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Friends, colleagues offer condolences for stabbing victim

By Carole Mikita | Posted - Dec. 1, 2010 at 9:01 p.m.



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SOUTH SALT LAKE -- Those who know Sherry Black, the woman found stabbed to death in South Salt Lake Tuesday, are mourning her loss and describing their shock about her death.

Many people who know Black have expressed their condolences, saying they are horrified at such a tragic loss.

Black's family released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying in part, "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community truly is making a difference for us. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers and kindness."

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One fellow book dealer described the woman he has known and worked with for 20 years as honest and kind.

"Sherry is quiet, you'll hear that from people," said Curt Bench of Benchmark Books. "Very unassuming, kind and friendly, though, and really knew her stuff. She knew books, she was successful at what she did. She had a good reputation in the trade for being honest and having integrity."

Bench said customers got a fair deal at Black's shop, B & W Billiards and Books, where she was killed Tuesday afternoon. She shared the business with her husband, Earl.

Black had a passion for books. She sold used and rare books, including some old Latter-day Saint books and manuscripts, as well as modern literature. Some items in her store were worth a few dollars, others worth thousands. Bench said Black had a knack for finding good books, which she found at estate sales and Deseret Industries stores. Sometimes, Bench said, she outbid him, so she was a competitor as well as a friend.

"She clearly loved it ... She made a name for herself ... even though a lot of people didn't know about her business," he said. "I know she had a lot of repeat customers, people who sold books to her because she was fair."

Bench said sometimes he and Black would be asked to appraise rare books, donated to institutions. He admired her, he said and will miss her.

Joshua Smith, bishop of the Latter-day Saint ward in Black's neighborhood, issued this statement: "Sherry Black was a wonderful, kind and friendly individual, and all those whom I know are better for having known her."

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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Carole Mikita

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