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Curtis Dean ANDERSON

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Rape
Number of victims: 1 +
Date of murder: December 9, 1999
Date of arrest: May 2004
Date of birth: 1961
Victim profile: Xiana Fairchild (female, 7)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Vallejo, California, USA
Status: Setenced to 301 years in prison 2005. Died in prison on December 9, 2007
 
 

 
 

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Quick thinking by kidnapped 8-year-old may have saved her life

August 14, 2000

VALLEJO, California (AP) -- After spending two nights shackled to the front seat of a kidnapper's car, 8-year-old Midsi Sanchez finally saw her chance to make a dash for freedom and took it -- a move that police say may have saved her life.

The brave effort got Midsi out of harm's way and home to Vallejo on Saturday, just in time for her birthday party where the welcome home celebration spilled into the streets.

"Happy birthday, dear Midsi, happy birthday to you," sang the swelling crowd of well-wishers on her front lawn. Midsi looked on from an upstairs window with tears streaming past her smile, safely in the arms of her father, Juan Carlos Sanchez.

"She is a hero; she got away. She outsmarted him," said Midsi's mother, Susana Velasco-Sanchez.

Midsi tried to pick the lock of her leg shackles Friday with a nail file, but the tip broke off so she abandoned that plan. She spent Thursday and Friday night sleeping on the front seat of her abductor's car.

Saturday morning, with her abductor outside the car, Midsi seized the opportunity to rummage through a ring of keys until she found one that set her free.

She darted from the car, flagged a truck driver, hopped up the steps of his cab and dove through the window onto his lap. By Saturday evening Midsi was home and a suspect who was released in prison in November for a previous kidnap conviction, Curtis Dean Anderson, 39, was behind bars.

Anderson was to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault on a minor, rape and two counts of lewd acts.

"She had the will to survive and she had the will to escape and she never gave up," Santa Clara Police Department spokesman Anton Morec said. "She said she thought he was going to kill her."

News of Midsi's daring escape was tempered by the knowledge that another Vallejo girl, 8-year-old Xiana Fairchild, is still missing. Xiana disappeared Dec. 9 while walking to catch a bus to school.

Police said Anderson may have some connection to her disappearance. Anderson was a night cab driver at City Cab around the time that Robert Turnbough, the boyfriend of Xiana's mother, worked there as a mechanic, police said. Turnbough has been questioned repeatedly by police in the case.

Midsi's mother said Sunday she saw Anderson twice -- once the day her daughter disappeared and again when he volunteered to help find her.

"I remembered the face, and it was him," Velasco-Sanchez said during a news conference. "He even came into my house and offered to help search. When police showed me the flier and said they had a suspect, it just hit me. I knew it was him."

She told authorities she saw Anderson standing on a nearby corner the day of the abduction, smoking a cigarette. She said she saw him again the following day, when he came to the house volunteering to help search for Midsi.

Anderson was released from prison on the kidnapping charge one month before Xiana vanished. He had been sentenced for abducting a woman and taking her to Oregon in 1991.


A Sad End to Xiana Story

Jailed man's attorney says police are focusing on his client

Stacy Finz,Patrick Hoge,Tyche Hendricks, Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writers

Sunday, February 4, 2001

Authorities disclosed yesterday that a skull found in the Los Gatos hills was that of 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild, bringing a tragic end to a long and wrenching 14-month search for the Vallejo girl.

Hours later, the attorney for Curtis Dean Anderson, who was being held in Solano County in the abduction of another young girl, revealed that police have stepped up their probe of his client in connection with the Xiana case.

Anderson was abruptly transferred from lockup in Fairfield to Santa Clara County last night and is likely to face charges in the missing Vallejo girl's death, according to defense attorney Carl Spieckerman. But as of late last night, Solano County jail officials said they still had custody of Anderson.

In what seemed to be a state of confusion, Santa Clara County authorities confirmed that they were planning to receive and book Anderson after midnight and then later said plans had changed.

"They're going to book him," Spieckerman said. "And I believe he's going to be charged with something in connection with this case."

