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Monster in Midtown: Killing the Newman Family

Welcome to Crime Raven; true crimes, real-life stories from law enforcement, and issues crime fighters face. This story highlights crimes researched by retired Detective Sergeant Mark Rein, using publicly available information, court records, and personal recollections. Content may be graphic, disturbing, or violent. Reader discretion is advised. Suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.


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Monster Story

The monster sat in the dimly lit basement. The party had been winding down for a while. Six in the morning. It was dark outside and would be for hours. There was darkness that could not be washed away by cocaine.

No woman at the party showed him the slightest interest. In fact, some seem to be repulsed by him as the conversations, if you could call them that, progressed. A couple of them were worth being angry about. They split before he could take a second swing. One took off with a guy. He should have taken another shot at her. And if she hadn't given him his due, at least he could have fucked that dude up. Misery loves company. And the monster was in the mood to wallow and spread.

The loss of the few worthy party girls made the monster think back over weeks and years. Girls have been a pain in his ass forever. The girl in Idaho. He had done a number on her. They said she was 13. Bullshit. She had the kind of body that says, take me. She wanted him. but when it came time for action, she turned out to be a cock tease, but she didn't know who she was dealing with until the monster showed itself. He thought she was dead. He left her crumpled in the bushes, like an old hamburger wrapper. Like the trash she was. She tried to get, even with the monster, tried to have him arrested. In the end she was a bitch And the cops believed him over her useless mumblings. Cunt. But maybe she'd had the last laugh after all. That bitch was why he was even here, this land of eternal darkness and ice. Midnight sun, my ass. This place was hell frozen over.

The monster hopped from pad to pad, fear, to embarrassment, to betrayal through the litany of recent life experiences. After the 13-year-old cock tease, he and his woman left home and headed north. Alaska, where a man could be free, where he could be cleansed of the sins of his past. But he had made a mistake when he trusted the woman. For years, she had been his girl. Compliant, Obedient. And when she got outta hand, he used those hands to teach her right from wrong. The monster never expected the betrayal. If he had, he would've handled her, he would've made her shut the fuck up forever. As it was, they'd taken jobs on a fishing boat. His woman had started fucking the damn captain of the boat, mouthing off about how she was so abused. They had to trick him to put him ashore. He should have killed her and the captain. He should have cut them up and used them for chum.

The monster leap to the next outrage. Alone without the bitch, he went the only place he could. He went to the city, to his uncle's family. The only people he knew. For once he had been in luck, his uncle was on a long trip and his aunt had taken him in. The apartment was small, but he appreciated it for the shelter. His aunt was nice. The two little girls, his cousins were fine at first, the three-year-old. She was too little to give a shit about, but the eight-year-old, entitled bitch, didn't know her place in the pecking order. She got to sleep in a bed in her own room. He got a mat on the floor. She mouthed off to him like someone who didn't recognize who she was talking to. If she only knew.

He thought about picking up the whores. The one that took the cops forever to find. And the other one who turned out to be a man, but the monster wasn't a faggot. He couldn't let that one live because the tranny knew a secret about the monster, and he couldn't have that.

The monster leapt to the latest outrage, his aunt on orders from his uncle who wasn't even fucking in town threw him out of their place. It was like they were working together. His dad, his mom, the girl in the campground, the bitch on the boat, the whores, the uncle, the aunt, the cut of the party. They were all out to make him miserable. As far as his aunt and uncle, it was time for payback. They didn't know that he had the key and they owed him big.

The target was ground floor 3410 Eide street number 1. It was still early morning, but aunt's car was gone. She was working. The coast was clear. The monster walked up and used the key he wasn't supposed to have. He stepped inside and was careful to close and lock the door behind. The aunt was sitting at the table, still in a nightgown. Wide-eyed, she put her coffee down. As she stood up, she fired the kind of bitch questions the monster didn't like "What are you doing here?" "How'd you get in here?" Then the orders. "You need to leave." "You can't be here anymore." He met her halfway across the room and slapped her, knocking her down.

She yelled at the girls. They hid in their rooms and shut the doors. At least the eight-year-old was obedient sometimes. The aunt, " I'm calling the police." The monster, eight-inch butcher knife, just where he knew it would be. He grabbed hair, dragging the aunt into her bedroom, forcing her down onto the bed, punching her. He whipped off a pillowcase, wrapped it around her neck and tightened. When she stopped fighting, he looked around. The monster was crazy, but not stupid. Green, wool glove liners. The kind that GIs use. He grabbed them off the dresser. Cops had tried to get him on fingerprints before. Not this time. The aunt wasn't dead yet. He raped her as he tightened the knot. He knew she was dead when her bowels released. He rolled her onto her back, leaving nightshirt up, everything exposed. Her power in this house was gone. The monster had absorbed it, reveled in it.

