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The Keddie Cabin Murders: The Real Story Behind Cabin 28

This case has remained unsolved for 42 years, 7 months, and 26 days.

It was April 11, 1981 when a mother, her son, and her son’s friend were beaten and bludgeoned to death in a California resort cabin. The fourth victim, a 12-year-old girl, was taken from the cabin and her remains were found years later.

It’s been over 40 years since the Keddie cabin murders took place, and in many ways, it doesn’t feel like we’re any closer to solving the murders. Many accuse the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office of botching the investigation and allowing the main suspects to get away with the murders.

A dilapidated sign for the Keddie Resort Lodge.
A dilapidated sign for the Keddie Resort Lodge (Decidedly Grim).

In 2013, the case was reopened, and yet we’re left with few answers. Who murdered half of the Sharp family along with one of their neighborhood friends? And why? Will the remaining family members ever get justice?

In the years since, the case has become so infamous that a horror movie was made based on the unsolved story, Cabin 28. Unfortunately, the main suspects in the case have since passed on and many think it’s too late for any real justice or closure. Still, the question remains: what happened in Cabin 28?

Table of Contents

About the Victims

Glenna “Sue” Sharp (36) rented Cabin 28 in the small community of Keddie, CA. She and her five children had been living in the cabin since November 1980, when she moved from Connecticut to be closer to her brother, Don, after a divorce from her husband, James.

The Keddie Cabins were listed as resort cabins, but perhaps in name only. By the time Sue and her children moved in, they were already run-down and in need of repairs. Sue had a few part-time jobs in the nearby town of Quincy, CA, although she still had to depend heavily on the welfare system to get by.

Some have suggested that while Sue wasn’t a neglectful mother, she was an absent one. This makes sense if she was working multiple jobs — she wouldn’t be home often. Still, Sue did her best to provide for her children. She was described as a selfless mother and saw to it that her children had warm clothes for winter, even if she had to go without.

A photograph of Sue Sharp and her children.
A photograph of Sue Sharp and her children (Find a Grave).

The Kids

John Sharp (15, although some sources say he was 16) was described as a bit cocky and full of himself, as so many teenage boys are. Dana Wingate (17) was John’s friend and had a bit of a troubled past, ending up as a ward of the state as well as being on probation in 1981. Both boys enjoyed parties and girls and were great friends to one another.

Tina Sharp (12) was described as a shy girl and “a private person” with “secret hiding places where she liked to go to be alone.” She had a few close friends and, for the most part, was an average 12-year-old girl.

Despite the cross-country move from Connecticut to California, the children seemed to be fitting in well and making friends. Overall, the family was normal and not known to be troublemakers, even if the children were sometimes left alone for long stretches of time. And, even if they had been troublemakers, that still wouldn’t justify their brutal murders in Keddie Cabin 28.

A photograph of Sue Sharp and her five children.
A photograph of Sue Sharp and her five children (People Magazine).

The Night of the Murders

The night of April 11, 1981 was like any other for the Sharp family. Some of the children were home, some were visiting with friends, and some would be returning to Cabin 28 shortly.

An image of Keddie Cabin 28 taken in 2001.
An image of Keddie Cabin 28 taken in 2001 (Decidedly Grim).

Around 10 PM, Sue had Tina (12) return home from a neighbor’s cabin. Her other daughter, Sheila (14), was staying overnight with her friend and Tina wanted to do the same. Unfortunately, Sue wouldn’t allow it, so Tina returned home and got ready for bed.

John (15) and Dana (17) had gone out, hitchhiking to the nearby town of Quincy for a party before returning later that night. They returned sometime between 10 PM and 1 AM. It’s believed that they may have walked in on the attack in progress.

Neighbors near the cabin reported that they thought they heard some muffled screams or groans around 1 or 2 AM on the night of the murders. However, they weren’t sure where the sounds came from so they ultimately ended up going back to sleep.

