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Sharon Carr, the youngest female murderer to be convicted in the UK

Sharon Carr, when she was just 12, became Britain's youngest killer when she stabbed a stranger to death in 1992.

Sharon Louis Carr’s first known crime was the murder of 18-year-old Katie Rackliff. The victim was a hairdresser who dreamed of opening her own beauty salon.

A few weeks before the crime, Katie had broken up with her boyfriend and was unsettled because of it. To assist her, her friends asked her out on the evening of June 6, 1992.

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The girls went to a pub and for some unknown reason got separated from their friends during the night. The party ended around 4am, and Katie was no longer in the area. She lived about 7km from the party, so it is believed that she took a cab or a ride home.

Katie Rackliff is found dead

At 7 a.m. the next day, almost 3 miles (5 km) away from the pub, Katie’s body was found in an alley. She was half-naked, and had been stabbed. In all there were 32 stab wounds, the most brutal were in the area of her genitals, and there was a huge pool of blood under her body.

The scene indicated a sex crime, and since the girl had been taken to a remote location, everything indicated that the perpetrator was in his 20s or 30s and was a man strong enough to carry her there.

Forensics found that Katie was stabbed over a long period of time, the perpetrator alternated between superficial stabs and deeper cuts. He probably felt exhilaration while torturing his victim and some of the wounds were inflicted after Katie was already dead.

Investigation failed and a new attack

Two years had passed since this crime, the police still had no leads, until on June 7, 1994, exactly two years after the first attack the authorities were called to a school.

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A student had brutally stabbed her classmate in the school bathroom. The victim was Ann Marie Clifford who had been lured by Sharon Carr, then 14, with the excuse of looking for a lost coin.

Ann Marie fortunately survived the attack, even though her lung was punctured by a knife, and was able to testify against Sharon. She told police that upon entering the bathroom with her colleague, Sharon quickly knocked her to the floor and proceeded to slide the knife under her body while laughing disturbingly.

Ann Marie managed to fight Sharon off and get up, but as she was about to leave the bathroom she was stabbed in the back that caused her to fall. Students passing in the hallway heard Ann’s screams and managed to prevent the scene of aggression from leading to a fatal outcome.

Sharon Carr was immediately taken to a psychiatric hospital. Because of this attempted murder, she was sentenced to 2 years in a prison for juvenile offenders.

Who was Sharon Carr?

Sharon was born in Belize, Central America, a former British colony. Her family was extremely poor, and she and her siblings lived with hunger on a daily basis.

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The father was an alcoholic and the mother had erratic behavior, she applied violent punishments on her children, such as putting pepper on the children’s genitals and burning their bodies with cigarettes.

When Sharon was eight years old, her mother met a British soldier who was on a mission in the region. When he needed to return to England, they decided to marry and moved with the children to Surrey, England.

At that time, the family’s living conditions improved a lot, and for the first time Sharon was able to attend school and get quality food. She quickly adapted to her new life, made several friends, and joined the basketball team.

A while later Sharon completely changed her behavior, became aggressive, started hanging out with friends who used drugs and committed crimes. At the age of 11 she was already addicted to marijuana.

A curiosity about the family is the fact that Sharon and her mother practiced voodooism, and that this influenced the girl to kill and behead animals for rituals.

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Around the same time the school problems began, her mother’s husband decided to get a divorce, tired of the aggressiveness he faced in the marriage.

The situation got much worse at this time, and in a fit of rage, Sharon witnessed her mother throwing a pan of hot oil at her husband, causing him severe burns.

The military man says that Sharon, while watching the scene, acted as if nothing had happened. It is known that the girl had witnessed domestic violence practically since birth, so it was common for her not to be shocked by scenes like this.

Psychiatric hospital

After being convicted of the attempted murder of her schoolmate, Sharon was about to be released after serving her two-year sentence. At this point, in order to attract attention from other inmates, she began bragging about a murder she had allegedly committed when she was 12 years old.

This story quickly spread throughout the institution and Sharon was questioned by the police with the help of psychologists. After 27 hours of interrogation, Sharon confessed to the murder of Katie Rackliff in detail.

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A police search of Sharon’s home revealed a diary in which she gave details of Katie’s murder and wrote about her intense desire to kill.

I am a killer. Killing is my business — and business is good.

I was born to be a murderer. Killing for me is a mass turn-on and it just makes me so high I never want to come down. Every night I see the Devil in my dreams — sometimes even in my mirror, but I realise it was just me.

I bring the knife into her chest. Her eyes are closing. She is pleading with me so I bring the knife to her again and again.

Samples from Sharon Carr’s diary.

In confessing to the crime, Sharon said that she was driving that night with two older friends. They spotted Katie on the street, who appeared to be drunk, and offered her a ride. The young woman accepted.

During the ride Katie realized that something bad was going to happen to her, so she managed to jump out of the moving car and run toward a park. But she was chased by Sharon, knocked to the ground and then stabbed.

The two men did not participate in the crime; they abandoned the two girls in the street as soon as they realized that Sharon got out of control and started running after Katie. After committing the crime she dragged Katie’s body to an alley and left it there.

Justice for victims

Finally in March 1997, Sharon Carr was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the murder of Katie Rackliff. Because the crime happened when she was only 12 years old, her case served for several studies, and she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, when symptoms of schizophrenia, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations join with madness and depression.

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In 2020, her request for a sentence reduction was denied after it was proven that Sharon was planning the murder of another inmate, so a judge ruled that she should be imprisoned indefinitely.

Sharon Carr is still in jail.