Teen girl stabbed her best friend to death because she didn’t ‘like her anymore’

Article originally published by Mail Online on May 25, 2013

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16 year old Rachel Shoaf (left) along with a juvenile accomplice, stabbed her best friend 16 year old Skylar Neese (right) to death because she didn’t ‘like her anymore;’ then hid her body for months.

Emerging details of a teen’s murder confession, who claimed she acted out a preplanned stabbing last summer, have shaken a small West Virginia community.

On May 1, 2013 Rachel Shoaf, of Morgantown, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Skylar Neese and she awaits sentencing in a juvenile detention center. Another unnamed girl is also facing charges.

Now, a newly released transcript of a secret plea hearing reveals that Shoaf said she and the second girl carried out a plan to kill Neese.

shoaf-neeseFriends: Rachel Shoaf (on the right in both pictures) has confessed to stabbing Skylar Neese (left) to death last summer

Court documents offer no insight into the motive for the crime. On May 1, Skylar’s father said the only reason he could think of was that they ‘didn’t like her any more.’

WDTV reported that Dave Neese stated: ‘They didn’t like her anymore. That’s the only response I got.

‘I want a reason, I want some kind of reason (for this to) happen. There is no reason I don’t care if you have the best reason in the world, but there’s no reason (for this to happen).’

Neese added of Rachel Shoaf: ‘I feel bad for your parents and I hope you rot in hell.’

The victim was last seen on surveillance video leaving her family’s apartment voluntarily and getting into a car on July 6, 2012.

She was initially considered a runaway, but her parents soon suspected she was abducted.

Police chased numerous leads with no luck. The break finally came when Shoaf admitted plotting with another girl to kill her – shocking even the investigators working the case.

Skylar Neese disappeared in July 2012 and was initially thought to be a runaway but her parents soon suspected she had been abducted

The two girls were charged with luring the straight-A student at University High School out of her family’s apartment in the middle of the night, stabbing her to death at an agreed-upon moment and hiding her body under branches in a Pennsylvania township about 30 miles away from her house, according to court documents.

The pair had spent time with Neese’s mother after the slaying and even helped with the search.

The cold calculation and brutality of the plot shocked a community already frustrated by the slow pace and secrecy surrounding the case.

shoafPictured; Rachel Shoaf, of Morgantown, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Skylar Neese and she awaits sentencing in a juvenile detention center.

Investigators have said little since announcing the charges three weeks ago.

People sit in the chairs at John’s Barber Shop, gaze at Neese’s photo on a bulletin board and wonder: How could anyone so young plot to kill a classmate and friend?

‘They look as normal as any other kid that you could ever see,’ said barber BJ McClead. ‘Not kids you would think would have anything to do with anything like this.’

The other girl’s identity is, for now, shrouded by the confidentiality of juvenile court.

Though McClead says most people in town have figured out who it is, it’s unclear how long the three girls had been friends or just how close they were.

It’s also unclear whether prosecutors will try to have the second suspect charged as an adult, as Shoaf was.

‘People are confused. They’re like, “What is taking so long?”‘ said McClead, whose daughter Hayden had been friends with Neese since junior high.

‘It’s ridiculous. Who’s protecting these girls?’ said the barber, who still hands out red-and-yellow bracelets bearing the victim’s name.

‘Three families’ lives are now ruined because of this heinous crime that these girls committed.’

Monongalia County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown has refused to return repeated calls seeking comment.

The mystery began last July when Neese climbed out of her bedroom window.

Surveillance video showed her getting into a car at the end of her street in a quiet residential neighborhood near West Virginia University.

With no sign of fear, no money and no contact lenses, she apparently expected to return.

When she didn’t, Dave and Mary Neese worried. Police initially suspected their daughter was a runaway, but they knew better. They walked up and down Crawford Street with Neese’s photo, then plastered fliers everywhere.

‘You couldn’t go 5 feet without seeing her,’ said 24-year-old Brittany Crouse, who moved in around the time of the disappearance. ‘Everybody really, really wanted her to come home.’

