Monday 13 November 2017

The Gruesome Keddie Cabin Murders

The Gruesome Keddie Cabin Murders  buzz feed unsolved murderers

This is my first post in a new series on my blog. It doesn't currently have a name so any suggestions would be much appreciated. I put out a tweet a few weeks back saying I wanted to start covering paranormal, conspiracies, horror films and true crime cases on my blog but I wasn't sure if there was an audience. Turns out there is. I got an overwhelming response to that tweet, so here I am with my first case; the Keddie Cabin Murders. 

I chose the Keddie Cabin Murders to cover first because it's one of the most compelling cases as well as being one of systematic failings by the police on a whole new level. It's an eye-opening one for sure. So without further or do, let's jump in. 

Background to the murder

On April 12th, 1981, Keddie, California, four people were brutally slaughtered in Cabin 28. Cabin 28 was home to the Sharpe family. On the night of the murders, Shelia Sharpe, one of the children was staying in a friends cabin next door. When morning came, she discovered the majority of her family had been horrifically murdered. The people she found were; Sue Sharpe (mother) Johnny Sharpe (15-year-old brother) and Johnny's 17-year-old friend, Dana Wingate. Shelias 12-year-old sister, Tina was missing but her remains were found at a later time. In the cabin, there was also Shelias younger brothers; Greg and Rick and their friend Justin Smart who were all found sleeping, unharmed. 

Cause of death 

The deceased were found bound by electric wiring. Weapons found at the scene of the crime were; a bent steak knife blooded butcher knife and a claw hammer. Blood spatters were on the walls and ceiling indicating the force applied. I question why the murder weapons were left at the scene. Surely they were ceased and can now be tested for forensic evidence? As we learn, later on, this is just one of a serious of failings by the police in this particular crime.

Where is Tina? 

If you remember correctly, Tina was missing from cabin 28 on the murder after the murders. It will be another three years till Tina is found. After an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public, on the 3rd anniversary of the murders. Not only is the timing suspicious but the person who found skull identified it to be Tina. This gives me the creeps. The only way they would know who it was, would be if they were the murderer.


There are only two suspects in this case. Marty Smart, the father of Justin Smart and his roommate Bo Boubedie. Can we just appreciate how cool his name is? They lived two cabins away. 


Marty was married to Marilyn Smart. The two reportedly had a lot of marriage problems. There have been reports that Sue Sharpe had been counselling Marilyn on her marriage. Marty was allegedly furious when he was made aware of the interference. Bo Boubedie comes into the frame because due to the force needed, it is extremely unlikely it was done by just the one person. Bo is also an ex-convict, so it's safe to say he's not inexperienced on being on the wrong side of the law. 

How The Police Messed Up 

So, you've got a clear suspect and motivate you would think someone would do something about it. Nope, the investigation stopped there. Evidence, which I'll mention later on went unnoticed. Many people suspect the police in a cover-up. Doug Thomas who was the former sheriff at the time was thought to be a friend of Marty Smart, which could be why Marty went under the radar. Marilyn didn't recall the two being friends. Although some would suggest that Marilyn is also involved in the cover-up as she is afraid of her husband who was reportedly very abusive. 

New Developments 

In 2013, the case was reopened by Sheriff Greg Hagwood and investigator Mike Gamberg, both had connections to the suspects. When they reopened the case, they went back through the evidence, finding things which were crucial to bringing the killer to justice but were just ignored, highlighting the failings of the police on an unprecedented level. 

Here is the evidence they found 

1. A letter was written by Marty Smart to Marilyn, after the murders

"I've paid the price for your love and now I've bought it with four people's lives- you tell me we are through. Great. What else do you want?" 

Although not a confession letter, it's pretty sound evidence he is guilty. However, Marilyn doesn't recall receiving the letter, she does recognise Marty's handwriting. 

2. An audio recording of the 911 call about Tina's skull 

This was never voice analysed at the time which you would have thought would have been high on the list of the polices priorities.

3. Marty's therapist who said that Marty confessed to the murders

This confession was never used against him. Although the therapist could have been lying to try and put the case to rest and give Keddie a chance of returning to normal again for the sake of the people who live there today.

4. A member of the public found a cawl hammer near a pond near Keddie using a metal detector which matched the description of the one used in the crime. 

This was, however, never tested for DNA. 


There are apparently six people of interest who are still alive. No one has yet been charged with these gruesome murders. 

My verdict

There is an unprecedented amount of evidence pointing to Marty and Bo. We're not currently aware of who the other suspects could be, so it makes it very hard to say who is the most and least likely to have done it. However, I would go as far as to argue in this case the real criminals are the police. Evidence not dealt with properly, contamination of the initial crime scene and suspects not being vetted properly are just a few of the many fundamental errors made by the police in this case. In my opinion, if they actually got their act together in the first place, those responsible for the horrific murders of cabin 28 would have been brought to justice long ago.

Who you think did it? What are your views on the failings by the police? Let me know in the comments below. Also let me know if you have particular cases that you want to see me cover, as well.

Thanks for reading, as always X

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