The Next Morning

The next morning around 8 AM, Sheila returned to Cabin 28. The front door was unlocked, but that wasn’t unusual. She walked into a horror scene: Sue, John, and Dana were tied up, bloodied, and deceased.

Immediately, Sheila ran for help, returning to her friend’s cabin and telling her parents about the situation. The father of Sheila’s friend returned to Cabin 28 to get out the three boys that were still alive, taking them out through the window so they wouldn’t have to see the crime scene. Authorities were contacted and arrived within an hour.

The Investigation

Authorities quickly arrived at the scene and began their investigation. The crime scene was overly violent. A deputy who arrived first on the scene noted that there was blood everywhere: on the walls, the ceiling, the doors, the back steps, and all over the victims. The former Plumas County Sheriff said of the murders, “This thing was planned to a certain degree.”

The Crime Scene Report

The crime scene report for the Keddie cabin murders states that the boys’ bodies were on the living room floor with blood around their heads and necks. John had his hands and feet bound with an electrical cord that was also wrapped around Dana’s feet. John’s throat had been slit. Dana had been bludgeoned and then manually strangled.

Nearby, Sue’s hands and feet were also bound by electrical wiring. She was naked from the waist down and gagged with a bandana and her own underwear. However, it’s not believed that a sexual assault took place. Her throat had been cut.

Sue’s body had also been covered partially with a yellow blanket, sometimes an indication of shame from the murderer. Additionally, there were some stab marks on the walls of the home. All of the victims had either been stabbed, strangled, or bludgeoned.

Weapons left at the scene included bloodied knives, a bent knife, and a claw hammer. The weapons also apparently came from the home, which is somewhat odd to me. If someone intended to go into the home to commit murder, wouldn’t they bring their own weapons to be sure they had some instead of relying on what was found at the home?

A knife and hammer found at the Keddie cabin crime scene.
A knife and hammer found at the Keddie cabin crime scene (Wikimedia Commons).

Regardless, the murder scene was a vicious, violent, and bloody one. Doug Thomas, Plumas County Sheriff at the time of the murders, stated, “Whoever did this — and there was more than one person — had to have blood all over them.”

Where Was Tina?

It was only after a few more hours of investigating that police realized that 12-year-old Tina was missing from Cabin 28. Her younger brothers and their friend had been left behind untouched in the cabin, but she was gone. Because Tina was missing, the FBI was called in to investigate the scene as well.

Why Were Some Left Alive?

The discovery of the crime scene is odd, to say the least, given that three people were murdered in Cabin 28 while three others were left untouched.

  • Murdered: Glenna “Sue” Sharp (36), John Sharp (15), Dana Wingate (17)
  • Left Alive: Greg Sharp (5), Ricki Sharp (10), Justin Eason Smartt (12)
  • Missing: Tina Sharp (12)

Why had three people in Cabin 28 brutally murdered while three others were left alone? Furthermore, how had the three that were untouched not heard anything on the night of the murders? Greg, Ricki, and Justin all originally claimed not to have heard anything that night.

The Keddie cabin murder victims. Clockwise from top left: Sue Sharp, John Sharp, Dana Wingate, and Tina Sharp.
The Keddie cabin murder victims. Clockwise from top left: Sue Sharp, John Sharp, Dana Wingate, and Tina Sharp (Find a Grave).

Clues Found

While taking a closer look at the scene, investigators found a fingerprint on a handrail that led to the cabin’s back door. (The fingerprint would never be identified.) They also found that the telephone was left hanging off the hook and that all the lights had been shut off and the drapes closed. Due to the evidence at the scene, authorities believed that the killers had been on scene for some time.

The murder weapons were believed to have been left at the scene — some kitchen knives and a claw hammer. Later, a second bloody knife was found a little ways away, in a trash bin behind the Keddie General Store. A Daisy 880 pellet rifle is also thought to have been used in the attack.

Although investigators collected a number of items from the scene, it’s unclear how much of it was useful. It was a time before definitive DNA testing, so even with the murder weapons, there was only a limited amount of information that authorities could garner from the scene.

