In Cold Blood: A Daughter's Brutal Murder Part 2: Hope Confrontation

Face to Face

Catch up on Part 1 of In Cold Blood: A Daughter's Brutal Murder.

 

For close to 20 years, Shanda Sharer's grief-riddled family has heard details of her murderers from afar. For the very first time, they sit face to face with Hope Rippey, one of the women who took her life.

"Why did you want to be here today?" Dr. Phil asks Hope.

"A couple [of] reasons," Hope answers, speaking softly, and shaking at times. "I felt like, if [Shanda's family] contacted the show, and wanted closure, if I could help with that, it was important for me to be here."

Shanda's mother, Jacque, glares at Hope.

"I haven't apologized to you in court," she continues, "or any other time, because ""

"Do you think, ‘I'm sorry,' is going to change anything?" Shanda's sister, Paije, interrupts, angrily.


[AD]"I don't," Hope says. "I don't at all. That's why I haven't. I felt like if this was my opportunity to express that to you, I should take that opportunity.

"I don't mean it disrespectfully in any way," Hope says, tearfully, of a single apology making the situation better. "That's why I've never said it. I don't want to be like that."

"You are like that," Paije snaps.

"I understand that you feel that way," Hope says.

"I don't feel it. I know it," Paije says.

Jacque confronts her daughter's murderer for the first time, and Paije lashes out.

"Why? Why did you do it to her?"

"You were there when she was stabbed. You were there when she was hit in the head. You were there when she was lit on fire. You participated in the set-up, and the dousing of the gas " so, ‘I'm just a follower,' doesn't cover it," Dr. Phil drills down. "What is the answer?"

"I just didn't know what to do," Hope answers. "I know how pathetic that sounds."

Dr. Phil reminds Hope that she was alone for at least four hours without any threat of harm and did nothing to alert authorities, or get help for Shanda. "You could have walked in to a police station and had full police protection," he says, "and that girl might still be alive today, if, when you were alone, you would have done the right thing."

"I know, from the moment it began, to the moment it ended, I could have stopped this," Hope tells Shanda's family.

[AD]"And, why did you not?" Dr. Phil asks.

Hope repeatedly tells Dr. Phil, and Shanda's family, she doesn't know why she did what she did, and didn't do what she should have.

"You're sick," Paije says.

"I was a weak person"" Hope responds.

"You still are," Paije snaps.

"What did you get out of hurting and murdering this girl?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I didn't do this to get something out of it," she maintains. "I didn't feel anything. I was just going along with it. I'm sorry if that sounds like an excuse, or an empty response " but that is the truth."

Dr. Phil reminds Hope that she took Shanda's watch as they tortured and threatened her, while she stood naked in the woods. "You took a little girl's watch!" he repeats.

"When she was pleading and begging for her life," Dr. Phil says to Hope, "what did you think?"

"I didn't feel or think anything," Hope says.

"Exactly " and you still don't," Paije tells her.

Hope says that she had empathy for Shanda, but was overwhelmed by her fear of the other girls.

"What were you afraid of?" Paije asks, puzzled. "You were one of them! You are one of them!"

"I didn't know what was going to happen," Hope argues.

[AD]Jacque and Paije both deny this claim. "You did know!" they say at once. "You knew before you went to pick her up what you were going to do," Paije says.

"The testimony was that Laurie told you that she was going to kill a little girl that night," Jacque tells her.

Hope says she remembers that there was some conversation about ringleader Melinda being angry with Shanda, but it wasn't taken seriously.

Hope grows increasingly more defensive and angry. "I'm sorry. I came on here so that I could tell you the truth. I'm sorry if you feel like I'm not telling you the truth, but I'm doing the best that I can," she says.

Jacque asks Hope whether she believed Melinda when, hours before the crime, she showed the girls the knife she planned to use. Hope maintains that she never took any of it seriously, until it was too late.

"So, when you went to the Witch's Castle, you still didn't believe it?" Paije asks, referring to the house the girls took Shanda.


"No!" Hope says, defiantly.

"You just do that on a regular basis?" Paije says. "You take people and make them take their clothes off?"

Hope adamantly denies this, and argues fiercely that the night just went much farther than she ever planned. "I thought that there would probably be a fight," she says. "I did think that she would be beat up. That is horrible, and I understand that, but that is what I thought was going to happen. That is the extent of what I thought was going to happen. By the time it was that far, it felt so out of control."


"You say that it was out of control, but you participated until the very end!" Paije lashes out. "You poured the gasoline on her little head, while she was begging for my Mom!"

"Why didn't you tell [Laurie's parents] what was going on?" Jacque asks.

Hope only echoes what she's said before. "I don't know," she repeats. "I've dealt with this for years, and I've tried to figure this out. I know what I did was horrible. I know the things I did were horrible."

Paije asks Hope whether she believes she should be out of prison. When the convicted murderer replies yes, the sister of the slain girl angrily rejects it. "That's really, really sickening," she says.

"You were inhuman that night."


"You stand here convicted of murder," Dr. Phil tells Hope. "You said that you were scared at the time. I do get how you could be scared at the time. What I don't get is how you had the four hours and did nothing about it. What I don't get is [your mugshot picture]. This is taken after you have arrested for the death of an innocent child " and you're smiling ear to ear." Hope says she was crying and the detectives on the case had tried to lift her spirits.


"Were you crying when she was burning and begging for her mommy? What made you cry? You weren't sad. If you were sad, you wouldn't have done it, and you would have done something. You will always be a murderer," Paije adds.

[AD]Hope says she grew up in prison and feels thoroughly rehabilitated, although she doesn't know what caused her to commit such a crime. "I was just a weak kid," she says. 

"I don't call someone that murders a 12-year-old little girl, pours gasoline, and sets her on fire ‘weak,'" Jacque tells her. "That's the furthest thing that I think."


Hope says that she would stand up for someone else in the face of all obstacles, and is never at risk for repeating that horrible night.

Shanda's family says their final words to her killer.