Pretty Little Killers: The Truth Behind the Savage Murder of Skylar Neese
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After killer Shelia Eddy pled guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison and Rachel Shoaf was sentenced to thirty years for second-degree murder, family, friends, investigators, and other key sources reveal the facts you would have learned if the case had gone to trial.
Including specific details drawn from Rachel’s confession, Pretty Little Killers looks at the crime through the eyes of the victim and killers, providing intimate testimony from the pages of Rachel’s personal journal, Skylar’s diary and school papers, and court records.
Berry and Fuller examine all this, including previously unreported details about Rachel and Shelia’s rumored lesbian relationship and explain why more than one investigator believes Skylar’s murder was a thrill kill.
Most important, Pretty Little Killers provides a satisfying answer to Skylar’s final question: “Why?”
indicate she was trying to let go of Shelia—whom she blamed for giving up their friendship—but finding it hard to let her resentment fade away. Tension and stress within the trio escalated again when their ongoing argument ruined Shelia and Skylar’s trip to the beach the first week of June 2012. By the time Skylar joined Shelia’s family for their June beach vacation, as she had for the last several years, the tension between the two girls had turned their relationship quite volatile. No one
Skylar’s case began to take a huge toll on their marriage. Berry spent more hours at the office than he ever had before. That wouldn’t have been as hard on Alexis if Berry hadn’t also brought his work home with him. Many times, he wouldn’t get home until midnight—and yet she’d still wake up to find him texting. Again. It was the same thing every night. At first she didn’t believe him when he told her who he was texting. “Who are you texting at two A.M.?” Alexis asked. “Gaskins,” Berry said.
arrested but the troopers explained only deputy sheriffs have that authority. Instead, they encouraged Rachel’s parents to seek medical help. Patricia and Rusty took their advice, loaded Rachel into the family car, and drove her to the hospital. Shelia told Shania all about Rachel’s breakdown, but she framed it as a violent family fight. She said Rachel’s screams grew so shrill that Tara rushed into Shelia’s bedroom to investigate. By then, Rachel was yelling, “Help me! Help me!” Shelia raced
waiting in the hallway outside of Mrs. Farley’s classroom heard about Rachel’s confession after one student began reading the May 1 news on his cell phone. No one remembers who that student was because once the words “Rachel,” “confessed,” and “Skylar’s murder” began to be repeated in the narrow corridor, the news spread like wildfire. “Everybody knew that Rachel had pled guilty,” Jordan Carter said. She had been standing on one side of the hallway, and remembered the first thought she had: “I
David and Cheryl Lawrence were about as grounded as it gets. That’s one reason they felt so comfortable with Skylar and her parents. They recognized the Neeses shared the same family values. They also viewed Skylar as a good influence for their daughter. In fifth grade Morgan believed she and Skylar would be best friends forever. A poll they later read in Honors Science class said by age eighteen, only 5 percent of people would still have contact with their first friend. “We were like, ‘Boo!