Jesse Anderson Murder: How Did He Die? Why Was He Killed?

Describes the horrible murders that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer committed between 1978 and 1991.

Even though Jeffrey was arrested, found guilty, and sent to prison in 1992, he died in a shocking way at the hands of another prisoner, Christopher Scarver. Christopher also killed another prisoner named Jesse Anderson on the same day that he hit Jeffrey to death with a club. If you’re curious about Jesse and how he died, we’ve got you covered.

Jesse Anderson
Jesse Anderson

How Did Jesse Anderson Die?

Jesse Anderson was born in Alton, Illinois. He went to Elmhurst College and got a degree in business administration before getting married to his first wife, Debra Ann Eickert, in 1980. Unfortunately, their marriage didn’t last very long. When problems started to show, they decided to go their separate ways, and in 1984, they got a divorce. Jesse got married for the second time to Barbara Anderson in 1985, and the two of them moved to Cedarburg, Wisconsin. From what I could see, the couple seemed to be very happy in their first few years together. They even had three kids. But trouble was brewing behind closed doors, and in 1992, things got very scary.

On April 21, 1992, Jesse and Barbara were leaving a restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As they were leaving, Jesse grabbed Barbara and stabbed her many times. But Jesse also stabbed himself three times in the chest. Later, both of them were found lying in the parking lot. When the police got there, Barbara was dead from 21 stab wounds, but Jesse wasn’t hurt too badly. In August of the same year, Jesse was found guilty of the murder and given a life sentence.

Jesse was doing his time at the Columbia Correctional Institute on November 28, 1994, when he, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Christopher Scarver were asked to clean the bathrooms in the gym. When no one was watching the prisoners in the bathroom, Scarver took a heavy bar from the gym next door and beat Jesse and Jeffrey to death with it. Jeffrey died right where he was, but Jesse was taken to a hospital and died a couple of days after his life support was turned off. Scarver, who was already in prison for murder and serving a life sentence, got two more life sentences for the double murder.

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Why did they kill Jesse Anderson?

To find out why Jesse was killed, we have to go back and look at why Barbara was killed. When people saw that Jesse and Barbara were hurt in the parking lot, they called the police and tried to help them up right away. Jesse was hurt, but not too badly, and he was still conscious. Barbara, on the other hand, was not moving at all, and it looked like she had been stabbed many times all over her body. When the police arrived, they said that Barabra was dead, and her husband was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

When asked, Jesse said that he and Barbara were walking through the parking lot when they were stopped by two black men who tried to rob them at knifepoint. But it looked like the fight turned violent, and the men then stabbed Barbara in the face and neck. Jesse also said that he was attacked and stabbed while trying to protect his wife. In the days that followed, the police did their best to catch the people who were thought to have done it, but the case soon went in a different direction. Based on the results of the blood test, the police were sure that no one else was there when Jesse killed the man. The police also found out that the suspect had called Barbara’s insurance company about a month before the murder to ask about her policy. So, Jesse was eventually caught, found guilty, and given a sentence.

Later, Christopher Carver said that he was furious that a white man tried to get away from the law by saying that two black men killed someone. He also said that Jesse had destroyed a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. while he was in prison and that Jesse’s racist actions were what made Carver decide to kill him.

Early years

Anderson grew up in the Illinois town of Alton. Anderson’s father died of a heart attack when he was a teenager, and his mother married again. He went to and graduated from Alton High School in 1975. He got married to Debra Ann Eickert in 1980, and they split up in 1984. In 1984, he also got a degree from Elmhurst College in Business Administration. He married Barbara E. Lynch in Chicago on March 30, 1985.

Before he was arrested for murder, he and his wife lived with their three young children in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He worked as a volunteer at the Divine Word Catholic Church and was the treasurer of the Lions Club.

He killed his wife

On April 21, 1992, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson went to a T.G.I. Friday’s near the Northridge Mall in northwest Milwaukee to see a movie and eat dinner. After dinner, Jesse stabbed Barbara five times in the face and head. He then stabbed himself four times in the chest, though most of the wounds were superficial. Barbara fell into a coma, and two days later, she died from her injuries.

Anderson said that he and his wife were hurt by two black men. He showed the police a Los Angeles Clippers baseball cap that he said he took off one of the attackers’ heads. When the details of the crime became public, a college student told the police that Anderson had bought the hat from him a few days before. Workers at a military surplus store said that Anderson bought the red-handled fishing knife that was used to kill Barbara a few weeks before the murder. The store was the only place in Milwaukee that sold that kind of knife, according to the police. Anderson was charged with murder on April 29. On August 13, he was found guilty and given a 60-year sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.

