Ever since convicted child killer Curtis Dean Anderson died in custody in 2007, FBI officials have been looking for the right time to ask the public's help in identifying several other of the former Vallejoan's possible victims, an FBI spokeswoman said Monday.
They chose Monday, when the Investigation Discovery network aired an episode of FBI: Criminal Pursuit called "Bound for Murder." The episode featured two of Anderson's known victims, both Vallejo children, FBI spokeswoman Julie Sohn said.
The episode recounted the ordeals of Xiana Fairchild, 7, who died at Anderson's hand in 1999, and Midsi Sanchez, then 8, who Anderson kidnapped on her way home from school about eight months later. She escaped days later and helped authorities capture a man the FBI describes as "a true sociopath."
"We're timing it to the show because given the wide range of when these victims were allegedly kidnapped and killed, we wanted to find some appropriate timing for it," Sohn said.
Sohn said that just before he died, Anderson confessed during a 51/2-hour interview with two FBI agents, one a profiler, that he was responsible for at least six more victims, including Pinole's 7-year-old Amber Swartz-Garcia. Amber's mother was involved in the searches for Xiana and Midsi. Anderson, however, was known to be less than truthful, so, agents are hoping to determine the validity of his claims and offer "closure" to loved ones, Sohn said.
"This case has been open since the interview in jail with him in November 2007," Sohn said. "Initially, the goal was to find out if he had anything to do with the disappearance of Amber Swartz. But in the course of the interview, he admitted to six others he allegedly kidnapped and killed, and we have open cases on these while we try to figure out if these are real."
Anderson also confessed to two slayings in Mexico, but provided no details, FBI officials said.
According to the FBI, Anderson said he started killing young women and girls in late 1984, with his first alleged victim being a female runaway in her late teens or early 20s. He said he dumped that victim's body near a Marysville swimming hole.
Anderson tended to describe his activities based on his various prison stints, of which there were 10 between 1986 and 1999, Sohn said.
"Based on what he said, the agents believe at least some of what he told them was true," Sohn said. "We're especially interested in victims No. 4 and No. 7."
Anderson claimed Amber Swartz-Garcia was his fifth victim, who he said he snatched off the street in Pinole, killed and dumped in the desert off Intestate 10 around Benson, Arizona in mid-1988, FBI officials said.
He described his seventh victim as a black Hispanic woman in her early 20s who was going by the name, "Rosie," and who he met in early 1997 at The Bears bar under Highway 87 near a bowling alley in San Jose.
Anderson reportedly described noticeable "junkie tracks" on her arms and that he strangled her to death and dumped her body less than five miles off the Ben Lomond turnoff near Santa Cruz; about 300 yards past a water retention pond behind a locked gate.
Anderson said he'd been driving a black Toyota truck from his job at a "parts company," at the time, the FBI said. The FBI also said Anderson drove a 1977 two-door Chevy sedan, which is similar to the vehicle described in the Vallejo cases.
Xiana Fairchild, who vanished Dec. 9, 1999, and whose skull was found in early 2001 in Los Gatos, may have been Anderson's eighth victim, if his account of others is accurate.
"He was looking for vulnerable victims that he could take advantage of; an opportunist," Sohn said. "We're hopeful for any tips. We hope someone will recognize some of the descriptions; that they might trigger a memory and produce a lead, so we can bring some closure to families."
The FBI urges anyone with information on the identities of any of the alleged victims to call the FBI tip line, at 800-225-5324.