Born: 21 December 1979
Active: 7 June 1992
Location: United Kingdom
Method of Disposal: Stabbing
Consequence: 14 years detention, reduced to 12
- Katie Racliffe
- Ann-Marie Clifford
- Two detention staff members at an Assessment Centre
Sharon Carr had a dream, just like every other 12-year-old does. But Sharon didn’t want to be an Olympic ice skater or a doctor or lawyer, nothing like that. Because that would be boring. No, Sharon’s dream was to become one of the youngest killers in Britain. Which she did, at the age of twelve.
Sharon’s upbringing was pretty average for the time. Her mum became divorced after an unfortunate incident involving a pot of boiling hot fat being poured over the head of Sharon’s step-father. After that unpleasantness, her mum gave priority to the important things, like alcohol and men. Throw in the occasional ritual slaying of animals in the neighbourhood, along with witnessing the death of a neighbour who was doused in kerosene and set alight, and Sharon’s future as a killer was virtually assured.
She wrote in her diary every day. The usual entries were there: “School sux”, “Can’t wait for the holidays” and “I hate math”. After a while, however, these more mundane topics were over taken by more significant comments, such as “my business is killing and business is good”, and “pure jealousy makes me want to fight”. This writing was punctuated with usual drawings commonly displayed in the writings of young girls, like pictures of knives and such.
It would appear that Sharon was feeling a little ‘jealous’ on the 7th of June 1992, as she cruised the nightclub district of Farnborough with a couple of her male friends (it is assumed that she was unable to find a nightclub with a strict ‘patrons must have passed the bedwetting stage’ rule). She didn’t take too kindly to her friends showing attention to 18-year-old Katie Racliffe as they passed her on the street. She jumped out of the car and confronted the older girl with a knife.
By the time Sharon was finished, she’d stabbed Katie 29 times. She would have liked to ask the two boys she’d been with to help her move the body. However, they’d unhelpfully disappeared in their car once the knife was produced, leaving her with the heavy lifting. It was a hard task, but eventually Sharon pulled the now-deceased woman out of sight into a side street.
Probably due to the fact that the police weren’t necessarily looking for a twelve-year-old girl in their search for suspects, Katie’s death remained unsolved for a few years. And it probably would have remained that way, if Sharon hadn’t been in the habit of celebrating the anniversary of her first kill by trying to up the death toll.
Two years to the day after Katie’s death, on 7th June 1994, Sharon got into a stoush with a fellow student, Ann-Marie Clifford. Anne-Marie was stabbed in the back but survived. This time there were witnesses and the police were called. Sharon was sent to the assessment centre nearby. There she attempted to strangle two of the detention staff. Again she was unsuccessful. It was beginning to look as though Sharon might have peaked too soon in her chosen field of expertise. Instead of adding to the body count, all she seemed to be doing is adding to the police summary.
Given her volatile nature, the authorities believed it was best to begin monitoring her conversations with family and friends. Not that they really needed to. Sharon had taken a shine to one of the prison guards, and regaled him with tales of her exploits on the outside world. What she told the guard included pertinent information that no one else knew about an unsolved killing from years before. The guard obligingly informed the police of what he knew and her diaries were confiscated (because of course it wasn’t dangerous for her to continue writing in there unabated). In 1996, four years after Katie’s death, Sharon again found herself being arrested.
On the basis of her interview with police and the contents of her diaries, Sharon was quickly found guilty and jailed for 14 years. Thereafter followed a litany of court hearings, during which her sentence was first upheld and then reduced to 12 years. During her detention, Sharon continued to attack other prisoners and staff. She was moved between prisons numerous times, which must have cost the county quite a sum. Eventually someone found an old copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, dusted it off and opened to the section labelled ‘Schizophrenia’. They threw the Mental Health Act at her, and then threw her into Broadmoor.
As she had been sentenced in 1997, Sharon was due to be released in 2009. According to her psychiatric report, Sharon ‘suffers from a severe personality disorder with features of borderline anti-social and paranoid personality disorder… Carr’s long-term risk to others is likely to be highly associated with the extent to which her illness can be effectively controlled by a regime of medication which she is prepared to consistently take…’ So she appears to be okay after all, as ‘she is maturing, well engaged in individual psychotherapy and prepared to purposefully occupy her off-ward activities’.
Oh, that’s a relief. Just a phase she was going though, then?