News / Utah / 

Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and Salt Lake County Jail

Man arrested in Sherry Black killing has quiet rap sheet, but outspoken social media posts

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News | Posted - Oct. 13, 2020 at 7:39 a.m.


1 photo

SALT LAKE CITY — Approximately two months before and two months after Sherry Black was killed, Adam Antonio Spencer Durborow committed theft offenses.

And then, nothing.

Durborow, who was arrested Saturday in connection with the nearly 10-year-old killing of Black, has not been charged with any crimes in Utah — outside of failing to have insurance, an infraction that was dismissed — since 2011, according to state court records.

But in his social media posts since then, Durborow comes across as a sometimes angry man who is trying to make a living by working, but is dealing with issues from his past, including a foster father who served time in federal prison.

Unified police announced Saturday they had arrested Durborow, 29, of Orem, for investigation of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary. But they have released few other details about what led them to Durborow or how they were able to crack the high-profile, decade-old cold case.

On Nov. 30, 2010, Black, 64, the mother-in-law of former Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller, was found stabbed to death inside her bookstore, B&W Billiards and Books at 3466 S. 700 East. An Armani Exchange men’s belt with a waist measurement of approximately 36-38 inches and a sticker on the back of the buckle with the number “323” was collected at the crime scene, as well as blood.

DNA testing determined the blood came from a male. That DNA was analyzed through a national criminal database. But no match was ever made, meaning the killer had not been arrested for committing another violent crime since Black’s death, had fled the country or was dead.

No suspects or persons of interest were even named in the case.

In 2017, on the seventh anniversary of Black’s death, police announced they had put the DNA through a phenotyping process using the Virginia-based company Parabon-Nanolabs. Phenotyping predicts a person’s physical appearance and ancestry using genetic codes. Based on that information, researchers can predict skin color, hair color, eye color and facial structure using percentages.

At that time, investigators said based on the phenotyping, there was a 97.8% likelihood the man has light brown skin, a 55.2% likelihood he has brown or black eyes, and 99.6% likelihood he has black hair.

DNA was collected from Durborow on Wednesday and a match was confirmed on Thursday, according to a police affidavit filed when Durborow was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Saturday.

The affidavit also notes that “fingerprints and palm prints of a suspect” were collected from the crime scene in 2010.

South Salt Lake police originally investigated the killing. Unified police and detective Ben Pender took over the case in 2018. Pender has previously solved other cold case crimes, including in 2018 when two women were arrested for a nearly decade-old murder, and a nearly 40-year-old cold case that same year.

Related:

According to court records, Durborow was 19 when he committed a shoplifting offense on Sept. 16, 2010. He pleaded guilty in West Valley Justice Court on Oct. 27, 2010 — one month before Black was killed. Durborow was sentenced to probation.

Then on Jan. 15, 2011, Durborow committed another theft in West Valley City, according to court records. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 1, 2011, and was ordered to serve six months in jail.

Court records show that a woman believed to be Durborow’s birth mother lived a mile away from Black’s bookstore in 2010.

While he has stayed off of Utah court dockets over the past 10 years, Durborow has been a frequent poster on social media.

On Facebook, using the name Jace Ranting, Durborow regularly posted between 2012 and 2013. In many of his posts, he talks about being angry and unapologetic for being outspoken. He also posted frequently about relationships.

“People come and go in life, people hurt you and make you feel good,” he posted on April 27, 2012, while talking about wanting to find someone to have a lifelong relationship with. “That is a goal worth living for.”

On May 16, 2012, he posted that he had “made some choices to change my life, regardless of what comes I will face it with humility and acceptance.”

On May 23, 2012, Durborow posted: “Enjoy life you never know when it’s your last day.”

According to his Facebook page, he enrolled in Clearfield Job Corps in 2012 and subsequently posted about working and being employed after that.

Durborow also made posts referencing his father, Joseph Paul Durborow, who served time in both federal prison and the Utah State Prison for convictions of child pornography and sexually abusing children.

At the time of Joseph Durborow’s arrest in 2002, he and his wife had adopted or had guardianship of 12 children, including 10 still living in their home.

Sherry Black
Sherry Black (Photo: Associated Press)

In a post apparently referencing his father, Adam Durborow states that he does not have to trust or respect his father.

“I forgive but I will never forget. Nuff said,” he wrote.

In a post on Aug. 27, 2012, Durborow angrily calls out his step-mother by name for allegedly allowing her husband back into the house after serving his prison time.

In another ranting post on July 21, 2012, Duborow states, “Life is (expletive) retarded. I want the world to just leave me alone. Dying seems easier than dealing with alot of the people that make life the cess pool it has become. I hate life and its never ending tedious games that you have to learn to live.”

On Aug. 19, 2012, Durborow talks about his decision to stop taking “meds” eight months earlier. He claimed he had been receiving medication since he was 7 for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and being bipolar.

In another ranting post on Aug. 20, 2012, Durborow writes in part, “We all make mistakes, but what corrects the mistakes to make them be forgiven?”

In a post on Aug. 30, 2012, Durborow states, “I have never been able to see death and not feel affected.” He goes on to encourage others to remember their loved ones after they die. “A little melancholy, but death in life is a grave subject.”

In another rant on Oct. 3, 2012, Durborow states, “I want to hurt people who hurt me. I’m angry and I can’t believe in humanity.” That was followed by another post four days later that states, “The world needs to start burning, I hope I hear the screams of the people I've come to hate. ... My name isn't Adam Durborow, I am filled with rage, and I want to literally tear you (expletive) who have hurt me apart.”

Then on Nov. 30, 2012 — the two-year anniversary of Black’s death — Durborow posted a cartoon of a man holding a bloody saw with the caption, “Don’t upset me, I’m running out of places to hide the bodies.”

On Nov. 23, 2013 — just days before the anniversary of Black’s death — Durborow posted in part, “I won’t lie, I won't cover up what I do. I refuse to ever not be me.” That was followed two days later by a post stating he is not always angry, but states, “I’m not a saint. Hell, I don’t think of myself as a good person.”

On Sept. 2, 2014, he wrote, “It’s a terrible thing when your family is no longer in one piece, and some days that hits harder than it should.”

On Feb. 24, 2015, Durborow again states, “I’m not a good person. But I’m not a bad person. So I feel I’m doing just fine.”

Detectives are scheduled to meet with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday to discuss whether formal criminal charges will be filed in the case.

Photos

Related Stories

Pat Reavy

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast