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Robert Leroy ANDERSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Rape - Piper Streyle's body was never found
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: August 27, 1994 / July 29, 1996
Date of arrest: August 2, 1996
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Larisa Dumansky, 29 / Piper Streyle, 28
Method of murder: Suffocation / Strangulation
Location: South Dakota, USA
Status: Sentenced to death April 9, 1999. Suicide by hanging from a bedsheet in his cell on March 30, 2003
Robert Leroy Anderson Ends His Own Life

March 31, 2003

One of five men on South Dakota's death row has killed himself. Guards found Robert Leroy Anderson hanging from his bed sheet in his cell early Sunday morning.

Anderson was convicted of kidnapping and killing Larisa Dumansky of Sioux Falls in 1994 and Piper Streyle of rural Canistota two years later. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1999. Authorities call him a serial killer who would have continued to murder had he not been caught. Anderson was in the process of appealing his death sentence at the time of his suicide.

Anderson left behind a suicide note. According to Attorney General Larry Long, Anderson complained about prison regulations, and included personal information for his mother and sister. Long says Anderson didn't include any information about his victims, Piper Streyle and Larisa Dumansky. Streyle's body has never been recovered. Anderson had at least another eight years of appeals before the state would have put him to death. Larry Long says, "I was relieved. It brought closure to the family, it relieves us of a lot of responsibility and a lot of work." Vance Streyle told KELOLAND News he's happy it's over, and they can finally get on with their lives.

Robert Leroy Anderson case history:

Aug. 27, 1994 - Larisa Dumansky disappears after working the night shift at John Morrell & Company in Sioux Falls. Some of her remains are later found at Lake Vermillion.

July 26, 1996 - Anderson stops at the Vance and Piper Streyle house in rural Canistota. He expresses interest in sending his children to their Bible camp and writes his name on a piece of paper.

July 29, 1996 - Piper Streyle disappears from her home. Her body is never found.

Aug. 2, 1996 - Anderson arrested on kidnapping charges.

May 8, 1997 - Anderson convicted of kidnapping Streyle and later sentenced to life in prison. South Dakota Supreme Court later upholds the conviction.

Sept. 4, 1997 - Anderson charged with raping and murdering Streyle and kidnapping and murdering Dumansky.

April 6, 1999 - Sioux Falls jury convicts Anderson of kidnapping and murdering Dumansky and raping and murdering Streyle.

April 9, 1999 - Same six men and six women sentence Anderson to death by lethal injection for both murders.

March 26, 2002 - Anderson's death row appeal argued before South Dakota Supreme Court at University of South Dakota School of Law in Vermillion.

March 30, 2003 - Anderson commits suicide at the State Penitentiary.


The story of Robert Leroy Anderson

Piper Potts was an attractive young woman from Texas who met her future husband, Vance Streyle, at a Bible college in Oregon.  They married in 1988 and three years later moved to a trailer located on forty acres in Canistota, South Dakota, a rural community about twenty miles west of Sioux Falls.

A deeply religious couple, the Streyles realized their dream of having their own part-time ministry, the Prairie View Bible Camp for children.  From the road, passing motorists could see the pews they had set up in their yard.

The Streyles had two children, Shaina and Nathan, who were three and two years of age.  Little Nathan’s second birthday fell on Money, July 29, 1996, the day they lost their mother.

That morning at about 6:30, Vance Streyle, twenty-nine, drove to his plumbing job as usual.  Piper twenty-eight, ordinarily would have left a short time later to take her children to the baby-sitter on the way to her job at the Southeastern Children’s Center in Sioux Falls.  In fact, she called the baby-sitter, Mrs. Jordnson, at 9:20 to say they were on their way.

Piper Streyle never arrived at Mrs. Jordnson’s house or at her job.  Her husband called home and noon and left a message on the answering machine.  “Honey, where are you?” Vance asked.

Around three o’clock, Patty Sinclair, who worked with Mrs. Streyle at the day-care facility, called to check on her friend.  Shaina answered the phone instead.

“I don’t want my mommy to die!” the little girl blurted into the receiver.  “I don’t want my daddy to die!” Shaina then added, “They’re probably killed.”