The eight-year-old rushed in " mommy, mommy". Perfect timing. The monster punched her bratty face. "Look what I've done to your mommy." " Mommy, look what I'm doing to your daughter." He tied her hands behind her back as tight as he could using a second pillowcase. The girl sobbed and whimpered. The monster wanted to claim the bed that should have been his. He dragged the girl into the next room. Stripping off her panties. Stripping off the green gloves. No caution. He wanted to feel everything. Slammed the girl face down, bent over the bed. He wrapped her neck with yet another pillowcase, same color as mom's. Fitting. He tightened the cloth and raped her as she died. This is what the monster wanted to do to her every time she had mouthed off to him. No one can help you now. When he finished, he flopped her dead body backward off his bed. She came to rest in a position that pleased him. This way everyone could see what happens if you didn't show proper respect.

One left and the Monster's rage was not yet sated. This was becoming his masterpiece, but he was out of pillowcases. That left the knife. He met the three-year-old cousin in the hall. She whined, "I went mommy." She was too scared to go in the dark room. "You can see mommy. She's in bed." She wouldn't even look at him. Even at three, she sensed something about him. This made his rage flash. The monster grabbed the girl by the arm, across her room and slammed her down on the bed. She was on her back eyes wide, too scared to draw breath and scream. He crouched gargoyle like above her and flashed the weapon in front of her face. Recognition in her eyes. She bucked and flailed her hands desperately grasped for the knife. She sacrificed her hands as he sank the blade across her throat. He intended to rape. The monster wiped the blood from the front of her bare body. Then he realized that urge had left him. His ardor spent. He dropped her on unceremoniously to the floor as she writhed in life's last movement. He wanted to send a message. Better than the other rooms. He picked her up by the ankles, swung her body in an arc, painting a swath and threw her to the floor.

The monster stood in the hallway and stared into the succession of rooms. Trying to hold onto the Tableau. His revelry was broken by a sound from the outside world. Not an immediate danger, but a harbinger. A reminder that time in this crypt must end.

The monster gave away to the man who sole desire was to slink away and find a mountain of cocaine or a swimming pool of Jack Daniels. He looked down at his blood and shit cake shirt. In the bathroom, he tried to clean up. His crotch itched fiercely. No doubt a gift from one of the whores. He scrubbed with the wash cloth until the blood smeared away. Then he did what he had intended before they distracted distract them. He rummaged around the apartment, a purse with a checkbook, a cookie tin holding all of dead aunt's tip money. He found some jewelry. Uncle's precious camera. He bundled the loot and the knife and surveyed the scene one last time. He had the camera, but no, too risky. He checked the lock on the front door and extinguished all the lights. He liked it better that way. His secret cave. Stepping around the mess of the three-year-old.

He climbed over the dresser, out the window and onto the street. He walked down the block with a spring in his step. His mind left responsibility behind like a snake shedding its skin. It was a new day and opportunities abound.


The call to the Anchorage Police Department was an unusual one. Anchorage was not a sleepy rural town. It was host to more than its share of senseless violence, but the call that came in on Sunday, March 15th, 1987, was beyond the norm. A male caller reported that several people were dead inside a Midtown apartment in the 3,400 block of Eide street. The dispatcher tried to make sense of what was being communicated on the incoming line. The caller's tight voice was outmatched by the heartbreaking screams of a woman in the background.

Anchorage police area cars were on scene within a couple of minutes. The building was a small two-level L-shaped apartment complex. A man and a woman stood at the doorway of the apartment at the turn of the L, the ground floor unit farthest from the street. As the officers cautiously approached, they saw that the man was holding the woman as she sobbed into his chest. He said through his own tears, "I called. They're in there. They're dead." The officer asked, "who did it?” The man said, " I don't know. We just found them. It's my sister and her kids." This statement brought a muffled agonized scream and shaking from the woman. "The officer asked as he passed, "and no one else is inside?" The man indicated that there wasn't.

The officers proceeded inside weapons drawn, flashlights activated in support hands. They scanned and passed through a normal looking, living room and kitchen. Then they came to three bedrooms, each a horror story in its own right. In bedroom one, lay a girl, maybe a little larger than a toddler, crumpled in the middle of the floor. The room was awash in crimson. The girl was covered in blood. She lay in a pool of blood and blood spatters and smears seem to be on every surface. In bedroom two, a second girl, this one older by a few years, was lying on her back naked from the waist down. Her position seemed unnatural because her legs were spread and folded under her, and her hands were tied behind her.

