What Happened to Joann Pierson?
What happened to JoAnn Pierson
Cheryl Pierson was 11 years old when she had never heard of murder-for-hire. As a cheerleader and resident of Long Island, New York with her family, Cheryl became responsible for taking care of all household tasks – including looking after younger sister JoAnn. When her mother was diagnosed with terminal illness, Cheryl assumed responsibility for caring for JoAnn too.
After a long, difficult wait, Pierson finally took action. When her father James threatened to molestate her younger sister, Pierson arranged for his death and then hid under a pillow while holding her breath.
After three decades, her story is finally being told – by the notorious teen killer herself! On Thursday, July 21 at 9 pm on Investigation Discovery, People Magazine Investigates will feature a special episode with this remarkable individual.
The judge who found her guilty of manslaughter noted that she had been sexually abused by her father from the time she was 11 until his passing, and also planned the murder which occurred over a three and half month period.
Her case has drawn national attention to incest and domestic violence. It is believed she was paid $1,000 to kill her father.
On February 5, 1986, Pica shot her father five times in the head and chest, fatally wounding him. This case sparked outrage among classmates at the time; however, Pierson was able to avoid prison only after fulfilling five years of probation and Rob Cuccio spent 18 months in jail for conspiring to kill his girlfriend.
She still struggles with PTSD and the trauma of her parents’ deaths, yet her will to survive has helped her cope. Now living in Webster, New York with her husband Robert “Bob” Pierson and their four children, she strives to find peace within herself.
Cheryl Pierson’s new book, Incest, Murder and a Miracle, tells her story for the first time. Additionally, she discusses the case of classmate Sean Pica who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his father’s murder and is now serving eight to 24 years in prison.
Pierson’s case is not without controversy, yet the former high school cheerleader has come out with a book that she says gives her courage to speak out for the first time. Additionally, she received help with her health; now working as an oncology nurse and married to Rob, Pierson is living the American dream.