Justin Eason Smartt Interviewed

Justin Eason Smartt (12) was interviewed and at first, he claimed to only have dreamed about the murders. Later, he confirmed that he’d witnessed the murders. Some have suggested that this means Justin was involved in some way, but I see it as a traumatized young boy who saw something horrible and didn’t know how to process it.

At one point, Justin was put under hypnosis and he gave a description of the suspects, two men that he’d supposedly seen Sue speaking with. One had a mustache and the other was clean-shaven with long hair. Justin said that when John and Dana returned from their party, they began arguing with the men and the confrontation became violent.

Justin said that Tina returned home a short time later and was escorted outside by one of the men (although some sources say that he said Tina was already home sleeping). The two men then killed Sue, John, and Dana.

The sketches were put out to the public, but they never resulted in any definite suspects or identifications.

Suspect sketches released to the public based on Justin Eason Smartt’s recollections.
Suspect sketches released to the public based on Justin Eason Smartt’s recollections (CBS News).

The individual who dropped John and Dana off back home was also interviewed at some point, and it seems like they were cleared by authorities early on. However, I could not find confirmation of this.

Years Later, Tina’s Remains Found

Three years after the Keddie cabin murders on April 22, 1984, someone collecting bottles in the woods in Butte County (roughly 60 miles from Keddie) found what they thought were human remains.

The area where the remains were found is reportedly very difficult to find. It’s a spot called Camp 18, roughly five miles from Feather Falls. This has led to some speculation that the bottle hunter was tipped off somehow into discovering Tina’s remains, although there is no evidence for this. It’s entirely possible that someone did tip the discoverer off, but we just don’t have enough evidence to prove it currently.

The bottle hunter contacted authorities shortly after discovering the remains. Law enforcement recovered what they could of Tina’s skeleton, and later the medical examiner confirmed they were that of Tina Sharp via dental records.

An aerial photograph of the area near Camp 18, the location where Tina Sharp’s remains were found.
An aerial photograph of the area near Camp 18, the location where Tina Sharp’s remains were found (Keddie 28).

Reportedly, an anonymous 911 caller made contact with authorities before the skull was identified, claiming it was Tina’s before the medical examiner confirmed it. The caller said:

“I was watching the news and they were talking about the girl found at Feather Falls. I was just wondering if you thought of the murder up in Keddie. In Plumas County a couple years ago, where a 12-year-old girl was never found” (ABC 10).

Whoever made that 911 call clearly knew something more about the Keddie cabin murders. Unfortunately, police didn’t investigate the call until many years later when the call’s recording was found again as authorities were taking another look at the case.

The Main Suspects: Martin “Marty” Smartt & John “Bo” Boubede

Martin “Marty” Smartt, Justin Eason Smartt’s stepfather, was suspected early on in the investigation as having something to do with the murders. He had a friend, John “Bo” Boubede, who was also suspected of being involved. Smartt lived with his wife and stepsons just a few cabins away in Cabin 26.

Identification for Martin “Marty” Smartt.
Identification for Martin “Marty” Smartt (Plumas News).

A Potential Motive

Smartt might’ve had a motive for the murder of Sue Sharp: she’d been interfering in his marriage with his wife, Marilyn Smartt. He supposedly confirmed this motive to a counselor he met with after the murders, blaming Sue for Marilyn wanting a divorce. Detective Gamberg has stated:

“I think [Sue] was involved with one of the suspect’s wives, in that she was kind of counseling [his wife] about him and his abuse. I think this guy just went ballistic.”

Det. Gamberg (Source: People Magazine)

In interviews, Marilyn stated that her husband was violent, allegedly trying to run over her and their son once and pulling a knife on her in 1980. It’s also alleged that Smartt, after losing his job as a cook, started manufacturing and selling drugs. I think it’s perfectly understandable that Marilyn would have wanted a divorce after dealing with that.

