ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Sandie Webb doesn't believe in coincidences.
But her connection to one of Georgia's most fascinating cold cases certainly hints at one.
“You couldn't make this up if you tried,” she said. “It's hard to say what we were processing. It was like, this doesn't happen.”
The vanishing of Mary Shotwell Little and the unsolved murder of Diane Shields have captivated Georgians for decade from the media to bloggers and podcast sleuths.
After 54 years of silence, Webb spoke exclusively to CBS46 for the first time about their friendship.
“Unless you knew me 50 years ago, I don't tell anybody about it,” she said.
Webb was not only friends, but roommates with Little and Shields.
At Webb’s wedding – Shields met the man who would ask her to marry – and even caught the bouquet.
“She had so much going for her,” said Webb. “She's a beautiful girl and her life was just snatched away.”
Her link to the two women made Webb a suspect and the center of conspiracy theories that have haunted her, as much as, the loss of her friends.
“I had to just cut out the first part of my life,” she said.
Webb was among the first people interviewed by police following Little's disappearance from Lenox square in 1965.
Webb, and her boyfriend Bill, had returned home from a weekend trip when police shoved her into an unmarked car.
“It was horrible. Horrible. They were just yelling all at once. ‘We know you killed her.’ ‘Where did you put her body? Why did you leave town?’” she said.
Webb told CBS46 she was ostracized by her friends and sorority sisters following Shields' death which hit her exceptionally hard.
“I got to where I really liked Diane and we became close,” she said.
The bond surprised even Webb, who said their initial meeting got off to a rocky start.
“She came over for dinner that night, I’ll never forget because I probably wasn’t very nice,” Webb said.
Webb’s roommates had suggested Shields after a room became available in their apartment.
The two quickly became fast friends.
“She was petite, pretty, quiet which totally was unlike the rest of us,” she said.
In 1967, Shields was found at an East Point laundromat parking lot strangled to death inside the trunk of her car.
Shields’ fiancé Tom called Webb with the news.
“It was May the 19th. It was Spring. Everything was good. She was going to get married in six weeks,” said Webb. “All he said through tears was she’s dead. And I’ll never forget that.”