Stunned, Patty Sinclair directed a coworker to call the McCook County Sheriff’s office while she redialed the Streyles’ number.  Sinclair spoke with Shaina again, but this time she kept the child on the telephone for nearly forty-five minutes until Sheriff Gene Taylor arrived at the trailer.

By now it was after five.  Taylor found the children and the family dog, a blond Labroador named Chase, but no sign of Mrs. Streyle.  The trailer was in disarray; yet the children had not been harmed physically.  Nathan made hardly a sound; Shaina was in tears.

“Mommy’s going to die,” she told Sheriff Taylor and Jim Stevenson, a South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) agent.  Patiently, the two men extracted the three year old’s account of what happened.

“A mean man,” as Shaina described him, driving a black vehicle with black wheels, came into the trailer and grabbed their mother.  She reported that there was a lot of yelling and that the man shot a gun.  Their mother told them to run and hide.  Shaina also said that the man had taken Nathan’s blue tent, a birthday present he had received the evening before.

As Shaina recounted the fragmented story, her father arrived hom.  Sobbing in his arms, she blurted out that the man had taken Nathan’s tent.  Choking back his own tears, Vance Streyle reassured his daughter that it was okay; they had another tent.  Shaina was insistent that her mother was going to die, saying, “She’s not coming back.”

The investigation quickly turned up several witnesses who reported seeing a truck or sports utility painted a flat, black color in the vicinity of the Streyle residence that day.  One couple who lived in the area saw a nervous young man in jeans and a baseball cap walking from the trailer to the black Ford Bronco parked in the driveway.

But authorities had nothing substantive to go on until late on the evening of July 29.  That’s when Vance Streyle suddenly recalled a visit to the trailer three days earlier by a chubby, balding stranger in his mid-twenties.  The man said his name was Rob Anderson.

Vance notified the police, who returned to the residence to follow up on the new information.  Streyle remembered Anderson as an affable guy who a limp handshake.  He had driven up in a black Bronco at about 7:30 A.M.  the previous Friday, and at first he didn’t seem to know what he wanted to say.  He seemed surprised that Vance Streyle was home and mumbled something about having driven by the house several times over the past months.

Finally, as Piper Streyle walked to the front door, Anderson inquired about enrolling his children in the Bible camp.  Vance told him that the camp was closed for the year, but that they would be glad to add his name to the list for 1997.  Mrs. Streyle wrote his name and phone number on a piece of paper, and Anderson left.

By the next morning, investigators had fully identified the Streyles’ visitor as Robert Leroy Anderson, twenty-six, a high school dropout and twice-married father of four who lived in Sioux Falls.  Anderson worked as a maintenance man on the 11:00 P.M. – 7:30 A.m. shift at John Morrell & Co., a Sioux Falls meat-packing plant.

DCI assistant director Bob Grandpre and other law enforcement officers went to Anderson’s house, where they awakened him and said they needed to speak with him.  The suspect pulled on his jeans, a t-shirt, and his baseball hat and voluntarily drove his blue Ford Bronco to the local police station.  An investigative team searched the Bronco and his home while Anderson underwent a seven-hour interrogation.

Beneath the carpeting in the Bronco’s cargo area, officers found a plywood platform with holes drilled in it, each obviously designed to accommodate wrist or ankle restraints.  A toolbox containing chain and wooden dowels also was found In the vehicle, as were traces of black, water-based paint and a partial roll of duck tape.  Dog hairs, similar to those of the Streyle’s family dog, also were recovered, along with some furniture moving straps.

Anderson remained calm, denying any knowledge of Piper Streyle’s fate or whereabouts, but he did concede that he had visited the Streyle’s trailer the previous Friday morning.  After some equivocation, he also admitted that he had returned Monday.  He said he had come back because he wanted to use the Streyle’s archery range.  Anderson claimed that he had knocked on the door, but there was no answer.  He said he could hear children playing within and assumed that Mrs. Streyle was taking a nap, so he left.

The conversation touched on topics as diverse as the suspect’s boyhood speech impediment, his professed interest in anal sex (which Anderson reported his wife did not share), and the unsolved disappearance of another local woman, Larisa Dumansky.  Mrs. Dumansky was a twenty-nine-year-old Morrell employee who had vanished from the meat-packing company’s parking lot two years before.  Anderson denied any knowledge of her disappearance.

