Reading List: Possessed: The Infamous Texas Stiletto Murder

As promised here's a link to the excellent book about Ana Trujillo and the Stiletto Murder case overall. 

BUY IT HERE

Kathryn Casey, the author, also appears on the Channel 4 Program "Women Who Kill" which British viewers can WATCH HERE 

Finally, we reference a 20/20 episode a whole lot but never actually contextualise it so if you wanna watch it and find out what the hell we're talking about it's linked below. 

Thank you all for your patience. 

 

Crispy Asian Style Coca Cola Chicken Wings Recipe

Behold, the slightly 'jazz', made up as we went along, despite reading a load of recipes online, Coca Cola Chicken Wing Recipe! 
I didn't measure anything as usual, sorry about that, but I say it's always good to go a little free form and feel it out. 

 

Ingredients
Chicken Wings
Baking Powder
Chinese 5 spice
Minced Ginger
Chilli
Minced Garlic
Spring Onions (Scallions) 
Soy sauce
Coca Cola 

Start by tossing the chicken wings in some Chinese 5 spice and baking powder. Don't ask me why, but for some reason this guarantees some of the crispiest oven baked chicken wings in all eternity. You don't want to coat them like flour and accidentally taste the baking powder (and it's very important you don't use BAKING SODA!) but you want to ensure the skin has a light covering. 

Next you pop them onto a baking tray (spread out) and place in a preheated oven. Bake them at 250 degrees farenheit or 120 celcius for 25 minutes. 

For some reason this slow 'n low method means the fat renders nicely and helps to crisp 'em up. 

After 25 minutes, leave them in the oven but crank up that heat to 425°F or 425°C for another 30 - 40 minutes until they're golden brown and crispy as hell. 

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine ginger, garlic, onions, and chilli and fry over a medium heat in some sesame (or peanut oil) until soft. Add in a half cup of soy sauce and reduce. 

Finally pour in a medium sized glass coke bottle's worth of coke, and reduce again. Until it's sticky and sweet and delicious. 

When your wings are done, glaze them in the sauce and sprinkle with some additional scallions and sesame seeds. Then serve. Then eat. Then talk about murder. 

Enjoy! 

The Stiletto Killer Episode Guide

We begin with the victim. Dr Stefan Anderson, a brilliant scientist and researcher who investigated the interactions of hormones and steroids and the way in which they impacted women’s bodies at the University of Houston.

Stefan was a Swedish national, born Alf Stefan Anderson. His name was a tribute to his brother who was his parents first born, a stillborn. He grew up in an idyllic Swedish setting but felt the pull of brighter lights. 

Stefan’s upbringing was turbulent, his father was a bully and abusive to his mother and as such trends would say that Stefan would avoid conflict and take on the temperament of his mother. More submissive, easygoing and kind.

The Stefan Anderson his friends knew was a social person, who needed to be around other people. If he was at a bar alone he’d talk to the bartender or make friends with random strangers. He kept his TV on in his apartment because he liked hearing the voices, he was an extrovert who craved contact and excitement.

Sweden soon became too small for him, so looking for a warmer climate and excitement Stefan accepted a postdoc position at the UTSW in Texas and moved on to a new career in the united states.

He settled in quickly and in 1989 Stefan began a relationship with Jackie, an attractive dark-haired woman with Native American roots, who he married in a simple ceremony in their apartment. It was so low key that A FEDEX express driver interrupted the ceremony with a delivery, banging on the door midway through much to the amusement of the guests.

Jackie saw a kindness in Stefan, noting that he often took time out to talk to and give money to local homeless people, talking to them about their troubles. 

 

They were happy, but things weren’t exactly idyllic. Jackie believed Stefan had a problem with alcohol, often stopping by the local bars for a nightcap. Leaving Jackie alone at home, and soon she began to feel the pang of loneliness.

