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Sheila Gay Sanders (March 13, 1965 - June 19, 1985), (also known by her mother's last name Knorr) was a woman killed by her mother in 1985, following the murder of her sister, Suesan Knorr a year before. The five siblings were subjected to severe abuse, focused on the three girls, one of which survived.


After being forced into prostitution by her mother, Sheila allegedly contracted an infection which spread to her mother after using the same restroom. Sheila was forced to live in a closet in the family's apartment and was neglected until she starved to death. Three days after she died, her already badly decomposed body was packed into a large box obtained from her brother's place of employment and was disposed of near a lake in Truckee, California. The body was discovered hours afterward.


Both sisters remained unidentified until 1993 when their youngest sister contacted America's Most Wanted after authorities failed to believe her accounts of both murders. Neither body was forensically identified, but the circumstances surrounding their deaths, as well as items found at both scenes, corroborated their surviving sister's accounts, along with one of their brothers'.

At the time of her death, Sheila was known to have her front teeth broken due to abuse from her mother. The box containing her remains was identified to belong to the movie theater where her brother worked.



  • The case was depicted in the following documentary series:
    • Cold Case Files: "Mommy's Rules"
    • Most Wicked
    • Wicked Attraction
    • Evil Lives Here
    • Deadly Women
  • The 2010 film The Afflicted was loosely based on the sisters' murders


  • Theresa Knorr on Wikipedia
  • Kurtis Productions. "Mommy's Rules." Cold Case Files, season 2, episode 24, A&E, 11 June 2000.