Grisly Details in Anderson Case

Christina and Ethan Anderson (Fox-5 San Diego)

In early August, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson of California was kidnapped after cheerleading practice by 40-year-old James DiMaggio, a family friend who once seemed more like an uncle to Hannah and her brother Ethan. The ensuing manhunt led authorities to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho, where DiMaggio was subsequently shot and killed.

Hannah was, of course, rescued. Unfortunately, the fates of her mother and younger brother were much different: their charred remains were discovered in the burned-out shell of DiMaggio’s home in nearby Boulevard, California.

This week, details about the murders of Christina and Ethan Anderson—as well as their subsequent autopsies—were released by the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office. And believe me, they were pretty gruesome.

According to the report, Christina’s feet were bound at the ankles with a plastic cable tie and duct tape had been wrapped around her mouth and neck. Her head had been bashed in at least a dozen times and there were fractures to her right arm and both legs. She also had a cut on her neck.

Christina’s body was found in the home’s garage, alongside their family dog, who had been shot.

Ethan’s body was discovered in a different part of the home and was burned beyond recognition. He also had some bone fractures, but authorities believe it was the fire that killed him.

Hannah today (People)

Despite being more than a month removed from this terrible tragedy, it is still hard for me to understand what drove DiMaggio to turn so violently against a family he once cared for deeply. Yes, I know he was in love with Hannah and that this provided the impetus for his actions. I just can’t comprehend what happens inside someone’s mind to make this kind of violence seem like a good idea. There were obviously more deep-seeded issues at work.

The good news is that Hannah is alive and doing well—as well as can be expected of someone who lost half of her family in a brutal and highly publicized way. She is a survivor, and even she recognizes this fact.

“In the beginning I was a victim, but now knowing everyone out there is helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead,” Hannah told NBC News recently. “My mom raised me to be strong.”

And if her mother were here, I know she would be proud of her daughter. I’m proud of her and we aren’t even related!

Posted on September 25, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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