A 33-year-old parole jumper from Seattle, a suspect in murders in Alexandria and Charlottesville last August, has admitted or is a suspect in six other slayings from Florida to Minnesota to California, according to police and prosecutors in seven states.
Allen Leroy Anderson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Wednesday in Madera, Calif., and has agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder in Northfield, Minn., Madera County District Attorney David Minier said yesterday.
Anderson is a suspect in the Aug. 22 killing of Stuart Drake Davis in Alexandria and the shooting death, two days later, of a service station manager near Charlottesville, according to police investigaters.
Anderson, who has spent 11 of his 33 years in prison on forgery, burglary and car theft convictions, fled from a halfway house in Seattle last June 1, according to his attorney, public defender Lester Gendron.
Gendron said Anderson, a homosexual, had "fallen deeply in love with another resident" of the half-way house and had been "badly burned by that man." At that point there was no record of violent crime in Anderson's past.
Anderson, described as "bright and very personable" by Gendron, took a gray Pinto owned by the director of the halfway house and began to drive across the country, according to investigators.
Police said they later determined he was in Red River County, was in Tex., in mid-June when a .22-caliber Colt Frontier revolver was taken from a home in a burglary.
On Aug. 6, a 76-year-old woman was shot once in the back of the head and possibly robbed at her antique store in Superior. Wis. Anderson is a suspect in that case, the investigators said.
A 16-year-old service station attendant in Northfield. Minn. was shot once in the back of the head and robbed four days later. Gendron said Anderson has agreed to plead guilty in that case and accept a life sentence, the same sentence Anderson has agreed to accept in California. Gendron quoted Anderson as saying he shot the attendant because "if a person is dead he can't be a very good witness."
On Aug. 22, Davis, 26, was found bound hand and foot and shot in the back of the head in his Alexandria apartment. Alexandria prosecutors said that case will be presented to the grand jury in March and Anderson will be named as the suspect.
A day later, D.C. police reported a Chrysler stolen near the Lost and Found Bar in Southeast the National Crime Information Center, a clearing house of evidence for police throughout the country.
On Aug. 24, James L. Norford, 37, was robbed and shot in the back of the head at the Texaco station he managed near Charlottesville, according to police. Albermarle Sheriff George W. Bailey said yesterday that Anderson will be charged in that case.
A 57-year-old fruit stand operator in Titusville, Fla., was robbed and shot in the back of the head on Aug. 27. Investigators there said they have been to California and are now running ballistics tests. Anderson is a suspect, they said.
On Sept. 4, a 58-year-old church organist was robbed and shot in the back of the head in Buckeye, Iowa. Anderson has been charged with first degree murder in the case, investigators said.
Two days later, D.C. found the gray Pinto stolen in Seattle and Det. Clyde R. Pulsifer noted that it was parked across the street from where the Chrysler was stolen.
On Sept. 28, a man fishing in a stream near Wenatchee, Wash, was robbed and shot once in the back of the head. Anderson is a suspect in the killing, investigators said.
In Chowchilla, Calif., a 57-year-old garage manager was reported missing on Oct. 8 and the stolen Chrysler was found.Police said they found credit card receipts with the name of the Pinto owner inside the car.
On Oct. 12, the body of the garage manager was found. He had been beaten to deah and robbed.
Pulsifer and California police began to gather credit card records and plot the odyssey of the stolen cards across the nation. As it turned out, the cards coincided with the series of murders, investigators said.
Pursifer interviewed the owner of the Chrysler, who said he had seen a man matching Anderson's description as being 5-foot-10 weighting 150 pounds, with blue eyes and dark auburn hair before the car was stolen.
D.C. police then issued a lookout for Anderson as a suspect in at least three murders and California police issued a bulletin for a van and trailer stolen from the slain garage manager in Chowchilla.
On Oct. 28, near Malibu, Los Angeles County police spotted the van and stopped it. Anderson was the river and he had a 22-caliber revolver, investigators said.
Gendron said yesterday that Anderson's first question upon his arrest was to ask if California had the death penalty.
"He's very afraid of the death penalty," Gendron said. Gendron said Anderson, who is from Minnesota and has been in prisons there, wishes to be sent there to serve his time. Anderson, therefore, agreed to waive extradition and plead to the murder in Minnesota where the minimum sentence is 17 years rather than California's seven.