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.