Welcome to the latest edition of Crime Feed’s book club. This month’s selection features an exclusive excerpt from Aphrodite Jones’ “Cruel Sacrifice”. Be sure to come back each month for the latest suggested reading and share your reviews in the comments below.
Veteran journalist and host of Investigation Discovery’s “True Crime with Aphrodite Jones”, Jones reveals the shocking truth behind the most savage crime in Indiana history–the torture, mutilation, and murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer by four teenage girls. Below read an excerpt from the book and delve into the tragic story of twisted love and insane jealousy, brutal child abuse, and sadistic ritual killing in small-town America.
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It was a freezing cold day in the dead of January when the three girls got to New Albany. They left Madison right after school let out that afternoon, and had lied to their parents about their plans for the night. No one knew they were on their way to Louisville, more than fifty miles away from their quaint Indiana hometown.
All Toni knew was that they were going to a punk rock concert, but first they had to make a quick stop in New Albany. Soon they’d be crossing the Ohio River and the state line, and they’d be on their way.
“Did you tell her yet?” Laurie asked Hope on the ride down. “Tell her what?” Hope asked, playing dumb.
When they pulled up to Melinda’s house on Charlestown Road, everyone was silent. Melinda opened the door, she already had her trench coat on, but the three stepped inside for a few minutes just to warm up. Of the four teenagers, Laurie was the oldest, the only one with a car and a driver’s license. Although she was just seventeen, she seemed to be in control of things. Anyone who knew her for even a short time knew that Laurie had an attitude problem, that she tried very hard to be different, to be daring, that she desperately wanted to be accepted, and that she wanted her friends to follow her example.
Melinda was a very different type of person. While Laurie’s demeanor was quiet and mysterious, Melinda was hyper and seemed excited to see them. Even physically, Melinda was the opposite of Laurie in every way. In contrast to Laurie’s hard square jaw, chunky body, and cropped head of bleached hair, sixteen-year-old Melinda had a seductive smile, a perfect figure, and a thick head of flowing light brown curls. Melinda wore more conventional teen clothes; Laurie was a “punker,” usually dressed in solid black clothing. Hope and Toni asked if they could borrow some of Melinda’s clothes to wear for the night, and the four girls followed each other upstairs.
No one else seemed to be home so they made themselves comfortable in Melinda’s bedroom, sorting through her array of shoes and jeans, admiring her closetful of jackets, and eyeballing her purses on the inside door. They looked over some of her T-shirts, piled neatly in a stack of milk crates, and inspected her collection of tapes, mostly bubblegum music like New Kids On The Block, Paula Abdul, and George Michael. There was the usual teenage paraphernalia hanging on Melinda’s walls: family photos, stuffed animals in various nets, posters of idols, including a few of Elvis in Jailhouse Rock.
Toni picked out a pair of shoes and slipped them on. Hope found a pair of Melinda’s jeans to wear and some shoes to match.
“This is the knife I’m going to use,” Melinda said gleefully as she reached in her purse and pulled out a big old kitchen knife.
Melinda said she was going to scare Shanda with it. She had Shanda’s number and address written down on a piece of paper and she decided to call there one last time before they took off, just to be sure Shanda was home.
Nobody said a word. They stayed there giggling and primping for about a half hour, carefully appraising themselves in front of Melinda’s mirror.
Even though Laurie had never met Shanda, Laurie knew all about Melinda’s plan to scare Shanda, to beat her up, to “teach her a lesson.”
Melinda kept trying Shanda’s number and hanging up on the machine. All the while, she was busy filling the other two girls in. Hope and Toni were both age fifteen. They were impressed with Melinda’s cool talk, her cursing, her bravado, and her story. It didn’t take long for Melinda to conjure up an image of Shanda, the cute little girl she hated with such a passion. Shanda was a blond; she had a nice butt; she wore tight jeans and too much makeup. Shanda was a copycat, she was trying to look like Melinda. She was wearing the same kind of shoes, the same hairstyle. She was, Melinda told them with disgust, a slut.
As they listened to Melinda rage on, Laurie got a little bit antsy. She knew the history all too well — Melinda was a lesbian, and Shanda was stealing away her girlfriend. Melinda wanted Shanda out of her life. But Laurie was sick of hearing it. She just wanted to get going.
