Murder of Lander Spears and Bobbie Spears by their daughter Shanda Crain profiled on Snapped

Shanda Crain profile pic
Shanda Crain is serving a life sentence for killing her parents. Pic credit: Oxygen

Snapped on Oxygen is taking a second look at the murder of Lander Spears and Bobbie Spears, who were gunned down by their daughter, Shanda Crain, at their home in a rural part of Washington Parish, Lousiana.

The police believe Crain shot dead her parents so she could pocket $300,000 from a life insurance policy and pay off her debts from a video poker habit.

On January 25, 1995, investigators say Crain went to her parents’ home to pick up one of her three children. After putting the child into the car, she went back into the house, where she used her father’s .38-caliber pistol to shoot him once in the head while he slept.

Crain then turned the gun on her mother, shooting her once in the chest. Bobbie reportedly staggered into her husband’s room before falling into the hallway, where she died. Lander was 58, and Bobbie was 51.

The police later learned Crain had an extreme video poker habit, causing her to continue playing until she lost everything. Prosecutors later claimed she was taking money for bills from her husband, Brent Crain, and was then stealing from her parents.

Shanda Crain stealing from Lander and Bobbie Spears before murder

Crain had been forging checks from her parents’ bank accounts, and she actually cut the phone line to their house to prevent the bank from contacting them.

The extended Spears family suffered incredible misfortune around the same time. Crain’s uncle, Richard Spears, was murdered the same month as Lander and Bobbie, and a cousin, Howard Spears, was killed the previous December. Crain tried to blame all four murders on the same people.

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However, Richard had died in an armed robbery, and Howard was murdered during a domestic dispute. The three crimes were unrelated.

The cops eventually received a confession from Crain, but she claimed she was coerced by her husband. She later recanted her confession.

Shanda Crain sentenced to life for killing parents, Lander and Bobbie Spears

In January 1997, Crain was found guilty of first-degree murder. The jury did not unanimously agree on the death penalty, so she automatically received a life sentence.

Crain has received support from people who believe she was framed. Supporters claim there was no real motive for the killings and no forensic evidence. They also argue that witnesses were coerced into testifying against her.

Even Washington Parish Sheriff Duane Blair admitted the killing was strange because the Spears couple were completely devoted to their daughter and would have given her money if she had asked.

As of writing, Crain remains incarcerated at the Louisiana Dept of Corrections facility in Baton Rouge.

This episode of Snapped airs again on Friday at 6/5c on Oxygen.

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