In 2014, the death of John Sheridan, 72, and his wife, Joyce, rocked the New Jersey political landscape.

Sheridan, the former state transportation commissioner and long-time political fundraiser and influencer was found dead with his wife inside their Montgomery Township home after a fire at the residence.

John P. Sheridan

Then came the bombshell from the Somerset County prosecutor: Sheridan stabbed his wife to death, and after setting their home on fire, he killed himself.

His son, Mark Sheridan, never believed it. He openly criticized the investigation. Those who knew the Sheridans were also in disbelief. They never saw the couple having any problems. It just didn't make sense.

The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has steadfastly stood by the conclusion of their initial investigation.

Eight years after the deaths, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin has now agreed to re-open the case.

Public Radio Station WNYC first reported the news following the production of a podcast series on the deaths, titled: Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery.

The belief that the Sheridans' deaths were not a murder/suicide was not just rooted in emotion. Some of the evidence just didn't add up.

In a letter to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office in January, Mark Sheridan again noted that a murder weapon was never recovered from the scene. He pointed out that a knife matching the description of one missing from his parent's kitchen was recovered from the pickup truck of a murder suspect in Connecticut.

That suspect, the letter noted, was connected to a murder-for-hire plot involving a Democratic political operative. That crime, also in 2014, has other similarities to the deaths of the Sheridans.

A spokesman did confirm the state was reopening the case, but refused to say why. "We will follow the evidence wherever it leads," the spokesman told

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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