Hope Rippey was born in June of 1976. Her parents, Carl and
Gloria Rippey, already had three other children. Carl Rippey was a
testing engineer for Indiana/Kentucky Electric. Hope, for some
reason, had a fear that her father wouldn't return home when he
went on business trips, she was definately a daddy's girl.
It's been reported by family members, that Hope became the family
mediator. There were frequent fistfights and arguments between
Hopes older brothers, and Hope would push her way in between
them and talk them into stopping the fight. She was somewhat of a
tomboy and had a few fights herself over the years.
In February of 1987, when Hope was 7 years old, her parents
divorced and after a short while, Gloria moved to Michigan taking
the children with her. The divorce and move were very difficult for
Hope. She missed her father and her friends. Mr. Rippey did visit
the children reguarly, but it just wasn't the same.
Hope did manage to fit in at school and make the best she could of
the situation. She joined the band and participated in other school
activities as well. She even landed the lead role in the school's
production of, *The Wizard of Oz*. Hope Rippey would be Dorothy.
Even after living there for 3 years, Hope, as well as her siblings,
still had not recovered fully from their parents divorce. So in 1987,
Carl and Gloria Rippey reunited and everyone moved back into
their original home in Indiana.
Hope would be entering the 7th grade when school resumed. She
would attend Madison Jr. High School and be reunited with all of
her childhood friends. Those friends included Laurie Tackett and
Toni and Hope spent a lot of time at each other's home. Both sets
of parents grew to think of each others child as one of the family.
The Rippey home was one of the few places that Toni felt she
could relax and be herself. Laurie too enjoyed spending time there
with Hope and her family.
Carl Rippey still catered to Hope. He would take her and her
friends to many different places, one time he even took them to a
New Kids on the Block concert. Hope was crazy about the New
Kids and was in seventh heaven.
He wasn't crazy about the fact Hope spent time with Laurie, but he
trusted his daughter. Hope assured him that she would not allow
Laurie to influence her, or, talk her into anything that was wrong or
against the rules. He knew that Laurie's home life was not good.
After buying Hope and Laurie a OUJI Board one time, he himself
had to deal with Mrs. Tackett. At her insistance, the Rippey home
As I have followed this case over the years, I have always been confused as to how Hope always seems to fly beneath the radar. I've found it even more interesting that Toni Lawrence seems to be hated more than Hope is, even though Toni did not participate in the torture, murder or rape of Shanda Sharer. Hope did.
It's like the four girls have each fallen into a certain category somehow. Melinda is the evil, manipulating, spurned lover that orchistrated the abduction and murder of Shanda. Laurie is just the way out there psycho murderer, and Toni is the coward, the self absorbed girl that only thought of her own well being. What about Hope?
We rarely hear about Hope these days. The media has chosen to leave her be since the articles that were everywhere when she was released early from prison. Even at the different forums, Hope isn't talked of much.
Hope's part in the horrors young Shanda was forced to endure that terrible night.
Let's start at the very beginning when Laurie picked up Hope and Toni, January 10, 1992 after school let out.
01) During the ride to New Albany to pick up Melinda Loveless Laurie asked Hope, "Did you tell her yet?" Hope innocently replied, "Tell her what?"
This exchange between Laurie and Hope, leads me to believe this was a premeditated murder. Laurie, Hope and Melinda had every intention of killing Shanda that night, and, they had obviously discussed it.
02) After arriving at Melinda's home, the girls hung out there for around half an hour, trying on Melinda's clothes, talking about the concert, being typical teens. During this time, Melinda showed all 3 girls the large kitchen knife she intended to use on Shanda. Melinda phoned Steve Sharer's home trying to determine if Shanda was home.
03) Hope drove Laurie's car after leaving Melinda's. After arriving in Jeffersonville, the girls had to stop at a McDonalds to ask for directions to the Sharer home. Hope and Toni went in for the directions and bought chicken mcnuggets. (1st opportunity to get help without endangering themselves.)
04) When arriving at the Sharer home, Hope and Toni went to the door attempting to lure Shanda out to the car. (2nd opportunity to get help without endangering themselves.)
05) Hope and Toni were left alone at the concert, giving them ample time to flag down a security guard/police officer or phone the police for help. (3rd opportunity to get help without endangering theirselves.)
06) Upon arriving at Shanda's the second time, Toni refused to go to the door with Hope. This time it was Laurie that accompanied Hope to the door to lure Shanda to the car. Hope had a hard time convincing Shanda to go with them. Hope offered to come inside and help Shanda choose clothes while Laurie went back to the car to help Melinda hide under the blanket and trash. (4th opportunity for Hope to get help and not endanger herself.)
