Bismarck man to testify at suspected serial killer trial

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BISMARCK, N.D. - There's a Bismarck connection to the prosecution of a suspected serial killer - many years after the disappearance of Bismarck native Sharon Hensley.

Brian Hensley, Sharon's brother, still lives in Bismarck but will soon travel to Louisiana to provide testimony in the trial of Felix Vail, a man charged with murdering his first wife, and suspected of involvement in the disappearances of Sharon and another woman.

Brian hopes his testimony will help put Vail behind bars. But, more importantly, provide closure for his family after so many years of not knowing.

Brian has been looking for answers for more than 40 years.

"It's a long time, but justice will be served," said Brian.

The last time Brian and his family heard from his sister Sharon was 1972. At that time Sharon was dating Felix Vail.

"I believe that he brought her here just to say goodbye to us, because he was just so controlling," said Brian.

Vail has been charged with the murder of his first wife, Mary Horton.

Louisiana law enforcement believe he may also be responsible for the disappearances of Sharon and his third wife, Annette Craver.

"What are the odds somebody has one wife that drowns, a common law wife that disappears, another wife that disappears," said Jerry Mitchell, investigative reporter for the Clarion-Ledger.

Mitchell has been researching Vail and the women he's known who've disappeared. In fact, his story re-opened a cold case.

"He dug up enough stuff on Felix that made Louisiana re-open the 1962 murder. And yeah, if it weren't for Jerry Mitchell, none of this would've happened," said Brian.

The quiet neighborhood the Hensley's lived when Sharon disappeared was never the same.

"My mother - it just tore her up. It was her only daughter and they were so close," said Brian.

Sharon and Annette's bodies have never been found, but Vail goes on trial for the murder of Mary Horton Aug. 8.

Hensley says after the trial, he will have a memorial service for his sister, and he invites those who knew her and his family to attend.