A Missing Hammer & Burning Clothes

When interviewed by investigators, Smartt admitted that he was missing a blue-handled claw hammer. Many years later, in 2016, a man with a metal detector located a blue-handled claw hammer in a pond near the Keddie property. It resembled the one Smartt had described as going missing.

Later, a witness has stated that he saw Smartt burning clothes on the morning of the murders. No bloody clothing was recovered from the perpetrators at the scene, meaning they either took the clothes with them or disposed of them. Burning the clothes could’ve done the trick.

Where Did Smartt Meet Bo Boubede?

Smartt allegedly met John “Bo” Boubede while they both were in the psychiatric unit at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) in Reno, NV. However, there are questions about the veracity of that supposed meeting with others claiming that they met elsewhere.

While at the VA, Smartt reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but many believe he was just trying to get more money and benefits. The counselor who interviewed him reported that Smartt had told him he was a cook on a military base and didn’t ever see combat, even stating that he “had an easy tour” in the military.

Identification for John “Bo” Boubede.
Identification for John “Bo” Boubede (Plumas News).

On the other hand, Boubede served in the Air Force, but he made many claims that turned out to be untrue as well. He served time for armed robbery in Chicago’s Statesville Prison. Others who’ve investigated the Keddie cabin murders case claim that Boubede was involved in organized crime in Las Vegas, NV.

In the weeks prior to the Keddie cabin murders, Boubede had been sleeping on the Smartt’s couch. When questioned regarding murders, he claimed to have been a police informant for the Chicago DOJ. Some speculate that this is why the Sacramento DOJ didn’t look into him too closely; they didn’t want to lose a potential informant.

Their Alibi

Two men in suits and sunglasses arrived around 10 PM to Keddie’s Back Door Bar on the night of April 11, 1981. The men were Marty Smartt and Bo Boubede, along with Smartt’s wife, Marilyn. Some suggest that Smartt and Boubede wore suits and sunglasses in an effort to draw attention to themselves in order to set up their alibi.

Later that night, the co-owner of the bar changed the music from country to rock — something the two men got upset about, and after making a call to complain, they left to go home. They reportedly returned to the bar again after making another call to complain. (Some sources state they didn’t put on suits and sunglasses until they returned to the bar later.)

A picture of Martin Smartt.
A picture of Martin Smartt (Find a Grave).

Smartt told investigators that they then left the bar around closing time, roughly 2 AM. He was given a polygraph examination, which he reportedly passed.

Personally, I don’t put a lot of weight on polygraph examinations. They are a tool for investigators to use, but they usually aren’t admissible in court. Furthermore, it’s possible for someone to fail a polygraph while telling the truth and for someone to pass it while lying. Law enforcement is also allowed to lie and tell someone they failed when they actually passed and vice versa. Again, that’s just my opinion and it’s totally possible that Smartt did take it and pass.

After the Murders

Shortly after the murders, both Smartt and Boubede left KeddieSmartt also penned a letter to his wife, writing, “I’ve paid the price of your love & now that I’ve bought it with four people’s lives, you tell me we are through. Great! What else do you want?” Marilyn reportedly doesn’t recall receiving the letter, although she did confirm later that it looked like her ex-husband’s handwriting.

This letter was in police evidence, but it was either overlooked or ignored by the original investigators, spewing more rumors that there was somehow a law enforcement coverup of the truth in this case.

Smartt’s Alleged Confession

In later years, Smartt reportedly confessed that he was the murderer to a therapist at the VA in Reno, NV. He reportedly wanted to clear his conscience and admitted to the murders, but he wasn’t aware that the counselor could report confessions of homicide.

The counselor claimed he’d contacted the DOJ and asked to speak with the agents working on the Keddie cabin murder case, and then informed them of the confession upon meeting with them. According to the counselor, this evidence was dismissed as hearsay.

Later Updates

In 2008, Marilyn Smartt (Smartt’s ex-wife) said in a documentary that she suspected her ex-husband and Boubede of committing the murders. However, it’s too late to bring them to justice if they committed the murders because Boubede died in 1988 and Smartt died in 2000.

