« True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers

POSSESSED-Kathryn Casey

2017-01-11 | 🔗
The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston’s hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could’ve prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood . . . an older man lying dead on the floor . . . and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel. With her stunning looks, magnetic personality, and erratic behavior, Ana Trujillo had a notorious reputation on the downtown Houston scene. She spoke often of occult powers, though few knew how deeply she believed such boasts. Stefan Andersson was a gentle soul, a Swedish transplant with a good career and trusted friends, who was desperate to find someone special. Theirs is a story of obsession, madness, and tragedy. Because once Stefan fell head over heels for Ana, he was under her control—and he didn’t have a chance in hell. POSSESSED: The Infamous Texas Stilletto Murder-Kathryn Casey
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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you are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, the night stalker Dgk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers, true crime, history, room murder, with your host journalist and author Dan good evening, the officer responding to a nine one, one call at one of Houston's hippest highrises expected the worst afterall domestic violence. Situations can be unpredictable, but nothing could have prepared
him for what he found. A beautiful woman drenched in blood, an older man lying dead on the floor and a cobalt blue, suede stiletto, with tufts of white hair stuck to its five one, slash two inch heel with their stunning looks magnetic personality and erratic behavior Anna Trujillo had a notorious ray mutation on the downtown Houston scene. He spoke often of occult powers, though, if you knew how deeply she believed such boasts. Stephen Anderson was a gentle soul.
A swedish transplant with a good career and trusted friends who was desperate to find someone special, there's, a story of obsession, madness and tragedy, because once the fan fell hard head over heels for honor, he was under her control and he didn't have a chance in Hell. The book Dover featuring the season is possessed the infamous Texas to let old murder, with my special gas journalist and author Catherine Casey welcome back to the program, and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Catherine Casey. Thank you for inviting me down happy to be here. Thank you very much, you've uncovered and uh, their wild wild tale. I'm sure the audience will appreciate this incredible story: Anne very, very colorful killer, to say the least. Now what brought you to write about this case in particular, how did
You come to be this story to be important to you and to write, possessed, tell us a little bit about that. Well, you know I cover Texas quite a bit, and this is in my hometown. It's in Houston, and I was actually in London when the story broke, but it was all over the international media the BBC latched on to it. Just such a bizarre tale, I mean it's something we see in movies you know a man being beaten to death by a woman with a stiletto heel, but I'm not in real life. Still those are kind of like the ultimate symbol of female sexuality. So there is he. It just seems such an odd thing to have happened, and I was attracted by the the story of the back to he was a brilliant man
then scientist- and he seemed very- very unlikely person- have gotten into this situation now? Let's talk about this character, Steven Anderson, you say was born in vaster. This city of one hundred and ten thousand in Sweden, I'm Sweden, being a small country of about ten million. Tell us a little bit about that. You talk about his parents, Irene in and his siblings, Marina Nelly tell a. A little bit about Stefan Andersson and the environment that he grew up in with his parents. In Sweden. Before we talk about is big transition to America and everything that happened as a result. Well, actually, Stefan was imprinted as a as a boy. He grew up in a household where there was domestic violence. He often talked to his friends about
parents and and talked about feeling just unable to protect his mother when his father would get angry and about the effect that it had on him. So he he grew up not wanting to not be his Rather it was very important to him that he wasn't that man and he always talked about how he would never be able I had a woman now this right away, he's recognized as a very bright child and
Tell us what you say that his father worked for the railroad, but a Stefan experience this bullying in his childhood, so tell us a little bit more about his experience with his father and that relationship and what Stefan came to remember as terms of his behavior from his father close to find was awfully disappointed at times that his father wasn't proud of him. It was kind of a recurring same trucks are fonts live, chiffon was, if you mention very, very bright and as a young man, he was recognized as so by its teachers, and then you know by others, and he did things he he actually developed a camouflage, pay, pattern instead and in to the swedish ARM Army and suggested that it
would be a good one and aid high ranking officer, wrote back and and- was very laudatory about how wonderful this was wonderful, young man he was and when he showed it father. His father was angry that he had gotten attention his parents wanted him to, just blend in and to live as they lived, they were quite upset when he went to the university or not is not his mother, but his father was it wasn't something that they saw for him. They thought that he was supposed to live the life debt. His dad thought that he was supposed to live the life that he had lived now also would you talk about? Is it and for our our audience? Not everybody knows about Sweden, but sort of the the effect of the weather, the long winters, and not very well Werner short summers but sort of the attitude and,
and then he is this person in nineteen. Seventy nine, as you ready registers at Upsala University Pharmacy School, so he's taking that natural intelligence and pudding it towards what seems like his love of chemistry and moving towards pharmacy. Tell us a little bit about Sweden itself and what he experienced there before. We talk about again why he would have moved to America away from his family away from that life. Tell us a little bit about what you write in the book about Sweden. Will Sweden is a beautiful country, lots of green lots of hills? It has the lakes it's a beautiful. But it's dark much of the winter there during the winter, when the daylight is only a couple of hours, two or three hours and that bothered Stephon is depressed him. He really found it. He loves us.
