ABC 20/20’s “There Is A Monster In Me” show about Susan Woods’ murder in Stephenville, Texas, in 1987 has brought a lot of attention to the sad story. The scary story builds as the investigation into Susan’s sad death lasts for twenty years, shocking the small town of Stephenville. While this true crime story is very complicated, Shannon Myers is one of the most important characters. Her life has connections to both Susan Woods and Joseph Scott Hatley. There are some troubling trends in Hatley’s criminal record, as Myers bravely came forward to report not one but two assaults by Hatley.
Who is Shannon Myers?
Shannon Myers is a survivor who came face-to-face with Joseph Scott Hatley in a horrific situation. Hatley spent many nights and weekends at Regina’s drinking vodka and smoking in the backyard. Shannon Myers, a wild 15-year-old from Arkansas who lived next door, caught his attention. Shannon mostly partied at Tarleton State University fraternities. Her mother had almost given up on controlling her.
Shannon befriended Hatley’s cousin Melissa, who babysat Regina’s two kids, that summer of 1987, bored and unoccupied. Shannon started visiting the residence. Her first meeting with Hatley, seven years her senior. They started the relationship. Shannon partied most nights and returned home to smell cigarette smoke. They would have sex in Regina’s bathroom.
What happened to Victim Shannon Myers?
Fifteen-year-old Shannon brought Deedee, her white poodle, to the flat one September night. He became rougher and aggressive during sex. she stopped him. He put a knife to her throat. She says she didn’t object as she worried about Deedee, And then she pushed him, grabbed her dog, and ran out. Shannon insisted on calling the police after telling her mother about the incident. They reported the rape to the authorities, but at the time, Hatley was not charged.
After some time, they met in a laundromat parking lot. Their interaction got aggressive and resulted in a vicious six-hour attack in 1988. He demanded sex and slapped her when she refused. After some time immediately they started brutal intercourse. He smacked her hard after she woke up. He raped her repeatedly, taking breaks to smoke and drink. In the evening he leaves her. Her stepfather called for her mom. They hurried her to the hospital.
Her account was taken seriously this time. Nurses awkwardly administered a rape kit. Since the attack happened outside municipal lines, the Erath County Sheriff’s Office investigated and interviewed her at the hospital. Shannon Myers, wounded and bleeding but alive, told them everything.
Because Miller looked into Hatley’s crime record more, he found that Shannon Myers, 16, told the police a year after Susan Woods’ murder that Hatley, who was 20 at the time, had sexually and physically abused her. Hatley allegedly beat up Shannon, especially in his room. Shannon told the police about Hatley’s violent behavior and his claim that he had killed someone.
Shannon worked hard to get this important information out, but it wasn’t given enough attention during the first review. Shannon agreed to talk about the case with Don Miller, the detective. Shannon was hesitant at first and angry that Miller wasn’t interested in her story right away, but she finally realized that Miller did believe her. She felt like she was being understood and appreciated in a way she hadn’t felt before.
Joseph Scott had a past of being abusive, including hitting Shannon Myers. Last year, in 2006, Hatley was finally caught when new proof connected him to the murder scene of Susan Woods. Scott loved water and bathroom sex. Police later believed that was the same fantasy he had with Susan. During the investigation, Hatley changed his story and said that he had sex with Susan. After that, he made a deal to go to jail for thirty years and give information about one of his cellmates.
Hatley got out of prison in 2018 after just over ten years. he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was having trouble with personal problems and going in and out of work. At the age of 56, Hatley died in 2021 from what was said to be a return of cancer.
Where is Joseph Scott Hatley’s Victim Shannon Myers Now?
After a stressful event involving Joseph Scott Hatley, Shannon Myers had a lot of problems, but she was able to rebuild her life in the end. Shannon Myers left Stephenville and went to live with her mother in Pasadena, which is southeast of Houston, to start over. Shannon went to therapy for years and, despite the problems, thought of herself as a fighter. She got married and her current name is Shannon Myers Barrientos, but they were only together for ninety days. She works for a Houston-area school system. She has visited Stephenville once or twice, although she mainly avoids it. Shannon says that certain memories from her adolescence have simply vanished. The victim said to 20/20, “I’m no longer Scott’s.” “I took that back from me.”