AWRW Way Back Wednesday Book Review: Cruel Sacrifice, by Aphrodite Jones

waybackwednesdayWay Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate.


1.) Discuss a book you read in the past that left an impression on you. You can write a condensed review if you prefer.

2.) Tag your post as “Way Back Wednesday” and include this button: waybackwednesday

3.) Link back to my blog, and this page.

4.) Include instructions, (copy & paste everything above), for others to participate. 🙂

91510Today’s Way Back Wednesday post is dedicated to the true crime story, Cruel Sacrifice, by Aphrodite Jones.

Veteran true crime journalist Aphrodite Jones reveals the shocking truth behind the most savage crime in Indiana history–the torture, mutilation, and murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer by four teenage girls. Here is a tragic story of twisted love and insane jealousy, lesbianism, brutal child abuse, and sadistic ritual killing in small-town America. Includes 16-page photo insert.

Paperback, 333 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Pinnacle (first published 1994)
Genres: True Crime, Non-fiction

Cruel Sacrifice documents the brutal torture murder of Shanda Sharer, at the hands of her peers, told by crime journalist, Aphrodite Jones. It even includes crime scene photos. This book is not recommended for the faint of heart!

What makes me crazy about the events in this book, is that nobody stopped it… The torture continued for days. Why didn’t any of the girls step forward and say, “ENOUGH!”? There were so many chances for the girls to stop, and yet they continued to hurt and eventually kill 12 year old Shanda.

How can four teen girls act so evil? What made them this way? Yes, they were abused, but many kids are abused and they do not torture and murder friends of theirs.

Here are the gritty details: They beat her, they humiliate her, they light her on fire, they pour bleach on her wounds, they suffocate her, they hit her with a crowbar, they stab her, and so much more.

Why did they do this? Because one of the girls was jealous of a budding romantic relationship between another girl and Shanda in the group. It had been brewing for months, and finally culminated into her murder.

Sad. Sick. Twisted.

Cruel Sacrifice explores just how quickly a teenage relationship can spin out of control, and the sociology of peer pressure. As a group, the teenagers fed off one another’s rage, and urged each other on to become more and more violent. As individuals, this crime would have never happened.

This book eventually fell apart on me and I had to throw it out. It had been read MANY times, and loaned out to friends and family more than I can count. Anyone who reads this book grips it with white knuckles, thus the damage! It is THAT kind of a story.

I would recommend this book to advanced students of psychology, as well as sociology, and lovers of true crime.


Did my review interest you? Purchase, here.

About the Author:

Aphrodite JonesTrue crime writer published by Pinnacle Books and HarperCollinsPublishers.
She is also the host of the TV series True Crime which airs on Investigation Discovery.


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