Shine and that would become kind of the same. Threaded is his life that he I need to be in warm places with bright sun. Now he's got a lot of offers after years is master degree in pharmacy. As you mentioned, the invent Winzor innovations, but he also had a paper published. He achieve recognition was granted. Patents on, we talked about the discovery and again, as Father was not proud of his accomplishments, and so he had been offered positions from research facilities around the world. So tell us about how he decided and and he decided or uh how about how we decided to make this big dramatic move, and where did he move to well because of his love of the sun shines defy, and decided he really wanted to be in a climate with that type of atmosphere,
and there was a swedish man who was heading up a department in Dallas at one of the big research centers there and he made the trip on an offer and Steven went to Dallas and looked it over and decided to move. Texas has bright. Sunshine has a lot of warmth. Those who thinks he. Appreciated and he was moving into an atmosphere where he had someone from his country to work. For so it was actually kind of a perfect fit for him. He loved Alice. They moved into an apartment there and he was often spends a lot of time at the pool.
He sat there and read newspapers and magazines and to soak up the Texas Sun. Now he is it. A complete person in terms of his business is very, very successful, but he lacks in certain areas and he's meeting people. But what is it about? How would you describe his character for the again of brown? and a brilliant scientist and a brilliant mind socially. What would you categorize or how would you characterize him as he moves there, tell us a little bit about his character 'cause. I think it's important to know what Anna and who Anna meets much later on. Well, he really had a lot of friends and they would go out in the evenings and they would circulate between the bars and restaurants, but at the same time
John was very lonely. He always wanted that special person in his life. He often talked about having a family at one point in Dallas he married and they moved to New York together and it was exciting and wonderful, and but it didn't workout and he was very disappointed, don't think I ever really understood why it didn't work out. It was one of those marriages where they had just rather drifted up. Are they were doing other things, so here it turn to Dallas and to Sw Medical center, where he was working as a research scientist when he came back, he was working on stereo
and hormones and how they affect women's bodies during pregnancy. This important work he was looking at how to prevent premature births. Now you say he he has relationships what one with Jackie for four years, but they drift apart. He is all at that time. He had wanted a family and he wanted children and it seemed after that You write this divorce really devastated him. So then he he would return to Sweden every year, visiting families and friends and men. Nine. It became a US citizen and
in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven, a woman from Sweden, Annika Lindquist, we had been influenced to move to the US began working for him. Now tell us a little bit about this relationship, because it's important because he is still in contact with her later when he, when he meets on a so tell us a little bit about this relationship and what it means for Steven Steven Anica became very close. They became they were good coworkers together. She kind of filled him out. Steven was great with big ideas and coming up with different avenues. They could look into. An onika was born nuts and bolts, so she kind of carried it through. They really got along very well and we're really good friends and Anica started going out with Steven's friends in the evenings, Going to the restaurants and having fun for a short time, a period of
once they had a romantic relationship, but it didn't workout onika is very outdoorsy. She she likes camping and she like doing she didn't, It was ninety five degrees should go for a high can define with the kind of guy you wanted to go to the local restaurant on a Sunday afternoon for brunch the is there a you know: they're like just didn't match and they kind of drifted into the relationship and then drifted out of it, but they remained very very good friends. Now you talk about the series of events we talk about. You talk about in two thousand and five, this stormy relationship between Steven's, Father's father dies and
Jenny, it was evidence of people that knew him. This is his father. Never told him. You loved him respected what he had done and yet Stefan still in in certain parts of his life is, is maintaining. He is maintaining his work, he's doing really good work and love of the science, not about ego and not about money. He has good friends and They didn't notice at that. Time, though, is that again of foreboding of the future is Steven really liked high heels and his friends almost and- a commented that he had a shoe fetish. So uh tell us a little bit about how he got in a position in terms of meeting on a Trujillo well. He moved to Houston when his grant ran out in Dallas and
He was hired here at the University of Houston to do his research, continue research and also to lecture the medical students at the University of Houston and he was doing very well with that you're right, he did love of a beautiful woman and high heels on his 50th birthday before he moved Houston Anik. I made a kind of a poster form with a lot of pictures and there were a lot of pictures of friends and and there were pictures of high heel shoes and it said shoe fetish in the center of it. This was something that appeal to him. So in Houston, he moved into a building
near downtown, it's near Hermann Park. It's called the park lane, it's a beautiful condominium in our apartment, complex, it's a high rise and he got in a fight with the ultimate apartment. It has views of the city on two sides. It was a small, but it was had huge windows here. View of downtown Houston and the sun port in every morning. He got up and he waited for sunrise. It was just a remarkable place for him. He really fell in love with his apartment, an with Houston. Now you talk about him being a full professor.