A Botched Investigation

In the long years since the Keddie cabin murders, some have accused the sheriff’s office of botching the investigation. Doug Thomas, the sheriff at the time of the murders, and his deputy were not able to figure out what the motive was for the brutal attacks. “The strangest thing is that there is no apparent motive. Any case without an apparent motive is the toughest to solve,” he told the Feather River Bulletin in 1987.

Why Was Tina Taken?

Of course, to most people looking at this case now, there clearly was a potential motive: to take Tina Sharp. Why else would she be the only one missing from the crime scene? In later years, the subsequent sheriffs of Plumas County acknowledged this fact. Former Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood stated that he thought Tina was the main target. He said of the situation:

“You kill three people in a cabin and you leave the remains there to be discovered. I think Tina was absolutely central to why this happened. I think there was something about Tina that could not be left there to be discovered. It’s my strong sense that there’s something about Tina that did not allow for her to be left there.”

Fmr. Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood (Source: ABC 10)

Many have suggested that Tina was taken from the crime scene for sexual purposes. The theory is that after the perpetrators assaulted her and/or kept her captive for a while, they discarded her remains.

However, some have suggested that Tina was murdered at the crime scene because she was a witness to the assaults and murders. This mainly comes from the fact that the counselor who claimed that that Smartt confessed recalled him saying that Tina had seen too much and had to die.

I’m not entirely sold on this theory. If she was dead at Cabin 28, why not just leave her body there with the others? It seems like a waste to have taken her corpse and discarded it elsewhere, and an increased potential for someone to catch the suspects moving a body. Then again, it’s possible, and stranger things have happened.

A view from the back of Cabin 28. The perpetrators are thought to have entered from the back of the home.
A view from the back of Cabin 28. The perpetrators are thought to have entered from the back of the home.

A Conflict of Interest?

Sheriff Doug Thomas also requested assistance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1981, but they didn’t follow through according to Plumas County Sheriff’s special investigator Mike Gamberg in 2018. Furthermore, the Sacramento DOJ sent over two special agents from the organized crime unit — not the homicide unit — to investigate the crime. Since Boubede was rumored to be in some organized crime circles, this does make some sense.

According to Gamberg, the DOJ had an interest in one of the main suspects, Bo Boubede. He’s suggested that the DOJ may have protected Boubede, although there is no evidence that’s been made public that suggests this.

At the time of the murders, Gamberg was a deputy with the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office. However, he was fired, and he’s acknowledged that his contentious personality could be a reason for that. Later, he was reinstated, and he claimed that Sheriff Thomas kept him out of the Keddie cabin investigation.

Sheriff Thomas and Marty Smartt were reportedly “great pals” and spent a lot of time together. Thomas even lived in Cabin 28 prior to the Sharp’s arrival in Keddie. When Smartt was having trouble with Marilyn, his wife, Thomas allowed Smartt to live with him in Cabin 28.

Whether Thomas and Smartt had such a close friendship and if it was a factor in not investigating the case more closely remains up for debate. Certainly, there seems to be at least some evidence pointing to a potential conflict of interest.

2013: The Keddie Case Reopened

In 2013, new Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood decided to look into the case again. It had been over 30 years since the Keddie cabin murders and they still remained unsolved. He reached out to Gamberg, who by that time was a private investigator, to look into the case again to see if it could be solved.

Items of evidence from the Keddie cabin murder scene.
Items of evidence from the Keddie cabin murder scene (Plumas News).

Unorganized Evidence

When Gamberg started going through the boxes of evidence, he realized that everything was in disarray. Some of the evidence in storage was contaminated, the original case history log was missing, and nothing was where it should have been. He said of the case, “This case is as screwed up as a soup sandwich. It’s not about what was done, but what was not done.”

It was during this time when Gamberg was sifting through the evidence that they found the recording of the 911 caller — the one who suggested the found remains were Tina’s well before the medical examiner released that information.

