Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Death of Innocence - The Murder of Young Shanda Sharer

The End of Shanda

The girls quickly discovered that their plan would not work. The burn pile was covered in frost, and they did not have any gasoline to start a fire. Instead, Tackett decided to show Rippey her handiwork. Lawrence did not want to look at the body so she was told to start the car and rev the engine if Sharer started to scream. When Tackett opened the trunk, Rippey noticed a bottle of Windex next to Sharer, so she picked it up and began spraying Sharer with the cleaning liquid. As the Windex fizzled in her wounds, Sharer somehow managed the strength to sit up. Her body was covered in blood, and her eyes were pure white. Sharer began swaying back and forth as Tackett talked to her, but she said nothing in response. At some point about this time, the evidence suggests the girls sodomized Sharer with the tire iron; however none of them has ever admitted any knowledge of the wounds inflicted to her anal cavity. Tackett's mother then yelled out the door for her, causing Tackett to slam the trunk down on Sharer's head.

Once Tackett returned from the house the girls decided it was time to end Sharer's life once and for all.

As the girls drove down the road, they again concluded that the best way to get rid of Sharer was to burn her. Tackett pulled into a Clark Oil station north of Madison to fill up the gas tank and asked Lawrence to buy a two-liter bottle of soda to fill with gas. Finishing their business at the gas station, the girls then drove out to Lemon Road. Rippey was familiar with the area and suggested that it would be a good spot to get rid of Sharer.

When they spotted an old logging road they turned in and stopped the car. Tackett opened the trunk, and Loveless and Rippey helped her pick up Sharer with the blanket with which they had covered her earlier. Lawrence chose not to help and sat in the car watching as they carried Sharer several feet behind the car before laying her on the ground. Rippey took the bottle of gasoline and poured a significant amount on Sharer; then Tackett struck a match and threw it down on Sharer's gas-soaked body. The gasoline instantly ignited, and the fire appeared to be burning well. The girls hopped back into the car and began to pull away when Loveless became nervous and told Tackett to turn around. She wanted to make sure the body was burning. Back at the scene, Loveless grabbed the bottle with the remaining gasoline and ran over to Sharer's body. She stood staring momentarily as Sharer curled up into a fetal position and her tongue darted in and out of her mouth. After she felt she had seen enough, she poured the remaining gasoline on Sharer's smoldering corpse and ran back to the car. Loveless thought Sharer's death throes were funny and described them to the others.

Sharer was finally out of Loveless' life for good. Tackett had seemed to enjoy herself during the crime, and Rippey and Lawrence must not have been too shaken up, because they had had several opportunities during the night to summon help for Sharer, but they had chosen not to. All of their exertions had tired them, so they stopped at a McDonald's on their way back. During breakfast, Tackett and Loveless joked several times about the resemblance of the sausages they were eating to Sharer. Afterwards, Tackett drove Rippey and Lawrence to their homes and went with Loveless to her house. They had decided earlier that Tackett would sleep over, but first they wanted to make some calls and brag about what they had just done.

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