Meanwhile, investigators found a pair of Anderson’s blue jeans in the laundry area of his trailer.  They were stained inside with both blood and semen.  Later tests on the stains would prove inconclusive as to their source.  The search also turned up two handcuff keys and a container of black, water-soluble spray paint, such as that discovered in this Bronco.

When the police interviewed one of Anderson’s neighbors, Dan Johnson, he recalled seeing Anderson carefully clean the interior of his blue Bronco on the morning of the 29th.  Mr. Johnson reported that Anderson left for a while and returned around 2:00 P.M., when he again cleaned the vehicle’s interior.

Confronted with the handcuff keys, Anderson admitted they were his but said he didn’t own any handcuffs to go with them.  He also denied Dan Johnson’s account of the cleaning of the Bronco.

Vance Streyle later picked out Robert Anderson in a lineup as the man who came to his home on the morning of the 26th.  His daughter, Shaina, also identified him as the “mean man” who had forcibly taken her mother away.  At 1:30 on the morning of August 2, the Sioux Falls police arrested Robert Anderson at Morrell’s and charged him with kidnapping Piper Streyle.

They had identified their suspect quickly—as a key to success in any criminal case—but the investigation still was a long way from completion.  Piper Streyle was still missing.

Hundreds of officers and volunteers scoured the area around the Streyle’s trailer looking for further evidence.  They found nothing.  However, botanist Gary Larson from South Dakota State University was able to point the investigation in a more useful direction.  Larson identified bits of vegetable matter taken from a toolbox in the back of the Bronco as honewort and black snake root, which are known to grow along certain wooded stretches of the Big Sioux River north of Sioux Falls, near the small town of Baltic.  Police realized it was not a coincidence that on July 29, the day of Piper Streyle’s abduction, a motorist driving near Baltic had found a torn half of a black-and-white T-shirt that Mrs. Streyle had been wearing when she was last seen.

That’s where Anderson had taken her.

A search of the lightly inhabited area turned up the other half of her T-shirt beneath a small tree.  Dangling from a branch directly above it were several lengths of duct tape, wadded up together and matted with human hair, that proved to be microscopically indistinguishable from Mrs. Streyle’s hair.  Nearby were a large dildo and a partically used wax candle.  One torn end of the duct tape matched the roll taken from Anderson’s Bronco.  The vehicle also yielded hair specimens believed to have come from Piper Streyle.  Stuck to the black of a folding knife recovered from the Bronco were bits of cloth fiber that matched her shirt.

Anderson was charged with kidnapping Piper Streyle and went on trial the following spring.  He was not charged with murder since there wasn’t yet sufficient evidence to prosecute him successfully for that crime.  The prosecution team, led by South Dakota attorney general Mark Barnett, would show the jury that the defendant had bought black paint that Monday morning and sprayed it on the Bronco to change the appearance of the vehicle.

A reconstruction of events derived from the evidence, witnesses, and informant information established that Anderson drove to the Streyle’s trailer on the 29th.  He handcuffed Mrs. Streyle, retrieved the note with his name and phone number, carried her out to the Bronco, and then drove to the thinly settled area near Baltic.  Securing her to the platform of his vehicle, he gagged Piper Streyle with duct tape.  He cut her shirt open with his folding knife, sexually assaulted her and killed her, and disposed of the body.

Anderson then returned to the Streyle residence and retrieved a watch he had dropped during the struggle as well as the expended shell casing from the round that Shaina reported he had fired.  This second trip to the residence accounts for the Streyles’ neighbor seeing him walk from the trailer to the Bronco.  Dan Johnson and other witnesses placed him back at home in the Bronco (now blue once more) by 2:00 that afternoon, which means that somewhere along the way he also stopped and washed off the black paint.

On May 8, 1997, Anderson’s jury found him guilty of kidnapping Piper Streyle.  Two months later state circuit judge Boyd McMurchie sentenced him to life in prison.

No one was satisfied with this outcome.  Anderson complained in court that he was innocent victim of vindictive prosecution.  “I hope you rot in hell,” he told Barnett just before his sentencing.