For months, police chased down tips to no avail. The transcript from Shoaf’s hearing shows the break came January 3, 2013 when she finally told investigators the truth – and where to find the body.

But it wasn’t until March that authorities confirmed it was Neese, and silence followed until the day of the plea hearing.

‘I think police who were involved in the front lines of that interview and that part of the investigation were stunned at Rachel Shoaf’s confession,’ Ashdown told Judge Russell Clawges that day.

‘She confessed to a plan and conspiracy with another juvenile to kill Skylar Neese. A plan carried out.’

The three girls drove to Wayne Township, Pa., got out of the car and the suspects pretended to socialize with Neese.

‘And, at a planned and agreed upon moment,’ Ashdown said, the girls ‘attacked and stabbed Skylar to death, and they left her there.’

They tried to bury Neese, she said, but covered her with branches when they couldn’t.

In the five-page court file on Shoaf, prosecutors say they plan to recommend a 20-year prison sentence. But she could get as many as 40 years under the law.

Shoaf’s family issued a public apology through a lawyer but has made no further statements.

‘There is no way to describe the pain that we, too, are feeling,’ they said.

‘We are truly sorry for the pain that she has caused the Neese family, and we know her actions are unforgivable and inexcusable.

‘Our daughter has admitted her involvement and she has accepted responsibility for her actions.

‘Our hearts are broken for your loss,’ they told the Neese family, ‘and we are still trying to come to terms with this event.’

Mary Neese has declined interview requests. But the family has tried to spare others their agony, persuading legislators to pass ‘Skylar’s Law’ earlier this year.

Under the law, Amber Alerts are no longer limited to kidnappings in West Virginia. Even when authorities suspect a child is a runaway, information is turned over to Amber Alert officials.

The transcript of Shoaf’s hearing shows other students also had suspicions, chattering on social media about all three girls.

A few overheard a conversation between the suspects about the plot but waited to report it.

The teenagers thought it was a joke, Ashdown told the judge, ‘but only later decided and believed it was all too true and all too prophetic.’

McClead marvels that two teenage girls could maintain their deception from July to January. ‘Some of the criminals that are locked up for life aren’t that hard.’

Australian Teen’s Murdered Bestfriend Because It ”Felt Right”

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Pictured; Eliza Jane Davis (15) was murdered by her ”friends” on 06/18/06

Eliza Jane Davis was a 15-year-old teenager from the small coal mining town of Collie, located in Western Australia. She was murdered by two of her ”best-friends” on June 18th, 2006, after going to a party with them the night before. It was reported that the trio took cannabis and methamphetamine at the party but not enough to affect their sense of right and wrong.
The two teens who were both 17-years-old at the time they committed the murders, were not named due to legal reasons but told police at the time, that they always wanted to kill somebody and one even practiced by killing two baby kittens. They said they don’t know why they did it and didn’t feel bad. They went on to say it just ”felt right.”
On Saturday night, June 18th, 2006, the three of them left a party and walked home and fell asleep. When the two killers woke up, they decided to kill Eliza and plotted on what they were going to do. They were going to wait but one of the girls had to return to Perth that afternoon and wanted a quick, ”non-messy” killing.
“Sunday morning me and (her) woke up, and we were just talking, and for some reason we just decided to kill her,” one of the girls would later tell police in an interview.
The girls planned their attack and changed into old clothes.

One of the girl’s snuck up behind Eliza as she was reading a book, wrapped speaker wire twice around her throat and quickly tightened it as the other held her down, trying to press a chemical soaked cloth into her mouth.

“She started not being able to get her breath,and we just kept going,” one of the girls said.

“She was just yelling at us `‘What the f**k, what are you doing.” `Oh you freaks, what’s wrong with you psychos.”

She begged her the people she thought were her ”friends” to stop but her plea’s fell on deaf ears.