Earlier, however, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials adamantly said there was no evidence to link Anderson to Xiana's death. Last night they would not confirm whether Anderson was being moved or charged.

Xiana's remains -- a portion of her skull and two pieces of her jaw -- were discovered Jan. 19 by a construction worker driving up a rural Santa Clara County road about 60 miles from Xiana's Vallejo home.

They were positively identified through both dental records and DNA testing on Friday, according to Dr. Gregory Schmunk, Santa Clara County's medical examiner.

Xiana vanished Dec. 9, 1999, while on her way to school in downtown Vallejo.

Since then, police have focused on several suspects, including the 39-year- old Anderson.

He was arrested last summer and charged with kidnapping and molesting an 8- year-old Vallejo girl, who after two days of being held captive in an industrial part of Santa Clara managed to break away and run for help. Since his arrest, Anderson has reportedly told three people, including Xiana's great- aunt, that he was involved in the 7-year-old's disappearance.

Schmunk said that Xiana's death was a homicide, but wouldn't say how she was killed.

He said a forensic dentist compared the teeth in the skull to dental X-rays of Xiana from within a year before her disappearance and found that they matched.

"There is no question . . . that the skull belongs to Xiana," Schmunk said.

Vallejo Police Chief Robert Nichelini said, "Now we know we have a serious crime. This is more than just a missing girl."

Xiana's mother, Antoinette Robinson, and her great-aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu, who had fought off despair for so long, learned the news from police earlier in the day, according to Vallejo police spokeswoman Lt. Joann West. "They were both distraught. They were very emotionally upset by it," said West.

"I think Stephanie recognized this was a possibility, especially when the remains were found (in January). So she was somewhat prepared for this, but she was still hoping it would not be (Xiana). Even yesterday she was talking about an expanded, nationwide search."

DEVOTED TO SEARCH

Kahalekulu, who raised Xiana for most of her seven years, left her home in Colorado and came to the Bay Area where she had doggedly pursued every possible clue, helping open four successive volunteer centers, leading regular community search parties and organizing fund-raisers.

Her hopes were cruelly lifted in recent weeks by the reported words of Anderson, who she said told her that he took Xiana, gave her to someone else and that she was still alive.

The Solano County district attorney said two news reporters were told similar stories by Anderson and reported it to police about four months ago.

FEW DETAILS RELEASED

Officials would not say how, when or where Xiana had died, nor even whether they knew the answers to those questions. They declined to comment on how long the skull might have been on the remote road, how it got there or whether any other evidence was found at the site.

Neither Robinson nor Kahalekulu made any public appearances yesterday.

Dan Healy, Robinson's attorney, said his client was notified of the identification at about 11 a.m. and "cried a lot" afterward.

"She's in seclusion right now. She's not saying much of anything. It's pretty hard, even though obviously she's been aware of the possibility for a long time," Healy said. "Everybody's talking about closure, and I think that's easier said than done."

Robinson's relationship with Kahalekulu had become strained by accounts from neighbors of Xiana living in cramped conditions with Xiana's mother and her boyfriend, Robert Turnbough. But yesterday they mourned together, according to friends.

CONFLICTING STORIES

Turnbough told police he had left the girl at a bus stop the morning of Dec. 9, but later changed his story to say she walked alone to catch the bus.

"From the very day Xiana disappeared, we got conflicting stories from her mother and her mother's boyfriend," Nichelini said. "We still have those conflicting stories and we have to sort it out."

Vallejo police never labeled Turnbough a suspect, only saying he had been under "a cloud of suspicion" because of his contradictory tales.

Last year, a federal grand jury questioned both Turnbough and Robinson six times, but he was never indicted. Police also visited a landfill in Washington state where Vallejo sends trash, but nothing was found.

Jim McEntee, Turnbough's lawyer, declined to comment on the effect the discovery would have on his client's case, saying simply, "We're all saddened by this."

Healy said the same, but said that down the road, if another suspect is implicated in the case, he would be interested in reviewing information about the police investigation as it is revealed in court.

"There's clearly going to have to be a reckoning, and today is not the day for that. Having said that . . . they focused on (Robinson and Turnbough) obviously to the detriment of the investigation."