Early in the marriage Jackie and Stefan had moved from Texas to New York, but after 4 years in the big apple, Jackie sensed that Stefan was unhappy. He was tired and overworked, the daily commute began to wear him down. So when he was offered a position at UT South Western, a university in Dallas, he decided to move back to the southern state. It would mean taking a pay cut but he wanted to get away from the daily grind. He was interested in his career progression and the pace of life in Texas. so he packed his bags and headed into the sun.

The marriage didn’t last and a year after Stefan moved to Dallas Jackie asked for a divorce. The marriage ended without fighting or angry words. Stefan just wasn’t like that, and instead, they ended the marriage amicably. They’d drifted apart, things had fizzled out and they were leading parallel lives. The break up was sad but inevitable.

Stefan’s friends said the divorce devastated him, and throughout the years always kept a picture of Jackie in his wallet. He told friends that he wanted children and a stable home, some normality and it felt like that was slipping away.

He remained social, in fact soon Jackie’s fears that Stefan might be drinking too much came to a head. One day in his apartment Stefan passed out and fell down, he was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with an electrolyte imbalance which they attributed to his consumption of alcohol and the painkillers he’d been taking for a back injury. 

 

His colleagues urged him to give up alcohol, so he signed himself up for a 12 step program similar to AA. As an atheist, Stefan didn’t ask God for help with his addiction, and instead replaced the concept of god with something he’d loved throughout his whole life. The sun. 

After months of counselling and group sessions, he checked out of rehab and began to start a new chapter in his life, but after so many years of going out and finding companionship in bars, he felt alone and uncomfortable.

He started drinking again but told his friend that he was moderating his consumption. 

Ana Trejello was born in 1968 in Mexico, but moved to Arizona when she was four months old. When she was 8, her father left the family to start another family, which devastated Ana. She said she admired her father and felt abandoned by him, never understanding why he didn’t want to be her father anymore. The family struggled, as the eldest, Ana took on some of her mother’s responsibility, looking after her three younger siblings whilst he mother worked. When she went to school, she dropped her siblings off with an aunt, and picked them up when she was done.

They spent summers in Mexico with extended family where Ana, who was artistic would pick wildflowers, colour and paint.

The family began as catholics, but over the years Ana’s mother Trina converted to a Jehova’s Witness, something which Ana later rejected.

Throughout her childhood, they moved around a lot. From Arizona to Cleveland, Texas, and Orange County. Despite a turbulent and often unstable home life Ana was an outgoing girl, who was popular and had lots of friends. She was fascinated by spirituality and played with a ouija board in the house, despite her mother’s objections.

In December 1990, when Ana was aged 22 she married John Marcus Leos, and fell pregnant within four months. From the beginning the marriage was volatile and she later described him as ‘clinically depressed’. She supported the family and became the breadwinner. She got a job at Coca-Cola, as a delivery driver. The pay was good and she quickly started climbing up the ranks, but her marriage to Leos began to show cracks.

She once came home to find him trying to hang himself from a bedpost. She cut him down with a knife and called his parents. After his release from hospital he broke into the house and Ana claimed he held her hostage for 6 hours then raped her. She filed charges but her family convinced her to drop them, for the sake of the children but the experience changed her.

Despite the chaos in her personal life Ana thrived at work and moved into merchandising, she got a company car and tonnes of responsibility. She divorced Leos and took custody of the kids. She moved on and met Jim Fox, a pharmaceutical rep and in July 2001 she married him.

In 2004 Jim and Ana made the decision to move to Houston. The family moved to a 3,000 square foot, four story new development and Ana quit her job at coca cola, enrolling in a massage therapist course, preferring to work in a more flexible, stress free environment.

But the happiness didn’t last and four years later the couple divorced and Ana’s daughter asked to live with her father in Waco. Ana moved into a nearby apartment and transitioned from her role as executive, wife and mother to a more care free life. She became a regular in the downtown Houston Bar Scene.