The four left a few minutes later, and Laurie had Hope take over the wheel. Hope only had a learner’s permit, but Laurie trusted her. Melinda had a piece of paper with the words “Capitol Hill” written down, and she was looking for Shanda’s dad’s house in nearby Jeffersonville. She knew it was near Jeffersonville High School somewhere but she couldn’t figure out where the street was. They pulled into a McDonald’s and Hope and Toni went in for directions. While they were there, they ordered some Chicken McNuggets.
Capitol Hills Drive, they learned, was a tucked-away street in a middle-class subdivision. It was getting pretty close to dark by the time Hope parked the car about a half a block away from Shanda’s house. Melinda told Hope to go up to the door with Toni and introduce themselves as friends of Amanda.
“Just say Amanda wants to see you,” Melinda whispered.
At the front door, they discovered the doorbell didn’t work so they knocked, and Shanda came to the door, opening it in the full view of her stepmother Sharon and her father, Steve.
“Is Shanda here?”
“I’m Shanda,” the wide-eyed girl told them.
“Do you want to come with us and meet Amanda?” Hope asked.
From inside the house, Steve Sharer asked his daughter who was at the door. Shanda said it was “friends.” But Steve saw that these girls didn’t recognize Shanda. He heard them ask for her. Shanda told
her dad she was only going to step outside to talk to them for a minute, and she closed the door behind her.
The girls told Shanda that Amanda was waiting at a deserted place called The Witches’ Castle. They asked Shanda if she would like to ride out there with them.
“Not right now, cause my parents are awake,” Shanda said in a hushed voice. “Come back around midnight and I’ll go. And be sure to have Amanda with you when you come back. Keep her with you. Have her spend the night with you or something . . .”
When Shanda went back into the house, she told her father that it was just some girls who wanted her to go to the mall. They argued briefly about it. Shanda told her dad to calm down, and ultimately he did. Since he had divorced her mother, Steve generally saw Shanda only on the weekends. He wanted his little girl to be happy. He must have realized he was getting nowhere by arguing with her that night.
In the meantime, Hope and Toni went back down the road to Laurie’s car and explained the situation to Melinda. At first, she was mad because they didn’t manage to lure Shanda out of her house. The two girls assured her that they could come back and get Shanda later, and they headed for Louisville to hear some music.
It took them a while to find the place where the concert was being held, the A-1 Skate Park. It was a place where skateboarders hung out, really just a warehouse with skate ramps where skaters could show off their various maneuvers. On Fridays, punk rock bands played there, and people used the concrete as a dance floor.
The minute Hope pulled up at the park, a bunch of young men approached the car and one of them started flirting with Melinda. Laurie wanted to get some booze, and the guys said they’d lead them to a nearby liquor store. The girls followed them in their car through the Louisville streets, only to wind up in the back parking lot of a deserted school. Once there, the guys tried to intimidate them by bumping into Laurie’s car, but eventually the four girls made it back to the skate park. They stood in line to get tickets to the concert.
As it turned out, after about ten ‘minutes, Hope and Toni decided they had enough of the loud music, the heat, and the slam dancing. Toni saw Melinda pinch a girl on the butt and thought it was time for her to get out of there. She and Hope asked Laurie if they could wait for them in the car, and Laurie handed over the keys. As soon as they walked outside, they met a couple of cute guys who introduced themselves as Jimmy and Brandon.
Melinda and Laurie stayed at the slam dance concert for at least two hours, so there was plenty of time for the four teens to get to know each other outside in the car. As the jam box blasted loudly in the backseat, Jimmy and Brandon were both making advances.
Hope and Toni must have gotten comfortable with them quickly because after a few kisses, Toni suddenly blurted out, “The two girls that we’re with are planning on killing somebody tonight.”
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It was going to be a very busy and hectic weekend over at the Sharer house. Steve had his father-in- law, his dad, and a few other relatives staying over to help take a wall down in the living room to enlarge the space. On top of that, there was his wife Sharon, his stepdaughter Sandy, and his daughter Shanda, all crowded into the tiny home.
It wasn’t too long after Hope and Toni left when the phone rang. It was a neighborhood girl who invited Shanda to a party, and even though he was hesitant about letting his little girl stay out late, Steve agreed to let Shanda go, provided she be home by 10:30 P.M. He reminded her that they were going to be tearing that wall down early the next morning and he needed her help.
It was after 11:15 P.M. when she waltzed through the door, and she had her friend Michelle with her. Shanda asked if she could stay over.
“Look, we’re going to be cramped for space,” Steve insisted. “Please, Dad?”
