This pleasant tale comes to us out of Pinellas County, Florida. What began as a rivalry between two jealous teens ended in bloody murder.
This particular story hits close to home. As a 27-year resident of the Tampa Bay area, I know Pinellas Park well. Home to many working / middle class families, it is just minutes from some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. But just like many other densely populated areas, it has its share of problems.
There are many clichĂ© elements of this storyâ€”you have two teenage girls who are crazy about the same kid. Josh, who some portray as a tattooed, pot-smoking troublemaker, had allegedly been two-timing them. He apparently took his thuggery seriously, and even brandishes what looks like a real gun in one of the photos the victim took on her cell phone.
But it wouldnâ€™t be the bad boy who ended up dead, nor would he be accused of stabbing a steak knife into a young girlâ€™s heart. No, that dramatic scenario would be played out by two of his biggest admirers.
After many run-ins over their shared love, things got out of control. Nasty messages were posted online, and Rachel Wade (pictured above) claims to have caught wind that Sarah Ludemann and a group of friends were going to attack her. The defense claimed that Rachel brought a steak knife along with her for self-defense purposes, but neither side disputed that it ended up being used in the brutal attack.
The St. Petersburg Times ran a huge feature on the story last Sunday, which provided a fantastic run down of the events leading up to the incident. Known for their award winning journalism, The Times examined the human-interest angle of the story. You can find that piece here.
Iâ€™ve also included some photos and video related to the Rachel Wade Trial and Sarah Ludemann murder below. Sarah is in the center photo.