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Friday, September 26, 2008

Hope Rippey No Longer Smiling For The Camera

Hope Rippey smiled broadly for her mug shot taken just a short while after she had poured gasoline on a living but beaten and stabbed Shanda Sharer before a friend, Laurie Tackett struck a match and ignited the fire that finally killed her. Shanda was a twelve year old girl that a friend of Tackett, Melinda Loveless, wanted dead.  The evening before she doused the girl with gasoline, Rippey participated in kidnapping, beating , terrorizing, and strangling her.

Melinda had been threatening Shanda for weeks. She was in a jealous rage because her girlfriend, Amanda Hearvin, had been spending time with Shanda. On January 11, 1992, Laurie Hackett arrive at Melinda's house bringing along two of her friends, Hope Rippey and Toni Lawrence. Rippey and Lawrence did not know Melinda. Melinda filled them in on the problems she was having with Sharer. She showed them a knife that she planned to use on Shanda.

Hope Rippey helped to lure Shanda away from her home by telling her that  Amanda Hearvin was waiting at another location to meet her. Shanda went with Hope and Laurie to a waiting car where Toni Lawrence and Melinda Loveless (hiding under a blanket) were waiting. Hope started asking Shanda questions about her relationship with Amanda. Melinda seethed with anger while listening to the girl from her hiding place. Melinda came out from under the blanket and held a knife to Shanda's throat. Shanda cried and begged for her life. She promised that she would stay away from Amanda. 

Shanda was taken to what Laurie Tackett referred to as "The Witches Castle" were she was bound. Laurie burned an old T-shirt for light. Some headlights from passing cars spooked the girls who then took Shanda to a field, where she was made to strip most of her clothing off. Melinda then beat her, then tried to cut her throat, but the knife was too dull. Shanda was then strangled with a rope until she passed out and placed in the trunk of the car.

At some point in the evening, they returned to Tackett's home with Shanda in the trunk of the car. Hope, Melinda, Laurie, and Toni were drinking sodas when they heard Shanda screaming from the car. Tackett left the house with a paring knife and returned from the then silent car with blood on her and the knife. Laurie then decided that they should go for a drive to dispose of Shanda. Hope and Toni declined to go along. Instead, they slept. 

While they were asleep in the same house with Tackett's mother, who had no idea what was happening and would not be clued in by the two teenagers, Shanda was being driven around in the trunk of the car.  It was bitterly cold and Shanda had been made to strip down to her panties earlier in the evening.  Even after all she had been through she would occasionally regain consciousness and scream and beat on the trunk lid. Every time this happened Laurie or Melinda would "take care of it" with a tire iron. 

The morning came without the two girls figuring out what to do, so they drove back to Laurie's house. They were eager to show the other two girls the new injuries they had inflicted on Shanda. Toni didn't want to see so she sat in the car ready to rev the engine in the event that Shanda were to scream. While viewing the Shanda in the trunk, Hope spied a bottle of Windex next to the girl. She picked it p and sprayed the cleaner onto the stab wounds on Shanda's body and watched it fizz. She then commented to Shanda, "You don't look so hot now."

The girls decided to the best way to dispose of Shanda was to burn her. They stopped at a local gas station and bought a 2 liter of soda. After the girls took a few swigs, they emptied the bottle and refilled it with gasoline. Hope told the group she knew of the perfect spot to dispose of the girl.  They drove to the spot and Hope helped Laurie and Melinda remove Shanda from the trunk and lay her on the ground. She then poured the gasoline on her. Laurie struck the match and threw it. An autopsy would later conclude that Shanda Sharer died of smoke inhalation.

The girls then went to a McDonald's to eat breakfast. Laurie and Melinda joked that the sausage they were eating looked like Shanda.

The girls were soon charged with murder. They all entered pleas to various charges in 1993. Hope for murder and criminal confinement. 

Rippey walked out of prison in 2006.  She now goes by the name Anna.

She is now a registered violent offender/sex offender and is photographed every year. She no longer smiles when the the pictures are taken.
 


Books on the Shanda Sharer Murder on Ebay

2 comments:

AJR said...

I THINK THE GIRLS INVOLVED SHOULD HAVE TO DIE THE EXACT SAME WAY THAT SHANDA SHARER DIED!! YOU KNOW, "AN EYE FOR AN EYE"!! I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS SPENT KEEPING THESE ANIMALS ALIVE!! AND...WHAT IS THIS CRAP ABOUT GETTING OUT OF PRISON EARLY WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR?? F THAT!! JUST SAYIN'...

Unknown said...

I thought I knew stuff about this case, but this has told me information which is even worse. The fact she was in the boot and that it went on for hours, so one of the four could have stopped it. The fact she was sodomised and tortured. A 12 year old girl, by four other girls. I just can't get my head around it.