11 January 1985 – Joseph Carl Shaw

Condemned necrophiliac Joseph Carl Shaw was the first person to be executed in South Carolina since the penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Shaw, or JC to his friends, was slammed in the electric chair for repeatedly raping 14-year-old Carlotta Hartness and killing her, plus her 17-year-old boyfriend Thomas Scofield Taylor, in 1977. He is even said to have returned to the scene of the crime repeatedly over the next few days to have sex with Hartness’ rotting corpse.

Shaw was electrocuted at the Columbia Central Correctional Institution (CCI) on 11 January 1985, aged 35.

Another accomplice was James Terry Roach, who was executed just under a year later.

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9 Responses to “11 January 1985 – Joseph Carl Shaw”

  1. william sparks Says:

    I grew up with JC Shaw. I was a friend of his until the 9th grade. I know he killed those people but it is hard to believe. We road bikes, played and swam together. His parents and brothers are a good family.

  2. I played football with JC when we went to Saint Edwards. If he ever got in trouble with the coach it was far being to soft. I called hin a gentle giant. It is really hard to believe that he would hurt someone. I feel bad for his mom (Mrs Crump), she was a good lady. Something had to happened from the time he left school up untill this happened because that was not JC.

    • alan walk Says:

      i also was a friend of J.C. from 1974 until he enlisted in the army. i was young an impressionable, without a car. J.C. had a blue camaro r.s. even though he was married he would come pick me up,we would get high on weed ane booze. sometimes late at night he would spot a female who was alone and bring up about raping her. I never thought he was serious. i just thank the lord that he didnt act on his desire or i may have been caught up just like those other two unfortunet souls

  3. Clarence E. Bell Jr. Says:

    I was a young Sgt. in the 138th M.P. Co Ft. Jackson, S.C. when I 1st met Shaw. As I walked into the Arms Room I saw a heavy-set guy holding a shotgun pointed at a fellow M.P. He said “I’ll blow your f…ing head off you don’t believe it? Everybody just stood around while this Spec.4 Bellamy said put that damn thing down.” Shaw turned to me and said how do you like being a pig? I said I don’t know I just got here he said well it sux. Other MP’s warned me to stay away from him because they had him under surveillence for drug dealing.
    It week-end entertainment to chase Shaw in his car on fridays. I remember I was at Mental health to have a exam prior to applying for D.I. school (never did go) a Lt. came out and told him he might as well leave because he knew who he was and he was not getting out of the Army. My last memory I was in the TV room with a hangover and Shaw came in saying hey Bell ya wanna get high? I started to get up but I was too sick, so I begged off.. He said P…..y and left out. It turns out that was the night he killed Betty Swank. Oh yeah Roach used to be in our M.P. Co too !

  4. Carl R Penrod Says:

    I knew JC Shaw in high school. I knew his wife Karen from the first grade until graduation from high school. JC was a good friend of my buddy Bill Sparks and they used to hang out together. JC seemed like he was a little wild, but at that time we all were. It is still hard to believe all the stories that I have heard and the things I have read. My heart goes out to the families of his victims and to JC’s family.

  5. Patrick Nance Says:

    I played football with 17 year-old Tommy Taylor, and 14 year-old Carlotta Hartness was one of our cheerleaders. Joseph Carl Shaw murdered my friends. Tommy and Carlotta never got to see their high school graduation, never got to experience college, marriage or start families of their own. I still remember them as the children they were before Shaw and his accomplices took their precious lives so violently. After nearly 33 years, my heart still aches for the indescribable pain the Taylor and Hartness families endured at the hands of three disgusting criminals. As an attorney and as a wiser adult, I have come to oppose the death penalty. However, I am quite confident that our world is a better place without JC Shaw, and I have lost no sleep when pondering his execution.

  6. James Royle Says:

    I never met Shaw, but on the morning of his execution I stood in the cold outside CCI in Columbia, SC. I was amazed at the pro-execution faction’s behavior. It was like they were attending a freaking football pep rally.
    The one thing no one ever mentions is that the capital punishment facility is vented to the outside to allow the smells to clear. That morning the wind bore the odor across the prison to where our group was. To this day I cannot forget that smell.
    It is tragic that Shaw had to die, but if ANYONE in this world deserved it-HE DID.

  7. John Perkins Says:

    I used to tease my sister and Carlotta by throwing their Ken doll up on the roof and Carlotta would laugh, laugh, and giggle with my sister as they acted like I was so mean. I can still see her laugh. She was a wonderful little girl. I feel so bad for Mr. & Mrs. Heartness, and Tommy Taylor’s parents as well. My sister was forever scarred by this tragedy. I know it is wrong to hate, but I hate those kind of scum, that would take away something beautiful and which was part of a world that gave people smiles. I can even hear her voice in my mind when I remember her. I used to play little league baseball where they were attacked. So sad… I miss her.

  8. robert reeves Says:

    my self and randy taylor and some football friends went to see him play that friday night and that saturday he was murderd… let me tell you not a day goes by i dont think about them i live off polo rd and everytime to this day i ride by there and it comes to mind….. i hope them sob”s are burnning in hell for what they did to my friend and their family may they rot in hell…rob!

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