Cruel Sacrifice by Aphrodite Jones (Reprint May 2005)

Cruel Sacrifice by Aphrodite Jones
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Madison, Indiana, is the epitome of a small town, USA. Yet among the picket fenced yards lurked evil that would rock this midwest community.

Melinda Loveless may have looked like your average teenage girl. Yet she was anything but. Her bouncy brunette curls and big brown eyes caught the attention of many boys, but it was the girls Melinda wanted to be with.

Laurie Tackett was a severely mentally disturbed bisexual who frequently dabbled in the occult and talked about what it would be like to kill someone.

When Laurie and Melinda met, a deadly union was born and Shanda Sharer‘s days were numbered.

With help from friends Toni Lawrence and Hope Rippey, Shanda was lured from the safety of her father’s home. With Melinda’s jealousy and rage at the forefront and Laurie’s blood thirst running a close second, Shanda was dragged around Indiana and tortured for hours before being burned alive.

Author Aphrodite Jones tells the story of a lesbian love triangle ended in a young girl’s death in her 1994 true crime Cruel Sacrifice.

From beginning to end, this book is riveting; extremely difficult to put down. And a real eye opener for anyone with children, a reminder that you should never get too lax in your parenting.

Readers of Cruel Sacrifice will find themselves enraged at the teenage arrogance, heartbroken at the waste of young life, and question why so many backs were turned that resulted in the creation of a monster.

See also: Justice for Shanda website and the Justice for Shanda Renee Sharer Facebook page.

Where Are They Now?

Melinda Loveless spends her days in the Indiana’s Women’s Prison in Indianapolis as inmate 925522. In 2007, through her attorney Mark Small, Loveless petitioned the Court for early release; claiming that she believed if she did not accept the plea offer made in September 1992. Fortunately, in July 2008, the judge denied her request. At present, her earliest possible release date is November 21, 2020.

Indiana Women’s Prison inmate 921260, Mary Laurine “Laurie” Tackett made a return to the spotlight in 2006 when she was interviewed by local television about her involvement in a newly created christian-oriented program at the prison known as PLUS. Her earliest possible release date is July 12, 2021.

On April 28, 2006, Hope Rippey, who now goes by the name Anna, walked out the Indiana Women’s Prison, at the age of 29, after a judge reduced her sentence. As recent as 2008, “Anna” was employed by Sleepy Hollow Pet Ranch in Indianapolis; although a report from 2009 vaguely mentions that she works at a factory.

Released from prison in 2000, after serving only 9 years of her 20 year sentence, Toni Lawrence continues to live in Madison, Indiana – at least according to her MySpace page. As of this writing, she is 34 years old.

Shanda’s mother, Jacque Vaught, a resident of New Albany, Indiana, continues to take a stand against juvenile killers like those who murdered her daughter. Shanda’s father, Steve Sharer died from cancer in 2005.

Amanda Heavrin still lives in New Albany, Indiana.

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6 Responses to “Cruel Sacrifice by Aphrodite Jones (Reprint May 2005)”

  1. Heather Gordon says:

    Well this was a good review. I grew up with Toni Lawrence, Hope Rippey, and my brother dated Laurie Tacket before she got all weird, so I know these girls personally. The only one I felt bad for was Toni, she was terrified of Laurie, we all grew to be. I have children of my own and can say with a clean conscience that I do not hate Toni, but we could never go back to the friends we used to be, only because I know that she mentally has a lot of issues still after all these years that she didn’t go to the police til it was too late. But no one can say what they would have done in their shoes, for the truth is you don’t really know what you would do if faced with such evil as Laurie Tackett. Laurie and Melinda should never be released. But that is not up to me.

  2. Kim Cantrell says:

    I agree, Heather, that none of us know what we would do until we’re there. But I sure do like to THINK I know.

  3. Pat C. says:

    This changed Madison entirely. From my hometown to… something else.
    I’ve lived here all my life, aside from my military time overseas, and this was something I will never forget.

  4. While shooting a documentary about Charlie Petrizzo, we had an opportunity to meet Melinda (purely by chance), because Melinda is in a dog program where she helps train some of Charlie’s dogs to be donated as service animals for those with special needs.

    As the story unfolds, we find ourselves talking with Melinda and with Shanda’s mother. The end result may surprise you.

  5. search his name says:

    Wachovia Bank Charlie Petrizzo worked for, was found guilty of laundering drug money, helping criminals who con the elderly out of their savings, and received all kinds of taxpayer bailout money that the managers themselves collected huge bonuses from. They were also involved with the mortgage scams that started during the Bush Admin that eventually brought down this economy. So if you lost your job and home, ask Charlie about it! This was not a chance meeting, it is staged, probably so Charlie can profit from Shanda’s murder as people who would steal from the elderly would not think twice about this.

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