Steve called the girl’s mother and arranged for her to pick Michelle up. A few minutes later, he decided he was too tired to wait for the woman to arrive. He told the girls there was some pizza in the kitchen and said they could watch TV for thirty minutes. Then he turned in.
They must have watched until almost midnight, and Steve finally came out of his bedroom.
“Cool it. Turn it off. Let’s hit it,” he told them, meaning it was time for lights out. For Steve, that was it for the night. He fell asleep and never heard the door close when Michelle left.
Across the bridge over in Louisville, Melinda and Laurie decided they had enough of the concert. When they came out of the skate park and found Hope and Toni making out with some guys in the car, they figured it was a good time to use the nearby pay phone to make a few calls. They were gone a good long while. They’d called Shanda’s house a few times but all they got was the answering machine. They called Amanda, too. When they returned to the car, Toni was waiting outside.
Hope was still in the car with Brandon so the three girls went next door to Long John Silver’s to use the restroom and kill some time. Once Brandon was gone, Hope got the car started, and Melinda told her to drive back to Shanda’s; but on the way out of Louisville, Hope got confused and was driving in the wrong direction, heading toward Tennessee.
While they circled the interstates, Melinda discussed her plans.
“God I can’t wait to kill her,” Melinda shrieked with glee.
She mentioned the knife and explained that she intended to tease Shanda with it. She said that she thought Shanda was cute, that she’d like to have sex with Shanda, that she was going to run the knife up and down her stomach and play with her.
It took them a while to figure out the interstates but they finally made it back to Shanda’s. Melinda wanted Hope and Toni to go back up to the door but Toni was refusing. No one could persuade her.
Even Hope tried to get Toni to go but she said it was too cold out, that she was freezing. Melinda couldn’t go herself because if Shanda saw her, she’d get scared. Melinda had threatened her many times; she was not a face Shanda wanted to see at 12:30 A.M.
Eventually Hope and Laurie agreed to go. Melinda got down on the floorboard in the backseat.
Before she got out of the car, Laurie helped cover Melinda with a red blanket and handed her the knife. She and Hope went up the driveway and disappeared behind Shanda’s house.
As the two girls got around the corner, they saw some guy coming out of Shanda’s house, a young guy. He was saying goodbye to Shanda. They ducked behind Shanda’s garage for a minute. They knew the guy probably saw them out of the corner of his eye but he took off in his truck just seconds later. They were nervous about approaching the side door, but Shanda made it easy for them. She was right there waiting.
“Hi, are you going to go with us?” Hope wanted to know.
Shanda seemed glad to see them. Laurie was a new face, but Shanda wasn’t concerned about that. She just wanted to hear what Hope had to say about Amanda. Hope told her that Amanda was waiting for her at The Witches’ Castle. Amanda wanted her to come out. The three talked for about five minutes. Hope was having trouble convincing Shanda that she should go along. Shanda said she didn’t have the right clothes on, so Hope volunteered to go inside with her and help her pick out something to change into and Laurie went back to the other girls.
Standing out near the car, Laurie opened the back door, reached into the backseat, and adjusted the blanket over Melinda. She added a few items of clothing and some fast-food bags on top to camouflage her further.
“Hope’s bringing her,” Laurie said quietly as she adjusted the blanket one last time. Before they knew it, Hope and Shanda came bouncing toward the car. Laurie told Toni to get out of the front passenger’s side to let Shanda in the middle.
“Where’s Amanda?” Shanda asked as she sandwiched herself between Hope and Toni. “At The Witches’ Castle,” Laurie said with a reassuring voice.
“What’s she wearing? Does she look cute?” Shanda asked.
Having met Amanda once before, Hope knew enough to make up an outfit that would fit Amanda’s style: loose baggy shorts, a baseball cap, basically a “skater” look.
By then, the car was rolling, and they were on their way to Utica, to the “castle.” It’s a place better known to Utica residents as Mistletoe Falls because of the mistletoe on the property. Once a nice home,
today it’s just the stone remains. Even in the daylight, sitting up in a wooded hillside in an isolated spot that faces the Ohio River, the place is spooky, with its serpentine walls, foot bridges, and burned-out fireplace. To the girls, it seemed even more ominous that night.
Legend surrounding the castle says that it was once inhabited by nine witches who controlled the town of Utica. It had been burned by townsfolk who tried to destroy the witches. At least, this is the legend Laurie believed, and she was eager to talk about it with others. In fact, Laurie had taken Toni and Hope up to see it just the day before. It was one of the stops they made on the ride down to Melinda’s.
