Saturday, August 15, 2015

plk Pretty Little Killers: The Truth Behind the Savage Murder of Skylar Neese by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.8)

There’s something striking about the case of Skylar Neese, a bright teenage girl who was murdered by her two so-called best friends in the summer of 2012, and with every shocking detail and theory comes the realization that it all hits close too home. When you think of the ups and downs of teenage friendships it’s not often you think that, upon friendships falling out, murder will soon follow.

In all its horrific notes, you can’t help but wonder how this could have happened or why. Skylar Neese’s murder is startling and captivating in the most horrible of ways to everyone who comes across the case. Maybe even to keep her quiet about secrets that only friends share. Noted as one of the most cold, shocking murders of our time it’s likely that you know the chilling details already and the lack of remorse that both teenage murderers offer.

What’s more appalling and terrifying than their lack of remorse is their reasoning. Supposedly, Skylar was murdered by her two best friends Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf because they simply didn’t want to be her friend anymore. Is your stomach turning already? I know mine did. Yes, Pretty Little Killers shines light on all the skin crawling details of this mysterious case.

Lord knows I nearly vomited the more I studied the case as well as tweets that followed from the killers. It blows my mind in the worst possible ways and reminds us all that we can’t even trust our own best friends because we never truly know anyone.


Society is often naive when it comes down to their disbelief of the details of the night in question. How could a trio of bright, beautiful young girls turn dark so quickly? Often the disbelief of it all comes from the thought that teenage girls are incapable of committing such a crime.

When reading the case through the eyes of those who grew up with the girls and then of course the media, you’re left with only one question: why? In Skylar’s last moments alive, this was her only question too. Imagining the heartbreak and terror on this poor young girls soul just makes the whole ordeal even more horrifying.

Which is precisely why I’d picked up a copy of Pretty Little Killers in the first place. Why?

It’s likely that we’ll never know truly why a friendship took a turn for the worst in such ways. Shelia and Rachel have offered no real reasoning for their disturbing actions. In the details of the case, many people bring to attention the fact that this trio of girls had an incredibly toxic friendship. We’re also told details of a sexual relationship between Shelia and Rachel that Skylar knew.

But all these details, all these theories, still don’t add up. By the end of the book we’re left with only the knowledge that Skylar deserved better. Skylar, once so young and so alive, didn’t deserve her fate. Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy were cruel, disturbed and deserve to rot in prison for as long as possible.

I don’t buy their (or at least Rachel’s) remorse. I don’t buy any of the victim blaming that other chime in with. We know that life went on for the two girls for many months. How can that be? A simple look at Shelia Eddy’s Twitter account will bring a chill up your spine because it’s as if this girl was living in her own delusions.

I know one thing is for certain: Skylar’s family wouldn’t have gotten any sort of closure had Rachel not broke down and confessed.

I’m just so disgusted by the whole thing. This case will haunt me for a very, very long time. And overall, Pretty Little Killers was an informative read. It was terrifying in the way that the two girls planned ahead and hid it so easily. I just have no words.

On a final note: don’t let its comparisons to Pretty Little Liars fool you. There’s no need to drag that show into the mix given the fact that this case doesn’t parallel the books or the show in any manner and it’s ridiculous to try.

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