“I might,” Barnett later said, “but it won’t be because I convicted Robert Anderson.”

In fact, Barnett was no happier about the punishment Anderson received than was the defendant, though for a different reason.  The attorney general vowed in court that there would be another day of reckoning.  “Sooner or later, he’ll face a homicide charge,” Barnett predicted.


Robert Anderson: Awakening the Devil

By Rachael Bell

Piper's Abduction

Monday, July 29, 1996 was not an ordinary day for the Streyle family of Canistota, South Dakota. It was their son Nathan's second birthday and they looked forward to celebrating later that evening.

Piper Streyle, 28, was preparing to take Nathan and her daughter, Shaina, 3, to their babysitter before going to work at the Southeastern Children's Center in Sioux Falls. Her husband Vance, 29, left less than three hours earlier for his plumbing job.

Sometime around 9:30 a.m., a man entered the Streyles' trailer while Piper, Shaina and Nathan were still there. At some point a violent struggle occurred between Piper and the man, which the children witnessed. The intruder then abducted Piper, leaving Shaina and Nathan alone, utterly traumatized by what they had seen.

That afternoon, Vance called home but there was no answer. Patty Sinclair, a day care worker at the Southeastern Children's Center called the house at approximately 3 p.m. because Piper failed to show up to work. Patty was surprised when Shaina answered the phone in a tearful panic.

Patty asked if anyone was home, but Shaina claimed that they were alone at the house. Patty was even more shocked when little Shaina suggested that her parents were likely dead and then hung up. Patty called back and Shaina, sobbing hysterically, said that she didn't want her parents to die. According to court documents, Shaina told Patty that her mother left with a man she knew in a black car.

Patty stayed on the line for approximately 45 minutes trying to soothe the traumatized little girl. While she talked with Shaina, Patty instructed a co-worker to contact the sheriff's office. Sheriff Gene Taylor arrived at the Streyles' home a little after 5 p.m. that day.

Taylor noticed that the trailer door was open. He walked in and saw that the living area was in a state of disarray, indicating that a struggle had occurred. The contents of Piper's purse were strewn on the floor, along with other household items.

Taylor went towards the rear of the trailer to the bedroom where he found Shaina unharmed but crying. Two-year-old Nathan, who was also unharmed, walked around in a dazed state. Piper was nowhere to be found. Taylor suspected that the children had been left to their own devices for quite some time.

Taylor and Jim Stevenson, a state criminal investigator who was called to the scene, questioned Shaina about what happened that day. According to Roy Hazelwood and Stephen G. Michaud's Dark Dreams, the little girl told them, "Mommy's going to die," and that a "mean man" came into the trailer, argued with their mother and fired his gun. Afraid that the man might harm her children, Piper told Shaina and Nathan to run and hide as the intruder grabbed her and took her away in his black car. The little girl also recalled the man taking Nathan's birthday present, a blue tent, before leaving.

A little more than an hour after Sheriff Taylor arrived, Vance came home. Shaina immediately threw herself into her father's arms and began crying. He questioned Shaina about what happened, but she was excited and stressed by the day's events and had difficulty trying to communicate. He was only able to make out that a man came in and stole Nathan's tent and that her mother wasn't coming back.

Vance's concern turned to horror when he learned more of the details from the sheriff and Stevenson. His wife had been abducted. All he could do was comfort his children and hope that the sheriff could find Piper alive.

Three days after Piper's abduction, Vance remembered an important piece of information, which he told to the police. It would prove to be the break they were all looking for. It would lead to the identification of one of South Dakota's most sadistic sexual murderers.

Eye Witnesses

On July 29th, Vance told the police about a man he remembered visiting their residence several days prior to his wife's disappearance. He recalled that a balding man in his twenties named Rob Anderson came to their trailer at around 7:30 a.m. on July 26th to inquire about enrolling his kids into Vance and Piper's bible camp for children, which they operated every July.

Vance claimed that Anderson seemed startled to see him as if he didn't expect him to be home. Once Anderson overcame his initial surprise, he briefly asked about the camp. Vance referred him to Piper who explained that the camp was over for the summer but suggested he sign his kids up for the next year. Anderson agreed and wrote down his name and telephone number before leaving.

