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Wrong Anna Vanderford?

Anna Vanderford

Biology Teacher


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Background Information

Employment History



Temple Baptist Church School

Richfield High School

Web References

Poison Flower

www.trucrime.com [cached]

Many people were glad to be sources for this story once they were assured their identities would not be revealed. They live in fear that Anna Vanderford will either be released or escape from prison and kill them. She is evil incarnate , says onePoison Flower

Poison Flower
ANNA MARIE VANDERFORD IS AN AMERASIAN - a clunky term to describe a heartbreaker like Anna.Her kind of beauty may not stop traffic in Paris or Bangkok , but it did in Minnesota , where she grew up , a lotus flower among the snow queens.Her beauty set her apart , and so did certain childhood experiences she had.
When she was in third grade her family lived in suburban Rosemount.Dark-skinned people are scarce in Rosemount , but Anna's beauty and brains tended to mitigate that problem.If anything , she was viewed as special by teachers and classmates alike.
Her father thought she was special , too.According to Anna , she would often be watching television with her brother and sister when her father would pick her up and ask , How is my number-one girl today?.Then he would carry her off to various places for some special attention.On one occasion he took her behind a shed , where he removed her clothes and licked her over her entire body.On other occasions he would rub her against himself until he ejaculated.She says he tried to penetrate her sexually but was unable to do so.
The incest began when she was five , says Anna.It went in spurts , sometimes once or twice a week , sometimes every night.At first I was confused and afraid , not really having full knowledge of what was going on.Later I was still afraid , feeling like nobody knew or cared what was happening.I became invisible.My brothers and sisters never seemed to know that I'd disappear for an hour or two , and it developed into a really resentful and just a violated feeling.There was always the fear..
One April evening in 1976 , after the family had finished dinner , eight-year-old Anna found herself the last one at the table with her father.She remembers distinctly , she says , because she always tried to avoid being alone with him.She excused herself quickly and went to her room.He followed her , but this time he did not have incest on his mind.Instead he handed her a note.Then he took his 12-gauge shotgun out of the closet , walked out the back door , put the barrel in his mouth and blew his head off.
The contents of the note remain a secret.Just before the police arrived , Anna gave it to her mother , who screamed , tore it to pieces , and swallowed it.
Writing emotionally charged notes that were forever falling into the wrong hands would later become a pattern for Anna.In a sense , her life ever since her father's suicide can be viewed as an effort to get that first note disgorged and out into the open.
* * * *
The persona Anna contrived made a striking , if somewhat spooky , impression on the nine people who held her fate in their hands.They listened with rapt attention and a certain amount of sympathy to the tale she told , but in the end they decided against her.They found her guilty of first-degree murder , and on December 20 , 1987 , she was sentenced to life in prison.
We kept expecting a psychologist to take the stand and explain some things to us , says the foreman of the jury , but it never happened.Frankly , I was surprised..
* * * *
A STUDY DIRECTED BY ANN Burgess , a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing , concluded that children who were the victims of repeated sexual abuse manifest the same symptoms as combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder : nightmares , insomnia , flashbacks , and hyper-alertness.
Most of the information in Knutsen's reports came from eight-year-old Anna.
There must have been some sort of domestic dispute , that's all I can think of , he says.The father got the gun out of the closet , and the mother gathered the kids together and ran out the front door with them.She didn't know what he intended to do with that gun , that would be my guess.She must have been in fear for her life , and the lives of her children.They looped around the house the opposite way from where the father had gone.Then they heard a shot , continued around , and found him lying there..
Friends and family of the young man whom Anna later murdered doubt that she was ever sexually abused by her father.They wonder if the incest tale was not just the first in what would prove to be a long string of lies.
She lies about everything , you know , says one of them.She lies about crucial matters , she lies about trivial things.She lies practically at random.I think the simple reason she says something is true is good reason to doubt its validity..
They live in fear that Anna Vanderford will either be released or escape from prison and kill them.She is evil incarnate , says one. ).
Nevertheless , and despite some people's understandable reservations , an objective observer can find good reason to believe Anna's story.Her recollection of her father's suicide , accurate according to police reports , indicates that there was more to the relationship between them than met the casual eye.Furthermore , her description of him ( He was the biggest one in the house . . . . Nobody argued with him ) and other details of her family life are telling.
Anna Vanderford , however , did not become the kind of eternal victim many abused girls become.She is supremely intelligent , says another person who ran afoul of Anna.Others may have been taken by her beauty , but I was more impressed with her mind.She might be the most intelligent person I have ever met.She always knew exactly what she was doing..
The record reveals that Anna Vanderford , cruelly victimized from age five to age eight , then further traumatized by her father's suicide , became a victimizer , not a victim.She took what nature gave her and set out to destroy mens' lives with it.
* * * *
THE RECORD OF THE Vanderford family's wanderings from 1976 to 1981 is sketchy.The mother is really strange , says Hennepin County prosecutor Stephen Redding , who handled the case against Anna.
At age 15 Anna was enrolled at the Temple Baptist Church School in St. Paul.She was a cheerleader , and she participated in the TV ministry , a program that included videotaping of students.An assistant pastor who also coached the basketball team was in charge of making the videotapes.He was 40 years old , married , with two children.He drove the basketball team and cheerleaders to games as part of his duties.He and Anna had an affair.He denies having sexual relations with her , but admits to some hugging and touching , which he says took place at her instigation.
She made herself available in every way , he says.
We had sexual relations , says Anna.It started out in the church , then we went to various places , hotels , his home.Once we had sex in his office , off to the side of the altar..
The two of them also exchanged notes of a rather explicit nature.Anna persuaded the assistant pastor to take her to his home and deliberately left some of these notes where his wife would find them.The wife blew the whistle , precipitating a rancorous counseling session between the head pastor , the assistant pastor , and Anna's mother.
I was forced to leave the school , admits the former assistant pastor of Temple Baptist , who now lives and teaches in another state.
Anna had to leave , too.She went to Richfield High School outside Minneapolis , where she excelled in the sciences and became part of a gifted and talented students program during her junior year.
Anatomy , physiology , and biology were my fortes , she says.She was one of 15 students picked to go to various area colleges for special science days.Her biology teacher at Richfield was in charge of transporting the gifted students , and that was how her affair with him began.He was 42 , married , and had two children.We had sex in a locked classroom , she says , at his office , in hotels..
A former student at Richfield High says that 16-year-old Anna had a reputation for promiscuity.She says Anna often bragged of her affair with the biology teacher , saying

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