She was picked up in 2008 on her first DUI charge, but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence. Two years later it happened again and was found guilty, fined $200 and sentenced to one year’s probation. She got into a downward spiral. Dating older rich men who paid her rent, lent her money for her sinking massage business and funded her party lifestyle.

She was often violent, getting into fights with men and women. One friend said she had the potential to quickly transform from the warm, loving woman he knew into a violent and angry one, ready to attack.

Two years later, on a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Houston Ana’s fate was about to change forever, as she met Stefan Anderson.

Stefan and Ana’s relationship was incredibly turbulent. She moved in to his high rise apartment, but it was never stable. In fact it was very on again, off again. She flirted with other men, drank heavily and once went for a drunken joyride and crashed his beloved Mercedes. It caused over $6,000 worth of damage and when he confronted her she turned on him, blaming him.

Telling him that he’d got into an accident but clearly didn’t remember.

Friends urged Stefan to break up with Ana. They didn’t like being around her and they were worried for him.

Sheepishly Stefan once admitted to a friend that Ana was violent with him, but he felt ashamed, probably because of the stigma surrounding male domestic violence.

To stop Ana from re-entering his life, Stefan had Ana barred from the apartment building. He changed the locks and avoided going to places where she might be. One day when he was eating lunch with a college he spotted Ana in a restaurant. She came towards him and bent down as if to kiss him, but instead she bit his cheek, drawing blood. Then calmly walked out of the restaurant.

Despite all this, Ana always found a way back into Stefan’s life and on June 13th, 2013 that move would prove to be a fatal one. After a night drinking in downtown Houston, Ana bludgeoned Stefan Anderson to death with a 5 1/2 inch Stiletto heel, before calling it in and claiming self-defence.

Ana was taken in for questioning and charged with Stefan’s murder. She claimed that he had attacked her. Pinned her against the wall and attacked her. 

Stefan’s autopsy found no pot of illegal drugs in his system. His blood / alcohol level was .13. High enough that it would have been illegal for him to drive. but for someone who drank nightly as he did, not enough to make him appear intoxicated. 

There were abrasions, contusions and lacerations to the head and neck. The examiner counted over 25, but many of the strikes appeared layered. Suggesting one blow landed on top of another. Making it difficult to know exactly how many times Stefan had been hit.

She also noted that the hands and arms had wounds that appeared to be defensive. She examined the torso, and noted intramuscular haemorrhages. She suspected pressure had been applied to his chest, perhaps enough to make breathing difficult.

Among the prosecution’s evidence was a huge amount of blood evidence. The analysts found masses of blood spatter on the walls, photographs of Ana standing in blood soaked jeans and a black tank top. This suggested that Ana’s self defence argument was completely unfounded. That instead the blood cast in an upward pattern on the walls showed that Ana sat on Stefan’s chest and reigned down blows on him. Her thighs becoming saturated with the blood from his head wounds.

At one point in the trial, an attorney perched on his knees straddling a mannequin to reenact the murder, commenting on the force Trujillo must have used. Holding the partner to the murder weapon in his hand, he brought it down heel first again and again, twenty-five times, all the while describing how the blood must have scattered and the rage that must have fueled such a brutal killing.

The jury deliberated for an hour and came to a verdict. Was she killing in self defence or was this a straight up murder?

The jury didn’t buy the defence, and it took them about an hour to convict Ana.

When it came time to decide the sentencing they deliberated for over five hours. Her attorney had Ana reenact the attack with him, something that only served to make her look more unhinged.

She currently resides in a state correctional facility and will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of her sentence.

The Fast Food Killer Episode Notes)

Listen to the episode here.

As promised, here are my episode notes for this week's podcast. 

February 15, 1997 Michael Butterworth and Jason Carter two employees of Captain D’s are finishing up for the night. Around 10pm, right before closing. a man comes into the restaurant through the exit door and says he’s interested in applying for a part-time job and that he works at Shoney's which is just a couple of miles down the road.