Laurie had been going up there for some time. She had taken Melinda and Amanda up there, too.
Laurie showed them what she called “the mausoleum” where she believed the nine witches were buried. She also showed them the “dungeon” and an altar-like place where there was an inscription that said something about death. She told them she felt the presence of witches there.
Twisting through the country roads toward Utica, Hope engaged Shanda in further conversation about Amanda. It was a discussion that she knew would cause trouble.
“Do you know Melinda?” Hope asked. “Yeah.”
“Did you know that Amanda and Melinda broke up?”
“Well, I think me and Amanda have been going together for about four months now,” Shanda said proudly.
In the backseat, Laurie tapped Melinda under the blanket, giving her the signal to appear. With that, Melinda jumped up, pulled Shanda’s hair back, and put the knife to her throat.
“Surprise! I guess you weren’t expecting to see me!” Melinda squealed. “Please don’t hurt me!” Shanda yelped and started crying.
“Shut up, bitch!” Melinda told her as she pressed the dull of the knife even harder into Shanda’s neck.
“I just want to talk about Amanda. I want you to tell me the truth about Amanda. I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to talk.”
Shanda just kept crying.
Melinda had the knife to Shanda’s neck for the entire ride to The Witches’ Castle as she continued her interrogation.
“Are you and Amanda going together?” “No!”
“You’re lying to me! I just heard you!” “No, I was just saying that!”
“Did you go to the Harvest Homecoming with her?” “No! Please don’t hurt me, Melinda!”
“You better tell me the truth or I’ll slit your throat!” “I won’t talk to Amanda anymore!” Shanda cried. “Are you and Amanda writing to each other?”
“Did you go to the haunted house with Amanda?” “Yes.”
“Did you and Amanda have sex?” “Yes.”
“You’re a liar!”
Shanda was hyperventilating.
“And Amanda knows I’m going to kill you . . . Amanda said she wants you dead just as much as I
By then, they had turned the final corner, and they were at the foot of the castle. All five girls got out of the car and Melinda took one of Shanda’s arms, Laurie took the other, and they led her up to the dungeon. Hope and Toni followed closely behind, using lighters to illuminate their path. Once in the dungeon, Laurie produced a couple of pieces of rope from her pocket and tied Shanda’s ankles while Melinda tied her wrists. They sat her down on a bench. Hope and Toni kept two lighters going which produced eerie shadows on the fallen stone walls.
Melinda began to mock Shanda’s looks, asking why she wore her hair that way, why she wore the shoes she wore. She hated the attitude Shanda had about her looks. She hated that Shanda was somehow trying to copy her.
Hope held the knife now, and was harassing Shanda with it. She made Shanda take off her rings and her Mickey Mouse watch. The watch played music and Hope thought it was fun, so she put it on and pressed the button a few times, laughing at Shanda.
“Doesn’t she have pretty hair?” Hope teased.
“Yes, Shanda does have pretty hair, and I’m going to cut it off!” Melinda said. It was a threat she made more than once.
Laurie pointed to the back of the dark dungeon and told Shanda there were bones buried back there.
“It could be you next,” she said with a taunting glance. Toni went back down to the car with Laurie and returned with a black T-shirt which they tried to set ablaze. It was a black T-shirt with a picture of a yellow smiley face with a bullet in its head. Laurie dowsed it with whiskey and was able to start a small fire.
“That’s what you’re going to look like, Shanda,” Laurie told her. Shanda couldn’t say anything. She was still crying.
All of a sudden, about six cars went by at once and the girls got scared. The castle is private property, and they didn’t want to get caught up there. Laurie was afraid people were going to see the flames.
“I know a better place where we can go,” Laurie told them, “let’s go to this place by my house.” Everyone agreed; it was time to get out of The Witches’ Castle, and Laurie and Melinda untied Shanda, grabbed hold of her arms, and escorted her back to the car.
Hope was driving, Toni was in the passenger’s seat, and Melinda and Laurie had Shanda wedged between them in the back.
“We need gas, we’re almost out,” Hope said. But nobody knew where a gas station was.
Shanda told them where she thought there might be an open gas station, Five Star, right near her dad’s house. Shanda gave them the directions. Shanda must have felt safer being close to home, perhaps hoping she could recognize somebody and signal for help. But Laurie was one step ahead of her. Just before they pulled in, she covered Shanda with a blanket and she and Melinda stayed in the car to see that Shanda didn’t make a move.