The sight of the blue cloth, cinched tightly around her neck, screamed out for help. They wanted to rip it off and save the girl, but experience told them that she was beyond help. So, they moved on. In the third bedroom, the largest of the three, an adult woman lay on her back. Her night gown was pushed up, exposing her body from the neck down. There was less blood in this room, but the woman's bowels had released. And there were smears of that on the sheets. An inspection of the woman's head for signs of life revealed that she too had a blue cloth garrote secured around her neck.

In the face of the overwhelming scene, the officers fell back on their training and proceeded through the call. Clear the apartment. Check. Confirm the deaths. Check. Secure the scene. Check. Call for support. Check. Identify witnesses. Check. Recent training to improve crime scene response at APD would prove its value in this case. After the initial clearance, no one but properly equipped crime scene team members were allowed inside. The exclusion included well-meaning firefighters and paramedics. With unmistakable evidence of death, everyone was turned away. Any conflicts outside the apartment door were worthwhile for maintaining an uncontaminated scene.

With the murder scene secure, the man and woman identified as Cheryl and Paul Chapman were asked to go to APD main station for interviews. Cheryl identified the adult woman who was dead in the apartment as her sister, Nancy Newman, 32 years old, the two girls were Nancy's daughters, Melissa, eight years old, and Angie, three years old. Cheryl was able to give important family context. Nancy and her husband, John live in the Eide street apartment with their two daughters. John recently started a vocational program and was currently in California. He was training to be a security technician and locksmith. Nancy and Cheryl worked his waitresses for Gwennie's, a popular Spenard area restaurant. Earlier that morning Cheryl and her husband, Paul went to Nancy's apartment because Cheryl had received a call from a fellow employee at Gwennie's. Nancy hadn't shown up for work. And her unexplained absence was a matter of concern. Cheryl knew Nancy was very responsible. She almost never missed a shift and she let people know why when she did. Neither Cheryl nor Paul knew who would want to hurt Nancy or the girls. Nancy's marriage seemed solid, and the family was happy. As far as they knew, the Newman's lives had been normal recently, except for John being out of state. They mentioned that one of John's nephews, Kirby Anthony, had lived with the Newmans, but had moved out about two weeks prior. When asked for more information about Anthony, Cheryl explained that the family was all originally from Twin Falls, Idaho area. They had moved to Alaska for economic opportunities. Anthony had recently followed them and had been working on a fishing boat, but was laid off

Back at the Eide street apartment building, officers were spreading out canvassing the area. They found no one who saw or heard anything unusual in the last few days. As the quiet Sunday morning became afternoon, word of the crimes began to leak out. The murders sent shockwaves throughout the neighborhood and across the city.

When they got inside the apartment, the scene investigators were stunned by what they found. A close inspection of the three-year-old Angie's wound revealed that she had almost been decapitated. Her hands bore several cuts, one especially deep that indicated she had tried to fight off her attacker's blade. She was in a pool of blood on the floor, but it was clear that she had been killed lying on the bed.

Eight-year-old, Melissa had been bleeding from a minor injury to her face, but did not seem to have been cut. Signs of her attack were clear. She had been positioned perpendicular across the bed, raped as she died from the ligature strangulation, and then flopped backward so that she came to rest on her back with her lower legs bent under her. There appeared to be a complete adult size Palm print on the wall above where Melissa's head would've been during the assault.

The scene examination of Nancy's body did not show any bleeding, though there were marks consistent with a brutal beating. The investigators concluded that it was Melissa's blood that was dripped at the foot of her mother's bed. What all of the bodies had in common was that they'd all been in nightgowns or pajamas during the incident, possibly indicating the time of occurrence.

All three victims had been left, partially naked, exposed in a manner consistent with sexual assault and may have been positioned suggestively as part of the crime. The dining area also gave clues about the time of occurrence and a partial motive. There were remnants of the children having recently eaten cereal. There were three cigarettes in an ashtray on the table and evidence of one person drinking coffee. Also on the table was an empty cookie tin. Nancy's sister Cheryl said that the tin was where Nancy kept all of her tips and estimated she probably had a few hundred dollars in small bills and coins that had been taken.

The preliminary interviews, canvas and scene survey did not give investigators the immediate obvious suspect that every detective hopes for, but there were several avenues to investigate. Detectives conducted interviews with coworkers who said Nancy was well liked and they knew of no one, coworker or customer, that had a problem with her. Coordinating with John Newman, the detectives discovered that items were missing from the home in addition to Nancy's tip cash. A butcher knife, probably the knife, was missing from a set in the kitchen, Nancy's purse, and John Newman's expensive camera were also missing.

