CHAPTER 10: That Gut Feeling
With the new year of 1983 came conflicting emotions from the last supporter of Dale Johnston. He told authorities he had wrestled with his conscience and now believed Dale killed the kids.
Earl Sheets recalled Dale visiting his trailer the day after Thanksgiving, 1982. Dale discussed how religion helped him cope with Annette’s death and the public’s persona of his guilt and invited him to Grove City to attend the church he and Sarah visit often, claiming the members were “very understanding and very supportive.”
Earl said after hearing those words, he and Dale locked eyes, and his “gut feeling” told him Dale murdered the teenagers. The room that day got so quiet, “you could have heard a fly sneeze,” he said.
He described the moment as being like a “bolt of lightnin’.” Dale left immediately, and the two never spoke alone again. Earl was left terrified and debating over what just took place.