Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Internet Assisted Suicide - The Story of Sharon Lopatka

A Date with Death

On October 13, 1996, 35-year-old Sharon Lopatka left her Hampstead, Maryland, home to travel to North Carolina. Sharon had told her husband, Victor, that she was traveling to Georgia to visit friends. One week later, Victor was surprised to discover a mysterious note written by his wife suggesting instead a bizarre, clandestine trip.

Sharon Lopatka's shallow grave (AP/Wide World)
Sharon Lopatka's shallow grave
(AP/Wide World)
Victor immediately called the police, who looked for evidence to Sharon's whereabouts on her computer. They found e-mails suggesting that Sharon had visited someone in Lenoir, North Carolina. On October 25, 1996, North Carolina police found Sharon's decomposing naked body buried a short distance from the trailer of the person she went to visit. Her hands and feet had been bound with rope and a nylon cord had been strung around her neck. Investigators also found scrape marks around her neck and breasts. According to the Associated Press, the medical examiner determined that she died of strangulation - the violent death Sharon had wished for.


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