The girl’s buried her in a shallow grave under her home and reported her missing. They acted as if nothing happened, even going as far as to help Eliza’s loved ones search for her.

They both turned themselves in several days later, walking into separate police stations and directing authorities to where they buried Eliza’s body. They were both interviewed and arrested. It isn’t really clear as to what made them turn themselves in.
We didn’t really expect to get away with it but were willing to take the risk.”
Asked why they did it, and if they felt bad. The teen’s went on to explain:

”We just did it because we felt like it, it is hard to explain,”

“I knew we had wanted to kill someone before. We knew it was wrong, but it didn’t feel wrong at all, it just felt right.”

“As our friend, we did not really want her to suffer,” one told police.

Both of them did however, regret the fuss that the killing brought, but didn’t regret murdering their ”friend” nor did they feel any remorse. “If she had died another way it probably would have bothered me, but it just did not,” one girl said.

Eliza davis

Friends Of Eliza Console Each Other At Funeral Service.

The two teen’s appeared in Perth Children’s Court and again showed zero remorse. They were sentenced to serve a minimum of fifteen years to life. In 2008 both were moved to an adult prison and are currently serving their sentence for the cruel murder of their friend.

”Name my girl’s killers.” Emotional Plea from Father of murdered School-girl.

The Murder of Bobby Kent (BULLY)

Bobby-Kent-MurderBobby Kent (May 12, 1973 – July 15, 1993)

Murder Of Robert ‘Bobby’ Kent

Bobby Kent had met Martin “Marty” Puccio in the third grade and instantly they became great pals. They lived close to one another and were always together at each others houses or riding bikes, etc. Soon it went from building ‘forts’ to liking girls and that’s when resentment, jealousy and hatred grew.

Toward the beginning of 1993 Martin (Marty) Puccio (aged 20) began dating Lisa Connelly (aged 18).

Being frustrated by how much time her boyfriend spent with Bobby, Lisa tried to distract him from Marty by setting up her friend Alice (Ali) Willis (aged 17) with Kent. They dated a few weeks but Bobby was abusive toward Ali so Ali so she cut off the relationship. In June, Marty confided to Lisa that Bobby had been abusive to him quite often over the years. Lisa tried to convince him to cut off his friendship, but Marty did not seem able to do that. By that time, Lisa knew she was pregnant by Marty and was determined that Bobby was not going to get in her way of a permanent relationship with Marty. Although Lisa admitted to having sex with Bobby as well as Marty, she maintained the baby was Marty’s. This baby, now a teenager, had a DNA test performed and discovered that she is in fact Bobby’s daughter. It is unknown if he fathered any other children before his death.

According to sources, for a few weeks prior to his murder, Bobby dated Ali and when she moved back with her parents in Palm Bay, Florida, and broke up with him, Kent said he was going to murder her and smother her baby unless she returned to Broward County to date him.

Lisa’s hatred for Bobby grew for a number a reasons including him beating and bullying Marty as well as raping Ali, her bestfriend. Bobby was also known to commonly refer to Lisa, who was overweight, as “fatass”, “tatonka”, “potlock” “chub” and “Shamu”, often encouraging and/or forcing Marty to do the same.

Allegedly, Lisa decided that Bobby needed to be eliminated permanently and started talking to Marty and other friends about murdering him. On Tuesday, July 13, 1993, Lisa called Ali and told her that “Bobby was planning to come to Palm Bay (where Ali was living) to murder her and smother her baby (by a previous relationship) unless she returned to Broward County to date him again.” Ali claimed Lisa asked her to come to her house to discuss murdering Bobby Kent. Ali went to Lisa’s house and brought two friends, her current boyfriend, Donald (Donny) Semenec (aged 17), and Heather Swallers (aged 18). Lisa had previously contacted a self-proclaimed “hit man,” named Derek Kaufman, who had been recommended by some friends. When Ali, Donny and Heather arrived, they all went to Kaufman’s home. They told him they wanted him to get a gun so they could kill Kent that night, but Kaufman told them he could not get a gun that fast. The four went back to Lisa’s house and were joined by Lisa’s cousin, Derek Dzvirko. Puccio apparently was not a part of these meetings on the 13th.