They give him an employment application and tell him that the manager, Steve Hampton, would be working the next day. He asks if anyone would be at the restaurant on Sunday morning, Carter tells him that Steve would be there but would be busy and unable to talk until approximately 2:45 which is after the Sunday lunch rush.

The next morning, Sunday February 16, 1997, sixteen-year-old Sarah Jackson and twenty-five-year-old Steve Hampton are preparing for the day ahead and getting the restaurant ready.
Sarah’s making coleslaw, and Steve is getting everything in order to get the restaurant open. Steve was the manager of the restaurant; Sarah was a high school student working part-time at the restaurant. An area director for Captain D’s spoke with Steve on the telephone around 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. that morning.

A note on the victims here. All victims are of course innocent but Steve and Sarah seemed to be the sweetest people. The store was always immaculate, the employees happy and professional, and the books always balanced. Later he would become owner of several restaurants, “and I wish I had many Steve Hamptons to run them.” “I don’t know one person who didn’t like Steve,” Deanna his wife said. This included his employees, like Sarah Jackson.

Anyway, that morning the guy from the night before turns up at the door with a job application for Captain D’s.

Around 8:50 a.m., a woman was driving by Captain D’s on her way to church when she saw a man, who she later identified as Steve Hampton, standing inside the doorway of the restaurant talking to a man outside who was holding a piece of white paper in his hand. She described the unidentified man as dark-haired and approximately five inches taller than Steve.

Over an hour later, around 9:45 to 10 a.m., an employee arrived for work but was unable to enter the restaurant because the doors were locked. He telephoned the Captain D’s from a neighbouring restaurant and got a busy signal. When he called a second time a few minutes later, no one answered. Believing something was wrong, he contacted another Captain D’s employee whose father was a Metro police officer.

The employee’s father arrived at the scene and, after the assistant manager of Captain D’s unlocked the door, entered the restaurant between 11 a.m. and noon to find Steve Hampton and Sarah Jackson dead, lying face down on the floor inside the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator.

The victims had been shot execution-style while lying on the floor. Steve had been shot twice in the back of the head and once in the back. Sarah had been shot four times in the head and once in the back. Weird detail. How do we know Sarah was making coleslaw that morning? Sarah was found still wearing prep gloves with coleslaw / mayonnaise on them, and there was a bowl of coleslaw on the side.

According to the medical examiner, two of Sarah’s head wounds were fatal, but the two other head wounds were superficial, and the shot to her back was not immediately incapacitating. If these less serious wounds were inflicted first, the medical examiner testified Sarah may have been able to move; and, in fact, a blood pattern of Sarah’s gloved hand on shelving near, but above, her body indicated that Sarah had attempted to pull herself up from the floor after she was shot.

The victims were shot with a .32 caliber weapon, probably a revolver.

$7140, including $250 in coins, was taken in the robbery. Steve’s wallet, which contained $600 that he intended to use to pay rent, also was missing.

Although no useable fingerprints were found at Captain D’s, several items belonging to Steven Hampton were discovered one day after the murders lying alongside Ellington Parkway, a four-lane highway in East Nashville by a litter picker about 11 miles from the crime scene and less than 2 from Paul Dennis Reid’s house. The litter picker found a wallet and some ID inside and called the number to let them know he’d found it. He got through to Steve’s widow who told him to call the police immediately.  Among the items found was a movie rental card belonging to Steve. A clear right thumbprint was found on this card. About a month after the Captain D's murders on the evening of March 23  
1997 Reid hit up a McDonald's on Lebanon Road in Hermitage, Tennessee. Reid approached four employees as they exited the store after closing taking out a the garbage.

At gunpoint, he forced them back inside the restaurant and into a store room. Reid shot three employees to death execution style in the storeroom: Andrea Brown, 17; Ronald Santiago, 27; and Robert A. Sewell, 23. Reid attempted to shoot José Antonio Ramirez Gonzalez, but his weapon failed.