Make it a little bit less monies again every doing everything for his career, but he said to his friend stand at his stand. Ridge's wedding said: I'm really looking for my my match. He had taken dancing lessons. He fell in love with salsa dancing and he is set to stand that he wanted to look for a a latino woman to salsa dance with them and to teach him spanish. Now you talk about the park lane and Let's talk about and it's for Jello and how she comes to be anywhere near a place like this. Tell us a little bit about. I will have to go back to who amateur jello is so tell us about ANA Trujillo in and her early life how she grew up well Anna came in with, with an immigrant family, her her parents brought her over. They were living
in the states in Arizona before she was born. She was actually born in Mexico, but they quickly brought it back over the border. And her family didn't have a lot of money. She was raised for quite awhile by a single mom. She had three other siblings. Her mom married, a man with four other children and honest spent much of her childhood, helping to care for her siblings. She was a very response. Little young girl very fashionable young girl. She was well light She was always very pretty and she moved to Hughes Jim took well to Waco, actually outside Dallas with her parents and they we got married, she had a couple of daughters, Ann that marriage didn't last and she ended up married to another man and he moved her to Houston. And they were living in a beautiful white, brick house in
A very very nice subdivision about thirty minutes outside of Houston, and I I've decided she'd had a really good job working for Coca COLA. I had done very, very well with it and she quit and she Why did she wanted to open up her own business and become a MSU's? Her husband, supported that opened the studio for did all he could to get her going but quickly after on a opened a studio in downtown Houston. She started changing. And she she would become. She was drinking more, she was partying at night and that Marriage fell apart. She left her daughters who took off to stay with, grandparents and she ended up leaving for awhile of what she got from that that second divorce in Houston and she
also became very interested in the occult she was living in an apartment for awhile and the rice hotel here in Houston, which is always on the list of haunted places here in the city, and honest started using her Wigi board and the rice hotel late at night and her life kind of spiraled out of control. Then it's one of those sad instances where someone over for short period of time really really kind of loses their life and she started drinking heavily. She was smoking, this herbal pot. She got some dwis things that had never had open to her in her previous life. I mean here she was. She was in her 40s and she had gone from Bay
being a suburban mom and wife and a successful business woman to be forced to find that her. She. He was going from man to man who is supporting her and a different time. She was actually homeless. Anne would just show up at a friends house looking for a bed for the night in the fall of twenty twelve. She was living in park lane. She had met a man and he was on one of the high floors and she moved in, and that relationship is gone on for a few months and he would Entertaining her is all the men did taking or different places at night and in the lobby one day she her path crossed with Steven's they talked, and after that we decided to go out for lunch and then dinner and
within a very short period of time that I believe it was a matter of a week or two. She had moved into his apartment. Now he knew a certain amount from just in it. Really because she was my living with someone else in that building. So, as friends asked his his rationalization was what, in that, what was his normalization of this in terms of going from one man to another in the building? What do you have? Well, you know he. He said that the of some of his friends were very concerned. About honor they, you know they said well. Who is this on a true heel woman and why? You know why? Why did it break up with the man she was living within the building and- and he said well, it was an amicable saying they just they decided to part ways. He didn't seem concerned about that
and on. I can be very, very charming. People were really bowled over by her she'd Madela other friends. In her short time in Houston and Anne, she attracted man she very sexual in the clubs downtown. She would dance and hand out flowers to the man. She would give them roses It was just something very compelling about her So I'm sure that Steven saw this beautiful woman, this beautiful latina dressed. You know very text and wearing those stiletto heels that she loved that he loved. And I'm sure he was just now in tranced by her in the beginning. No, what we didn't talk about a little bit and we just want to go backwards. Just a bit is because there's few things in on as background that have scarred her in terms of the rape and to
of seeing someone hang themselves or helping stop someone from committing suicide and then that person sexually assaulting them the. This must have made in a big impression and affected her. So just tell us a little bit about some of the things that she experienced when she was younger. That would factor in much later. Well, she had some rough experiences with her first husband when, when that marriage broke up, she. She claimed that at one point he had sexually assaulted her her somebody in her family told me that they had talked her out of pressing charges against him at the time I really think that damn that's true. I think that did impact the weight she saw men in the future and then she also had an altercation with a man who
who is living in the rice hotel at one point and they told the story very differently, she claimed that he had hit her in the head with a candle. Stick he same said. She had had him and that when she won't when he woke up our ass, he's been knocked out. She was sitting in the hallway staring at him. Anne she just walked over and walked out of the apartment she was doing unusual things at the right, coach Allen, and yes, some of it, I do believe, probably did stem from her childhood. I think a lot of her moving into downtown Houston and becoming very entrance in the whole bar club scene down. There came from feeling as if she'd been deprived of her childhood, because she Spend so much of her time taking care of her siblings when she was young. An yes and you talk about to that