On July 14 around 11:30p.m. the six joined together at Marty’s house and discussed their plans and their roles. They had a lead pipe, two knives and a baseball bat. Marty had asked Bobby Kent to join them around 11:45pm. Marty told him that Ali was going to be there as well. Apparently Kent thought he might be able to hook up with his former girlfriend, not realizing that his best friend and ex girlfriend were helping with his murder.

All together the seven headed out to a construction site.  As soon as they got there Ali, in accordance with the plan, took Bobby off to a secluded spot where they were talking. Heather Swallers joined them there and while she and Ali distracted Bobby, Donny Semenec came up and stabbed Bobby in the neck with a knife. Bobby yelled out, “Marty, whatever I’ve done to make you mad, I’m sorry.” Then he asked for Marty’s help. Instead Marty stuck a knife in Bobby’s stomach. Derek Kaufman then approached and hit Bobby with the baseball bat, which was the final blow. After this was all done Derek Dzvirko helped dump the body. Lisa was not involved in the actual murder.

Willis was going to walk Bobby down to the water at Palm Bay, pretending to mend their ‘relationship.’ And Swallers was going to go down to Willis and Kent and talk about the crocodiles, which was the ”code word”

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MUGSHOT: Martin Joseph Puccio, Jr. also known as “Marty” is now 39

Martin Puccio was convicted and sentenced to death but that sentence was reduced in 1997 to life in prison.

Donny Semenec was given a life sentence, and Derek Kaufman was given life plus 30 years. Lisa was convicted and given life in prison but that sentence was reduced to 22 years. She gave birth to her and Kent’s child during her incarceration. She was released in 2004. Alice Willis was convicted and given a 17 year sentence. She was released in 2001. Derek Dzvirko served 6 years in state prison. Heather Swallers served 5 years and was released on parole in 1998.

MUGSHOT PHOTOS

derekkaufman

Derek Kaufman, now 39, self-proclaimed “mafia leader and hitman”

derekdzvirko

Derek Dzvirko, now 40, cousin of Lisa Connelly

Lisa Connelly

Lisa Connelly who is now 37 –  Connelly was arrested in 2007 for a traffic violation which can be seen at Florida Arrests

donnysemenec

Donny Semenec (now 39)

heatherswallers

Heather Swallers (now 37)

Conspirators:

Martin Joseph (Marty) Puccio – March 21, 1973 – Bobby’s best friend since childhood, boyfriend of Lisa Connelly.

Lisa Marie Connelly – July 31, 1974 – Marty’s girlfriend. Was angry at Kent for beating and bullying Marty as well as allegedly raping her best friend, Alice Slay. Kent was also known to commonly refer to Connelly (who was overweight) as “fatass”, “tatonka”, “potlock” “chub” and “Shamu”, often encouraging and/or forcing Puccio to do the same. On January 5, 1994 Lisa Connelly, who was Puccio’s girlfriend, gave birth to their daughter. She is in the custody of Connelly’s parents in Central Florida.

Alice Jean Slay (Ali Willis) – August 29, 1975 – Kent’s former girlfriend, set up with Kent by Connelly in the hopes that if he was with her, he’d leave Puccio alone. Allegedly involved in a teenage prostitution ring prior to Kent’s murder.

Donald Roth (Donny) Semenec Jr. – July 15, 1975 – Slay’s boyfriend at the time of the murder. Habitual drug user. Supposedly helped in the murder because he was angry at Kent for raping his girlfriend. Struck the first blow on Kent. Murder occurred on his 18th birthday.

Derek Leon Kaufman – May 8, 1973 – Self-proclaimed mafia hitman who the group enlisted to plan Kent’s murder. Had no association to any of the other conspirators prior to this. Was actually the leader of a gang of youths 7-10 years younger than he was, who committed petty crimes such as theft.

