“Someone She Knows” is a true story movie inspired by the murder of Amanda Shaffer and her killer David Woodward. The movie first aired on ABC in October of 1994 as a true story movie of the week. All the names were changed in the film. It stars Markie Post and Gerald McRaney, according to Variety.
The real murder gripped headlines in 1986 when five year-old Amanda Shaffer went missing from her mobile park home in Goddard, KS. She was last seen riding her bike. The next day she was found murdered. Her murder was unsolved for 5 years.
In 1991 an intense police investigation revealed that campus cop David Woodward had been responsible for the kidnap and murder of Amanda Shaffer. When police searched his residence they found many pornographic videos.
The following is an interview that took place between Traciy Curry-Reyes and the mother of Amanda Shaffer, Belinda Sorrell.
Belinda’s mom was in good spirits and was willing to speak with me about the crime.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: So have you kept up with the killer David Woodward?
Belinda: Oh yeah, I keep up with everything. Of course, now he is trying to say that he didn’t do it.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: I was never able to find any photos or original news articles about her when she was missing or when her body was found. Were there any articles written about it before the 1991 article?
Belinda: Well, no because they found her body the next day. But when they found her, the Wichita Eagle printed some articles.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: A lot of people like to compare the events in the movie with the way it actually happened. Can you tell me if everything happened pretty much the way that it did in the movie?
Belinda: No, the movie was so far away from what actually happened.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: Did the police really come to you and tell you what happened as they did in the movie?
Belinda: Yes, it happened that way.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: In the movie the neighbors in the trailer park where you lived turned completely against you. Were you really going around knocking on doors trying to find out what happened to Amanda?
Belinda: No, they didn’t turn against me, but it would bother them that every year I would call the newspaper like every year for 5 years, and that would bother them. And even he (David Woodward) would make comments to the neighbors about me.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: You mean that he was tired of you bringing it up?
Traciy Curry-Reyes: Were you really close friends with David Woodward?
Belinda: No, we were not friends but our kids played together. Amanda would play with his kids. He actually helped me try to find her the day that it happened. We drove around for 2 hours trying to find her, and I sent him a thank you letter. That just makes me sick. If I had known then that he was the one that did it, I would have killed him. Even if I see him now.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: Now did you suspect him as time passed?
Belinda: No, I never ever suspected him. No one did.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: Not even the police? He was a police officer right? But at a university or something like that?
Belinda: Yeah, he had been on the police force for years and years, but at that time he worked for the university police. No, the police suspected me. They would call me and make me come downtown to take lie detector tests.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: So no one knew anything.
Belinda: No, no one knew anything until he got in trouble about that other girl. This went unsolved for 5 years before they caught him.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: And so you were under suspicion all that time?
Traciy Curry-Reyes: What about his wife at the time. Do you know how she reacted to all of this?
Belinda: She stuck by him.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: Really?
Belinda: Yeah, she stuck by him for a long time, I think they’re divorced now, but she stayed with him years after that happened.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: And so I see that you are remarried. Do you think that the stress of everything that happened heavily impacted your relationship at the time?
Belinda: No, no if it had not been for him I would have killed myself. He was the person that helped me through this for 11 years and we’re still friends until this day.
Traciy Curry-Reyes: So you no longer live in Goddard. How long did you stay there after the murder.
Belinda: Until 1999.
At the end of the phone call I told her how thankful I was that she took the time to speak with me, and that hopefully, my call did not make her sad. She assured me that she was not sad. She told me that Amanda was the only child that she could have. Amanda was the only child that “she ever wanted.”
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Poor little Amanda Shaffer was taken from her home in Goddard, KS. She was only 5 years old at the time. Her murder was not solved until 1991.
Amanda Shaffer of Goddard, Kansas
Here is another photo of Amanda Shaffer, the Goddard, KS, child that was kidnapped from her trailer park home in 1986. The police felt like someone who knew the child had something to do with her murder.
Here is Amanda Shaffers mother Belinda Sorrell. She was devastated by her daughter’s death. She had no idea that David Woodward, the WSU cop that she knew as her neighbor, was responsible for the crime.
David Woodward was working as a campus university cop when he murdered and killed Amanda Shaffer. According to neighbors, he helped look for Amanda Shaffer. He got away with this murder for a few years until he was being investigated for another crime.
David Woodward Now
Here is a more recent photo of killer cop David Woodward of Goddard, KS. His wife stuck by him the entire time. Belinda Sorrell thinks that his wife finally divorced him many years later.
David Woodward Today
No one in the Goddard mobile home community could believe that David Woodward could be capable of such a crime. The cop was considered by neighbors as a mild tempered guy. All of the kids loved to swim in his above ground pool. He is eligible for parole in 2021.
The Sandra Cantu case is eerily similar to the Amanda Shaffer case. Sandra Cantu was an eight year old little girl who disappeared from the trailer park where she was living. The last image of her was captured on camera as she skipped down the street. A trusted female neighbor was tried and convicted for her murder.