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Thursday, March 3, 2011

[VA] Not forgetting the "shrouded in mystery" death of sheriff's wife Megan Owen Barry

Megan Owen Barry

Fairfax County Sheriff Stan G. Barry's wife of 3 months, Megan Owen Barry, was found shot to death in their Centreville home on Valentine's Day 2003, and police investigated the case as a suicide. Barry called police and reported a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The sheriff said he had stepped outside briefly and returned to find his wife lying fatally wounded inside.

[I have searched library archives and cannot find an obituary notice. Did Megan have one?]

Connection Newspapers
By By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, February 20, 2003
[Excerpts] From now on, Valentine's Day will always be tinged with sadness for Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry. Early last Friday, Feb. 14, his wife of just three months, Megan, 30, apparently took her own life. Fairfax County police responded to the couple's home in Centreville's Compton Village community, around 12:30 a.m. There, they say, she "was found deceased of an apparent, self-inflicted gunshot wound." The police investigation into her death is still ongoing and, so far, scant information has been released about the tragedy. That — and the family's desire to keep everything as private as possible — leaves the whole incident shrouded in mystery. Barry declined to provide any details about his wife's life, except to say that she was a lawyer and a lobbyist for various entities. And he did not wish to give any possible reasons or motivations she might have had for committing suicide. Police say Barry found his new bride downstairs in their home, but they don't know if he was home at the time of her death, or if he discovered her body after returning home from elsewhere. Police will also not reveal any details about the caliber of the weapon, how she obtained it or what part of her body sustained the fatal injury. Meanwhile, Sheriff Barry — the son of former Sen. Warren E. Barry (R-37th) — is devastated. "I'm really at a loss — this was so sudden," he said. "She was absolutely the light of my life. She was very vibrant and alive, and we're sure going to miss her...

Washington Post
Tom Jackman
Saturday, February 15, 2003
[Excerpts] Fairfax County Sheriff Stan G. Barry's wife was found shot to death in their Centreville home early yesterday, and police were investigating the case as a suicide. Megan Owen Barry, 30, was an associate at the Falls Church and Richmond offices of the Reed Smith law firm and had been working as a lobbyist at the state Capitol on Thursday night. She returned home later Thursday, and Stan Barry called police about 12:30 a.m. yesterday and reported a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The sheriff apparently had stepped outside briefly and returned to find his wife lying fatally wounded inside, authorities said. Police sources said the evidence at the scene was consistent with suicide. An autopsy was performed yesterday, but no determination on a cause of death was released. Barry declined to comment. Megan and Stan Barry were married in November in a civil ceremony officiated by Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush. It was her first marriage. Stan Barry has two daughters from a previous marriage. Megan Barry received a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Last year, she worked as a special assistant to the secretary of health and human resources. More recently, she worked as a lobbyist for advocates for a new seat belt law. Word of her death filtered through the state Capitol just as the House of Delegates and Senate were going into session... Stan Barry (D), 45, was elected sheriff in 1999 after 19 years as a deputy. He has said he plans to run for reelection this year...

1991 with Santa

Posted by Jason Byrne in LAFK
February 21, 2010
[Excerpts] ...Megan was fascinating – smart, beautiful, ambitious, and possessing a sense of herself and her place in the world that was remarkable... And while she was very pretty (distractingly so for many of my fellow male Young Dems) , what seemed to grab and hold everyone’s attention was how amazingly cool she seemed... She was, and remains, one of the smartest people I’ve ever known... Throughout the years since her death, I’ve thought about her and wondering where she would have been on her path if she was still with us. By age thirty, she’d become a lawyer, a lobbyist, a wife, and a step-mother (all of which she worked as hard at as ever). She would now be closer to 40 than 30... [Full blog post here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal murder suicide virginia state politics teflon unsolved unresolved brass]


  1. I was in Megan's law school class. I was just thinking about her today and I found your post online. What timing. She had such a warm, lively spirit about her. Rest in peace, Megan.

  2. Theories of non-suicide for this case...



  3. Megan O. Barry
    Fairfax Underground Wiki

    Megan Owen Barry was a 30-year-old lawyer who committed suicide by shooting herself in the Centreville home she shared with her husband, Sheriff Stan G. Barry, early on the morning of February 14, 2003.

    Ms. Barry had grown up in Springfield, and graduated from the College of William and Mary and from the University of Virginia School of Law. She had married Sheriff Barry just three months prior, in November 2002, in a civil ceremony conducted by Judge Jane Maryam Roush.