Derek George Dzvirko – November 2, 1973 – Connelly’s cousin who was enlisted for extra help by Connelly. Played a minor role in the murder, borrowed one of the baseball bats used to kill Kent from a friend. Along with Swallers, was offered and accepted a plea bargain in exchange for testimony that would help convict others in the group. The two were originally promised the same prison sentence, however Dzvirko got four extra years for attempting to lie on the witness stand.

Heather June Swallers – May 24, 1975 – Previous friend of Slay who had just gotten out of drug rehab. The member of the group deemed by the State of Florida to be the least culpable for Kent’s murder. Had no participation in the murder itself and ran and hid in Slay’s car once it started. Cut the same plea bargain as Dzvirko did and got the promised sentence because unlike him, she did not lie during her testimony.

The co-perpetrators were convicted and sentenced as follows:

Heather Swallers – second-degree murder and conspiracy (seven years imprisonment); Released February 14, 1998

Derek Dzvirko – second-degree murder and conspiracy (11 years imprisonment) Released October 1, 1999

Alice Willis – second-degree murder and conspiracy (40 years imprisonment, which was commuted on appeal to 17 years in prison. She was released on parole on September 16, 2001 and is currently under community supervision for 40 years)

Donald Semenec (aka Day) – second-degree murder and conspiracy (life and 15 years imprisonment) He is incarcerated at Columbia Annex DC number 963020

Derek Kaufman – first-degree murder and conspiracy (the jury recommended life and he was sentenced to life and 30 years imprisonment) He is incarcerated at Mayo/C.I. DC number 894391

Lisa Connelly – second-degree murder and conspiracy (life and five years imprisonment, which was reversed on appeal and reduced to 22 years; she was released on parole on February 3, 2004).

Martin Puccio – first-degree murder and conspiracy. He is incarcerated at Desoto Annex DC number 963022.

* Alice Willis, after serving her time for being 1 of the 7 involved in Bobby Kent’s Murder had finally decided to an interview, 18 years later.*

AliWillis

Left: Police Photo Of Ali Willis In 1993 (17)

