Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Video Guy's Impression of Dr. Phil Allowing Shanda Sharer's Mom To Confront Hope Rippey

Here is an exclusive update on the brutal 1992 murder of Shanda Sharer.

Legal Pub: Please refresh the readers recollection about this story.
Video Guy: In January of 1992 four teenage girls, Melinda Loveless-16, Laurie Tackett-17, Hope Rippey-15, and Toni Lawrence-15, all from Southern Indiana. Abducted twelve-year-old Shanda Sharer from the safety of her home, in the middle of the night. For ten hours Shanda was beaten, tortured, molested and eventually burned alive, dieing from asphyxiation from her own burning flesh. This ten-hour ordeal that Shanda endured covered over fifty miles with Shanda spending most of that time in the trunk of Laurie’s car, half naked in sub-zero temperatures.

Legal Pub: Throughout the time that you have been a regular poster on Legal Pub, you have appeared to have a keen interest in this case. What all have you done to follow this saga?
Video Guy:
I have been involved with this case for over three years and here are my videos of many of the locations where the crimes to Shanda occurred. I also speak with Toni and Hope asking them if they would be interested in appearing on camera and speaking out against teen violence and bullying. They both refused.Link: http://www,

Legal Pub: What is the latest development in this story?
Video Guy: Friday May 20th Dr. Phil interviewed Shanda's mother Jacque and her sister Paije. On Monday May 23d, the interview continued with one of the defendants, Hope Rippey.

Legal Pub: What were the allegations as to Hope Rippey?
Video Guy: Ho
pe Rippey’s involvement with this crime was extensive, She apparently lured Shanda from the safety of her home to Laurie's car, drove the car while Melinda Loveless held a butcher knife to Shanda’s throat. Stole Shanda’s Mickey Mouse watch and jewelry, then pranced around in Shanda’s cloths, while she was being beaten by Melinda and Laurie. She also allegedly assisted in holding Shanda down while Melinda strangled her with a shoelace, then helped drag Shanda to the trunk of Laurie’s car and toss her in.

Laurie and Melinda dropped Hope and Toni off at Laurie’s house than apparently proceeded to drive around with Shanda in the trunk, stopping periodically to stab and beat her with a Tire Iron. Upon their return they opened the trunk to show Hope their handy work and with Shanda bleeding to death in the trunk while crying for her “Mommy”, Hope said; “You don’t look so hot now do you”, and proceed to spray Windex into Shanda’s open wounds.

... The four girls drove to Madison, Indiana to purchase the gas. While at the service station, Shanda, barely alive, began kicking and scratching while in the trunk drawing the attention of another patron. Hope than apparently moved Laurie’s car to a more secure location.... (They proceeded to) a rural location ... where Shada was to be burned, once there she helped remove her from the trunk and poured the gasoline onto Shanda’s beaten and broken body… Laurie than ignited. It was reported by Toni (who wanted nothing to do with this crime) that as Shanda’s tiny body went up in flames and she struggled to try and get to her feet, the three girls came running back to the car laughing.

Legal Pub: What punishment was given?

Video Guy: Hope Rippey was sentenced to 50 years, cutting a deal to avoid life without parole. Hope was released early in 2006 after serving only 13 years, backed by the religious organizations affiliated with the Indiana Prison System because she had been “Born Again” in prison and deserves another chance.

Legal Pub: I know that you have been critical of Hope's early release, what comment about the show do you think is fair?

Video Guy: I have spoken with Hope Rippey over a year ago and she told me she would NEVER appear on TV or in a video…I’m now wondering what her motivation is to do this show. So, watch the show and comment…Is Hope Rippey sincere and deserving of another chance? Or is she still the manipulative person she was back then, only more street-smart from her time?

Editor's note: Dr Phil made the following quote on his show: "It could not have been easy to sit before them, but I think you owed it to them. You doing that indicates to me that you're doing what you can. There's no way to make this right — you just have to make the rest of your life right. Anything short of bringing her back is not a fix for them. If you have 30 years, 40 years or 50 years left in this world, you have to spend it doing the right thing and using your life."

Video Guy Rebuttal: There are many things Hope told me... over two years ago, including ... her " I don't know why" reason for what she did. I also told her the same thing Dr. Phil told her... and was even working on helping her to find youth groups she could speak with. That was until I believe that I discovered her intentions of making contact with me were deceptive and I cut all communication with her.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I always knew V.G. was interested in this case but I guess I didn't realize how much effort he put into it. Now I was horrified by the Dr. Phil show. I thought Hope failed to address the why she was so cruel.