Asked yesterday whether Anderson was considered a suspect, Santa Clara County sheriff's Capt. Brian Beck said, "There is no evidence of links to Anderson at this point."

Carl Spieckerman, Anderson's attorney, said he tried to visit his client in the Solano County Jail at about 2:20 p.m. yesterday, and was told to wait. At about 4 p.m., he said, a jail official told him Anderson had been removed under court order.

ATTORNEY BAFFLED

"It's like some damn inquisition; they spirited him off," Spieckerman said. "It's extremely strange. I've been doing this 26 years and have never seen anyone spirited off in the middle of the afternoon."

Santa Clara County sheriff's Lt. John Hirokawa would not comment on Anderson's location, whether investigators have spoken to him, or whether he has been taken to the site where the skull was found.

"All we're saying is (the investigation) is proceeding," he said. Hirokawa said that regardless of Anderson's comments to the press, Santa Clara investigators do not know who the suspects are in the homicide case.

"We have no physical evidence that will link him at this time to the Xiana Fairchild disappearance," Hirokawa said.

"His comments and revelations to the press are not evidence," he said. "His comments to the press are not under penalty of perjury. He could tell you 'I'm the Zodiac killer' . . . but those claims are just that: They are comments to the press, which hold no validity in court."

DISCOVERY OF SKULL

Xiana's bones were found on Soda Springs Road, about 20 miles from Anderson's trailer park home.

The skull was found by a construction worker who stopped his truck to move what he thought was a rock from the middle of the narrow, paved road in unincorporated Los Gatos, said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

When the man discovered it was actually part of a skull, he reported it to the sheriff's department and it was turned over to the medical examiner. The man's identity has not been released.

The past two weeks have been spent trying to identify the skull, which was originally believed to come from a 5- or 6-year-old child.

Benny Del Re, director of the Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory, said his staff used tooth pulp from one of the skull's molars to work up a genetic profile of the victim.

"We confirmed it matched the (DNA) profile provided to us by the FBI of Xiana based on (tissue) samples from her toothbrush," he said. "There's 100 percent certainty it's identical."

MOURNING IN VALLEJO

In Vallejo yesterday, thousands of residents mourned the news that many had considered but no one had wished for.

Deena May never met Xiana Fairchild, the girl she's been searching for over the past 13 months. Yesterday she found out she never will. "I just kept hoping to be able to meet her and watch her grow up," said May, 24.

"This affects a lot of people,' said Vincent Wortham, a 40-year-old Vallejo search volunteer. "There's a lot of sadness and anger. Emotions are high today. "

Volunteers erected a memorial shrine to Xiana, including a teddy bear, outside their search center, which was supposed to reopen in two weeks after moving locations.

Xiana's family members would not speak to the media yesterday.

Back at the apartment where Xiana lived on Georgia Street in downtown Vallejo, residents were devastated.

"I'm sorry to hear about it. She was a very sweet little girl. She used to play right here in the hallway," said Mickey Davenport, the apartment manager.

Even neighbors who had not known Xiana said they had been holding out hope for her safe return.

"I really believed she was still alive," said Gloria Lee, a Vallejo postal worker. "I had hoped she was sold for drug money, but I didn't think she was killed."

Lee said yesterday's news was even more chilling for her as a mother of two young daughters.

This case has heightened her awareness, she said. "It's very scary, very frightening. You don't have the freedom to have a normal life with your children" she said. "You always have to know exactly where they are."

Some Vallejo residents felt yesterday's news afforded Xiana's family some measure of closure, despite the grim ending.

"You want to say that maybe she's still out there, but if the skull's hers, it brings some closure to the whole thing," said Mike Harris, 55, a retired pipe fitter.

Harris' son, Richard, 31, lives in Xiana's old apartment, which her mother vacated about six months ago.

He said the case is still far from closed. The identification of Xiana's skull still leaves many questions unanswered, he said.

"I think people want to know. They still want to get to the bottom of this, " said Richard Harris, who has an 8-year-old son. "It's like an open wound."