  4. Updated the post above with "Memories of a friend" excerpts and link.

  5. Did you know Stan Barry the next day had a Facebook page and website up for dating??? He took it down only because people said it was in bad taste.

  6. Also all the evidence was handled by his department and burned that day.

  7. Virginia is rated 47th and 49th in corruption - valaw2010.blogspot.com

    FBI cautions residents of public corruption in Va.


    WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington Field Office is looking to identify any public corruption occurring in Northern Virginia.

    The FBI says public corruption can occur "when a public official, at any level of government – local, state or federal – does any official act in exchange for money, or other free goods or services, for private gain. Public corruption could also include public employees who take something of value for their own personal gain, thereby violating the public's trust."

    The FBI says many of their investigations into public corruption start once they receive a tip from someone. If you want to help identify potential criminal activity, the Washington Field Office has set up a Northern Virginia Public Corruption Hotline at 703-686-6225 and you can also e-mail them at NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov.
    Some of the examples of corruption include:
    • Government officials such as DMV employees, city inspectors, taxing or zoning assessors or other regulatory agency employees, or even town councils or mayors;
    • Contracting officials at all levels, including those who manage government contracts or regulatory permits; or, school resource officers who manage school accounts;
    • Local officials colluding with real estate investors to rig the bidding process at foreclosure auctions;
    • A person representing the judicial branch - a judge, member of the jury or court personnel; or,
    • A person representing law enforcement, who steals drugs from criminals, embezzles government funds, falsifies records or smuggles contraband

  8. AnonymousMay 23, 2014

    Why by law wasn't this case handled by Virginia state troopers, it was handled by his department. Where was the FBI? It is protocol when a high ranking officer is involve. It was a Fairfax County Cover up

    1. It is because the FBI is involved in the Cover up

    2. They cover up the truth and build smoke screens to hide......

  9. The State of Virginia has gotten away with too much. When will someone in POWER help us? www.valaw2010.Blogspot.com www.ProSeAmerica.blogspot.com

  10. AnonymousMay 18, 2018

    This is a case that needs to be reopened and investigated independently. A new bride DOES NOT take her own life.

  11. All of these stories and statements made by the police go entirely against what the Sheriff told the deceased' mother that night. This is so disgusting...that man is guilty as hell.

    1. She is not alone in Cover-up throughout Northern Virginia included and not limited to Nancy Dunning with the new book by Bryan Porter -

      Book: Charged Charles Severance with 3 murders - and no real evidence a Kangaroo Court

      Used his “FRIENDS” as attorneys

      Bryan Porter didn’t charge him with a Capital Punishment crime with a death sentence because just as he wanted to control the narrative of the book - he needed to control every aspect of the evidence to ensure the apparent “SET- UP” worked.

      With Capital Punishment you don’t get to control the lawyers. With an indigent in the City of Alexandria you get to control the lawyers they are on the payroll of the City everyday and do as they are told - you don’t need any other work. You make a good living just showing up in the courthouse everyday.

      Virginia is the state with the shortest time on average between death sentence and execution (less than 8 years). It has executed 113 offenders since 1976 and has just 2 remaining on death row as of December 2018. ... The method of execution is lethal injection, unless the condemned requests electrocution instead.
      Capital punishment in Virginia - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Capital_punishment_in_Virginia

      Author’s (Bryan Porter) Note in the States:

      Two months after the conclusion of the serial murder trial that is the subject of this book, I received a call from a local author. during the ensuing conversation, the author informs me that he wanted to write a true crime book about our case. He asked if I would be willing to give him access to evidence, photographs and documents. He envisioned interviewing me in detail about the investigation and the trial.

      I was flattered and establish arthor was interested in the case and I said I would consider his proposal. Internet research revealed he was respected and well credentialed, with several popular non-fiction titles to his name. I believed he would do a good job writing this book.

      But he had not lived and breathed the cases I had. He had not met the families of the victims. He had not been brought to tears by their grief or owed by their resilience. He had not felt the stress of putting the trial together or the concomitant fear of failure. He had not lain awake at night wondering whether he was up to the task.

      There is only one way to make sure the story was told correctly.
      I would write it myself.

      The “TRUTH” is he had to control the story - to control what was told - as he did the trial with the help of the Judge

      Judge Jane Marum Roush granted a motion to move proceedings to Fairfax County, saying the fear the killings generated gave her concern about seating an impartial jury in Alexandria.


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