Investigation Discovery’s ‘Evil Lives Here: Three-and-A-half Hours of Hell’ chronicles how Shawn Spink attacked and sexually assaulted his former wife in her Phoenix, Arizona, apartment in mid-September 2018. He brutally tortured and harassed her for over three hours before she managed to escape by her quick thinking on her feet. If you wish to learn more about the case, including what happened to Shawn and his current whereabouts, we’ve your back. Let’s begin then, shall we?
Who Is Shawn Spink?
Originally from Arizona, Sara Pitcher relocated to Indiana, where fate brought her in contact with Shawn Terry Spink, the man she would eventually marry. She recounted how she had been looking for a religious and kind man, and Shawn, with his magnetic personality, passed all her initial tests. Shawn was handsome, drove a semi-truck, and told Sara he was a regular church attendee and helped his community in his spare time. Reflecting on their initial meeting, Sara recalled, “When I first met him, he was incredibly charming and immensely alluring.”
She added, “However, I later understood that these traits were significant characteristics of a narcissist.” On the show, she recalled how Shawn volunteered with her in her church and opened up about his past. He claimed he had been married before but alleged he discovered his former wife in bed with another individual. Shawn asserted he assaulted his wife’s alleged lover and served prison time. While Sara was initially sympathetic to Shawn, she would learn years after that he had lied and was imprisoned for physically abusing his first wife.
Describing Shawn’s unsettling transformation after their marriage, Sara said, “It was after we got married that the possessiveness truly began to surface.” She added, “He didn’t want me to spend time with my friends, participate in activities without him, or even maintain regular contact with my family. It was a deeply unsettling situation.” Over time, Sara was increasingly isolated from her loved ones, and his behavior grew controlling and manipulative. She alluded to several concerning incidents throughout their marriage until she could not take it.
Ultimately, their toxic dynamic compelled Sara to take the agonizing decision to leave Shawn. She returned to Arizona, never imagining that he would pursue her there. However, her hope of a fresh start was shattered when she received a message from him. He professed excitement about coming to Phoenix and starting anew. Sara was skeptical but couldn’t shake the feeling that he was nearby. But she soon realized her apprehensions were not wrong, and her former husband was indeed lurking in the shadows.
“I began noticing signs of his presence near my apartment in north Phoenix,” she revealed, “I even thought I saw a vehicle that resembled ours, which had been stolen in Indianapolis, though it wasn’t an exact match. At times, I thought I spotted him, but I tried to convince myself that it was just my nerves playing tricks on me.” Later, Sara would come to a chilling realization — Shawn had followed her to Arizona. He had been using binoculars to spy on her from a distance, and when confronted by concerned neighbors, he claimed to be a bird watcher.
Unbeknownst to Sara, Shawn had been stalking her every action and patiently waiting to pounce on her at the right moment. He got it on September 15, 2018, when she went to take her dog out. Sara recalled, “I opened my front door, and he was standing around the corner. He had Raid in his hand, sprayed me with Raid, and pushed me back into the apartment. I fell back, and he just got on top of me.” Court documents state he gagged her, zip-tied her wrists, sexually assaulted her, and tried suffocating her over the next three-and-a-half-hour.
Sara recounted, “He stabbed me with the knife I bought for his wedding gift. It said ‘Hubby Shawn’ on it. And I didn’t even see it coming because he had a bag over my face and was trying to suffocate me and was straddling me and was able to put the knife in my eye.” Shawn revealed his disturbing plan to her — he would kill her and then drive off a cliff in his car with her body in the trunk. Sara stated, “He said that if he couldn’t have me, nobody could have me.” However, the brave woman did not lose her wits, which ended up saving her life.
Where Is Shawn Spink Now?
As Shawn suffocated her with a trash bag, Sara concocted a plan. She recalled how she convinced him about her miseries and desire to die with him. However, she craftily revoked nostalgia by reminding him of something they used to do when they were a couple — eat ice cream. She persuaded him to drive through McDonald’s for ice cream before they would die. Covered in blood in her ex-husband’s front seat, she spotted a large group of people gathering in the parking lot and started to scream for help.
Sara managed to escape Shawn’s grip and escape from the car as he sped away but was arrested later. In a poignant courtroom address, Sara recounted her enduring physical and emotional wounds. Her sight in one eye was forever lost due to his brutal facial stabbing. She also revealed that the torment hadn’t ceased, disclosing Shawn’s ongoing threats while he was incarcerated. When Shawn spoke before the judge, he expressed remorse but asserted that his attack lacked premeditation.
However, prosecutors cited his disturbing history of Google searches made over a month prior to the incident which included inquiries about feigning insanity and coercive actions toward a resisting individual. Shawn’s defense counsel advocated for a lenient sentence, citing his tumultuous upbringing, traumatic experiences, and substantial mental health issues as mitigating factors. While he was convicted of all charges, Shawn’s sentencing was postponed on August 26, 2022, after officials alleged he tried to assault an officer.
He was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree sexual assault and 21 years for first-degree attempted murder on August 30, 2022. He was also penalized on five other felonies — seven and a half years on each of two counts of kidnapping, seven and a half years on each of two counts of aggravated assault, two and a half years for a third count of aggravated assault, and one and a half years for unlawful means of transportation. According to official prison records, Shawn, now 48, is incarcerated in the SMUI unit of Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman.
Read More: Sara Pitcher: Where is the Survivor Now?