The Unsolved Murders at Cabin 28

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What really happened in cabin 28? This question has been pondered over since 1981. Sue Sharp, a mother of five, was brutally murdered along with three other people in cabin 28. Her five kids were John, Shela, Tina, Rick, and Greg. Sue and her children lived in Connecticut with an abusive father and husband. After years of abuse, Sue left her husband in 1980, and moved to Keddie’s California with her kids to start a new life. Starting off in California, the Sharp family had no money, and were crammed into Sue’s brother’s trailer. Once the family found a stable source of income, they resided in the Keddies Resort in a cabin. There address was cabin 28. 

On April 11, 1981, Sue’s oldest daughter , Shela, had plans to stay at the cabins across the street with the Seabold family. The other siblings stayed at home with their mother that night. Along with the Sharp family, two other people stayed in cabin 28 that night. Two family friends, Justin Smart and Dana Windgate, spent the evening with the Sharps, unaware of what the night had to come. The next morning, April 12th, Shela walked home from her sleep over, oblivious to what occurred while she was out. To her dismay, Shela discovered the bodies of Sue, John, and Dana on the  living room floor, dead. Frantic, Shela searched for the others. She had found her two brothers Rick and Greg, and Justin Smart, sound asleep in their bed room as if nothing had happened. Shela continued to look for her younger sister Tina, but she was nowhere to be found. Many wonder, how is it possible that all three boys slept through a mini massacre?

The crime scene that the murderer left was brutal. Blood splattered the living room walls and floor. Dana, John, and Sue were found bound in electrical wire. Left behind was a bent steak knife, a bloody butcher knife, and a hammer. All of the weapons used had dents and scratches on them due to the amount of force that was being used with them. Sue’s body was found laying on her side and was nude from the waist down. Her throat was slashed and her chest had multiple stabbings. John’s attack was similar to his mother, his throat was slashed as well. Dana appeared to have many head injuries and was strangled to death. The police referred to this as a passionate crime. 

The police were immediately called, and as they went over the scene they found an unidentified fingerprint on the rail outside of their cabin. This was the only lead that the police had to go off of. Later in the investigation, Justin Smart’s mother found a bloody jacket that she thinks belonged to Tina in her basement. Mrs. Smart claims she gave the jacket to the police right away, but there was no record of this happening and the jacket was never used as evidence in the case. Justin’s father, Martin Smart, also sent in a tip, claiming one of his hammers was missing from his home. Martin continued to try to help the police with random clues and tips which made the force think of him as suspicious. 

The cops first started investigating the Seabold family, and they claimed they witnessed a green van outside of Cabin 28 around 9pm. When the police asked other members of the resort what they had seen, most of them explained that the car was not a van, and that it was brown. This left the cops with nothing. Due to the suspicion of the Smart family, Justin Smart was hypnotised by a specialist and recalled that he heard some sounds while he was sleeping. He also claimed he saw Sue with two men, one with a mustache and long hair, the other one beardless with short hair. Both men were described as being in their late twenties. Justin recalled the three murder victims fighting with the two men, and how it eventually got physical. He also explained how Tina walked into the room in which the three boys were staying, but was quickly removed and drug out of the cabin. 

The police then looked at Tina Sharp as a missing persons case. In an attempt to find her, the FBI, helicopter, and service dog searches were all warranted. Days later, on April 22nd,  someone called in an anonymous tip and said where Tina’s body was. Later that day, Tina’s skull was found 50 miles away from the crime scene. With her skull was a childrens blanket, jeans, a jacket, and surgical tape. The first suspect on the police’s list was Martin Smart. His record showed a history of violence and abuse towards his wife. The second suspect was Martin’s roommate, John Bobetty, who was an ex convict. Due to the lack of effort and evidence by the police force, many people believe there was a cover up in the case. In 2001, Dana’s father explained that the police made the case even worse. He too believes there is a cover up involving the case. 

Douge Tomas, the sheriff of Keddie, was accused of being involved with the possible cover up. After weeks of hearing this he responded, “There was no shortage of suspects, but suddenly now everyone 35 or so years later all know what happened and that all of the investigating officers were corrupted. It is laughable is what it is. Martin Smart is not a friend of mine.” Sheriff Tomas was thrown off the case, but it was reopened in  2013 by a new Sheriff, Greg Hagwood. When reopened, there were multiple new discoveries made involving the murders. Within the cabin 28 file, there was a letter written by Martin to his wife. The letter stated, “I paid the price for your love and now that I’ve bought it with four people’s lives you tell me were through? Great. What else do you want?” Mrs.Smart claims she does not recall getting the letter, but was able to confirm that it was written in her husband’s handwriting. 

To understand the case better, Sheriff Hagwood spoke to Martin’s therapist in Nevada. After speaking with the therapist, they found out that Martin had actually confessed to the murders of all four victims. Martin’s therapist had reported his confession to Sheriff Tomas, and was shocked when nothing was done about it. In 2000, Martin passed away along with his roommate who died in 1988. To this day, the case is considered open and under investigation. There are currently six different suspects that Sheriff Hagwood has pieced together, and fortunately, all six are still alive. 

Due to the horrific events, Cabin 28 has been completely demolished. Although the cabin is gone, the case still has so many unanswered questions. Who killed these innocent people and what was the motive? Will there ever be justice for the four individuals who lost their lives?