Yesterday, mourners placed flowers, pictures and purple and yellow candles outside the search center. "Purple was Xiana's favorite color," said Wortham, "and yellow was our hope that she would come home alive."

Charlie Clute, a 71-year-old search team leader, said he hoped the search center would remain open and be used to help find other missing children. "Hopefully we can use it as a missing children's center for Vallejo, because we don't have one," he said.

About 15 volunteers were notified yesterday about the skull's identification. At one time there were more than 400 volunteers involved in the search for Xiana.

Many, like May, became so involved that they felt like Xiana had become part of their family. May's 2-year-old daughter learned to recognize Xiana's face on television. "She would say 'Nana' because she can't say Xiana, but she knew who Xiana was and I don't know what to do now, I don't know how to tell her."


THE SEARCH FOR XIANA FAIRCHILD

DEC. 9, 1999: Xiana Fairchild, 7, is reported missing by her mother, Antoinette Robinson, when she fails to return home from Mare Island Elementary School. They share the apartment with Robert Turnbough, an ex-felon, who claims he dropped Xiana off at the school bus stop that morning

DEC. 9-12: Volunteers and law enforcement search the city and waterfront. Kim Swartz opens up a volunteer center to aid in the search.

DEC. 16: Turnbough tells reporters he isn't sure whether he drove Xiana to the bus stop the morning of Dec. 9.

DEC. 16: Court records reveal that Turnbough was convicted of scalding an infant in 1994.

DEC. 18: Xiana's case appears as a segment on "America's Most Wanted."

DEC. 19: Police and FBI agents search marshlands between Benicia and Cordelia, an area close to Vallejo where a body could have been disposed of.

DEC. 27: Police search the home of Turnbough's parents, looking for a diary and pornography.

LAST WEEK OF DECEMBER: Search continues. Bake sales and raffles are held to raise money for search efforts.

DEC. 31: The search for Xiana has already cost the city of Vallejo more than $144,000.

JAN. 1-2, 2000: A police search of the apartment Xiana shared with Robinson and Turnbough turns up the clothes Xiana was said to be wearing when she left home the morning of Dec. 9.

JAN. 3: Turnbough declares his innocence at a press conference, though he admits he failed a lie detector test.

JAN. 6: Searchers renew efforts to find Xiana, after conflicting tales begin to unravel.

JAN. 6-15: Vallejo police conduct a search of the Roosevelt Regional Landfill that is perched along the border of Washington and Oregon.

JAN. 9: Marc Klaas and Kim Swartz lead 800 volunteers on another search effort, recovering items, none of which can be identified by family as belonging to Xiana.

JAN. 9: Grand jury issues subpoenas to neighbors, relatives and acquaintances of Xiana.

JAN. 26: $75,000 reward offered.

JAN. 29: Grand jury investigation focuses on Turnbough. No charges result.

FEB. 7: The Leeza Gibbons show broadcasts a television program about the missing Xiana.

APRIL 1: Klaas leaves Xiana Fairchild Volunteer Center, complaining of disagreement among directors.

JULY 9: Swartz and Stephanie Kahalekulu, Xiana's great-aunt, argue over control of the money for Xiana's search.

AUG. 10: Solution to Xiana's disappearance is near, police say, refocusing their investigation on Turnbough and a group of his friends, including William Perkins Jr., who spent the night of Dec. 8 at the Vallejo apartment of Xiana Fairchild.

AUG. 10: 8-year-old girl of Vallejo disappears on her way home from school. Search ensues.

AUG. 16: Perkins is arrested on charges of spousal abuse and sex charges involving minors.

AUG. 12: Girl escapes her kidnapper, Curtis Dean Anderson, who is later arrested. Anderson is found to have a long criminal history.

AUG. 14: Police investigations reveal that Anderson visited the Vallejo apartment where Xiana lived shortly before her disappearance.

JAN. 19, 2001: Small skull found in Los Gatos hills.

JAN. 27: While waiting for DNA results on skull, Kahalekulu discloses that Anderson has admitted to her that he snatched Xiana and that she is still alive.


