True Crime On This Day April 12th

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day April 12th

April 12th

On April 12th in true crime, racial murder, coup d’état, Keddie Resort murders, amateur hitman, drive-by shooting, and cold cases.


In Beauford County, South Carolina, John H. Plath and his cousin John Arnold, raped and strangled to death 33-year-old Betty Gardner.

She had been hitchhiking to visit her father when she was picked up by the cousins. They ended up raping, stabbing and strangling her before carving ‘KKK’ onto her body.

Both Plath and Arnold were sentenced to death for the crime and were both executed in 1998.


In Marshall County, Indiana, Larry C. Williams and an accomplice, Larry Perkins, killed a friend of theirs. They had gone to Jesse Hubbard’s home with the sole purpose of blackmailing him.

After a night of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, the pair decided to rob him instead. Perkins hit Hubbard on the head with a gun and then Williams stabbed Hubbard to death with a butcher’s knife. Both were arrested shortly after.

Perkins entered into a plea bargain and testified against Williams who was later sentenced to death. In 1988, the death sentence was commuted to 120 years in prison.


In Monrovia, Liberia, 20th President of Liberia, William Richard Tolbert Jr. was removed from power. The coup was led by Samuel Doe who succeeded Tolbert from 1980 until 1990.

In the early hours, 17 officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia, led by Doe, launched an attack on the Presidential Palace.

They killed 27 people, before dumping their bodies in a mass grave. Tolbert and other government officials were executed on the 22nd.


In Sierra Nevada, California, a quadruple homicide took place in Cabin 28 of the Keddie Resort, which shocked the region and has remained unsolved ever since.

Tina Sharp, her children Susan Lynn Sharp, John Steven Sharp, and John’s friend, Dana Hall Wingate, were slaughtered by an unknown number of assailants. They were killed in the late hours of the 11th and the early hours of the 12th.

By the time the morning came around, the bodies of Tina, John, and Dana, were found in the Cabin, while Tina’s body was missing, later discovered in 1984. Three other youngsters in the cabin had remained unharmed.

At seven in the morning on the 12th, Tina’s 14-year-old daughter, Sheila, returned to the cabin to find the bodies. The three youngsters had been bound then stabbed to death and beaten with a hammer. Susan was found nude from the waist down and had been gagged with her own panties.

Tina’s skull and bone fragments were discovered at Camp Eighteen, near Feather Falls, California, in April of 1984. Multiple leads and suspects had appeared over the years but no charges have ever been brought forward.

In 2016, a hammer was discovered in a nearby pond which reignited intense public interest in the case. The initial investigation was said to have been marred with many mistakes, including overlooked evidence and a letter from Tina’s husband detailing the breakdown of his marriage.

Despite documentaries, cold case investigations, and new evidence, the Keddie Murders remain unsolved. 


In Manhattan, New York, amateur hitman Donald Nash was paid $8,000 (USD) to kill CBS employee Margaret Barbera. He was also paid the same amount to kill another CBS employee, Jenny Soo Chin, on January 5th 1982 but her body has never been recovered.

He had been hired by Candor Diamond Corporation’s former owner Irwin Margolies, as he feared both women had informed federal prosecutors about his $5.7million (USD) Ponzi scheme. Nash shot dead Barbera on a rooftop in Midtown Manhattan.

He was arrested seven days later and subsequently sentenced to 100 years in prison. Margolies was later arrested and sentenced to 50 years in prison.


In Lexington County, South Carolina, 29-year-old West Columbia police officer Daniel Cogburn, was shot dead in a drive-by-shooting.

The attack took place while Cogburn was writing a traffic ticket for a separate incident. Entirely unprovoked, the gunman, Robert South, fired his weapon out of his car window and killed the rookie officer.

South was arrested shortly after and sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in South Carolina on May 31st. 1996.

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