More Accomplices Out There?

Authorities still believe there are accomplices out there who might have more information about the Keddie cabin murders. “I believe there are two individuals that are alive and accessories after the fact,” Detective Mike Gamberg has said. Former Sheriff Hagwood has said of other suspects in the case:

“There are people locally who know more than they’ve said, and I believe we’ve identified some of them, and we know who they are, and we know where they are. And I have every confidence that they either participated after the fact or they have first-hand information” (Plumas News).

Even with a new eye on the evidence, investigators were unable to come to any definitive conclusions about the Keddie cabin murders. The case remains unsolved to this day.

Theories on What Happened

As with so many cases that have gone unsolved for decades, there are a number of theories in the Keddie cabin murder case. Some are in the realm of plausibility while others are outlandish conspiracy theories. That’s not to say that some of the conspiracy theories are impossible, but many of them are improbable. I tried to stick to the more probable theories here for the sake of brevity and clarity.

Smartt & Boubede Committed the Murders

The most prominent theory is that Marty Smartt and Bo Boubede committed the murders. Even without definitive evidence (like DNA or fingerprints) that they were responsible, there is still a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to them. Especially when it comes to Smartt, the circumstances and indirect evidence seem to indicate his culpability:

Of course, it’s possible that there is a reasonable explanation for all of the aforementioned points, but that’s a lot of evidence to explain away if Smartt is not guilty. Of course, since Smartt died in 2000, he isn’t here to defend himself from such accusations.

A front view of Keddie Cabin 28 taken in 2001.
A front view of Keddie Cabin 28 taken in 2001 (Decidedly Grim).

One of Sue’s Boyfriends Committed the Murders

Although Sue’s ex-husband was definitively not the murderer (he lived on the other side of the country at the time), Sue’s other romantic interests couldn’t be ruled out so easily. In her 18 months in Keddie, Sue had gone through three boyfriends, although admittedly none of the relationships had been overly serious.

Sue’s romantic interests were investigated by authorities and seem to have been ruled out. Her latest boyfriend last saw her two days before the murders, suggesting he wasn’t the culprit. It’s still possible that he or one of the other boyfriends committed the murders; there just isn’t a lot of publicly-released evidence pointing to any of them as serious suspects.

Drugs Were the Motive

There is some evidence that both John and Dana were involved with some drugs. An article in the Feather River Bulletin written in May 1987 states: “John Sharp had once broken into a house and stolen some marijuana, and Dana Wingate was a ward of the court and on probation.” One witness also came forward claiming that Dana had stolen some LSD from local drug dealers, but no evidence could be found to back up this statement.

All that being said, a few teenagers dabbling in drugs does not necessarily mean that the murders were committed because of drug involvement. Killing three people and abducting and murdering another over a small amount of marijuana or LSD seems a bit of an extreme response.

Furthermore, if this killing was some sort of revenge for the boys stealing small quantities of drugs, why were the three boys in the front room left untouched? Shouldn’t everyone in the home have been killed because they’d witnessed or heard the crimes taking place?

I’m not convinced that the drug angle played a major role in this case. However, it is possible that law enforcement has additional drug-based evidence that they’re withholding from the public.

A Robbery Gone Wrong

Some have posited that the murders were never intended but rather the result of a robbery gone wrong. After all, the weapons that the murder(s) used were taken from the home. If someone intended to go into the home to commit murder, then surely they would have brought their own weapons with them, no?

I can see this point of view and I agree that it is odd that the weapons used were taken from the home, but there is also no evidence that anything was stolen from Cabin 28. The Sharps were not a well-off family and they wouldn’t have had much to steal in the first place. If a robber was to target a home, why would they target this one?

Furthermore, why would the robber(s) commit such violent murders if their intent was just to rob the place? It’s one thing to strangle someone in order to kill them, and entirely another to spend a lot of time on the scene while torturing the victims. There seems to have been some degree of rage and anger to this killing, emotions that a routine robber would be unlikely to have.