Child molester arrested in Xiana Fairchild murder

By May Wong

Associated Press

May 12, 2004

SAN JOSE He bragged about kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild, but it took authorities more than three years to get enough evidence to arrest Curtis Dean Anderson for the murder.

Anderson, 43, will face charges of murder, kidnapping and child molestation in the case, which began when Xiana disappeared in 1999 and remained unsolved when her skull was discovered more than a year later, Charles Constantinides, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, said Wednesday.

Anderson, a former Vallejo cab driver with a long criminal history, has been transferred to the county jail and will be arraigned Thursday, Constantinides said. If he is convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty.

Anderson already is serving a 251-year sentence for the 2000 kidnapping and molestation of another litle girl who eventually escaped.

After he was arrested for that crime, Anderson bragged to reporters and to Xiana's family that he kept Xiana for two weeks and then gave her, alive, to someone else. He also said he once gave Xiana a ride in his cab. Later, he sent investigators on a failed search for her remains.

Beginning last summer, three investigators a Vallejo police officer, a Santa Clara County Sheriff's investigator and a district attorney's office investigator worked full-time corroborating Anderson's claims, Constantinides said.

They talked to three children and a woman who saw Xiana with Anderson in the days before her December 1999 disappearance. They identified Anderson and his car the same car from which the 8-year-old girl escaped, according to a declaration by the investigators that was filed in court Monday along with the criminal complaint.

Investigators also interviewed a convicted felon who was housed in the Solano county jail at the same time as Anderson. Prior to any media coverage linking Anderson to Xiana's abduction, the man had written a letter to the Solano County District Attorney's office summarizing Anderson's alleged confession to him.

Authorities also determined that Anderson allegedly had made a similar confession to his brother during the summer of 2000.

Constantinides said DNA testing has been done, but he refused to comment on the results or give any details about physical evidence connecting Anderson to Xiana. He also refused to say when or how Xiana was killed.

The girl's skull was found in the Santa Cruz mountains in January 2001.

Between 1979 and 1991, Vallejo police arrested Anderson at least 10 times on various drug, theft and weapons counts, according to court records, two of which resulted in felony convictions.

In 1991, Anderson was charged with kidnapping a woman and forcing her to drive her car to Oregon. He was convicted of false imprisonment and car theft and sentenced to 80 months in prison.

Anderson was in and out of California prisons 10 times from 1986 to 1999 for three convictions and a host of parole violations, including a series of allegations of violence against women.

He also lived in Vallejo at the time Xiana disappeared and worked for the same cab company where her mother and the mother's boyfriend once worked, although not at the same time as Anderson.

According to the investigators' declaration, Anderson admitted in two prison interviews earlier this year that he kidnapped Xiana and held her for several weeks. He also claimed to have a hidden videotape of the sexual abuse, but authorities refused to say whether the videotape exists.

Xiana, who was born while her mother, Antoinette Robinson, was in prison for auto theft, disappeared while walking to a school bus stop, six months after Robinson reclaimed her, against the wishes of other relatives.

Stephanie Kahalekulu, a great-aunt who helped raise Xiana, helped mount an extensive search for the girl.

Police on Wednesday called Kahalekulu a hero for making sure they continued their investigation. She said the case had taken its toll on her emotionally, but she was glad justice was finally being done.

"I'd like to see the death penalty, but, even better, I'd like to see ... him to be tortured in pain on a daily basis," Kahalekulu said, tears filling her eyes.

Susanna Velasco, the mother of the then-8-year-old girl who escaped from Anderson, said her daughter is doing well. She's become good friends with Kahalekulu and attended Wednesday's news conference to show her support.

"I'm glad that they could punish him now," Velasco said.


Accused kidnapper portrayed as serial predator

Detective testifies defendant talked of videotaping strangulation of Vallejo 7-year-old

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild in 1999 allegedly had a pattern of stalking Vallejo schoolgirls, according to Tuesday testimony in a San Jose courthouse.

In the day's most horrific revelation, a Vallejo police detective testified that a prison informant said Curtis Dean Anderson bragged that he had videotaped himself strangling Xiana as he sexually assaulted the drugged child -- before beheading her.