Detectives felt sure that they were looking for someone who had a reason to hurt the victims. They doubted the violence and rage indicated could stem from a break in gone wrong. A simple burglary seemed unlikely for two reasons. First, there was no sign of forced entry. A shoe print was found on a dresser in Angie's room, probably indicating that the suspect wanted to leave the front door locked and didn't wanna be seen leaving the apartment. Second, the suspect seemed to take his time committing the crime. He cleaned up his body in the bathroom sink before gathering the loot. This indicated the suspect was confident that no one was gonna arrive and interrupt the crime.

Police interviewed the nephew, Anthoney, early in the investigation. He was generally cooperative with police during the initial contact and gave them the clothes and shoes that he said he was wearing on that Saturday morning. They noticed that everything appeared to have been washed. When asked about moving out of the Newman apartment, Anthony said he left the house about two weeks before the incident. He said the decision to move was his, and there was no problem in the relationship with his aunt and uncle. He denied having a key to the apartment. When asked direct questions about his relationship with the little girls, he admitted that living in confined quarters was trying at times, and they sometimes got on his nerves.

Anthony gave his account of what he did during the critical time surrounding the murders. He said that on Friday night, he went to a party at a neighbor's house and stayed overnight drinking and using cocaine. On Saturday morning, Anthony said he went back to his apartment before 8:30 AM and talked to his roommate, Grant, who was getting ready for work. He gave some vague possibilities but could not say who might have seen or spoke with him between 8:30 and 10:30 that Saturday.

Through interviews with the family and others, there were problems with Anthony's story. John Newman was in regular contact with the police, and he told a different story about the circumstances for Anthony moving out. John said that about three weeks prior, Nancy called him complaining that Anthony had begun to exhibit anger and frustration with their two little girls. He had lashed out at them and had started taking it upon himself to discipline them. Nancy felt it was inappropriate. They decided that Nancy would tell Anthony that he had to leave. John Newman told the investigators that it was no secret in the family that Anthony had a bad temper. John once witnessed Anthony blow up and start a fist fight with his own father. He went further saying Anthony had been unstable in the past and there had been a rumor that he had threatened to harm himself. These were factors that made John decide to create distance with his nephew, particularly while John was away in California. Despite Anthony's assertions to the contrary, John said that his nephew was angry over having to move out of their apartment. And there was one other discrepancy. John was certain that Anthony kept a key.

The deeper they delved into Anthony's past, the more they liked him as a suspect. Anthony was no stranger to law enforcement back home in Idaho. In 1982, he confessed to the robbery of an older woman. In fact, he was arrested numerous times for robbery, burglary, and theft. He confessed to some of the crimes, but he was never prosecuted and didn't spend any time in prison. Anthony fled Twin Falls, Idaho for Alaska because he was the prime suspect in the rape and attempted murder of a 13-year-old girl. That attack left the girl with permanent disabilities.

Anthony traveled to Alaska with his girlfriend. They found jobs on a fishing boat out of Dutch Harbor. During their time there other employees noticed that Anthony was abusive to her. With her coworkers’ encouragement, she complained to management about Anthony's abuse and management wasted no time firing Anthony and kicking him off the boat. Learning of this incident prompted APD detectives to find and interview several of Anthony's girlfriends. They confirmed, he was physically abusive and had a sadistic streak.

Even though Anthony was fairly new to Anchorage, his name was already known to Anchorage police department. It turned out he was the prime suspect in the murder of a crossdressing prostitute and a missing woman. Police could not find anyone who saw Anthony between 8:30 and 10:30 AM on the Saturday of the murders. In a follow up interview with Anthony's roommate, Grant told the detectives that he was in the apartment on Sunday when officers came to tell Anthony about the deaths. He later overheard Anthony's phone conversation with his mother. He said the call was weird. Anthony told his mother about the deaths and said he was a suspect.

Grant also said that Anthony mentioned seemingly out of the blue that the cops wouldn't say if Nancy and the girls had been raped. This conversation was within a couple of hours of the discovery when almost none of the scene specifics were known. Another thing the roommate told the detectives was that after the murders, Anthony suddenly had a large amount of change that he was counting.