some point she says I just want to have fun, I don't be a wife, a mother anymore and that's what she did. She abandoned her. Children, like you say just like her father, did. Very true. She took off and- and you know, SAM and I ended up the younger one ended up in Waco with the grandparents. The older one was graduating from high school at that time. So it's just really a story about someone who tried to reclaim what they'd lost is it as a child and it turned out to be a very bad decision. Now you talk about the fateful meeting of these two, an immediately because of the circumstances of his life of failed relationships. He still wants to get married. He quits drinking for awhile, he's tries to improve
self other times he's doesn't seem to know that you have to have other things together is kind of cheap in certain areas, and again all of these things change he tries to adapt to still to fulfill his dream he's in America. He loves that he's got friends. He wants to have this life that he came to America for, and he sees that in this vivacious. What he sees is not beat and gorgeous sexy woman in high heels, so tell us how their early relationship progresses and what does, if anything, Stefan Andersson C About Anna to ritual that might make him wary well, in the beginning, they were really happy. I believe that he he very much loved her. Actually, I think he loved her pretty much throughout the relationship, but it's in the beginning. It was
this really exciting, wonderful relationship with a younger vibe, Atias beautiful woman and he began telling his friends all about her and about how exciting she was and what they were doing and his friends were happy for him. They were, concerned that they were happy for him, but they call up. He said all on, and I did this and on- and I did that, and they were out most nights of the week. Steven did have a drinking problem. He had one for quite awhile, he gone into rehab at one point an for awhile, as you said, didn't drink but then started drinking again, so they ended
in the bars and restaurants, and he ended up taking her to his favorite place, which was during the day, which was a little clubhouse restaurant near Hermann Park. Golf course here in Houston, which is a very pretty setting, and is it people started noticing that there were odd things happening, the first real sign. What is that he? He called down the to the desk at the Park Lane one night and said that is his apartment was flooding and he couldn't turn the water off when they got upstairs when the handyman got upstairs to help him It turned out that on a had cut the line going in, the ice maker and we sat and laughed while they tried to turn it ouf and she said she had cut it because it was talking to her
that there was some kind of a an entity or something in it. And then things started to happen at the golf course in in the bars before Stefan had met her. She had acted out in the bars in Houston. She did things like she slapped a bus boy, one night when he I tried to color that she left something on the table and there were just different instances where she had acted out with with different people, but it started happening with Stefan one day. She she yelled at a group of men who were playing cards and at at you know at the golf course restaurant and she took their cards in and shove them off the table and they scattered all over the floor on another occasion she was in there with on and he was very embarrassed there was a man waiting for an out the door Ann.
And she started shouting at him and saying he'll. Give me what you can't and she walked out and left. It became clear. I think that
on was in love with honor and ANA wanted somebody to take care of her and supporter and pay for her lifestyle. Yes, you talk about of you, have access to this incredible friend, just trees in one day and treason, one tale of verve observe sayings and and does get caught up in her charms as well, in that, even despite the warnings and and the red flags from her and behavior wise. You still remains our friend and and put yourself out there for her friend. So we'll talk about three someone tayeh, which is going to stop for a second and talk about our sponsor. For tonight, it's a new year, which means a fresh start for your business and a great year starts with making great hires, but posting a job in one place isn't enough to find quality candidates. If you want to find the perfect tire, you need
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Ontario their relationship and what Teresa a new from being a close friend of Anna Trujillo. Well Teresa is actually not this woman's real name, but she she, hooked up with Anna went on a first got to Houston to downtown Houston and they started partying to go there- and she was there dancing with an at the clubs, went on- was handing out the roses and She started seeing unusual things. Honor would put curses on people. She would walk up to people in the bars and took a little bit of there. Sure if she was angry with them to bring home to put a curse on and yes, she had a voodoo doll. She carried it with her. She had a tucked inside of a broad times, usually inside of a brawl and while in her purse in the clubs when she got angry with someone, she'd walk up and she would start rubbing it on them. It was just so
an odd thing. She showed up in Waco with that doll and her relatives of their became very, very concerned about What was going on she she one night or one afternoon was that with Theresa may, tail and they were downtown at one of the parking lots and there was a hispanic man manning the booth and her car got towed. Honest car was towed when she came out her car was gone. She grabbed and pulled him by the hair and started cursing him and cursing his family, And he ran and got the car back, for she got picked up for drunk driving one night and was in the back of the squad car and started cursing the officer, a man who had tried to help her earlier in the evening by getting her a cab so that he wouldn't have to arrest her for public intoxication and he started yelling at him and cursing his family.