The testimony came on the second day of a preliminary hearing to determine if there's sufficient evidence to make Anderson, 44, stand trial for the kidnap-murder of Xiana. Anderson is charged with abducting her in Vallejo as she walked to school, and then sexually assaulting and killing her as she was held captive at his San Jose boardinghouse room before dumping her body in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Santa Clara County Judge Ron Del Pozzo is expected to rule today on whether Anderson will stand trial.

Remnants of Xiana's skull were found in 2001 on Soda Springs Road above the Lexington Reservoir near Los Gatos, and Anderson -- who for years had told news reporters and eventually investigators that he had kidnapped the girl -- was finally charged with her death in 2004.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether Anderson should face the death penalty.

During the hearings, prosecutor Charles Constantinides has used witnesses and Anderson's own damning jailhouse confessions to portray him as a calculating serial child predator.

Vallejo police detective Jolene Spears testified that Anderson was already serving a 251-year prison sentence for the August 2000 abduction of an 8-year-old Vallejo girl as she walked home from Highland Elementary School.

Anderson was convicted in 2001 of dragging the girl into his tan four-door Oldsmobile sedan and spiriting her away to Santa Clara County, where he repeatedly molested her during a two-day ordeal. The girl freed herself from a leg shackle when her abductor briefly left the parked car in Santa Clara, and she flagged down a passing trucker, who called police.

As police were investigating the kidnapping of the girl who escaped, Spears testified, a third girl, also an 8-year-old attending Highland school, came forward to identify Anderson out of a photo lineup as a man who briefly lured her into a brown four-door sedan on her way to school, Spears said.

Police learned of the third girl after her foster mother told them that a news reporter had approached her and said Anderson had told him about the kidnap attempt during a jailhouse interview.

The girl said the man, who used a cane, had asked her to help him reach a roll of tape on the front seat of his car to help fix a broken passenger window. As the girl crawled into the car, Spears testified, the man tried to shut the door behind her. But when another car drove up, he backed off, gave the girl $5 and let her go. He was never charged in the attempted abduction.

Anderson, who severely injured his right hip during a 1999 motorcycle accident, used a cane at the time and was seated during Tuesday's hearing in a wheelchair.

Constantinides noted that the kidnappings of Xiana and the 8-year-old girl -- and the attempted abduction of the third girl -- had all occurred on Thursdays.

While Anderson's defense attorneys say he's just made up bogus confessions to "play games" with authorities, he may ultimately be done in by his own words. Police often secretly recorded Anderson's jailhouse admissions to reporters, and now investigators are attempting to show that the defendant gave reliable clues about how he allegedly abducted and killed Xiana.

Vallejo police Detective James Matthews Jr. testified that a fellow inmate at Corcoran State Prison named Louis Oliverez had told investigators last year about Anderson's bragging that he had videotaped Xiana's death.

Anderson, who during an interview with a reporter compared himself with infamous serial killers like Ted Bundy, also claimed to have gotten away with murdering 15 total victims. He's been charged only with Xiana's murder.

"Anderson said he tied (Xiana) up, gave her some drugs and asphyxiated her while having sex with her,'' Matthews recounted Oliverez telling him. Anderson allegedly bragged "that he wanted to see her die while he was having sex with her,'' Matthews testified.

Anderson then claimed "he cut off her head with a large knife,'' Matthews said. "He said that it was harder than he thought, even though she was a young girl. He thought it would be easier, because of the size of her neck.''

Earlier in the day, the defendant's brother, Zack Anderson, 42, testified that six months after Xiana's disappearance, Curtis Anderson had told him: "I took that girl." But Zack Anderson said he didn't believe his brother, because of his habit of telling tall tales.


Guilty Plea In Xiana Fairchild Murder

Convicted felon Curtis Dean Anderson pleaded guilty Thursday to the 1999 kidnapping, molestation and murder of 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild.

