On March 15th, 1987 police in Anchorage, Alaska arrived at a horrific scene of carnage. …
… In a modest downtown apartment, they found Nancy Newman’s brutally beaten corpse sprawled across her bed. In other rooms were the bodies of her eight-year-old daughter, Melissa, and her three-year-old, Angie, whose throat was slit from ear to ear. Both Nancy and Melissa had been sexually assaulted.
After an intense investigation, the police narrowed the principle suspect down to 23-year-old Kirby Anthoney a troubled drifter who had turned to his uncle, Nancy’s husband John, for help and a place to stay. Little did John know that the nephew he took in was a murderous sociopath capable of slaughtering his beloved family.
From the Author:
This true story, shocking and tragic, stunned Anchorage’s residents motivated the Major Crimes Unit of the Anchorage Police Department to do everything right, and climaxed in a controversial trial where for the first time, an FBI profiler was allowed to testify, and the pre-DNA science of allotyping was presented to a jury.
The vicious killer wasn’t some creepy stranger. He was a creepy family member. Kirby D. Anthoney raped and murdered his own aunt and her two little girls in a violent frenzy of unspeakable perversity – but speak of it we must, and never forget the victims.
How Anchorage detectives, aided by FBI profiler Judson Ray, narrowed the suspect list down to one young man and finally brought Kirby D. Anthoney to justice is a story of ever increasing tension and gut-wrenching melodrama.
Writing this book was a deeply emotional experience, and their were tears on the keyboard on more than one occasion.
From Chapter One:
For Paul and Cheryl Chapman, the nightmare began 8 A.M. Sunday, March 15, 1987. Their bedside telephone’s incessant ringing roused them from slumber; Paul fumbled for the receiver. On the other end of the line was “Mama” Summerville of Gwennie’s Restaurant, a popular Anchorage diner where Cheryl Chapman and her sister, Nancy Newman, worked as waitresses. Paul handed his wife the phone.
Summerville apologized for waking them, but she was seriously concerned. Nancy was two hours late for work, and her car was still parked in the same spot as it was the previous Friday evening. Panic immediately seized Cheryl Chapman— her sister, the married mother of two young girls, would never go without her car for two days, and she was never, ever, late for work.
The couple leapt from bed, quickly dressed, grabbed a Pepsi from the refrigerator, and took off for Nancy Newman’s apartment. Cheryl remembered to take her cigarettes, Benson & Hedges Ultra Light Menthols; Paul left his Viceroys on the nightstand. As her husband piloted their little red Datsun pickup over Anchorage’s frosty boulevards to Newman’s Eide Street apartment, Cheryl’s apprehension increased at every intersection. Her sister’s husband, John, was in California; Nancy and the kids were alone. By the time the Datsun pulled into the apartment complex’s parking lot, Cheryl Chapman was a nervous wreck.
Paul parked directly outside the doorway leading to a common hallway. The two raced inside and didn’t bother knocking on Newman’s door. Cheryl had keys to her sister’s apartment, but was shaking so hard that Paul had to take them from her trembling fingers to unlock the door. Cheryl called out her sister’s name, but all was silent. She went into the kitchen, sat down at the table, and looked around the room. Everything appeared perfectly normal, except for a large, empty cookie canister in the middle of the table-—the canister in which Nancy kept her tip change. While Cheryl waited anxiously in the kitchen, her husband cautiously entered the apartment’s dark hallway. Slowly, one by one, he pushed open the bedroom doors.
Behind the first door was eight-year- old Melissa Newman, victim of unspeakable cruelty. In the second room was her mother, Nancy Newman, half naked and lifeless on the bed. The third room contained the bloody remains of three-year-old Angie, her throat slit from ear to ear.
Paul was momentarily paralyzed and disoriented; waves of nausea and shock crashed over him. It was as if his entire world tilted precariously on its axis, then spun off into a black hole of horror. Fighting to maintain his composure, Paul turned away and headed back toward the kitchen. His wife saw him coming, and the look on his face told her something was terribly wrong.
“Don’t go down the hall,” he said, “they’re all dead.” Cheryl screamed, knocked over a chair, and tried forcing herself past him. He grabbed her, held her tight, and pushed his hysterical wife back through the living room and out the front door. On the way, he grabbed the Newman’s telephone. Stretching the long phone cord out the door, Paul Chapman dialed 911.
Lillian Smith says
I was in the same class as Melissa, we went to north star elementary school on fireweed at that time , our teachers name was Ms York, she was always friendly and had many friends her best friend name was Rachel. I think about her often, its still hard….she is still missed ….I always remember her , her mom and sister… Forever in my heart.
Jack Mc says
I just saw the case on FBI Files documentary show broadcast in the UK. I am still shocked. The horror of the sister and brother in law in finding that scene. I can’t imagine the journey back to Anchorage that the father had to endure. Pre DNA evidence the police and evidence team were magnificent. The family definitely aren’t forgotten.
I too just watched a report on this incident on FBI Files and am horrified by this killers actions. Very hard to believe he was a family member. Those poor children. And the mom. They did not deserve such a hanous act to be inflicted upon them. I will pray for them. And they will never be forgotten. So, so sad.
Nonces like him give reason to the rightful use of capitol punishment as and when required. . Light him up ,he is one horrible cunt. Monster
Tanya M Bennett says
I remember this well. It was one of those ‘us vs them’ moments that Alaskans sometimes feel for strangers from “Outside” Alaska. I had already experienced life in Anchorage during the ‘Butcher Baker’ (Robert Hansen) time, and Charles Meach III, both brutal killers with multiple victims.
Gruesome and painful though it is, thanks to authors and reader/viewers alike who remember the innocent victims.
So well written and heart wrenching. It’s incredulous to think that a family member did this heinous act of violence!
Joe Boyd says
Prison is to good for him hopefully a fee of the inmates take it upon themselves and get rid of this despicable human being with that’s what you want to call him
The book “Murder In The Family” is a detailed, dignified and well written account of the brutal murder, investigation and trial of the monster that took Nancy, Melissa and Angie Newman. It is a definite “must read” for those who prefer true crime stories. The monster (I refuse to say his name) is a vile creature for whom I hope every day is filled with pain and discomfort. The world will be a better place when that demon is not sharing our air.
Rest In Peace, sweet Nancy, Melissa and Angie and May God’s grace be upon you always, John.
What happened to Jon Newman after he returned to Idaho? I know he was broken, but did he salvage any portion of a life?
raping an 8 year old should get you death ☠️
I hope that K.A. will find these comments. People can’t forget this forty years later.