Pretty Little Killers

Pretty Little

KILLERS

Pretty Little

KILLERS

The Truth Behind the

Savage Murder of

Skylar Neese

D
ALEEN
B
ERRY

AND
G
EOFFREY
C. F
ULLER

BenBella Books, Inc.

Dallas, TX

Copyright © 2014 by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller

Family photographs on pages
3
,
7
,
12
,
89
, and
214
courtesy of Dave and Mary Neese

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This book is a work of non-fiction; however, certain liberties have been taken with scenes and dialogue in an attempt to recreate what happened the night Skylar Neese was murdered. So, this is the authors' version of what might have happened that fateful evening, based on extensive research. It is their attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible. Some names and locations have been changed to protect the privacy and anonymity of the people they interviewed.

BenBella Books, Inc.

10300 N. Central Expressway, Suite #530 | Dallas, TX 75231

www.benbellabooks.com
| Send feedback to
[email protected]

First e-book edition: July 2014

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Berry, Daleen.

Pretty little killers : the truth behind the savage murder of Skylar Neese / by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller.

        
pages cm

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-940363-66-0 (electronic) 1. Murder—West Virginia—Morgantown—Case studies. 2. Murder--Investigation—West Virginia—Morgantown—Case studies. I. Title.

HV6534.M778B47 2014

364.152'3092—dc23

[B]

2014017783

Editing by Erin Kelley

Copyediting by James Fraleigh

Proofreading by Greg Teague and Cape Cod Compositors, Inc.

Cover design by Sarah Dombrowsky

Text design by Silver Feather Design

Text composition by John Reinhardt Book Design

Distributed by Perseus Distribution |
www.perseusdistribution.com

To place orders through Perseus Distribution:

Tel: 800-343-4499 | Fax: 800-351-5073

E-mail:
[email protected]

 

Significant discounts for bulk sales are available. Please contact Glenn Yeffeth at
[email protected]
or 214-750-3628.

For Skylar's family—may you find peace
.

And for today's youth, the first generation to grow up swimming in social media, and to their parents, who must help them navigate strange waters
.

Contents

Relevant Individuals

Preface

One:
Where the Children Play

Two:
Early Years

Three:
The Lesbian Connection

Four:
Big Girls Do Cry

Five:
The Game of Death

Six:
She'll Tell Our Secrets

Seven:
Skylar Neese Must Die

Eight:
Vanished

Nine:
On the Verge

Ten:
The Timeline

Eleven:
Long Weekend

Twelve:
Rumor and Silence

Thirteen:
Nagging Doubts

Fourteen:
A Wild Child Runaway

Fifteen:
Gone

Sixteen:
Digging a Hole

Seventeen:
Business in Blacksville

Eighteen:
The Wall Is Built

Nineteen:
A Spy in the House?

Twenty:
Facebook Friction

Twenty-One:
Social Problems

Twenty-Two:
Roll Call

Twenty-Three:
Two's Company . . .

Twenty-Four:
Behind the Scenes

Twenty-Five:
About a Boy

Twenty-Six:
You're Either With Us . . .

Twenty-Seven:
And Tara Makes Three . . .

Twenty-Eight:
Facebook Follies

Twenty-Nine:
Opening Night Approaches

Thirty:
Becky's Rant

Thirty-One:
Hiding Out

Thirty-Two:
About a Girl's Car

Thirty-Three:
Contents under Pressure

Thirty-Four:
Nervous Breakdown

Thirty-Five:
“We Stabbed Her”

Thirty-Six:
All That Remains

Thirty-Seven:
Skylar's Law

Thirty-Eight:
Finding Skylar

Thirty-Nine:
The Close of the Day

Forty:
Rachel Cops a Deal

Forty-One:
Looks Can Deceive

Forty-Two:
Skylar Comes Home

Forty-Three:
Her Day in Criminal Court

Forty-Four:
Judgment Days

Forty-Five:
On Three!

Forty-Six:
The Affair

Forty-Seven:
Society Is Naïve

Timeline of Events

Red Flags for Parents to Watch for—and Prompt Actions to Take

Acknowledgments

Relevant Individuals

The following people appear in the pages of
Pretty Little Killers
. This is not meant to imply cooperation with the authors' investigation or interview process, however—only that the individual played a role in the case.

The Neese Family

        
Skylar Neese
  |  The only child of Dave and Mary Neese, Skylar was a University High School (UHS) honors student focused on her goals of earning a scholarship, attending college, and becoming a lawyer. The sunny sixteen-year-old was an informal counselor for many of her friends.

        
Mary Neese
  |  Skylar's mother and an administrative assistant in a cardiac lab, Mary fought like a mama bear to find out what really happened the night of July 6, 2012. She fought equally hard for the return of Skylar's remains and for justice for her only child. Mary prefers not to speak in televised interviews, but she has been active on Facebook.

        
Dave Neese
  |  Skylar's father and a product assembler at Walmart, Dave reluctantly took center stage before the media: discussing his daughter's murder, fighting for passage of Skylar's Law, and seeking justice for his little girl.
Dave's on-camera dignity, despite his visible grief and anger, has been widely commented on by the public.

        
Carol Michaud
  |  Skylar's maternal aunt, Carol developed a special bond with Skylar when she was born that lasted until the teen's death. She read the Bible to her niece and took her to church, and the two loved to playfully argue and prank each other.

        
Kyle Michaud
  |  Skylar's brainiac older cousin and Carol's son, Kyle was once like a big brother to Skylar. He watched as she grew into a popular, pretty teen and questioned her choice of friendship in Shelia, whom he called a “bad seed” when the girls were still in middle school.

        
Joanne Nagy
  |  Dave's aunt by marriage, who lost contact with her ex-husband's side of the family after the divorce, Joanne had begun reestablishing connections with the Neeses when Skylar disappeared. Joanne was a great comfort to Mary and Dave, as well as a one-woman army when it came to coordinating volunteers to search for Skylar in the fall of 2013.

        
Rikki Woodall
  |  A cousin of Skylar's who did not know her at all. This didn't stop her from posting a Facebook alert about Skylar's disappearance, however.

        
The Hunts
  |  Jennifer and her son, Hayden, started the first and largest Facebook page, TeamSkylar<3. At first useful in the search for Skylar, TeamSkylar<3 degenerated into a forum for gossip and innuendo. Jennifer Hunt's claims to insider information became increasingly bizarre throughout the fall of 2013.

Skylar's Friends and Acquaintances

        
Shania Ammons
  |  One of Skylar's closest friends, Shania is a fiery redhead and Clay-Battelle High School volleyball player. She hung out with Shelia Eddy and Skylar as much as Rachel Shoaf did. Because she came to Shelia's defense early on, she was viewed as a suspect in Skylar's disappearance and falsely accused by many local teens. She is still ostracized by them today.

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