Real Name: Charles Robert Anderson
Location: Burbank, California
Date: January 24, 1987
Details: Deputy Charlie Anderson was a fourteen-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He was a highly skilled driver who taught hundreds of officers how to handle themselves and their vehicles in dangerous situations. He was also close to his two young sons. At around midnight on January 24, 1987, Charlie, his wife Beth, and their two sons returned home from a visit to her parents. Beth, who was suffering from a back injury, waited in the car while Charlie went and took their older son upstairs. A few moments later, Beth heard what sounded like a car backfiring. Concerned, she walked inside to see if everything was alright. At the top of the stairs, she found Charlie shot to death. She ran next door to the neighbor's house and called the police.
Initially, investigators believed that the Anderson house was being burglarized and that Charlie had been shot when he interrupted the burglary. However, investigators noticed that the assailant(s) had carefully moved items in the home, which would be uncommon in a normal burglary. The drawers were either pulled out partially or had only one or two items missing from them. This led investigators to believe that the burglary scene had been staged.
Investigators also found that jewelry and other expensive items, which were in plain sight, had been left behind. This led them to believe that Charlie was killed by someone that he knew. His family also believes this; his sister Trish was at the scene that night and she believed that he had a shocked expression on his face, as if he had been betrayed. Interestingly, the only fingerprints found in the home belonged to members of the family. This meant that either a family member was involved or the perpetrator wore gloves.
Investigators received a possible break the next day, when a call came in to the Burbank Police Department. The caller claimed that he had information about Charlie's murder. The dispatcher contacted the lead investigator who spoke with the caller. The caller claimed to know the identity of the killer. However, when he learned that the call was being recorded, he did not want to speak with them. The investigators gave the caller his phone number so they could speak on a line that was not being recorded. However, the caller never contacted the investigator and was never heard from again.
On January 31, 1987, he was laid to rest; since then, lack of evidence has dragged the investigation to a standstill. The Burbank police guarantee confidentiality for anyone coming forward with information.
Suspects: None known; initially, investigators speculated that Charlie's murder may have been related to the murder of Carol Montecalvo. Her murder occurred just a few blocks away from Charlie and she was also apparently killed in a burglary gone wrong. However, her husband Dan was later convicted of her murder. It is unknown if he may be connected to Charlie's case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 25, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved. In the late 1990s, investigators received a tip on Charlie's case. A yearlong investigation ensued; however, no arrests were made. In 1999, they presented their case to the Los Angeles D.A., but prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge any suspect(s). The investigators have looked into Charlie's wife Beth, as a possible person of interest, as she has refused to be interviewed by them since the night of the murder. The staged burglary and lack of physical evidence of an intruder have also made them suspicious of her. However, she has never been named a suspect in the case.
- Charlie Anderson on Unsolved.com
- Deputy Killed in His Home by Intruder
- (2002 Article from the Burbank Leader) Many years, few answers
- 15 Years of Mystery - Deputy's Slaying Still Haunts Burbank Police
- Probe ongoing in cop's slaying
- Charlie Anderson at Find a Grave