December 9, 1994. Night. The fifteen-year old girl had finished girls’ basketball practice at her high school in Alexander City, Alabama.
Unusual to have a practice on Friday night, but that was because a basketball tournament was starting the next day.
Chanty was to call her brother to come pick her up at the school. She never called him.
For you weathernatics, you might expect a cold December night approaching Christmas. In the South a white Christmas is rare.
The night was mild. There was no weather reporting station in Alexander City, which is wedged off the Interstate between Birmingham and Montgomery. At 6 o’clock that night Birmingham stood at 62 degrees, and 8 and 10 o’clock at 61. Montgomery held steady at 64 for all those time periods. Montgomery became foggy after midnight, and Birmingham cloudy, foggy and some rain moved in after midnight. This all according to the National Weather Service. The next night the weather gravitated more toward winter as it dropped into the low 40’s.
Where was Chanty after basketball practice? She was last seen at first a discount store, then a convenience store in the same vicinity.
Who was she seen with? Several boys according to a report from Google News, which seems to be a reprint from the Alexander City “The Outlook”, the local paper.
Were there any other girls present? There is no indication of that.
Then she disappeared, never to be seen alive again. On February 24, 1995, approximately 2 ½ months later her body was found behind a lumber yard that was no longer in use, and behind that an abandoned house trailer, and behind that a ditch. Her body was in the ditch. I won’t go into further details, but you can imagine what happened to her. The location was five miles from Alexander City. It was in another county, so it covered two police jurisdictions, where she disappeared from, and where her body was found.
There was no information about how far the convenience store was from her house, but she would have never tried to walk home, having to travel a dangerous road at night. Besides she knew her brother was still waiting at home to come pick her up.
There were no reports of her being abducted from the convenience store by a person unknown.
That did happen in a story of a murder I wrote about in Birmingham several years before. The college student, a young lady, was kidnapped right in front of a convenience store just down from the college, and the clerk in the convenience store saw nothing, or at least claimed he didn’t.
Chanty’s only mode of transportation to leave the convenience store would have been with one of the boys there or more than one.
Which of the boys had cars that night? Surely all of the boys there knew whom she left with, or more than one.
I’m quite certain the police found out the names of all the boys there that night and who had cars.
Alexander City had a population around 15,000, and that is the size where everybody knows everybody else.
Her family, her father being a long-haul trucker, had moved from Eureka, Illinois only two months before, a town of about 5,000. There was nothing said about why, but I assume to a lower crime area, and the potential for a more normal life.
Mitch Sneed wrote a feature for the Alexander City “The Outlook” on 12/9/14, the 20th anniversary of Chanty’s disappearance, a poignant story. I urge you to look it up, and read it.
The entire family was seeking closure, but that could only come when her killer is found. Her mother, Gloria still lived in Alexander at the time of the story, along with Chanty’s older brother. Chanty’s father lived with Chanty’s stepmother and either with a brother or sister in another town at the time Chanty went missing. I can’t remember the town, maybe Nashville.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with my theory. I have to emphasize this is my theory, otherwise I’ll get sued.
Was this a murder pact? One, two, three boys left the convenience store with Chanty, and if they were not taking her home, where were they going, and what were they about to do?
That does not take long for me to imagine, and I doubt it will for my readers either.
The other boys who left the convenience store that night in separate cars had to think what was about to happen. For some reason boys often joke about those things, probably in the convenience store. I’m sure there was no thought of murder, but of another activity.
That other activity can go horribly wrong very quickly when one of those present does not wish to participate.
Did that happen? I don’t know, but Chanty had to be with one or more in my estimation.
If it wasn’t a murder pact, was there a threat that if anybody talked, they themselves would be murdered. And even if someone stepped forward, in their own minds, they might think they would be arrested for conspiracy to commit murder
We’re at almost 22 years now. You boys who did not participate in her murder, need to come forward. You owe it to the family of Chanty Shiverdecker.
If nothing happened that night, then tell us you left Chanty at the convenience store by herself, and that is the last you saw of her.
I don’t think you can do that.
Do any of you boys have a conscience?