So she started doing odd things down. It was remember it at the end of twenty twelve when everybody was talking about the mayan cow calendar and how it could be the end of the world while on a was convinced, it was going to be the end of the world. And she was going to end up living out in down in Mexico. Like her relatives had out in the rural areas and she started drawing in books, and she was she called it, her art and she was making swirly pictures and should write little snatches of words, and some of it was very strange, very strange now, right away. This relationship between Stefan and Elena is progressing very very quickly, despite some of his friends saying: hey, slow down, it's interesting to you right one day, moderate couple purses,
And spent some money on her lavishing her with gifts, but a one thousand, five hundred, the so much alike, stilettos and her's wealth, one thousand five hundred dollars pair of Chris Level Team hills out again from mangle that, but again, very expensive, high heels this. They were very serious about high heels on. I think when you talk to spending fifteen hundred dollars for a pair of shoes, now they're they're christian Luba counter those fancy shoes with the red sole said You see the celebrities wearing and he did he, but he was really spoiling her in a lot of ways, and this was something that that he, I think he probably didn't want to buy for her. She said let later that she made him return them because it was too much money and I think he probably did they probably you know they probably thought it over, but he was very much in love with her in the beginning and then things just started to happen. There was
one night on a Anneke he emailed Anica like two in the morning. She was unusual for Steven 'cause, it's I said he usually went to bed and wanted to get up early to see the sunrise 'cause. He loved the sun rises so much and Anica emails back, and so what are you doing up at two hundred am and he emailed back it says voodoo and she thought that he was kidding but probably not on. It did rituals where she would draw Pentag Athens, pentagrams on the floor and put candles on the corners and she to turn chant, so that may have been going on at two hundred o'clock that morning now you also talk about the the idea of she. He sends hurts
Mexico to visit her family and Guadalajara. An meanwhile while she's gone the manager at the park. Lane says I'd like to speak with you, and so what do they talk about in terms of Anna's behavior? While this was really larger to Mexico? This this was really the fur time. Anyone talked this way to Steven, but it would not be the last. The manager at the park Ling talk to him, but the incidents they were having with on in the building things like making strange comma to a young boy in the elevator and flirting some of the men who worked on the grounds and just things like that and and then what happened with the refrigerator. This is, after she cut the water line into the ice maker, and
is a manager to send a bomb taking my manager all had often putting my friend had on and hot. I think you need to get away from this woman as fast as you can Estefan said, but she doesn't have any place to go and the woman warned him again and he said I'll. Try to kind of separate, but she doesn't have any place to go. Steven had a very big heart and he did care about and as many times as people would say, two hands to find. This is not a good relationship for you. He just couldn't seem to separate himself what was the things other than people giving the device for what was the? What were the first things that
key saw in terms of this voodoo or the spells or will just chalk it up to mental illness. What are the some of the first things that he saw that even he couldn't deny that were awry? Well, he is started saying her having arguments with people and he she would say strange things to people things that were socially unacceptable, like whenever one of his friends did- couple. Are they were together the husband and wife, and while they were sitting there on a set, you could do better than her to the has been with his wife sitting right next to him, and there were two odd things like that, and there were arguments and and then, and he mentioned to one of his friends that she like to get rough and the friend thought that he meant that it was during sex and that maybe Stephen founded, exciting. But then Steven started talking about
her coming up behind him and pudding her hands around his neck and things like that. She she started and then he talked about her being so strong. Now that you've. I'm like athletic people fell in the beginning. There probably appeal to them, but at a certain point he started to get afraid. You talk about him sing this mounting evidence that this woman was not the person that he would have liked her to begin to to become. But in that not so many months later, he it does ask on a to leave his apartment, and you say you had a an order rescinding his permission to allow her to enter. Well. Tell us, despite that, what Stefan and ANA continue to do.
Well, he he kept trying to get her out of the apartment. It was, but then I think a month or so after she moved in with the first time he actually filed multiple orders to get to keep her from getting in, but you we always seem to find a way in and then when he did get her out, she would follow him. She began following him to different bars and things and Steven was a creature of habit. He had a group of friends, they went to certain places, honest started, showing up at those places I think it was March or so of twenty thirteen. He was in a restaurant called Bodegas he was there with another. U of h, professor and they, where at a table having lunch then, on a walk in looking happy to see him walked over at the time he had kicked her out of the apartment She walked over and went and leaned
in toward him as if she were going to give him a kiss on the cheek, but she bit him. And when she pulled away he was bleeding and he started disc, cream and she just smiled and walked out. At that day, Steven sat with his friend and his friend said you have to get away from the Woman and Steven said I know I do. I know I do, but I don't know how to do it. I don't know, how to get away. She just keep showing up at times she would show up at the restaurant and his his friends. Would you know he? He asked his friends to hide him to not tell on at that he was there. He was afraid of her. So how does a progress rented two thousand and thirteen? This is a sort of a back and forth. She moves out, but they're, seeing each other. She convinces on that ship. It back together, so there's quite a bit
have a back and forth despite what he believes. He should do. Doesn't me well, there is, I mean it got to the point where he told one friend that she I had put in a knife up to his throat. Finally, after what you've described is back and forth, he finally does kick. Route and in May of twenty thirteen she's living with another man and a woman in an apartment not too far away, but she still showing up and he still buying her drinks uh but he's not letting her in the apartment one night he was his birthday. Actually, I think, is 59th birthday. He was out with art with an a an one of on his friends, and they were at a bar called five thousand and fifteen in Houston and Donna was up flirting with other men
and Steven was sitting back, not at all upset about it I think he had just come to it, except that this is honor and I told the other woman, honest friend. He said I love Ona, he said, but I can't Over with me, I'm afraid of her now tell us about the events that lead up to and her behavior up to the fateful event itself. How does things other things progress with this back and forth? He seems to obviously know that this is wrong. It's not going to workout he's tried. It he's heard from everybody their input on how we should stay away from her an why he's noticing these things that can only be chalked up to mental illness even despite she think she has these powers, so tell us about the further move toward
That's what eventually happens well in May of two thousand and thirteen she's living with this James Wells an another woman that he lives with and their allowing James is allowing her to stay there out of friendship, basically in their apartment and then honest starts doing strange things. There she's hold singer ritual she's running out during the day in the hot Houston, son and Andrew. In Sun worshipping and she shows up she's over at Hermann Park. She shown up at her the park when Steven's are one afternoon. This is around memorial day in twenty thirteen and he's she stays there with him for the afternoon and he buys or some wine well. He won't take her home with him, so James Wells comes to get her.