07) During the ride to the witches castle, Hope made a point of engaging Shanda in a conversation regarding Amanda's relationship with her. Hope was well aware of how this would affect Melinda. Sure enough it worked, Melinda jumped up and put the knife to Shanda's throat and began threatening her.
08) While inside the witches castle Hope taunted Shanda with the knife, laughing at her, threatening her. She made Shanda give her the watch and rings she was wearing.
09) After leaving the witches castle, they had to stop for gas. Hope and Toni went in and paid for it. (Hope's 5th and Toni's 4th opportunity to get help without endangering their own lives.)
10) After gassing up, they headed back to Madison. Somehow they got turned around and realised they were lost. They stopped at another gas station for directions. Toni phoned her friend Mike, not mentioning Shanda at all. (Hope's 6th and Toni's 5th opportunity to get help without endangering their own lives.)
11) After returning to Madison and arriving at the spot Laurie had directed them, Hope and Toni stayed in the car watching Melinda and Laurie make Shanda strip. Melinda tossed Shanda's clothing in the car and Hope grabbed the polka dot bra and put it on.
After watching Melinda and Laurie beating Shanda, then trying to cut her throat, Hope jumped out of the car and joined them. Hope held Shanda down for a few minutes before racing back to the car. The two girls continued to watch as Shanda was strangled then thrown into the trunk of the car.
12) Shortly after arriving at Laurie's house, Melinda and Laurie left with Shanda. Hope and Toni were both left to sleep. And they did sleep instead of phoning for help or waking Laurie's parents to try and save Shanda. (Hope's 7th and Toni's 6th opportunity to get help without endangering themselves.)
13) After Melinda and Laurie returned with Shanda, Hope had to hear all the gory details. Laurie's mother woke up and was angry to find the girls there. The four girls went to the burn pile at Laurie's. Laurie wanted to show Hope and Toni what Shanda looked like and opened the trunk of the car.
Toni refused to look and stayed in the car. Hope on the other hand wanted to see. Hope studied the bloodied child in the trunk with a morbid fascination before grabbing the bottle of Windex in the trunk. Hope began to spray the window cleaner onto the many wounds on Shanda's body.
She stood watching the cleaner bubble and fizz as Toni revved the engine to drown out Shanda's screams of agony. Just before the trunk was slammed down on Shanda once again, Hope made the statement, "You're not looking so hot now are you?"
14) Laurie's car roared as she drove them to the gas station. They had made the decision to burn Shanda's body. At the station Hope pumped the gas while Laurie and Toni went inside to pay for it. Laurie instructed Toni to buy a two liter of soda. The girls had barely taken a sip from the bottle before Laurie poured out the soda and filled the plastic bottle with gas. Laurie ran back into the station to pay the additional 55 cents.
15) Laurie had barely slid behind the wheel when Hope was suggesting the perfect place to burn Shanda's body. She directed Tackett to the isolated spot on Lemon Rd. After backing the car into the cornfield, all 4 girls got out. Toni was terrified and she went back inside the car.
The other 3 girls opened the trunk, then lifted Shanda out with the red blanket and placed her on the ground. Hope poured quite a bit of gas over the little girl and within seconds Shanda Sharer was burning. The 3 girls raced back to the car and Laurie sped away.
After they went just a short distance, Melinda told Laurie to turn back around, she wanted to check to make sure Shanda was burning. The other 3 girls stayed in the car as Melinda went back to Shanda's burning body. She stood watching Shanda's tongue dart in and out, knowing the child was still alive. Without a word Melinda poured the rest of the gas on Shanda and tossed the bottle down beside of her.
She again raced to the car and jumped in, laughing loudly. She took joy in describing Shanda's movements, her tongue and blackened face and body to the others.
Registration Type: Sex Offender
Offender Type: LIFETIME NOTIFICATION
End Reg. Date:
Next Reg. Date: 10/22/2008
HOPE ANNA RIPPEY
Age: 32 Sex: Female
Race: White Complexion: Light
Height: 5' 03" Weight: 104 lb
Eye Color: Brown Hair: Brown
|[35-42-3-3] CRIMINAL CONFINEMENT, IF THE VICTIM IS LESS THAN 18|
20 years (criminal conefinement w/ murder conviction)
| 71D05 9302 CF 00176|
40 years, 5 years suspended