A King County jury is listening to Michele Anderson’s recorded description of the Christmas Eve 2007 killings of six of her relatives in rural Carnation.
In a lengthy, recorded confession that was played for a King County jury on Tuesday, Michele Anderson vacillated between guilt and defiance, accepting responsibility for killing six members of her family on Christmas Eve 2007 while heaping blame on her parents and brother for abusing her and taking her money.
Charged with six counts of aggravated first-degree murder, Anderson called herself “a monster” and “a bad person,” repeatedly telling two King County sheriff’s deputies during the roughly two-hour interview that she was sorry and stupid.
Anderson is accused of killing her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson; her brother, Scott, and his wife, Erica Anderson; and the younger couple’s children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan.
If convicted, Anderson, 37, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Her former boyfriend, Joesph McEnroe, was found guilty of the murders last year and is serving six life sentences.
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The bodies were discovered on Dec. 26, 2007, two days after the family members were shot during a Christmas Eve gathering at the home of Wayne and Judy Anderson. The elder Andersons were killed first and dragged to a shed in the backyard; Scott Anderson and his family arrived about an hour later from their home in Black Diamond and were gunned down in his parents’ living room, the jury has heard.
Three hours after sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the home, Michele Anderson and McEnroe drove up to the property and claimed they had planned to get married in Las Vegas but got lost and headed back home instead, according to police.
Initially, Detective Scott Tompkins thought he would be simply notifying Michele Anderson of the deaths, but he became suspicious after talking to her for 10 minutes, he testified. He said she never asked why police and media vehicles clogged the roads leading to the rural property and a police helicopter was buzzing overhead.
On Tuesday, Tompkins recalled stepping out of his police vehicle, where he was questioning Anderson, and phoning his sergeant. “I don’t know what’s wrong, but these two aren’t right,” Tompkins recalled telling him. “Their behavior wasn’t consistent with the surroundings.”
The couple were separated and interviewed, both eventually admitting their roles in the shootings.
Transcripts of Anderson’s interview were handed out to jurors and the media.
Thirty-nine pages into the 112-page transcript, Anderson dropped the pretense of having gone to Las Vegas and began her lengthy confession: “It’s my fault … I’m sorry … It’s not Joe’s fault. It’s all me.” She claimed she had “guilt-tripped” McEnroe into helping her and said she didn’t want him to go to jail.
Anderson said she told Tompkins she initially planned to kill only her brother, who she claimed owed her money. She claimed she became upset after her parents refused to back her and instead sided with her brother.
“I’m in a lot of trouble now over some stupid money,” she said at one point, later adding, “I’m tired of everybody stepping on me.”
Anderson said she first shot her father, Wayne Anderson, but when her gun jammed, McEnroe also shot him.
After her mother was killed, Michele Anderson and McEnroe then cleaned up the house and waited for Anderson’s brother, sister-in-law and their children to arrive, she said.
After the family of four arrived for the holiday party, Michele Anderson started quarreling with her brother over the money he owed her; she claimed he charged her and she shot him, she told investigators.
Once all four adults were killed, she said they knew they had to kill her young niece and nephew.
“What were the kids doing before they were shot?” Tompkins asked on the recording.
“They were clinging to their mom screaming. Sorry,” Anderson replied. “I just thought if they saw their parents dead that they’d be scarred for life.”
“I felt so bad, like what the hell have I done?” she said at one point. “I’m a monster.”
Following her interview, Anderson accompanied detectives to a bridge on Interstate 5, where she said McEnroe had thrown extra ammo and two handguns — a 9-mm and a .357-caliber revolver — into the Stillaguamish River. Though detectives searched the river, they come up empty-handed; a man found a .357 on the river bank in 2011, but the weapon was too corroded to be matched to the Carnation crime scene, the jury heard during opening statements.