Sharon Crossthwaite was the daughter of Beryl and Ronnie Crossthwaite, born in 1955. Beryl was a distant cousin of Annie Sugden. During the sheepdog trials in 1973, 18 year old Sharon was followed by Jim Latimer who tried to attack her but was stopped by a homeless man, Ian "Trash" McIntyre, a friend of Jack Sugden. Jack let Trash stay with him but the police treated Trash as a suspect in Sharon's disappearance as he had some of her belongings. Trash later fell to his death out of a window at Mill Cottage and Sharon's body is discovered shortly afterwards. Jim was later arrested and charged with Sharon's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In July 1980, 7 years after her murder, Sharon was the topic of conversation in the village again when Paul Hilleley was writing a book about murders in the Yorkshire Dales. Jim Latimer had served almost 8 years in prison and could be eligible for parole but this was never granted. Paul was forced out of the village for spreading idle gossip about Sharon's murder.