As with any theory though, it’s possible that a robber (or robbers) went in, got angry that there was nothing to steal, and then tortured and killed the victims before abducting Tina.

The now-closed Keddie Resort general store.
The now-closed Keddie Resort general store (The Line Up).

What Do I Think Happened?

The Keddie cabin murder case is a convoluted one, obfuscated more by the four decades that have passed since the murders. Despite this, I feel pretty strongly that Smartt and Boubede were the right suspects in this case. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing at Smartt (and thereby Boubede by association), most of which cannot be easily explained away.

Evidence Points to Smartt

The fact that Smartt not only confessed in a letter to his wife but also to a VA counselor leads me to believe that he and Boubede were responsible for the Keddie cabin murders. Confessing to crimes one didn’t commit is rare, but not unheard of, and I admit it’s possible that Smartt lied. That being said, I think he was telling the truth.

Aside from the confessions, there is the hammer that was found matching Smartt’s description of his own missing hammer, a witness that saw him burning clothes, the fact that he left Keddie shortly after the murders, etc. These actions are all very bizarre for someone who claimed to be innocent.

Other Theories

Now, is it possible that one of the other theories in this case is the correct one? Of course. I just doubt that these brutal murders were the result of petty drug involvement or a robbery gone wrong simply because of how violent they were.

The only other culprit(s) that would have been so savage was someone very angry, perhaps like one of Sue’s ex-lovers. However, based on the publicly-available evidence that I could find, none of them were ever considered suspects or even persons of interest. For that reason, I doubt any of them were involved.

Hope Remains

Despite the time that has passed, authorities are still hopeful that this case can be solved definitively — that is, to have all the answers to all their questions. “I think it would lift an incredible weight to clear the dark skies that have hung over that community and the surviving family members,” Former Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood has said. Gary Wingate, Dana’s father, has said of the case:

“Nobody has the faintest idea who killed my son, so I long ago had to let this thing go or it would eat me alive. I don’t think about it, I don’t go to that ghost town and I have no idea if ghosts exist there. But I do know this. There is evil in this world, and evil was in that house that night.”

Gary Wingate (Source: Unresolved)

Sheila, Sue’s daughter who walked in and discovered the crime scene, told People Magazine, “I don’t think there really is any type of final closure in a murder case. We still have to live on without our loved ones.” She hopes that the case will one day be definitively solved.

Authorities still believe that there are those out there that know more or have more information about the Keddie cabin murders. It’s been far too long and although some suspects in the case may be gone now, it may not be too late for justice to be served.

Case Updates

There have been a number of updates in this case over the years, most of which I covered above. However, there are a few others that I didn’t mention that I’ll include here.

2004: Cabin 28 Demolished

In 2004, Cabin 28 was demolished as it had been a condemned building. Other nearby buildings around the cabin were also razed.

The site where Keddie Cabin 28 once stood. It was demolished in 2004.
The site where Keddie Cabin 28 once stood. It was demolished in 2004 (Wikimedia Commons).

November 2016: Investigation Discovery

In November 2016, an episode on Investigation Discovery called “Cabin 28: Horror in the Woods” aired, telling the story of the Keddie cabin murders.

2017: Cabin 28 Horror Movie

A horror movie called Cabin 28 was released based on the Keddie cabin murders. Its description reads: “Based on one of the most infamous unsolved murder cases in American history, this film follows a family who are terrorized at an isolated cabin by mysterious assailants.”

Do You Have Information?

Despite all the evidence we have so far, the Keddie cabin murders case remains unsolved. If you have information about the case, please contact the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department at (530) 283–6375 or the Keddie Murders Hotline at (530) 283–6360.

Gravestones for the three murder victims of the Sharp family.
Gravestones for the three murder victims of the Sharp family (Find a Grave).

Cold Case Questions

  • Who do you think carried out the Keddie cabin murders?
  • What do you think about a horror film being made about this case?
  • Will this case ever be definitively solved?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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