The police immediately began investigating the information Vance gave them. Their new suspect was 26-year-old Robert Leroy Anderson, a maintenance man at John Morrell & Co. meat packing plant. They also learned that Anderson had been married twice and had four children.

Several witnesses who were interviewed during the police investigation claimed to have seen a black truck in the vicinity of the Streyles' trailer home on the day Piper went missing. One of the witnesses was a highway worker who told investigators that he saw a black Bronco approximately three times that day, once at around 9:45 a.m., a second time approximately one hour later and a final time at about 12:30 p.m.

A neighboring couple told investigators that at around 11:45 a.m. on the day in question, they witnessed a black Bronco close to the Streyles' trailer. According to court documents, they noticed "Shaina and Nathan standing alone by the roadside, looking upset." The neighbors saw the truck again about one hour later. It was standing in the front of the driveway and they "saw a man in a black baseball cap" and jeans walking from the Streyles' residence.

On July 30th, investigators contacted Anderson and asked him to voluntarily go to the police station to be interviewed, which he did. During approximately eight hours of videotaped questioning, Anderson calmly admitted to going to the Streyles' trailer four days earlier.

Even though he hadn't established an alibi for July 29th, he did tell investigators that he returned to the Streyles' house that day to ask permission to use the archery range on their property, but no one answered the door so he left. Anderson denied knowing anything about her abduction or Piper's whereabouts. Eventually, they would catch him in his lies.

While the police were interrogating Anderson, investigators got a warrant to search his blue Bronco and home. During the search they would find what would prove to be some of the most incriminating evidence found against Anderson. Unfortunately, it would not lead to Piper's whereabouts. In fact, she would never be found.

Crucial Evidence

As investigators searched Anderson's truck they discovered several receipts for duct tape, black water-based Tempura paint, paintbrushes and a bucket, most of which was purchased a few days prior to and on the day Piper went missing. Investigators suspected that the paint was used to disguise Anderson's Bronco. Their suspicions would prove to be correct.

They called in experts to analyze the paint job on the truck more closely. Samples were taken and chemically tested. They found that the Bronco had been painted with the same material bought by Anderson around July 29th. The paint used was a kind that could be easily applied and washed off.

Interestingly, a witness claimed that he saw Anderson cleaning his car on the same day Piper disappeared. It was believed he was washing off the paint and ridding the car of any other incriminating evidence. Yet, he failed to do a thorough job.

Inside the Bronco, investigators found even more incriminating evidence. They discovered a wooden platform that had holes drilled into it. It was believed that it was made as a restraining device in which a person's ankles and hands could be tied to metal hoops that were strategically inserted into the board. The platform had been sized to fit perfectly into the back of the truck.

The investigative team also found hairs attached to the wooden platform, which genetically matched Piper's. Moreover, a dirty shovel, furniture moving straps, weeds, a toolbox and dog hairs similar to those of the Streyles' dog were also discovered in his truck. It was becoming increasingly clear that Anderson had a darker side than that which he presented at the police station.

At Anderson's Sioux Falls home, investigators found a pair of jeans in his laundry basket. They were stained with what appeared to be blood. The jeans were taken to a police lab and analyzed. They found that the DNA structure of the blood did not match that of Anderson or his family. It was believed to have been Piper's blood. They also found semen stains on the jeans but they were not able to genetically match them to Anderson because they had such a limited specimen to test.

During the search, investigators also discovered a set of handcuff keys at his home. However, Anderson vehemently denied that he owned a pair of handcuffs. After questioning, Anderson was free to leave. Yet, the police had little doubt that he was involved in Piper's kidnapping. They just needed more proof to make their case.

On the same day of Anderson's interview, Shaina and Vance were called into the police station to view a six-picture photographic line-up. One of the pictures was an outdated driver's license photo of Anderson with long hair and a mustache. Shaina and Vance were unable to identify the man that had come to their house.

Approximately two days later, Shaina and Vance were asked to return to the police station to view some more photos. Once again, Anderson's picture was included in the photographic line-up. This time they had a more current photo depicting him with shorter hair and cleaner shaven. Almost immediately Vance picked out the picture of Anderson as the man who had come to the house on July 26th. Shaina separately picked out the same photo and identified him as the man who took her mother.