Right: Photo of Ali Willis at 35

Today she is a 35-year-old  stay-at-home mother of four. Ali Willis was 17 when she helped plan the stabbing  and beating death of her ex-boyfriend. Willis said she was brought  into the mix by her best friend, Lisa Connelly. Connelly was pregnant with the  child of Kent’s best friend Marty Puccio. In 1993, Puccio said he felt he’d  “been pushed around” too much by Kent, claiming he was a bully.
Not too long after Willis  met Kent, Puccio and Connelly started plotting murder. Broward County detectives  said Lisa Connelly called her friend Willis to help in their plot and the group  grew from there.
Detective Frank Ilarraza  with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office worked on the case. “Ali requested others to  come along and do it,” Detective Ilarraza said. “It’s like it didn’t faze her.  They had total disregard for human life.”
But Willis said she thought  she was just visiting friends. Her new boyfriend Donny Semenec and friend  Heather Swallers came along. Lisa Connelly ‘s cousin, Derek Dzvirko, and a  self-proclaimed hitman Derek Kaufman were also involved. “Somebody said, ‘Oh, why  don’t you just kill him.’ You know, a flipping off the wall joke,” Willis told  NBC Miami.
Detectives said their  original plan was Willis would meet Bobby Kent at a construction site in Weston  and shoot him.
“I never had a gun,” Willis  said. “Lisa did have a gun on her. The gun  was just there.”
The next night, the “Broward Seven”  as they became known, tricked Kent into coming back to the construction site in  Weston. He thought they were drag racing, and Willis said she thought she was  there to witness a fight, not murder. “I got beat by that man,”  Willis said. “So yeah, I wanted to see him get beat up. I wanted him to know how  it feels.”
What happened that night  was made into a movie called “Bully” and Willis said the murder scene portrayed  in it is accurate. Willis acted as bait, leading Kent into a trap. It all  started with Willis’ new boyfriend, Donny Semenec, stabbing Kent in the neck.
Marty+puccio+and+bobby+kent
 Actor Nick Stahl (left) played the part of Bobby Kent, portrayed as the ”bully” who was constantly abusing, degrading and teasing Marty Puccino (played by actor Brad Renfro, right, who died in 2008 in a drug overdose.) Renfro was portrayed as a ‘victim’ of Bobby Kent. A friend who secretly harbored a resentful hatred for his supposed ‘best friend’
“What I remember after that  was he screaming at Marty, Bobby’s yelling at Marty: ‘Get him, get him. Do  something, do something. He hit me, he hit me,'” Willis said. “I remember  standing there, and I seen Marty go like this. To me, it looked like he hauled  off and hit him. I’ll never forget the look on his face when this happened. I  looked down and there was blood everywhere … and he was holding his stomach …  and I just froze.”Marty Puccio stabbed Kent  multiple times and slit his throat twice. Finally, Derek Kaufman, who didn’t  even know Kent, went after him with a baseball bat.
The lead detective at the  time, Ilarraza said in his 30 years on the job, it is the most shocking case he  has ever worked. “This was very personal,”  Ilarraza said. “They got right on him – where you could smell him, where you  could hear him breathing – and that’s when they savagely killed him.”
Four days later, Lisa  Connelly’s cousin Derek Dzvirko confessed, leading police to Kent’s  body.
“As soon as I got out of  the car, you could smell the decomposing body,” Ilarraza said.
After her son’s murder,  Farah Kent told NBC Miami, she thought Willis was the mastermind, a lover scorned. “He didn’t want to see her  anymore,” Kent said. “That’s why I think the whole thing happened.”
But in court, it was proven  that it was Kent’s best friend Marty Puccio, and his girlfriend Lisa Connelly  behind the murder plan, but all seven helped carry it out.
In 1993, a detective  said, “If one of these people simply said, ‘No. This is wrong,’ I think the  whole group would’ve backed off their plans.”
Willis told NBC Miami, she doesn’t know why she didn’t  say anything to stop it. “It was fear, but it was  almost like being in a trance,” Willis said.
Marty Puccio, Donny Semenec  and Derek Kaufman were all sentenced to life in prison. The four who were part  of the planning but did not attack Kent, are now all out of jail.
Willis, originally  sentenced to 40 years, served eight.
“I do think I should have  gotten some prison time,” Willis said.  “I do agree with that totally, but I don’t believe I got off easy.” “It was a  big deal, but I didn’t kill him … I honestly didn’t believe that he would end up  dead. How can you feel remorse for something you didn’t do?”
But being a mom, Willis  said she does feel sorry for Kent’s parents. “I would tell them I’m  sorry I was there, I’m sorry I never said anything,” she said. “I am sorry I  didn’t try to stop it. I am sorry I didn’t say something.”
Willis was the only one of  the Broward Seen who agreed to an interview. She said she does not keep in touch  with any of the others.
Kent’s  parents still live in Broward County. They declined an interview saying it’s  been 18 years and they are ready to put their son’s murder behind  them.

The murder of Bobby Kent resulted in a best-selling true crime book in 1998, Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge (ISBN 0-380-72333-6), written by Jim Schutze. The book was adapted by Zachary Long (a pseudonym used by David McKenna after he demanded his name be removed from the film and Roger Pullis into the 2001 film, Bully, directed by Larry Clark. The story was also covered during an episode of the A&E series American Justice.
In the film, Puccio was portrayed by Brad Renfro, Kent was portrayed by Nick Stahl, Willis was portrayed by Bijou Phillips, Connelly was portrayed by Rachel Miner, Semenec was portrayed by Michael Pitt, Swallers was portrayed by Kelli Garner, Dzvirko was portrayed by Daniel Franzese, and Kaufman was portrayed by Leo Fitzpatrick.