And he brings her back to the apartment and he's sitting in the chair and she's been acting up a little bit, but he's kind of been ignoring it. And she walks over and she bites James in the head and he starts to They have an argument. And he leaves and the other woman ananna get into a fight and honest very badly beaten up with a stick, as the woman is trying to keep on a from hitting her James Wells comes back and tells honor that she has to leave on a called all of her friends. She called around trying to find a place to stay. No one would take her in she showed up over at the park. Lane and Steven saw all of the bruises should horrible bruises on her body on her face. She was just very badly beaten an he take
he took her to the emergency room the next day and they looked over and gave her some painkillers and did some some things for and let her stay in the house for in his apartment again with the understanding. It will be uh, Short period of time and she'll have to move back to Waco, so she stays there. Things seem to be alright, she starts to get better. They go back to the apartment, James, while his apartment to pick up honest thing and while on is there, she put some coins in James Hand and says, put it on in the in your cabinet or something very bad is going to happen, and he looks at her like well sure you know, and- and he doesn't do it- he just throws the coins on the counter. When he comes in, she goes back to the park lane and gets
cleaned up and that night is supposed to be leaving someone supposed to be picking her up to take her to Weikel, but a call comes in and they say they can't fit her in the car. So somebody else is supposed to pick her up next morning. Sis Steven has one last night with auto Trujillo before she supposed to move out the next thing. Anyone knows, there's a phone call to police tell us what that full call contained. Who was it from that phone call was from Hana and they had been out to a bar that night and she was very drunk and, She was sobbing into the phone so bad that the nine one one operator couldn't understand or- and she said that. She needed help that she'd been attacked and she said that Steven
what actor and then in the next breath, she said, he's dying, he's dying. Send someone to help he's dying and the the nine one one operator didn't quite understand because on I had gone from saying that she was the victim to saying that there was somebody there who is dying they sent over the police and they ordered in you know, they ordered an ambulance over to the park Lane so it was shortly after two hundred o'clock in the well, not three hundred and thirty in the morning that the
paramedics showed up at the park lane now. What's her condition and, of course, what is Steven's condition, what do they find and, of course, the smoking gun as it were, this the shoe tell us about what they find. Well, the police officer shows up at the door man knocks on the door. He can hear her sobbing inside and she opens the door and she is covered in blood. It's uh. Her face or arms or hands her neck she's wearing a black top, but I'm sure it was on the top. She and Jeans and jeans are saturated with blood we have immediate assumption. Is that she's been hurt and he he asks there. Are you ok and she says yes and then he she, let's him inside
And he looks down the hallway and there's tafon lying on his back his body on it on his back there's a pool love, drying, coagulative blood near his head. An all three of the wall surrounding him are spattered with blood. And what about the shoe? The shoe was just above Steven's house. I lying on the carpet. There were tough of his white hair on the heel and it had blood all over it too. The officer said: how did this happen? What did you use? You know and she pointed at the shoe in questioning what was her
What did she say where the turn of events that led to this? What was her version of the story? She claimed that he had become angry with her, because Somebody at the bar that night at a man had shown interest in her and butter a drink. Ah, that they argued when that Steven was angry at back in the apartment, because she was leaving for Waco the next day that he didn't want her to go.
Well and that he became abusive and attacked her. The problem was that there were no signs that he had attacked her. She had just a couple of strands of her dark hair in his hand, but there were tufts of his white hair on the couch there. You know it was it was. It was an extremely bloody scene. Now what behavior do the police notice besides somebody that they believe is the the main suspect in this murder? But if they notice or see any odd behavior over and beyond someone just trying to avoid capture.