The positive identification gave Sioux Falls police the evidence they needed to press charges against Anderson. On August 2, 1996 he was arrested on two counts of kidnapping. They were unable to charge Anderson with murder because they lacked evidence of a body.

In September of that year, the police launched a massive search for Piper and any other evidence that might convict Anderson of murder. They wanted to make sure he would be jailed for the full extent of his crime. They employed the help of hundreds of volunteers who searched the wooded area around the Big Sioux River, close to the town of Baltic, South Dakota.

During the hunt for evidence, several significant items were discovered. Half of a shirt shorn down the middle with the logo "Code Zero" was found. It was the same shirt Piper was wearing on the day she disappeared. A man picked up the other half of the black and white striped shirt on July 29th on a road near Baltic.

According to court documents, he initially thought it was a referee shirt, yet when he discovered it wasn't he threw it in the back of his car and forgot about it. He later gave it to the police when he realized the shirt's significance.

Near the Big Sioux River where part of the shirt was found was a roll of duct tape with human hairs attached to it. The hair was later analyzed and found to be consistent with samples taken from Piper's hairbrush. Moreover, the duct tape taken from the scene matched the roll recovered from Anderson's truck two months earlier.

More gruesome physical evidence was discovered around the river, which included several lengths of rope and chains, eyebolts, a vibrator and a half burned candle. It was believed that the items were used to torture Piper. They also presented clear evidence that Anderson was a sexual sadist.

In May 1997, Anderson was tried and found guilty of kidnapping Piper. He was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in South Dakota State Penitentiary. However, it would not be the only charge for which he would be convicted.

Sexual Sadist

According to Hazelwood and Michaud, there was sufficient proof that Anderson was a sexual sadist who was excited by the physical and psychological suffering and helplessness of his victim. Their opinion was based on four factors:

  1. Anderson displayed an "obvious interest in sexual bondage, a hallmark of the sexual sadist," which was represented by the restraints, dildo, partially burnt candle, eyebolts, handcuff keys, duct tape and plywood platform.

  2. The evidence found by investigators "clearly indicated physical torture." It was surmised that after Piper was abducted, Anderson drove her to a wooded area near Baltic. While there he may have bound her to the platform, gagged her with duct tape, sheared her shirt off and then methodically tortured her with the dildo and candle before raping her. It is believed that he then murdered Piper and disposed of her body.

  3. Anderson admitted to police and friends that he liked anal sex, a preference his wife did not share. Research conducted by Hazelwood and Michaud found that, "sexual sadists prefer this form of sex." They believed that the dildo was used by Anderson to act out his fantasy.

  4. It was further suggested that sexual sadists "habitually plan their crimes in much greater detail than do other criminals."

One of Anderson's longtime friends, Jamie Hammer, brought forth evidence, which provided investigators with new information concerning Anderson's sexually sadistic and predatory behavior. They learned that Piper was not his only victim. They also realized that he would have likely continued to prey on women, if he hadn't been caught.

During police interviews, Hammer said that as far back as high school he was aware of Anderson's obsession with torturing and murdering women. Hammer was intrigued by the idea and the two often discussed ways in which to commit the perfect crime. As their conversations progressed and grew more detailed over time, so did their fantasies. It wasn't long before the two men decided to act them out.

Hammer and Anderson actually planned abducting a woman together. Hazelwood and Michaud stated that the two men got "wheel poppers" and placed them on the road. They waited for a victim to drive by, run over the poppers and get a flat tire. It was then that they planned to attack the unsuspecting woman. Hammer didn't know it, but Anderson had already pre-selected a victim named Amy Anderson, 26 (no relation to Robert Leroy Anderson).

In November 1994, Amy drove over the wheel poppers on her way home from a friend's house near Tea, South Dakota, as Anderson planned. Soon her tire went flat and she pulled off the road to change it. As she reached into her trunk to get a spare tire, Anderson grabbed her and carried her off the road towards a wooded area. Luckily, Amy managed to break free and flag down a passing car that stopped to pick her up.