Hope pumped the gas, she and Toni went in to pay for it, and they ran into a couple of good-looking guys in a blue convertible on their way back. They struck up a conversation and Toni joked about them taking her home with them, asking if they were headed toward Madison. The guys said they weren’t.
Hope was getting nervous, thinking Laurie and Melinda might become suspicious about their being gone so long, so they cut the conversation short and hightailed it back to the car.
After they took off, however, they realized they didn’t have their bearings. They didn’t know how to get back to Madison. They had to stop at another gas station. At the second station, Toni got out and called a friend of hers, Mike, someone she had planned to look up in Louisville. Toni talked with him for a couple of minutes, just chitchat. Meanwhile, Hope got directions back to Jeffersonville, and from there she knew she could find their way.
It was about an hour’s drive on the isolated country road Route 62, and along the way, Laurie played strange music, industrial punk music, and the other girls got spooked because Laurie started to act strange. Laurie screamed, she cried, she laughed her “Devil” laugh. It was so unusual’ for Laurie, all these outbursts, she usually showed hardly any emotion at all.
Melinda clutched the knife, holding it in full view. The tip of it reached Toni’s back up in the front seat. Shanda was sobbing quietly.
“I just want to talk to you, Shanda,” Melinda said in a consoling voice. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
When the girls arrived in Madison, Laurie directed Hope to drive down Broad Road, a gravel road that led just past Laurie’s house. It was a heavily wooded area, sparsely populated and lightly travelled. After they drove for a few miles, Laurie told Hope to turn down a logging road. It was actually a dirt path, and barely visible at that, and Hope drove through the brambles and dirt until they reached a clearing which was used as a garbage dump.
Everybody got out of the car and walked around for a minute. Toni gave Shanda a hug and said she was sorry.
“Tell them not to hurt me,” Shanda pleaded.
Toni turned to Melinda and asked her to take Shanda home. “Shut up!” Melinda’s voice boomed.
Toni was frightened. She and Hope got back in the car. They watched Laurie and Melinda make Shanda take off her clothes. Melinda came running back to the car with the items in her hands.
“I’m going to keep them for souvenirs!” Melinda said as she threw the sweatshirt, jeans, and bra in. Melinda grabbed one of Hope’s T-shirts and took it for Shanda to wear. Hope took Shanda’s white polka- dotted bra and put it on. She and Toni turned up both available radios, the jam box and the one on the car dashboard. They didn’t want to listen to what was going on outside but they couldn’t help themselves from watching through the windshield.
“Hit her!” Laurie commanded, holding Shanda’s hands behind her back to give Melinda more leverage.
“Melinda, help me . . . please stop . . . don’t do this to me,” Shanda cried, “I’ll stay away from Amanda, please . . .”
“Shut the fuck up!” Melinda howled.
Melinda punched Shanda in the stomach and the little girl went down, holding her stomach, gasping for air.
“Please stop! I have asthma! I can’t breathe!” Shanda whimpered.
With Laurie egging her on, Melinda took Shanda’s head and slammed it into her knee a couple of times. Shanda’s mouth started to bleed profusely.
Then Melinda and Laurie each took one of Shanda’s arms and Melinda tried to cut Shanda’s throat.
Melinda tried to use her foot to push the knife into Shanda’s neck, but the knife was too dull. At that point Hope jumped out of the car and tried to hold Shanda down. When she got back in the car, Toni asked her why she was helping them. Hope didn’t say anything.
When Toni looked back out the window, Laurie was sitting on Shanda’s stomach and Melinda was sitting on her legs. Laurie was trying to strangle her but Shanda was still struggling. Melinda got out the rope and handed it to Laurie. She helped Laurie put it around Shanda’s neck. They each took hold of it and pulled as tightly as they could until Shanda was unconscious.
A few minutes went by before Laurie came and tapped on the car window and said that Shanda was knocked out. She needed the keys to the trunk. Hope handed them to her, and Laurie asked that the two of them assist but neither girl budged. They watched as Laurie and Melinda opened the trunk and dragged Shanda; when they put her in, there was a loud thud.
Hope started to cry.
“Is she dead?” Hope asked. “Yeah,” Melinda told her.
“Oh, God! Oh, God!” Hope cried hysterically. She floored the gas pedal, driving frantically to get them out of the woods. Along the way, she hit a log or a bump, and it tore the muffler off the car.
