"It was a messed-up day. A lot of things went wrong."
Anderson was born in Great Lakes, Illinois, on May 29, 1966. He had two sisters and two stepsisters. For reasons unknown, he developed a morbidly sexual fascination with young girls, which included his sisters and stepsisters, whom he would repeatedly sexually and/or physically assault for several years. In his adult life, Anderson eventually married a mentally-handicapped woman named Debbie (who had an IQ of 69), who he physically abused. During their marriage, he tried to sexually assault a two-year-old girl Debbie was babysitting, but was caught by her. Anderson also had a tendency to drive to a local park to watch children there, or watch children from his apartment window, before going into the bathroom to masturbate. At some point during his life (details become confusing at this point), he was sent to the Methodist Children's Home and then hospitalized due to his obsession with young girls. Anderson was later released, and he moved to Amarillo, Texas, apparently recently having a divorce with Debbie after being married with her for eight months. There, he received a job as a security officer.
Killing, Arrest and Incarceration
"There was nobody else, just me. She was a totally innocent victim."
On June 9, 1992, Anderson spotted five-year-old Audra Ann Reeves as she was returning home after playing with other children at a park, and forced her to accompany him to his house. Upon arriving, he sexually assaulted her. Then, he choked, beat, and stabbed her. Later that day, he purchased a Styrofoam ice chest and took inside his home, where he was spotted by his neighbors. According to Anderson, he had tried to stuff Reeves's body into the ice chest, only to find that she survived her wounds. He then told her to take a bath to clean off the blood from her body. When she did, he drowned her in the bathtub. Minutes later, one of Anderson's neighbors, Lewis Martin, discovered the ice chest lying in a dumpster, containing Reeves's body. He called the police, and an officer was sent to look for a suspect. Ten minutes after Martin's call to police, the officer approached Anderson, who matched a given physical description, several blocks away; Anderson told the officer that he was returning the shopping cart he used to take the ice chest into his home. The officer took him back to his home, where neighbors confirmed that it was him who they observed taking the ice chest into the home. Anderson was promptly arrested and taken to the local Special Crimes Unit station. There, he was interrogated, and he confessed both orally and in written word of how he abducted, sexually assaulted, and killed Reeves. According to him, he was motivated to commit the murder after he divorced with Debbie. He eventually went to court and was convicted of capital murder in November 1993, being sentenced to death.
Anderson subsequently made state appeals, all of which were denied. In prison, Anderson became dedicated to Christianity, and stated that he felt God had forgiven him for his crimes. He also stated that Reeves often appeared to him in nightmares, and that he had visions of angels, demons, and Reeves herself, all visiting him in his cell. In 1998, he was attacked by another inmate, being stabbed 67 times with a shank, but survived. He later stated that the attack was due to a race-related prison gang extortion effort and wasn't related to Reeves's murder. In March 2004, he filed a federal writ for habeas corpus, which was denied by a U.S. district court. In February 2005, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal he filed to them. On July 18, 2006, he decided to waive all further appeals after a psychological evaluation found him mentally competent to do so. Anderson later told a federal judge that he wanted to be executed, stating that he would kill again if he was released. On Thursday, July 20, two days afterward, Anderson was taken to be executed. Before he was executed, he apologized to Reeves' grandmother, saying, "I am sorry for the pain I have caused you. I have regretted this for a long time. I am sorry. I only ask that you remember the Lord because He remembers us and He forgives us if we ask Him." He also apologized to his family. Anderson was then executed by lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m.
In his early years, Anderson mostly targeted his own sisters and stepsisters, physically and/or sexually assaulting them. When he attacked Audra Ann Reeves, Anderson sexually assaulted her. Then, he choked her, beat her with a pipe, a stool, and his own fist; stabbed her with a paring knife and a barbecue fork; and then fatally drowned her in a bathtub. Afterwards, he tried to dispose of her body by stuffing it into a Styrofoam ice chest and putting it in a dumpster.
- Unspecified dates:
- Rebekah Anderson, 5 (his stepsister; attempted to sexually assault)
- Myra Jean Anderson (his sister; sexually and physically assaulted repeatedly starting when she was seven years old)
- Helena Cristina Garza (his stepsister; repeatedly forced to perform sex on him and also raped for several years)
- Carla Rene Burch (a friend of Myra's; attempted to sexually assault)
- Debbie Kay Anderson (his ex-wife; physically abused)
- Unnamed two-year-old girl (attempted to sexually assault, but was caught by Debbie)
- Unspecified date: Jeremiah Anderson, 6 (assaulted; picked him up by the throat and left him in the position for several minutes)
- June 9: Audra Ann Reeves, 5 (sexually assaulted, choked, beaten with several objects including his fists, stabbed with a paring knife and a barbecue fork, and fatally drowned in a bathtub)
On Criminal Minds
Anderson was mentioned in the Season Three episode Penelope alongside serial killer Ted Bundy and serial/spree killer Edmund Kemper as examples of killers who appeared to gain sadistic satisfaction out of gaining the trust of their victims and out of lulling them into a false sense of security.