The attempted kidnapping of Amy remained unsolved until there was a breakthrough in the case two years later. When Anderson was on trial for the abduction of Piper in 1996, Amy's case was brought once again to the forefront. She was able to identify Anderson in a police line-up, but he would never stand trial for the crime. At the time, he was already convicted of kidnapping Piper.

Instead, another friend of Anderson's named Glen Marcus Walker would take the brunt. As it turned out, he too was involved with Anderson and Hammer in Amy's unsuccessful abduction. Several years later during his trial, he pled guilty to the offense. However, it would not be the only crime he would admit that he committed with Anderson. Investigators discovered that several months before Amy was attacked, Anderson and Walker committed another more gruesome crime.

Larisa Dumansky's Murder

In 1991, Larisa, 29, and Bill Dumansky moved to South Dakota from the Ukraine. They were eager to start a new life in the United States and they both began working for the John Morrell & Co. meat packing plant. Eventually, Bill found work elsewhere, but Larisa remained at the company mostly working the night shift. It was there that she befriended the plant's maintenance man, Robert Leroy Anderson.

Like with Hammer, Anderson confided his violent murder fantasies to his lifelong friend, Glen Walker, who shared a common interest. They both wanted to experience what it would be like to abduct a woman and then kill her. Together, they devised an elaborate plan to kidnap Larisa. Anderson had been stalking her for several months.

Anderson and Walker put "wheel poppers" in the road specifically to damage Larisa's tires, hoping to abduct her after she stopped. However, their plan didn't initially work out the way they hoped. Larisa did experience many flat tires. Yet, she never stopped her car in an isolated place, which made it difficult to abduct her because of the risk that they would get caught. Instead, they decided to try another method.

On August 26th, Anderson approached Larisa in the parking lot where they worked. He held her at knifepoint and ordered her into his vehicle. Then Anderson and Walker drove Larisa to Lake Vermillion. When they arrived at the lake, Walker watched as Anderson dragged Larisa out of the car and raped her several times. According to Hazelwood and Michaud, Larisa pleaded desperately for her life but Anderson ignored her.

During testimony given by Walker several years after the incident, he informed police that Anderson suffocated Larisa with duct tape and then buried her remains beneath a chokecherry bush. At the time of Larisa's death she was approximately six weeks pregnant.

Shortly after Anderson was convicted for the kidnapping of Piper in 1997, Walker confessed to police that he was an accomplice in the abduction of Larisa. He told them that he and Anderson methodically planned and carried out the kidnapping, but he claimed that he was not involved in her rape or murder. He also said that he would show the police the location of Larisa's body.

On May 20th of that year, Walker led the police to Larisa's shallow unmarked grave at Lake Vermillion. When they dug up her remains they realized that portions of her skeleton were missing. A 1999 Midwest News article stated that forensic experts recovered a total of 57 items related to Larisa, which included a tooth, a rib, the bones from the left and right wrist, several fingers, a right foot and ankle, several fingernails and jaw and throat bones. Moreover, they found at and near the grave a pair of work gloves, shell casings and bullets, Larisa's shoes, a part of her belt, jewelry and pieces of her clothing.

The authorities were baffled as to why only part of Larisa's body was present in the grave. There were no signs that large animals disturbed the site because it was neatly covered over. The police would get their explanation from an unlikely source several months later.

Confessions and Convictions

According to a January 20, 2002 Aberdeen News article, Anderson's prison cellmate, Jeremy Brunner, contacted the attorney general's office in August 1997 with information about Anderson's crimes. He told them that Anderson bragged excessively and in great detail about the murders of Piper and Larisa during a one-week period in which they shared a cell. Brunner was able to provide them with significant evidence, which would further implicate Anderson.

Brunner told the authorities that Anderson admitted he was a serial killer and that he kept trophies of his victims at his grandmother's house. He even told Brunner the precise location of the items. They were later found exactly where he said, tucked between the ceiling and the wall of Anderson's grandmother's basement. The stash included a ring and a necklace belonging to Piper and Larisa, as well as Anderson's gun.