As the initial investigation results were coming in, investigators hypothesized that Anthony, an unstable and ill-tempered man with a sadistic streak towards women, may have committed the murders as retribution for being kicked out of the apartment. In the days that followed the murders, numerous tips came in. One in particular, caught their attention. Anthony was known to spend time at Chilkoot Charlie's bar, an Anchorage landmark. A female witness came forward who told investigators that on Friday, five days after the murders were discovered, she was seated in the bar near Anthony. She didn't know him at the time, nor had she heard about the murders. The woman said that Anthony's behavior seemed odd. He was writing things on napkins and passing them around. And at one point, Anthony sat down with her and started talking about the murders. Out of the blue he said something like "the worst thing was the mom had to watch the murder of her daughters."

The Anchorage police accepted the assistance of a profiler with the FBI's behavioral sciences unit. After reviewing the case, the special agent issued a report that made several predictions. The suspect is someone who had been in the Newman's home in the past, someone who felt comfortable there and that the neighbors would overlook. The man was someone who fantasized about the crimes he committed and had assaulted girls in the past. This person can compartmentalize what he's done and function normally when he is not under stress.

The report from the profiler confirmed that the investigation was on the right track, looking at Anthony. While the scene evidence was being processed, the investigators decided to use the time to increase the pressure on Anthony. Teams of detectives conducted periodic surveillance on him at times, making it obvious they were following him. Investigators would approach him unexpectedly, sometimes friendly, sometimes confrontational. They would ask him questions about the case and then leave him wondering

During the initial scene processing investigators used a technique known as super glue fuming. This entails heating super glue until it vaporizes. The glue attaches to and fixes the material and fingerprints, making them more durable and easier to locate, photograph, lift, and preserve. Prints belonging to Anthony were located throughout the apartment. Because he'd been a resident only certain prints would have meaning for the case. His prints were on the cookie tin where Nancy's tips were stored. Anthony left a complete left Palm print on the wall above Melissa's bed. The Palm was positioned about 10 inches above where Melissa's head would've been during the assault, in an orientation consistent with him stabilizing himself on the wall.

This case was processed before DNA matching was widely used. Blood typing of semen samples matched Anthony's alleles. Blood from the washcloth in the bathroom sink matched the victim's blood alleles. Tests from the t-shirt that Anthony was wearing revealed stains of human blood and human feces, probably Nancy's. A spot on his tennis shoes was also human blood.

The most compelling evidence from the scene came from the FBI crime lab. The scene had been meticulously rolled for fibers as one of the first steps in the investigation. An FBI analyst meticulously examined the hairs and fibers and was able to sort the samples by type and probable source. He found an inordinately large number of Anthony's pubic hairs in all three of the victim's bedrooms. Some of the hairs collected on the bodies at autopsy were also Anthony's pubic hairs. The FBI analyst studied the likelihood that Anthony's hairs could have migrated naturally throughout the apartment to end up where they were collected. He determined that based on the number, their locations and their condition, the only explanation was that Anthony was unclothed in the rooms where the hairs were found. Bolstering the analyst’s assertions was that the hairs were in new condition, and some were covered with blood. When the analyst examined the washcloth left in the bathroom sink, he found blood, green wool fibers from the military glove liners, Anthony's pubic hairs, and pubic lice. Investigators were able to confirm that Anthony had been treated for pubic lice in recent past.

In addition to the causes of death and severity of the injuries, the autopsy reports provided important information about the timing of the attacks. They bolstered detectives’ assessment at the scene that the event happened mid-morning on Saturday. A small amount of cereal was found in Melissa's stomach corresponding with a partially eaten bowl on the dining table at the scene. Angie had a more significant amount of cereal and some fruit in her stomach, which also matched the evidence at the scene.

The evidence from the FBI crime lab provided the conclusion that the detectives had been waiting for. They wanted to interview Anthony again before they made the arrest. One of the officers casually called him and asked him to come by the station. While waiting, the detectives received word that Anthony had loaded his truck and fled. A BOLO was transmitted in the city and across the state. The search ended at the Canadian border more than 300 miles from Anchorage where Anthony was caught, trying to cross in the middle of the night. He was arrested on a placeholder charge of driving on a suspended license and taken to the Fairbank's correctional center.

Anthony was then charged with three counts of murder and other associated crimes, and the next day he was transported back to Anchorage. During a search of Anthony's apartment after his flight, detectives recovered John Newman stolen camera. The film inside contained the family's last photos. Some tips that came in just before Anthony's arrest were that he'd been paying for purchases using rolls of coins.


As the trial approached, there were evidentiary hearings challenging the admissibility of some of the state's evidence. The judge ruled that nothing from Anthony's past could be presented, not burglary, not robbery, not rape or attempted murder.