A once budding San Carlos entrepreneur who was convicted 25 years ago of killing his ex-fiancée was denied parole Monday after top Peninsula officials penned letters opposing his release.
San Mateo Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Jerry Hill and Judge Quentin Kopp were among those wanting to keep 55-year-old Craig Anderson locked up for the grisly high-profile murder, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Anderson, born into a wealthy family that ran a well-established Peninsula paint retail business, was convicted in 1986 for murdering Denise Redlick, a young and beautiful former cheerleader, after she broke off their wedding engagement, said Wagstaffe, who helped prosecute the case. The high-profile case inspired a true crime book on the subject.
It was the third time Anderson was denied parole. Redlick’s family collected some 140 letters opposing his release from prison. Monday’s hearing lasted more than three hours.
Redlick vanished Nov. 11, 1985, after she had lunch with a female friend in Burlingame. Anderson hid Redlick’s body in the Santa Clara County hills and denied involvement in her disappearance, prosecutors said.
The trial was based on circumstantial evidence, since Redlick’s body was not discovered until a year after she died, when a hiker found it dumped among some heavy brush.
The prosecution argued that Anderson, enraged at Redlick’s refusal to marry him, rented a van to follow her unnoticed, then confronted her outside the Burlingame restaurant and dragged her into the van.
There were no DNA tests at the time, but a criminalist tested blood found in the van and found it was the same blood type as Redlick’s, and not Anderson’s.
At his first parole hearing in 2001, according to Wagstaffe, Anderson admitted “for the first time ever” that he had killed Redlick, claiming that in his anger that day in Burlingame, he had thrown her up against the van and she became unconscious.
When he saw she wasn’t breathing, he claimed he panicked and dumped her body, adding that he regretted not taking her to the hospital, Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors said he was lying.
Anderson will not be eligible for parole for another five years, Wagstaffe said.
Bay City News contributed to this report.