Anderson told Brunner that he believed Walker might tell the authorities about the murders. He also had a feeling that Walker would reveal the location of Larisa's body. In order to prevent the police from discovering the identity of Larisa if ever found, which could link the murder to him, Anderson decided to remove her skull and teeth from the shallow grave. Hazelwood and Michaud suggested that the remains that were exhumed were then thrown from Anderson's car window as he drove from the scene. Brunner's story explained why the police found only portions of Larisa's body.

Brunner claimed that Anderson also bragged about abducting Piper. He said that Anderson admitted to raping and strangling her before disposing of her body in the Big Sioux River. Witnesses said that they saw Anderson on several occasions the day of Piper's disappearance. Brunner explained that the reason for this was because Anderson forgot his watch and the tent and returned to the trailer to retrieve them.

During another conversation, Anderson asked Brunner to murder Walker because he distrusted him and didn't think he would remain silent about the crimes. After Brunner agreed, Anderson drew up two maps for him. One of the maps depicted the location of Walker's house and the other map showed where Anderson's grandmother lived. He told Brunner that in her basement he could find his gun.

Even though Brunner agreed to kill Walker when he got out of prison, he had no intention of actually following through with the deed. Instead, Brunner struck a bargain with the police, exchanging the information he gathered for a shorter prison sentence. Brunner's testimony, along with that taken from Walker and Hammer proved to be instrumental in securing another conviction.

On September 4, 1997, Anderson was charged with murdering Larisa Dumansky. He was also charged with the rape and murder of Piper Streyle. His trial was scheduled to begin in March 1999. This time, he would not be so fortunate.

Death for Murder

Anderson's trial took place in South Dakota's Minnehaha County Circuit Court during the first week of March 1999. The attorneys representing his case were John A. Schlimgen and Mike Butler. Deputy Attorney General Larry Long headed the prosecution team and Judge Tim Dallas Tucker presided over the case. The entire trial lasted approximately one month.

During the proceedings Shaina's testimony was never heard, although her description of the events that took place on July 29, 1996 was presented to the court. Eyewitnesses, Anderson's friends and his one-time cellmate Brunner also testified. The evidence against Anderson was overwhelming. The defense didn't stand a chance.

On April 6th, a jury of eight men and eight women quickly returned their verdict. Anderson was found guilty on four counts including, the rape and murder of Piper and the kidnapping and murder of Larisa. Three days later, the same jury sentenced Anderson to death by lethal injection.

Anderson's friend Walker was tried for his crimes in March 2000. He pled guilty to the attempted kidnapping of Amy Anderson, accessory to kidnapping and first-degree murder and conspiracy to kidnap Larisa Dumansky. He received a total of 30 consecutive years behind bars at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

In January 2002, Anderson filed for a death sentence appeal with the South Dakota Supreme Court. According to the Aberdeen News, his lawyers presented 18 issues in their appeal. Some of the arguments raised included a secret deal between prosecutors and Jamie Hammer in exchange for testimony.

Anderson complained that he was not tried separately for the abduction and murder of Larisa, nor did he did get the chance to confront Shaina and that he was denied his right to make a statement to the jurors before his penalty was handed down.

The Supreme Court met to discuss Anderson's appeal in March 2002. The court would finally make their decision in May 2003, but Anderson would never hear the final results.

On March 30th, while awaiting the outcome of his appeal, Robert Leroy Anderson committed suicide. Joe Kafka of the Associated Press claimed that Anderson "was not in his death-row cell but was alone in a segregation cell" when he was found hanging by a sheet tied to a bar. He was placed in isolation because he was found in possession of a razor blade. It was likely that he obtained the blade to use as a weapon of self-destruction.

Approximately three months before Anderson killed himself, his father also committed suicide. He died from a gunshot wound to his head. His father's actions may have been the catalyst, which prompted him to take his own life. Kafka quoted Larry Long saying that, "There's a lot of women who will sleep better knowing that this guy is deceased." Kafka further quoted Piper's husband Vance saying, "This is what we were after anyway. It just saved some time and effort."

After Anderson committed suicide, The Supreme Court of South Dakota dismissed his appeal. Court documents suggested that they would have upheld Anderson's criminal convictions anyway. Another factor in his suicide could have been that he knew his appeal would have been denied.



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