Melinda Loveless and her crew of delinquent girls sacked revenge against the innocent Shanda Sharer who was only 12 years old.
Victim: Shanda Renee Sharer.
Offenders: Melinda Loveless
On the night of January 11, 1992, 12-year-old Shanda Sharer was abducted by four girls. She was raped, beaten, set on fire, and finally died in a field. Girlfriends, Melinda Loveless and Amanda Hearvin, were having problems and Hearvin began spending time with Sharer. Loveless became extremely jealous and angry.
In 1991, soon after Sharer entered Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in New Albany, she met and had a confrontational meeting with Hearvin. However, the two soon overcame their disagreement and became friends. During this time Loveless and Heavrin had not broken off their relationship, even though Loveless was involved with another girl.
Consumed with jealousy, Loveless challenged Sharer and Heavrin, who were attending a school dance together. Shortly thereafter, Loveless began telling others about her hatred for Sharer and her thoughts about killing her.
Loveless also began threatening Sharer at school. Thinking that their daughter’s friendship with Heavrin was not healthy, Sharer’s parents became involved. Their solution was to transfer Sharer to a different school. By November Sharer and Heavrin were seeing each less of each other less and drifted apart.
At this time Hope Rippey and Toni Lawrence became friends with Laurie Tackett, a friend of Loveless. Sharer was not in the picture.
On the night of January 10, 1991, Tackett, Rippey and Lawrence met up at with Loveless at her home. Because Loveless hated Sharer for stealing her girlfriend, she showed the girls a knife she had, which she planned to use to frighten Sharer.
Rippey drove the girls to Sharer’s home. Being the mastermind behind the whole scheme, Loveless sent Rippey and Lawrence to knock on Sharer’s door. They were to convince her to come with them to an abandoned house near Utica, Indiana, known to local residents as the witches castle.
Sharer told them to come back later as her parents were still awake. Although Loveless fumed over this delay, the girls decided to return later and headed to a concert at the Audubon Skate Park located nearby. Soon bored, they coerced several boys into have sex with them in Tackett’s car.
During the ride back to the Sharer home, Loveless commented that she wanted to have sex with Sharer before she killed her. Around 12:30 am, the girls picked Sharer up while Loveless hid under a blanket with the knife. Once Sharer was in the car, Loveless came out and began questioning her as she held the knife to the girl’s throat.
The attack on Shanda Sharer:
The four girls tied Sharer up and drove her to the witches castle, but became spooked, and quickly left. Sharer was taken to a dump near the Tackett home, where they stripped off her clothing and Loveless her attack. The knife being dull, Loveless could not get her throat cut. While Rippey held the victim down, Tackett and Loveless stabbed her in the chest. Then they throttled Sharer with a rope until she passed out.
Thinking their victim was dead, the girls placed her body in the trunk and headed to Tackett’s home to clean up. When Sharer regained consciousness and started screaming, Tackett stabbed her with another knife. She rejoined the others and they hung out.
Loveless and Tackett drove away about 2:30am with Sharer still in the trunk. After beating Sharer again with a tire iron, the two girls returned to house for more cleanup, bragging about what they had done. Tackett’s mother awoke, scolding her daughter for having guests at such a late hour. Tackett said she would take everyone home.
Instead, they drove to a service station, purchased gasoline and headed to Lemon Road near US 421. Still alive, Sharer was wrapped in a blanket and carried into a field, where Rippey poured gas over her and lit it. Loveless used all the gas to be sure the girl was really dead.
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