Well she's, she still is, you know quite intoxicated at that point. They bring her downtown to the Houston PD headquarters and they put her in an interview room, and then made to the detectives came in to try to interview her. She spent I've. Honestly forget how many hours talking none of it about Stefan she caught. She told him that at the scene that he was her fiance and she loved him, but during that interview she barely mentioned his name. She started talking about all the men in her life who she blamed for different things. From her father to her first husband, to the man she had the altercation with in the rice hotel. She just couldn't seem to focus
when she talked about having powers. She talked about how she could heal people and all of these amazing things she could do. They asked her at one point if you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness and she said no and asked her if she was on any type of medication for anything, and she said now which she wasn't. It was just this really bizarre conversation. And she kept talking when she did get around talking to talking about. Stefan
repeated what she had on the scene, which was that this is how this had happened when she tried to defend yourself and she said that he was the abuse of one now, despite what she says and, and they experience homicide people, what forensically could they determine despite her in a far fetched story? What frantically could they conclude well in in this case, stand the most telling thing. Was the blood spatter it it started out. They thought the fight started out on the on the couch in the living room, and that was because there they found tough, the Stefan's hair. She grabbed his hair, pulled it out and it was. It was on the phone, black leather couch. Then there was another spot of blood that was around spot, so it had fallen while he was still standing, and that was
on the way to the hall, so it appeared he was trying to run away from her while she's at that point, he's bleeding so she's already hitting him and then the blood spatter goes down. It started about there's a smudge and it started about four feet up. And it just it starts to come down farther and farther and farther until the majority of the blood spatter was actually between two and three feet from the floor. So the blood spatter expert looked at it, and the only conclusion he could draw was that she was police, traveling Stefan's chest keeping him from getting up while she was hitting him with. The heel
while he was on the floor and that's why the blood spatter was so low to the ground so low to the floor. So how do police progress you? You write about the questioning, of course. Now she has to get someone to defend her What what is she she represented, and how does she react to that representation? Well, her story made such international headlines and it was huge news through Texas. I know it made all the New York in California newspapers. I mean it really got a lot of, as they say in the business play. So one of the attorneys here in town, Jim Carrey,
John I'm sorry Jack Carroll, and he did it pro bono. The other thing is Jack, believe Donna. I he believed her story that that the Stefani Benny Aggressive one in it. She was simply defending herself. He he thought in the beginning, that's a domestic violence activists here in the city would back him and that there would be a lot of sympathy for her. The story came out and as they learned more about Donna Trujillo, that didn't happen, so he ended up put in a lot of time in a lot of effort into this case out, basically out of his own pocket uh He got her out of. He convinced your family to pull together money for bail, and she was released in her mother, got an apartment here in Houston, so she could work with Carol on the defense and he say,
in time. She would if he crossed her. He you could see how angry she would become right, and you just mention you talk about this captivation of this story- captivated the median captivated, obviously the readers. What was one of the biggest things that happen at trial itself? Well, there is some amazing things that happen in that trial. One of them was when they pulled out the stiletto heel, an showed it to the jurors, and you could still see Steven Saron it. There was just kind of a gasp in the courtroom. Another thing was that John Jordan, the prosecutor at one point broad in a dummy. I think we
actually a cpr dummy that they lay down a table to represent Steven and the blood spatter expert placed Jordan in the position that on a true heel, must have been in and she was hitting him and and he showed how, over and over and over again she must have hit him. As I remember there were twenty five to thirty different strikes and probably more because some of them were right on top of each other, the pictures, the autopsy pictures I mean us define which really bludgeons you now with with that he'll and there were a lot of big and then there was the fight at one point, Jack Carroll in for define and had Anna. Oh how Steven had gone after her to play it out for the jurors and it she
became quite animated and then, when the prosecutors got up, and Sarah Mickelson was the other second chair on the case, and they show that was on ahead to pick it couldn't have happened because she had said that Ana had her arms down that she was being pinned down. Well, if that were true, she would have been able to hit him with the issue. What was her behavior? What would you categorize her behavior, like throughout the trial? You know Jack Carroll told me that he had told on either he expected to win the case and she appeared that is really fairly high. The bar unconcerned throughout most of the trial, and at one point they were showing the bar that they were in the last night was five thousand and fifteen the same bar. Where they'd had his birthday celebration,
and at one point they played the video for thousand and fifteen, and you can see you could see Stefan coming in trying to get on. We have to leave the bar and and she's in a stool at the bar talking to a man and dancing and having a grand time well. When I looked over it on on the court room, she was jumping kind of dancing around in her chair and she had a big smile on her face. And it was as if she was enjoying seeing herself on the video. How did the defense and the prosecution
use this voodoo and her art box, and all of these things that she believed were giving her powers or enabled her to have powers. How do they use that in a trial and tell us a little bit about that? It didn't come in that much. The prosecutor decided to keep most of it out there were. There were just a few things that came in on the night. That's defined was murdered when they opened up honest purse. They found a Terrell book in there with explanations of Terrell cards and the page that that book is open to was the death card. That's that got into the trial. They brought that in, and it was just such a strange thing and the and there were these letters and notes and poems and things
She called me her art she had done when she called an art installation on Stephen's glass, coffee table and that consisted of twigs and things that she had brought in from the outside, along with her notes, those once I described earlier with the concentric circles and the little snatches of writing and some of those were just. You know you go back, it's it's hard to you. Look at them, it's hard, not to think that that there Something going on in her mind when she wrote them, which was the morn before he died. You know twenty four hours earlier, there were things. Like you know when you can't see anymore, I don't have them right in front of me, so I can't exactly remember, but just these range really odd notes,