Anderson, 44, already is in prison serving a 251-year sentence for kidnapping and sexually assaulting another Vallejo girl in 2000. In May, he pleaded not guilty to the charges in the Fairchild case. His trial was set for early next year.

Prosecutor Charles Constantinides said Anderson pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder, kidnapping and child molestation and was sentenced to 50 years-to-life in prison.

"He's never flat-out said, 'Yeah, I did it,' before," Constantinides said.

Xiana disappeared while on her way to school in December 1999. Her fate remained a mystery until her skull was discovered more than a year later.

After Anderson was arrested in 2000 on charges he kidnapped another girl, he boasted to reporters that he killed Xiana. He told one reporter he drugged Xiana, then put her body in a bag and tossed it down an embankment, investigators said. But they couldn't corroborate his stories until recently.

Anderson also tried to extort weekly payments from Xiana's great-aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu, in exchange for guaranteeing her safety, investigators said.

Kahalekulu was in court Thursday, Constantinides said.


Family Of Xiana Fairchild Reacts To Guilty Plea

Curtis Dean Anderson's sudden guilty plea today to charges he kidnapped, molested and murdered 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild in 1999 came as a surprise and a relief to her family.

"You never would have thought you would hear him say he was guilty," Xiana's great aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu, said this afternoon. "He was just too cocky for that. Something's happened. He didn't have the threat of the death penalty."

Following his plea today, Anderson was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office decided not to seek the death penalty for Anderson for several reasons, including his health and out of concern for another of his victims.

Anderson is already serving a 251-year prison sentence for kidnapping and molesting a now-13-year-old Vallejo girl who escaped from him in Santa Clara in August 2000. Prosecutors wanted to protect her from having to testify at a high-profile trial.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu said Xiana's family wanted Anderson to admit responsibility for her murder. Anderson is also ill and would likely not be executed even if had had been convicted and sentenced to death.

"We believe that he would not live out the appellate process as it is in California," Sinunu said.

Kahalekulu agreed, saying, "It takes 20 to 25 years to be put to death. I don't know if Anderson is going to last that long."

"I have mixed feelings about it," she said. "It meant a lot to hear him say that he is guilty for what he has done. I hope (prison) is made a very uncomfortable place for him."

At his preliminary hearing in April, prosecutors presented evidence that Anderson bragged about strangling Xiana while he was molesting her and filming the entire incident.

He also bragged to a fellow inmate at Corcoran State Prison that he decapitated Xiana after killing her, according to testimony during the hearing. He also allegedly claimed to have killed 15 people during his lifetime.

Xiana disappeared from her Vallejo neighborhood in December 1999. Her remains were found in Santa Clara County, above Lexington Reservoir, in 2001.


Prosecutors, family react to Anderson plea

December 17, 2005

Curtis Dean Anderson's sudden guilty plea today to charges he kidnapped, molested and murdered 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild in 1999 came as a surprise and a relief to her family.

"You never would have thought you would hear him say he was guilty,'' Xiana's great aunt, Stephanie Kahalekulu, said this afternoon. "He was just too cocky for that. Something's happened. He didn't have the threat of the death penalty.''

Following his plea today, Anderson was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office decided not to seek the death penalty for Anderson for several reasons, including his health and out of concern for another of his victims.

Anderson is already serving a 251-year prison sentence for kidnapping and molesting a now-13-year-old Vallejo girl who escaped from him in Santa Clara in August 2000. Prosecutors wanted to protect her from having to testify at a high-profile trial.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu said Xiana's family wanted Anderson to admit responsibility for her murder. Anderson is also ill and would likely not be executed even if had had been convicted and sentenced to death.

"We believe that he would not live out the appellate process as it is in California,'' Sinunu said.

Kahalekulu agreed, saying, "It takes 20 to 25 years to be put to death. I don't know if Anderson is going to last that long.''

"I have mixed feelings about it," she said. "It meant a lot to hear him say that he is guilty for what he has done. I hope (prison) is made a very uncomfortable place for him.''

At his preliminary hearing in April, prosecutors presented evidence that Anderson bragged about strangling Xiana while he was molesting her and filming the entire incident.