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Death

On the morning of November 28, 1994, Anderson and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer were left alone at Columbia Correctional Institution while cleaning a bathroom in the prison gym with another inmate, Christopher Scarver. Scarver said he was “disgusted” by a newspaper article about Dahmer’s crimes against black people. At Dahmer’s trial in 1992, he had pleaded insanity and told a psychiatrist, “Nothing white people do is right.” In a blog post from 2015, Scarver said that some of these claims were not true. After an argument with Dahmer and Anderson, Scarver got a steel bar from the weight room, followed Dahmer to the locker room, and hit him in the head. He then found Anderson and hit him with a stick, too. About an hour after the attack, Dahmer was pronounced dead, and two days later, Anderson died when doctors at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison turned off his life support.

On April 20, 1992, Tommie Myles, who was 18, and his girlfriend were at Northridge Mall in the morning filling out applications. The man from Milwaukee was about to finish high school at Shorewood and start his first year at UW-Milwaukee.

Even though there were racial tensions in Milwaukee at the time, Myles’ family kept him away from the city’s lack of care and made sure he was safe as he became an adult.

A white man came up to them while they were filling out job applications and said he was looking to buy something from random shoppers as part of a job interview.

“I remember being on the job hunt. “At the time, I was looking for work at Northridge Mall because I was unemployed,” Myles said in an interview.

“At the time, it was just me and my girlfriend. We were walking around the mall getting as many applications as we could, and then we went to the food court to fill them out. We are filling out the applications while we are sitting in the food court. A white guy pulls up and asks, “Hey, are you guys trying to get jobs?” I’m like, ‘yeah.'”

Myles remembered that the man then said, “I’m the same way.” As part of the interview process for one job, I have to go to the mall and pick people at random to buy something from. So, I’d like to buy your hat. Could I buy it for $20?”

Jesse Anderson
Jesse Anderson

The teen agreed because he only got $14 for the Los Angeles Clippers cap and he needed the extra cash. The two then used the extra money to buy food at Taco Bell in the food court.

The man’s name was Jesse Michael Anderson, and he was 34 years old and from Cedarburg.

The next day, on April 21, Anderson took his wife Barbara to the same mall to see City of Joy at the movies. They then went to TGI Friday’s near the mall for appetizers. At 10:15 p.m., after dinner, Anderson stabbed his wife 21 times in the head, face, and upper body. He then stabbed himself four times in the chest, but one of the wounds was only minor. He said that two Black men attacked the couple and that he took one of the attackers’ hats off. It was a Los Angeles Clippers cap that was given to the police.

Both of them had to go to the hospital. Barbara died of her wounds two days after Anderson told the hospital to turn off her life support. She was 33 years old.

The crime was one of the worst that had ever happened in the state of Wisconsin. Tommie Myles has never talked about what happened before and after the murder from his point of view.

Myles was a victim of a terrible crime without knowing it

Myles said of his famous meeting with Jesse Anderson, “He was pretty convincing.” “I mean, now that I think about it, I’m like, ‘What kind of jobs sent you on a mission to randomly buy something from someone in a mall?’ But it was the mall, and if that’s the case, malls have a pretty unique way of doing interviews.”

“He looked like he was in his 40s because the top of his hair was missing. He had that George Jefferson look going on, with hair on the sides and all. I should have thought, “Dude, you look too old to be looking for a job at the mall,” but whatever. He didn’t seem very intimidating. I think I’ve always been like this, so I thought it was safe for him to come up and talk to me about stuff like that. He just looked like a regular white guy. I was broke, so the $20 was all I had.

In 1973, Northridge Mall opened. It was anchored by popular stores like Boston Store, Younkers, Sears, and JCPenney’s. It also had a food court with many restaurants, like Taco Bell, Wong’s Wok, and even a Chick-fil-A, and a movie theater that used to have three screens but now has six. A lot of people thought that this crime was caused by Northridge Mall’s decline and closing.

During the 1980s, many Milwaukee residents moved to the Brown Deer neighborhood near Northridge Mall. As more Black people moved to the Brown Deer area, racial tensions rose. “White flight” is the term for how many white people moved to different suburbs.

Because a white Milwaukee police officer gave a young victim back to serial killer Jeffery Dahmer the year before, despite the pleading of three Black women, Blacks had bad feelings toward many whites and the Milwaukee Police Department in particular. If Dahmer had been caught, his last four victims might still be alive. In the background of the Anderson case was the city’s history of racism.

The early years of Jesse Anderson

Jesse Michael Anderson was born in a middle-class neighborhood in Alton, Illinois, in 1957. His father died when he was young, and his mother later married someone else. An investigation into the case found that Anderson and his stepfather did not get along. During this time, Anderson beat up his stepfather and did other small crimes. Anderson left town soon after he graduated from high school.

In the 1980s, he was married and then got a divorce. In 1985, Anderson got married to his second wife, Barbara E. Lynch. In 1986, the couple moved to Cedarburg, Wisconsin, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee. Jesse was a respected businessman at Lakeside Oil Co. who had just lost a close election for city council. Barbara quit her job to take care of the couple’s three children.

People who knew Anderson said he was a family man with a “ideal” marriage, but letters written by Barbara showed that Anderson abused Barbara. He even threw a knife at her while she was holding their child. Anderson made fun of Barbara’s weight gain after she had their third child. A month before the murder, the Andersons went on a trip to Jamaica. During the trip, Barbara told her husband how unhappy she was the whole time.