I can see why many questioned her early release. I sincerely hope that Hope has truly reformed and has remorse.

Legal Pub said...

It would be great if Hope chose to post her side of the Dr. Phil show on this site.

Anonymous said...

Hope we keep updated on this story.

Video Guy said...

Thanks Legal,
I have never seen this Dr Phil show before and was impressed with his no-nonsense approach. On the show they made it appear as if Paije was the one wishing to confront Hope…leading us to believe that she contacted Dr Phil. I have read an interview from Jacque, and she says it was the Dr Phil show that made contact with her. So I’m now wondering who mad first contact with the Dr Phil show since I have read one has to contact them, they do not develop shows and go out and try to contact the people involved.

Also, When Hope told me she would never appear on TV or video, I have since discover some old communications from her and she did add…Only if Jacque wished it. And from her first words on the show she did lead off with conversation leading us to believe Jacque wished her to appear.
I did notice they have been addressing the teen-bullying subject most of the week…maybe they changed their strategy for this subject and played both against each other to get them to appear.

As soon as Hope began to speak it became apparent that she was shaken-up and nervous. No matter what I think of her now, or our problems of the past, I will say it took much courage for her to appear on national TV and converse with Jacque and Paije…to bad it went downhill for her from there. This Dr Phil was not buying her “I don’t know why” answer, nor were Jacque and Paije.

Hope told me two years ago she did not know why she did what she did...she knows why, and is in denial.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a pretty fair review by V.G.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation from an impartial person:

Denial can cause someone to not know why.

The person not knowing why can be from denial itself.

Video Guy said...

Interesting point anony 9:52 AM
What do you think of this dialog from the show?

Dr Phil than asks a very good question: “Did you feel power over her…the four of you?”
Hope: “No”
Dr Phil: “What did you get out of it”
Hope: “Nothing, I was going along with it, I know that sounds like an empty response but it’s the truth”
Dr Phil: “You took her watch” Hope nods yes
Dr Phil: “When she was pleading and begging for her life, did you look her in the eyes? How did you feel?”
Hope nods no when asked about looking in her eyes and says: “I didn’t feel anything”
This is an important answer as Hope is admitting she felt no empathy, nothing for Shanda’s pain and leads one to believe she may be a psychopath.

She becomes aware of what she had just said after Paije comments, “Exactly”
Now Hope starts to backpedal and says, “I was afraid”…I was afraid of the people I was with”
Paije: “You were one of them!” Hope nods in agreement.

Video Guy said...

Than it is followed with this:
Paije is tough with Hope when Hope tries to say she didn’t know what was going to happen that night, Jacque jumps in and says: “You knew before hand that the plan was to kill a little girl” Hope is babbling nonsense…she has been caught in a lie.
Hope tries to recover and says: “No one took it seriously” Jacque nods as if to say, Yea right!
Hope begins to lose it and says, “I’m sorry if you don’t believe me but I’m trying to tell the truth.”
She than says: “I’ll take any punishment you wish to say to me, and anything…that’s fine” as she starts to cry. Jacque coolly nods, as it is apparent Hope is digging herself into a hole.
Jacque: “So when Melinda showed you the knife you didn’t believe it?”
Hope: “No”
Paije: “So when you went to the witches castle you still didn’t believe it?”
Hope: “No, I didn’t”
Paije: “So…you just do that on a regular basis, you just take people out and make them take their cloths off?”
Hope: “no”
Dr Phil steps in just when Jacque and Paije had her on the ropes and offers Hope a way out by asking: “Did this go further than you thought it was going to go?”
Hope: “yea, it went way further”

Video Guy said...

Than this:
Dr Phil: “what did you think was going to happen?”
Hope: “I thought that she was probably going to be beat up and I know that that is horrible but that is the extent of what I thought was going to happen”. There is a cut shot to Jacque’s scowl look to Hope as she knows as we do, that is total bullshit.

So why did she drive Laurie’s car the 50 miles from the witches castle to another more secure location with Shanda being held at knife point in the backseat?

Did she think they were going to travel all that way, beat her up, than drive 50 miles back to take Shanda home?

She knew at that moment in time that Shanda would NOT be making the return journey...

9:52 said...

Video Guy:

I read the disturbing transcript. I think it is accurate from my recollection of the show. It think it reinforces and illustrates my belief that this woman suffers from some form of denial. For whatever reason, her mind does not let her verbalize a reason for her actions.(Keep in mind, there appears to be no rational reason for the behavior of these girls.)