He also bragged to a fellow inmate at Corcoran State Prison that he decapitated Xiana after killing her, according to testimony during the hearing. He also allegedly claimed to have killed 15 people during his lifetime.

Xiana disappeared from her Vallejo neighborhood in December 1999. Her remains were found in Santa Clara County, above Lexington Reservoir, in 2001.


Memory of slain girl lives on in 'Angel Tree'

Relatives of child killed in 1999 take comfort in ensuring needy children receive gifts on holiday

By Rich Freedman - MediaNews Staff

Sun, Dec. 17, 2006

VALLEJO - From new bikes to dolls and clothes, most of the gifts were gone by noon Saturday, handed to grateful parents and wide-eyed children.

And, for the sixth holiday season, Stephanie Kahalekulu was able to put a comforting smile on her eternal pain.

Because of her "Xiana Angel Tree," nearly 200 low-income Vallejo families had Christmas gifts.

"The hard part is that we're doing this in Xiana's memory rather than having her here," Kahalekulu said. "It still hits you every once in awhile that she died. That she was killed and these (annual events) are in her memory."

Xiana Fairchild, the 7-year-old Vallejo girl kidnapped Dec. 9, 1999, and murdered, was, technically, Kahalekulu's great-niece, though Kahalekulu would become "mom" to the girl. Xiana was born while her biological mother, Antoinette Robinson, was in prison. She was reunited with her mother six months before her disappearance.

Rarely is Xiana out of Kahalekulu's mind, particularly during the Angel Tree. Kahalekulu's 14-year-old daughter, Aubri, and son, Devan, 21, assisted in gift distribution at IBEW Hall in Vallejo.

"I fade in and out during the whole thing," Kahalekulu said. "I can still picture Xiana walking up and saying, 'Hi, mommy.' I go in and out. I'll sometimes stand on the side and stare."

Kahalekulu received significant donations for this year's "Angel Tree" from the Hiddenbrooke community, various police officers who had worked on the Xiana case, firefighters, city officials and the district attorney's office.

About $10,000 in gifts were purchased and wrapped, said Kahalekulu, who received the list of needy families from the school district.

"This was the least stress year I've had," she said. "It's actually gone pretty well."

For the most part, parents and children are thrilled, Kahalekulu said. One parent handed her a thank-you letter and volunteered to help next year.

"A lot of parents say 'thank you, thank you, thank you' because their child wasn't going to get very much for Christmas," Kahalekulu said. "And the kids are very thankful. This is for the most needy."

Kahalekulu said she realizes the fruits of her efforts Christmas Day.

"Then I can sit down and picture all 180 of these children opening their gifts," she said. "It's a neat feeling. And I picture Xiana watching what's happening."

Vallejo city employee Deborah Marshall has assisted Kahalekulu on the "Angel Tree" since the first year.

"I love doing this," Marshall said. "I like the reason we do it. I like why it's done. The fact it represents Xiana. I think it's a good thing."

Intense national media attention and a Bay Area manhunt followed Xiana's kidnapping until the girl's remains were found in the Santa Cruz mountains in January 2001.

Former Vallejo cab driver Curtis Dean Anderson was arrested for the crime in May 2004. Anderson, who was already serving a 251-year sentence for kidnapping another Vallejo girl in August 2000, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to Xiana's murder.


Vallejo Sexual Predator Curtis Dean Anderson Dies

CBS5.com

Dec 11, 2007

A former cab driver sentenced to more than 300 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two young girls died Tuesday in a Bakersfield hospital.

Prison officials say 46-year-old Curtis Dean Anderson had been receiving treatment at the undisclosed hospital since November 28th.

Anderson was serving a 251-year sentence for kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old Vallejo girl in 2000. The victim was shackled to the front seat of Anderson's car for two days and managed to escape by getting hold of the keys, flagging down a passing truck and diving through the open window.

Two years ago, Anderson was sentenced to another 50-years to life after pleading guilty to the 1999 kidnapping, molestation and murder of 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild.

Xiana disappeared while on her way to school in San Jose. Her fate remained a mystery until her skull was discovered more than a year later.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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