When the attack on the Andersons got out, the media in the area went crazy. The Andersons were like any other white middle-class suburban family. They lived in an area where fear was slowly growing toward Northridge Mall. Local radio hosts warned people about the dangers of Northridge, and many people interviewed simply said that the crimes were caused by people “moving north.” Even a cartoon was made to make fun of the fact that a black gang beat up a white couple. After the attack, many people were on edge, and many people were looking for Black attackers who fit the description of those who were at the scene of the crime.

Then Anderson brought the Clippers hat to the crime scene. It was the same hat he had bought from Myles the day before. Anderson’s knife, which he used to kill Barbara, was also there.

Myles said, “I think it was the next day that Crimeline Anonymous did their little feature on Fox 6 or whatever it was called back then. They would have a “Hey, we’re looking for this suspect” kind of feature on their show, and this time they talked about the murder and the items that were left behind, which were a knife and a baseball cap.” “At the time, I was at my girlfriend’s house watching TV with her. When they showed the picture of the knife, it also showed the picture of my hat.”

Myles says that at the time, it was rare for people in Milwaukee to wear Los Angeles Clippers gear.

“I remember the hat because I was a fan of the Los Angeles Clippers at the time. Not really, but I watched them because, you know, they weren’t the most successful team ever, but at that time, they had players like Danny Manning, Larry Brown as their coach, and Ron Harper,” Myles said.

“They had a squad. I thought, “I like the Clippers, so I bought a Clippers hat.” When I saw that hat, I thought, “Nobody in Milwaukee has a Clippers hat,” and that was my hat. So I called Crimeline anonymous and said, “Hey, I think that’s my hat.” “Hey, can you come down for the questions?” they asked. I said, “Sure, I’ll come down to answer some questions.” So, I called my mom and told her, “Hey, I was watching TV and someone stole my hat.” She told me not to call the police.

Myles already told the police that the hat they saw on TV was his. After that, the police told Myles to go to the police station.

“I went down there, and that’s where it all began. To answer your question, it all began there because they took samples of my hair from my head and pulled hair out of my hat to match the hair in the hat…

“I was pretty quiet at the time,” Myles said. “At the time, my girlfriend wasn’t a big deal, but my parents kept me away from news reporters. So, they kept away anyone who came to the house, no matter where they were. They wouldn’t let them talk to me, so nobody knew my name. I didn’t really stand out until they went to my girlfriend’s house.

Myles’ girlfriend at the time, on the other hand, had asked police to come to her house. There, she told the police more about Myles and gave them a picture of him that quickly went viral on the Internet.

“It was funny that I was wearing a Brewers jersey in the picture because it was my senior picture, and I bought a Milwaukee Brewers jersey for my senior picture,” said Myles. “But that was the picture that was all over the news.” So, at that point, they knew exactly who I was, and they started looking for me and coming to my house. So, they began to come to my house. I thought I was going to die. Because I feel like a murderer knows I exist and that I am out there testifying against him, I kind of went into hiding for a while. I broke up with my girlfriend because I didn’t do much. I just went into hiding for a little while, which led me to Grambling State University in the end. I got out of town.”

The public didn’t know this, but the police already thought Anderson had killed his wife. He changed his story more than once. His injuries from the fight were minor, while Barbara’s were deep and defensive, according to her autopsy report. Anderson also told police he didn’t know how much his wife’s life insurance policy was worth, but it turned out that he had called the insurance company a month earlier and found out that it was $300,000. He also told the police that he and Barbara did not have any problems in their marriage, but a letter from Jesse that was in Barbara’s purse when she was attacked showed that they did have problems.

“Well, the community knew it was a Black man who attacked because they said they were looking for Black men wearing this or that,” Myles said. “I fit the description of everyone they were looking for, but I knew when I went to the police station after identifying my hat that they were trying to catch as many people as they could because one guy was saying, “Man, they tried to pin that on me kind of thing,” and I was like, “Why are they trying to pin it on you?” It was like they were finding people and accusing them of whatever.

Myles realized he was in the same room as the EMT who had come to the scene and the person who had sold Anderson the knife. Myles remembers sitting quietly in the room while all the stories were told. He then found out that the police already thought Anderson was the one who did the crime.

Myles said, “They knew that the wounds he had were self-inflicted, but they also knew right away when they started looking into it that they didn’t need any more proof because they could tell from the angle of the knife that he had stabbed himself.”

On Oct. 23, 1989, Charles Stuart, an American killer, killed his wife and their unborn son. He told the police that the attack was done by a Boston Black man with a raspy voice, but his brother later told the police that he killed them to get the insurance money. Stuart jumped off a bridge to kill himself when he found out he was a suspect in the case.

In 1994, a woman named Susan Smith killed her two sons by letting her car roll into a lake with them still inside. This caused them to drown. Smith’s false claim that a Black man had taken her sons during a carjacking drew attention from all over the world.

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