What could be the reason behind the denial?

Let's suppose the denial is because of a non organic mental illness. The mind won't allow her to state, I was insane and incapable of thinking rationally at the time. Such a person may have no insight into their behavior because to be granted that insight would cause the person to realize how bad she truly was and how hopeless she truly is at this point in her life.

Alternatively let's suppose she suffered from delusional illness stemming from psychosis or some form of organic pathology. The mind is incapable of determining why she did what she did. Not because of any coping mechanism but simply because it physically lacks the ability to perform such insightful thinking. Such a person can not verbalize that she was cruel because the victim appeared to her as a mad dog that needed to be killed.

A third alternative is more troublesome. Let's suppose the denial is volitional. She chooses not to remember her reasons and verbalize them because it will show the world she has no remorse. I.E. I participated in this group think tragedy because the victim deserved it. This option is horrible to imagine and I truly hope that this is not the case. An unremorseful rational thinker can easily kill again.

These are not the only alternatives for the denial. A combination of alternatives can also be present. Without detailed psychoanalysis and cooperation, it just becomes speculation.

Video Guy said...

Anony 9:52

Here is what I think is her reason. How does it fit into your three diagnoses?


Was Hope Rippey willing to go over and above the norm to express her loyalty to her older friend Laurie Tackett, a girl she highly admired at the time? …without a doubt, but this is not enough reason to kill.
Was Hope Rippey willing to show-off to impress Melinda Loveless, a new personality in her presents that she was infatuated with? …a contributing factor but not enough reason to kill.
Was the group mentality the reason they pushed the violence to the point they did, as no one of these individuals would have committed this crime on their own? …yes, but this does not explain any one individuals reason to go along with the group to the extent of murder.

There is only one feeling that would cause Hope Rippey to participate in this astoundingly cruel act and that was personal HATE. From the moment Hope first set eyes on Shanda she hated her, and hated her with out knowing her. What created this hate is something so imbedded in her persona at the time that she refuses to this day to acknowledge it, because it is a dark emotion that was a part of what she is, or was at the time. There is only one emotion that would cause any one individual to immediately hate another and that is jealously. From the moment Hope first set eyes on Shanda she became jealous of her, Shanda was everything she was not. Than she let this powerful emotion develop in to hate, a hate that ruled her actions that night and said, “It’s alright if my friends kill you.”
Millions of teens feel this jealous emotion everyday and with some, it continues throughout their lives, and sometimes it develops into hate. Melinda let this happen, and there is evidence that Laurie was experience this jealous emotion as well.

I base this on Hope's comment when she sprayed the Windex on Shanda's wounds, "You don't look so hot now do you?"

Mind you, Hope has denied Spraying the Windex now.

Video Guy said...

One also has to look at her actions after the crime. Unlike Toni who went to the police that night, Hope is whisked away to a motel to hide out and she doesn’t turn herself in until a few months after.
She was the last to agree to the plea deal and had her sentence hearing moved to the northern part of the state.
The only girl to not apologize to the family, and her facial expressions during this time look as if she is thinking, “These people are a pain in my ass” (Speculation I admit)

Now some are good legal moves but the other girls did not use them so she must have had some decision to fight tooth and nail…and probably from not willing to admit she did anything wrong.

Video Guy said...

But she did know she did wrong as she told Toni Lawrence, “Don’t tell the cops I poured the gas”

SimplySue said...

The problem with Hope posting is she is a big liar and is always trying to minimize her actions that awful night.

I don't believe for one second that she is remorseful or reformed.

SimplySue said...

Hope tries to portray herself as another Toni. I believe that Toni was terrified that night. In saying that, she still deserved to go to prison.

I can't get past those two being alone for 4 hours and not seeking help for Shanda. If they were that afraid of Melinda and Laurie, they would have scooted their asses out the door the moment that car was out of sight.

SimplySue said...

Hope told me that it was PEER PRESSURE that caused her to participate. When Laurie made the statement about peer pressure when Dr. Phil interviewed her, I was like. That figures! Ugh!!!

Video Guy said...

Sue, why do you think Hope appeared on this show?

Video Guy said...

Sue said:
(I can't get past those two being alone for 4 hours and not seeking help for Shanda. If they were that afraid of Melinda and Laurie, they would have scooted their asses out the door the moment that car was out of sight.)