and when I look through them, I got some others from someone are which is if she was trying to conjure up the spirit she was asking spirits to appear. What do you do include in your book is, which is rare? These days is all of these photos from the trial itself. All the people that were on the stand were part of this trial, which was extensive too. It really was a a big trial. Wasn't it it was an amazing trial and you know the cam. Images were in there during opening and closing arguments and Then they were allowed to take pictures through the door and the Houston Chronicle was the pool photographer. So the photos from the trial- are the pool photos at the Houston Chronicle truck and photographer did just amazing job on them. They're they're really great photos,
there's some in there evona when she's on the stand that are just amazing. The photographers name is Brett Coomer with the Houston Chronicle. Now again very unusual for for defense team to put their client up on the stand. Some people have described it to the last desperate move of a desperate defense, but sometimes it's effective. We have seen some cases in the past. So what was it like? What was she How did she testify? What tell us about that? It was a lot like the interview with the police. It started out, of course, with her own or attorney asking questions and- and he had worked with Her- to try to get her to focus, but she kept going back to all of these previous relationships and she kept wandering, and she couldn't keep a train of thought going very well
And then, as I said, there was this kind of pant mine fight where this demonstration, where they were trying to show what the argument, the escalation of the argument in the fight Steven had been like that night. When the prosecutors took over It was just really this amazing. You know discourse where they would go back and forth and you know she would say these things that there was just no. There was no foundation. Are you now she kept trying to pin it on the phone, and you know Dan. In some cases he there's always the there's, always kind of the feeling that when the woman strikes out like that that the man has done something that brought
it's on. But Steven was truly this gentle soul an when they autopsy them. They didn't find a single aggressive wound on his on his body or any sign of aggression she had no open wounds from him after she had no signs that he had. He had attacked her, and one of the biggest problems is that she was saying this about a man, who had no documented history of violence. So it was just totally out of character they were kind of. I think I say this in the book like a perfect storm, because there's this woman who had become progress simply more violence and act it out more and there was this man who really could not defend himself? He just did not have it in him after growing up
in a household where his mother and had to have been abused. He just didn't, have it in him to strike back at a woman, so he died without ever trying to defend himself. You right to that. The tragic part of this, too, is the accusations again. Luckily they weren't successful in in rendering ANA innocent, but the accusations were made the statements to categorize Steven this gentleman as anything other than that really upset his friend Onica and other people in the observant in this? So that was the kind of thing that was part of the sad part of this is that some of this stuff sort of seemed to stick in the media enjoyed at least exploring. It
despite having any base to it? Well, you know it was almost as if she had murdered him and then she tried to destroy his reputation. Afterward. You know uh like a second attack and yes, his friends were very upset about it. After Stephen died after the murder within a couple of days, it had hit the Houston papers and a lot of the papers throughout the. Country that this was that she called nine one one and said that you know there was domestic violence going on and it's cheap and attacked by Stephen. So when is friend saw that a lot of them reached out to the prosecutors office here in Houston, an explain to them that that was not Steven, and then he'd never would have done that and then, of course, is
I mentioned when they got the autopsy results that confirmed it, because there was just no sign yeah. It's incredible. The story with she's, charming or trying to be charming right to the very end. Despite this, these delusions that she had, and again, very interesting that this lawyer would take on this case, leaving. She was innocent. I find that hard to believe, because you would have to ignore all this other evidence, but it seemed that, though, the charms that this This woman was capable of. She was using that right to this very end, in this trial, even well, you know, I think, on a true true here I grown up believing that she could get away with pretty much anything. And you know- I don't I that in and I don't know that there was any mental illness there might have been
I think, the alcohol, I think the there's there's been a lot of study now on that herbal marijuana. I think in the Uk K call it spice here down here they were calling. Kush. I I don't know what it's called throughout the car I don't know if that's but there's been a lot of studies on that. An now they've, honest, changed very drastically. Over a short period, time became a different person. An a lot of these studies are finding that it causes paranoia paranoia. Ah- and that people become very aggressive with it. So I think a lot of things kind of played into this. I I'm more inclined to think that, actually it was the drugs in the alcohol, then any, actual mental illness, an honest part, because when she was so
which in the end wasn't as often she still could be the old on a time and once she got into the jail and ride out her friend, Theresa Montoya, went over there to talk to her and she but it was like the old Donna was back well yeah. She really is you talk about in a short period of time in less than three years, she goes from this vatia's ambitious MSU's, with thriving business, two homeless in two one slash two years, so something did dramatically happen, you can't just chalk it up to you, know, combination of of all the past and then suddenly But a very, very interesting woman, and did you vividly described in this with the voodoo and the going out with the black Guys, young guys, but then just blame
only realizing or telling people that the White Guy right so the older white guys going to pay, and so it's a fascinating tale. I want to thank you very much Katherine for coming on and talking about possessed your latest. Thank you very much. It's been fascinating for those people that We want to look up your other work. Do you have a facebook page? Do you do the tell us how people might contact you or find out more about your work Well, I'm really easy to find my website iscatherinecasey dot com, it's ka, Phryncas see why I am on Facebook easy to find their Unf definitely I'm all filled up with friends, but they can follow me. We have some pretty interesting discussions on there about, cases in the news, and I put pictures of my dog Nelson, which is always fun
so I'm always happy to meet new people, but I appreciate it Dan very much. Thank you for inviting me to be on the program. Well, it's always my pleasure cap. Trend and thank you very much, and I know I will be talking to you soon, because you're busy and prolific writer and will be talking to you again with your next great work. Thank you very much for this, the Catherine that you have a great evening. You too damn thank you. Bye, goodnight,.
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.