I remember when Kevin Collins disappeared in San Francisco in 1984. Since then, he has not been confirmed alive or dead. The link at the end of this post suggests he may never have left the city.
Over the years, theories about Kevin’s disappearance have been presented as nearly-confirmed facts by the news media. We should act on experience and recognize what we don’t know about this tragedy.
A number of years ago, a man named Curtis Dean Anderson was arrested in Vallejo, CA after he kidnapped and sexually assaulted a little girl who fortunately was able to escape from his truck that same day. He confessed to that crime, but went on trial so his defense attorney could put on a show humiliating the victim. The jury didn’t buy the defense argument that Mr. Anderson was the real victim, so he was convicted and received a long prison sentence.
Mr. Anderson committed that kidnapping while another young girl from the same city, Xianna Fairchild, was already missing. Eventually, Xianna was found dead in another part of the state, and Mr. Anderson was charged with her murder. While in police custody for the other abduction, he told conflicting accounts of spending time with Xianna while she was missing. It sounded like delusional talk, but he was charged with her murder and the District Attorney announced that prosecutors would seek the death penalty.
The charges against Curtis Dean Anderson helped steer suspicion away from two adults in Xianna’s family who had told the police conflicting stories of their own after she disappeared. One of those adults had a prior felony conviction for throwing boiling water at a child (that particular person was reportedly the last to see Xianna before her disappearance).
A plea bargain kept Mr. Anderson off of death row for Xianna’s death, but damage from his drug abuse ended his life before the state would have gotten around to it.
Since his death, Curtis Dean Anderson has been a convenient suspect in a couple of “cold cases” involving missing or murdered children. A 1980s murder of a San Francisco child who was found in an apartment building basement in the Tenderloin is now considered solved because investigators determined after Mr. Anderson’s death that he did it.
A California girl named Amber Swartz Garcia is the subject of another “cold case”. Although there have been no reports of forensic evidence of her death, her family has been told by detectives that Curtis Dean Anderson murdered her.
Amber Swartz Garcia and the little girl in San Francisco were victimized by people who were never brought to justice in a court of law. Is anyone confident that the truth has been told about what happened to these two kids?
Steven Staynor and Jaycee Duggard are noted as two child abduction victims who turned up alive years later. Young girls who were abducted and held together by the same man in Ohio escaped more recently, and we don’t know how many other children and adults are presently in similar situations.
If it’s true the little girl in the Tenderloin (whose death was confirmed) was murdered by Curtis Dean Anderson, nothing else can be done. There’s no real closure, but if the truth was told no one can ask for anything else on her behalf at this point.
Amber Swartz Garcia may have a different situation. What if she’s still alive? The investigation into her disappearance has been closed with a suspect who is dead and no forensic evidence.
I haven’t heard anyone suggest Curtis Dean Anderson was involved in Kevin Collins’ disappearance. On record, Mr. Anderson’s victims were girls, and due to his long criminal record it’s possible he was in prison when Kevin disappeared.
Maybe having his whereabouts accounted for by a prison bureaucracy is the only thing which prevents Curtis Dean Anderson from being blamed posthumously for every unsolved crime against a child. But let’s hope not.
The human remains found in San Francisco recently might belong to Kevin Collins. However, at the moment the only thing the public knows is he disappeared in 1984. A couple of years ago, the authorities thought his disappearance could be attributed to a local sex offender (not Anderson) who was deceased by the time they searched his property. That person of interest was cleared (Maybe. Again, we don’t know) when the remains found on his property were confirmed as coming from an animal.
This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.