Curtis Dean Anderson was a notorious serial killer who confessed to murdering at least 10 people, mostly young girls, in the United States and Mexico. He was serving a sentence of over 300 years in prison for his crimes when he died of natural causes on December 9, 2007, at the age of 46. His death marked the end of a long and horrific saga that spanned more than two decades and left many families devastated.
A Life of Crime and Violence
Anderson was born in San Francisco in 1961 and had a troubled childhood. He was abused by his father, who was also a convicted rapist, and ran away from home at the age of 12. He spent his teenage years in and out of juvenile detention centers and foster homes, where he was also sexually abused. He dropped out of school and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Anderson began his criminal career as a petty thief and burglar, but soon escalated to more violent offenses. He was arrested several times for assault, robbery, kidnapping, and rape, but often managed to avoid conviction or received lenient sentences. He was also a suspect in several murders, but was never charged due to lack of evidence.
Anderson’s most infamous crimes were the kidnappings and murders of two young girls from Vallejo, California, in 1999 and 2000. He abducted 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild on December 9, 1999, as she was walking to her school bus stop. He kept her captive for six weeks, raping and torturing her, before killing her and dumping her body in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He was arrested on August 10, 2000, after he kidnapped and sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl, who managed to escape and identify him.
A Shocking Confession and a Mysterious Death
While in prison, Anderson confessed to several other murders, including that of 7-year-old Amber Swartz-Garcia, who disappeared from Pinole, California, on June 3, 1988. He claimed he kidnapped her for company, killed her in Arizona, and disposed of her body in the desert. He also admitted to killing six other women and girls in California and Arizona between 1984 and 1997, and two more in Mexico. He gave details of his victims’ descriptions, locations, and methods of disposal, but did not reveal their names or exact whereabouts.
Anderson’s confession was met with skepticism by some investigators and families, who doubted his credibility and motives. Some believed he was lying to gain attention, avoid the death penalty, or bargain for better prison conditions. Others thought he was telling the truth, but was hiding more information or victims. The FBI and local authorities tried to verify his claims, but were unable to find any physical evidence or corroborating witnesses.
Anderson died of natural causes on December 9, 2007, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, where he was serving his sentence. He had been suffering from liver failure and other health problems. He did not leave a suicide note or a will. His death closed the case of Amber Swartz-Garcia, who was officially declared dead by the Pinole Police Department in 2009. However, it also left many questions unanswered and many families without closure.
A Legacy of Pain and Justice
Anderson’s death did not end the suffering of his victims’ families, who had to live with the loss of their loved ones and the uncertainty of their fate. Many of them expressed anger, sadness, frustration, and disappointment that he died without revealing more information or facing justice. Some of them also criticized the criminal justice system for failing to stop him sooner or prevent him from harming more people.
However, Anderson’s death also inspired some of his victims’ families to seek justice and closure in other ways. They formed support groups, organized vigils, advocated for missing and exploited children, and raised awareness about the dangers of predators and the need for prevention and intervention. They also honored the memory of their loved ones by celebrating their lives, sharing their stories, and keeping their hope alive.
Curtis Dean Anderson was a serial killer who took the lives of at least 10 people, mostly young girls, in a brutal and senseless manner. He died of natural causes in prison, without facing the full consequences of his actions or providing the full truth of his crimes. His death was a tragic end to a tragic story, but also a reminder of the resilience and courage of his victims and their families.