“Oh, shit!” Laurie yelled. The car engine roared in the background.
The girls stopped over at Laurie’s house. Laurie went into the kitchen, got some Pepsi and brought it up to her bedroom for everybody to drink. Laurie had on a long dark-colored trench coat similar to Melinda’s. There was some blood splattered on it and she quickly washed up in the bathroom.
Hope and Toni were lying on the bed; they told Melinda they were tired. They wanted to go to sleep and wake up and find out that this was all just a bad dream. Just about then, Laurie’s dog started barking outside and it startled the girls. All of a sudden—it was barely perceptible—they heard Shanda’s muffled screams from the trunk.
“I’ll take care of it,” Laurie told them.
She raced from the house with a small paring knife in her hand which she had taken from her mother’s kitchen. Moments later, Laurie reappeared with more blood on her. Shanda’s screams had stopped.
After Laurie washed her hands again, she came back to her room, pulled out a velvet pouch which contained Rune “stones” and poured them out onto the bed. She pulled a book out and began reading Melinda’s future. Based on the ancient Rune magic which dates back to pagan Viking times, the stones are inscribed with messages, encoded with occult meaning. For Laurie, the stones were better than Tarot cards.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” she told Melinda.
Laurie made a quick phone call and the others overheard her saying, “It doesn’t matter what I need it for! I just need it!”
When she hung up, she suggested that they all go out “country cruisin’.” By then, it was after 2:30 in the morning, and Hope and Toni weren’t interested. They didn’t want to go and Laurie didn’t push the issue.
Laurie grabbed her coat, and she and Melinda took off. Their first stop was the garbage burn pile next to Laurie’s house. The girls were arguing about what to do with Shanda, and suddenly they heard kicking and screaming coming from the trunk. Somehow, they quieted her.
Laurie was getting nervous about her neighbors because she saw the lights on in their trailer. She figured they might have heard something, so she left Melinda out there in charge of Shanda and decided to go check out the situation. The people there had a working Coke machine on their front porch, and Laurie knocked and asked for change of a dollar, saying she was thirsty.
Her neighbor thought Laurie looked extremely upset, and he asked her if everything was alright.
She explained about her muffler being torn off, saying she was going to get in trouble over it. She bought a Coke and left.
Minutes later, Laurie got into the driver’s seat and started off toward Canaan, a nearby town. She suggested that they just stay up and drive around all night so Shanda could die slowly. She took them on isolated country roads, Melinda had no idea where they were. Then Shanda started kicking and screaming again, this time clawing at the insides of the trunk.
“I’ll make her quiet,” Laurie said as she pulled over, taking the trunk key from the ring, directing Melinda to get into the driver’s seat.
Melinda was looking in the rearview mirror, watching Laurie open the trunk, and then she saw Laurie throwing punches and she heard Shanda screaming. There was a struggle going on between them, a lot of commotion. Melinda kept her foot on the pedal to drown it out. Suddenly she heard a thump and Laurie slammed the trunk down and came running back inside the car.
“You should have felt it!” Laurie yelped as she banged a black tire tool down on the dashboard. “It was so cool! I went like this and I could feel her head caving in!”
“Smell it!” Laurie said, and she stuck the tire tool up to Melinda’s face.
“That’s sick! I don’t want to smell it!” Melinda protested. The tool was dripping with blood.
Laurie said she’d take over the driving again and they drove for a while. They were thinking about burning Shanda. They stopped the car again and both went back to the trunk to assess the situation.
As the trunk opened, both girls became startled. Shanda sat straight up. Melinda could see the whites of Shanda’s eyes; they rolled back up into her head. She was covered in blood. Her hair wasn’t blond anymore . . . it was red.
“Mommy,” they heard her say as they closed the lid.
After that, Shanda wasn’t moaning, she wasn’t talking; she was like a zombie. They stopped again and were going to throw her over the bridge, but before they could get her out of the trunk, they saw headlights approaching. Melinda threw the knife down and Laurie quickly slammed the trunk on Shanda.
They continued driving and Shanda started kicking again but this time they couldn’t hear any screaming, all they heard was gurgling. They stopped and opened the trunk again and Shanda said “Melinda.”
They closed it and kept driving until they heard the banging again. Laurie went back to the trunk by herself. When she came back, Melinda asked what happened.
“You’ve got to see her, she’s soaked with blood. She’s red,” Laurie yelled.
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