On April 12, 1981, a group of 7 people went to sleep in Cabin 28 at the Keddie Resort Lodge in California. What occurred next shocked the country:
Four people were killed, three of which were found in Cabin 28. Their bodies were found by Shiela Sharp, who, unlike the rest of her family, had slept at a friend's house next door.
Strangely, Sheila's two younger brothers, Greg and Rick, and their friend, Justin, were found in the cabin asleep and safe.
Sue Sharp, Johnny Sharp, and Johnny's friend Dana, were bound together by some type of electrical wiring. A bent steak knife was found on the floor, and a bloody butcher knife and claw hammer were found on a small wooden table near the entryway to the kitchen.
Sue had left a broken and abusive marriage and was described as a "quiet woman who loved her kids." In 1980, Sue moved her kids to the Keddie area, where they lived in relative poverty.
Tina's (the sister whose body was not found in the cabin) skull had been found due to an anonymous tip called into the police on the third anniversary of the murders.
Her skull had been found 50 miles away in a different county. To make things even more suspicious, the anonymous called identified the skull as Tina's.
And there were only two suspects examined by the police — Marty Smartt and his roommate Bo Boubede, who lived two cabins down from the Sharps.
The possible motive: Marty was married to Marilyn Smartt, the mother of Justin Smartt, who was one of the kids that was found alive in the cabin.
Marty was reportedly an abusive husband. There are reports that Sue Sharp had been counseling Marilyn Smartt on her marriage.
He reportedly left for Reno, Nevada after the murders. At the time, law enforcement felt that the murders were committed by "more than one person."
Hence them throwing Marty's roommate Bo (who was an ex-con) into the case as an accomplice.
Despite there being much more to this case, the investigation strangely stopped there. There was evidence that went unnoticed and people of interest who may not have been vetted properly.
The father of Dana Wingate (the friend of the Sharps who was also killed) said in 2001 the police had "stumbled over each other and fouled up the case."
The sheriff at the time of the murders, Doug Thomas, is accused of a cover-up in many online theories. The theories allege that he was a close friend to Marty Smartt at the time. At one point, Thomas did say he gave one session of advice to the couple but it was before the murders.
Thomas recently addressed these accusations:
In 2013, the case was reopened by current Sheriff Greg Hagwood and investigator Mike Gamberg. Both had personal connections to victims of the case.
New developments were found when the case was reopened — Gamberg organized some boxes of case reports and uncovered evidence from the case that had been shoved aside.
He found a letter written by Marty Smartt to his wife reportedly written soon after the murders. It said, "I've paid the price for your love and now that I've bought it with four peoples lives, you tell me we are through? Great. What else do you want?"
Marilyn claimed to never receive the letter. However, she did recognize her ex-husband's handwriting.
The second development was something else found in the same boxes of case files: the taped anonymous phone call that tipped off the location of Tina Sharp's remains.
Sheriff Hagwood had this to say about the tape:
The third development came from Gambert speaking to Marty's former therapist in Reno, Nevada.
Apparently Marty had confessed to the murders in a session. The therapist also reportedly told Gamberg that he was surprised the investigators at the time of the murder hadn't used the confession against Marty.
Also, a man recently discovered a steel blue claw-hammer using a metal detector that matched the description of one that Marty had told investigators he lost.
Sheriff Hagwood gave an update on the status of the case:
Sheriff Hagwood had this to say in regards to Marty Smartt and Bo Boubede being the killers:
He also said:
Sheila Sharp, the surviving member of the Sharp family had this to say of Hagwood:
As of now, nobody has been charged and Hagwood and Gamberg continue to dig deeper into what happened that tragic night. Perhaps one day they will finally confirm those suspicions but for now, the devastating case remains unsolved.