Collins reported.
The court papers indicate that the Sifrits went back to the bar where
they socialized with their victims to buy a tank top as another
reminder of the murders.
Benjamin Sifrit is now serving a 38-year sentence on a second-degree
murder conviction. Erika Sifrit is serving a life sentence plus 20
years after a first-degree murder conviction.