Coming up next on Investigation Discovery's re-run of The 1990s: The Deadliest Decade is an episode about the horrific torture and murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer in January 1992. Brutalized and burnt alive due to misguided teenage jealousy and peer pressure, Sharer's case rocked the community of Madison, Indiana.
Here are some shocking facts about the case covered in The 1990s: The Deadliest Decade's episode titled, The New Girl.
WARNING: This article contains graphic content related to physical and s*xual violence and murder.
1) The perpetrators were teenage girls
Melinda Loveless, 17, was described as the ringleader of the events that led to the brutal murder of Shanda Sharer. Her accomplices included Laurie Tackett, 17, Hope Rippey, 15, and Toni Lawrence, 15.
Melinda and Laurie became friends after the latter dropped out of high school and began frequenting Louisville and New Albany, which is where she met and befriended Loveless.
Rippey and Lawrence were Tackett's childhood friends. On the night of January 10, 1992, the three of them agreed to help Loveless intimidate Shanda and teach her a lesson.
2) Shanda Sharer was killed due to teenage jealousy
Shanda Sharer moved to New Albany with her mother in 1991. She began attending Hazelwood Junior High School where she met Amanda Heavrin, 15, and developed a romantic interest in her.
The two began dating while Heavrin was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Melinda Loveless. Driven by jealousy, Loveless threatened to kill Sharer before executing her plan in the most heinous way possible.
3) Shanda Sharer was tortured for hours
On the night of January 10, 1992, Tackett, Rippey, and Lawrence drove in Tackett's car to New Albany and lured Shanda out of her house on the pretext of meeting Amanda. Meanwhile, Loveless hid under a blanket in the backseat of the car with a knife in her hand.
Once she was inside the car, Loveless sprang out and put the knife to her throat and began interrogating her about her relationship with Amanda. The girls took Sharer to the Witch's Castle, where they tied her up and taunted her, even allegedly forcing her to strip off her clothes.
Next, they drove her to an abandoned building where they took turns to beat her mercilessly. They even tried to slit her throat with the knife Loveless was carrying. However, it was not sharp enough so they stabbed her multiple times instead and strangled her into unconsciousness. They assumed she was dead.
The girls went back to Tackett's house to clean up, with Shanda's unconscious body in the trunk of the car. When they came back to find her alive, Tackett beat her with a tire iron. They even allegedly s*xually assaulted her with the same weapon. The tire-iron assault went on and off for hours.
4) Shanda Sharer was burnt alive
In the early morning of January 11, 1992, the girls drove to a gas station and filled up a two-litre Pepsi bottle with gasoline. They then drove an unconscious Sharer to a field by the gravel country road where Tackett made Rippey pour gasoline on Sharer before they set her on fire.
5) The perpetrators had breakfast at McDonald's after killing Shanda Sharer
After burning Sharer alive to get rid of her body, the girls drove to a McDonald's at 9.30 am for breakfast. There, they laughed about Sharer's burnt body resembling one of the sausages they were eating.
Loveless eventually told Heavrin about the murder and showed her the trunk of the car covered in blood, but the latter refused to believe her.
Catch Season 1, Episode 2 of The 1990s: The Deadliest Decade to learn more about the horrific murder of Shanda Sharer.