It just doesn’t make sense when one looks at Hopes actions before they leave and immediately after they return.
Hope does all the talking when Laurie’s father enters the bedroom and asks “Where is Laurie?”
It is almost like Laurie told Hope, “Stay here and watch Toni, make sure she doesn’t tell my parents” Toni was beginning to lose it at the logging trail and a good reason to not trust her to be silent.
After Melinda and Laurie return with Shanda in the trunk, Toni never looks in and just gets into the car. Hope is back there spraying Windex at Shanda…doesn’t sound like she was sitting around that house scared to me. And probably why she denies the whole Windex thing now.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing demonstrates that these girls were "insane" at the time of these incidents.

Video Guy said...

I have been asked by a victims rights website to write an article about the Dr Phil show on this subject.
The website is here:

And my article here:

Noodle around the website a bit and read about the many teen violent offenders and the organizations that help them obtain early releases.

Anonymous said...

This was to me, a "hate crime."

Whether it was because Shanda was too cute or too straight,or not straight enough, I don't know. But clearly there was hatred and vengence demonstrated in the manner of her torture.

Video Guy said...

Hate! No doubt, but what would cause it?
How often do you encounter a stranger and decide you hate them enough to push them into the trunk of your car and hit them with a Tire Iron?

Anonymous said...

Hate crimes never have a rational reason behind the torture.

Delicious Talk ❧ said...

We discussed this in a recent podcast episode.

Agree jealousy and hate had to be a driving factor, especially for the ones who'd never met Shanda.

Video Guy - it's easy to hate someone if you see them not as they are, but as a representation of something, i.e. people who are bitter against the wealthy or even the poor. Don't think it's hard to build on resentments when they exist to extremes in people - especially in teens.

So if Melinda had filled their heads with her view of Shanda, and with talk like, "she thinks she's this or she thinks she's all that," and these girls were already very insecure about themselves, and resentful of what they think Shanda represented...there you go.

Very sad. Those girls forfeited any right they had to live out their lives in peace after the horrific way they took Shanda's. Hope and Toni should NOT be out of jail. Toni should have stopped it. Going to the police after the fact? Eh.

And we don't see any remorse in Hope. She's not sorry. She feels nothing about it. If she were truly remorseful, she would be able to tell the truth about her feelings that night: she felt nothing and had to be on a power/impress trip. She enjoyed it.

Hope, if you ever read this: TELL THE TRUTH. We all know it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment. I liked your podcast.

Anonymous said...


Good points.

Randy Davis said...

While shooting a documentary about an entirely different subject, we crossed paths with Melinda Loveless and Shanda's mother. While the story didn't begin to include these two people, by chance they became a part of our story.

The documentary is scheduled to be submitted in the Sundance Film Festival and I believe that people will be utterly shocked by the interviews that we shot of these two people.

The movie trailer can be found here: Movie Trailer:

Legal Pub said...

Randy: I bet Video Guy might be interested in this topic.

Legal Pub said...

Julia: It violates the rules of Google Blog to single out another poster for purposes of attacking that individual. While you are welcome to your opinions, please stay on topic and do not single out a specific individual.

Anonymous said...

Video Guy usually seems right on with his comments and observations.

Video Guy said...

The Charlie Scars video is nothing but propaganda about Melinda. This Charlie Petrizzo who stars in it has threatened to sue the owner of “The Justice for Shanda Sharer” web-site because she would not plug his video. Than he threatened to sue her again for communicating with me. She has posted here under the name “Simply Sue”.
I have exposed Charlie as someone that has harassed, threatened, and slandered me at another site in relation to Hope Rippey from as far back as 2009, also here at Legal’s “April Tinsley” thread. This means that his claim of not knowing about the Shanda Sharer case until 2010 is a lie and his video is a total scam.

Charlie is a dog breeder who has dogs in prisons in over ten states and both Melinda and Hope are/were involved with the dog-training program at IWP. Ya think there is a connection there?

Peterson said...

Sue, why do you think Hope appeared on this show?

Anonymous said...

I am

Anonymous said...

I am in the minority here but I believe Hope expressed everything she could to the best of her ability. There was NO explanation for her actions to offer because she had no motive in the first place...She was a stupid, weak adolescent at the time. It doesn't make her actions more simply is a sufficient answer, IMO, for this particular individual in that particular scenario at that young age.. She could've made up a platitude to offer the unforgiving family members in order to make her Dr. PHIL interview go more smoothly...but she was consistent with her particular truth/reality from nearly two decades prior. Her visible shaking, the words she conveyed...I believe she is truly remorseful regardless of whether I'm in a minority or not. I believe the family members had a unique opportunity to take a high road that few would be willing to take...and they did not seize that chance. They appeared small to me.