Reid then stabbed Gonzalez 17 times and left him for dead. He stabbed him in the back of the head, neck and torso. Jose just lay dead, completely still and waited for Reid to leave before calling 911. Jose would eventually testify against Reid. 

Reid had taken US$3000 from the cash registers and fled, and when emergency services arrived on the scene they pronounced Ronald and Robert dead at the scene before rushing Andrea and Jose to hospital, where only Jose survived. They ran tests on Andrea but she was brain dead due to the gunshots to her head so her parents made the heartbreaking decision to turn off life support.

A month after the McDonalds murder,  on April 23rd 1997 Paul Reid is on the prowl again. Around 9:45pm he stops at the Clarksville Texaco store and buys 11 dollars worth of gasoline and a Pepsi, throws the receipt in the front seat of the car and heads off towards a Baskin Robbins.

Angela Holmes, 21, and Michelle Mace, 16, were finishing up their shift at Baskin Robins. Multiple witnesses that night described the girls, saw them cleaning up, mopping the floors and getting ready to leave for closing time at 10. Angie had recently had a baby and was anxious to get home to see her.

Around 10:10 Michelle’s brother arrived at the store to pick up his sister.

He noticed that Angela’s car was in the parking lot and that the lights inside the store were on. He entered the store through an unlocked door and found no one inside. He called 911. Officers were dispatched to the scene and searched the store.

They found the cash register drawer empty, except for some coins, and a safe in an office with the top removed. The girl’s purses were found at the store; no money had been taken from them. A mop and bucket was found in the customer area, and the freezer door was left open. The girl’s were nowhere to be seen. 

Paul Reid now starts to escalate his crimes. He ties Angie’s hands behind her back using her apron, and kidnapps the girls. Forcing them into his car, which has child locks in the back and driving them out to Dunbar Cave State Park.

The park is 60 minutes northwest of Nashville and about one and a half miles northeast of downtown Clarksville. The 110-acre park is honeycombed by Dunbar Cave and numerous sinkholes. The cave has historical, natural, archaeological and geological significance. Excavations revealed that this cave has been used by man for thousands of years, drawn by its constant stream flow and natural air conditioning. These early inhabitants left drawings on the cave walls.

He held the girls at knifepoint and marched them through the park. Michelle was slightly ahead of Angie and realised she was fairly close to a friend’s house. She broke away and started running for it. Meanwhile Paul Reid cut Angie’s throat. To the neckbone… cutting her carotid artery.

Paul caught up to to Michelle and cut her throat too, before stabbing her in a frenzy. 14 times. She lay 100 feet away from Angie’s body, and around 300 yards from her friend’s house.

Dr Charles Harlan who performed the girl’s autopsies said it would have taken between 5 and 15 minutes for the girls to bleed to death, and that they would have been conscious for 80% of that time.

Reid received seven death sentences for his convictions, the first two coming on April 20, 1999. Reid's execution has been stayed several times since then, including an instance in 2003 just hours before the scheduled execution. Reid eventually waived his right to an appeal. Members of his family, along with anti-death penalty activists, claim he was mentally challenged and unable to make such a decision, and have filed multiple motions (both successful and unsuccessful) to stay his execution. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld all of Reid's sentences. Reid's case has received national attention among anti-death penalty activists.

His latest execution date was scheduled for January 3, 2008, but was stayed on December 26, 2007 by US District Judge Todd J. Campbell, pending an investigation into the constitutionality of Tennessee's lethal injection methods. The stay is part of a larger investigation, and not directly related to Reid's case.

On April 16, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in a Kentucky case upholding the legality of execution by lethal injection. The state of Tennessee immediately began appealing stays of execution to resume death penalty cases, including Reid's. Reid died of congenital heart failure on November 1st 2003.

The music used in this episode is provided by The Music Bakery & The Sound Of Picture.

Tracks
Deep South
Undersea Garden
Three Colours

Source material (and thank you to Judith for writing such a comprehensive book) is available to buy on Amazon

The documentary I mentioned is on YouTube here.