Stephen Wayne Anderson

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Stephen Wayne Anderson
Stephen Wayne Anderson mugshot.jpg
Born July 8, 1953
Died January 29, 2002(2002-01-29) (aged 48)
San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California
Occupation Contract killer
Criminal charge First-degree murder with special circumstances: burglary
Criminal penalty Death
Criminal status Executed at San Quentin State Prison

Stephen Wayne Anderson (July 8, 1953 – January 29, 2002) was an American murderer who was executed at California's San Quentin State Prison by lethal injection in 2002 for the murder of Elizabeth Lyman. He was either known to have killed or admitted to the killings of at least eight other people, including a fellow inmate and at least seven contract killings.

The crimes[edit]

Anderson had been incarcerated for one count of aggravated burglary in 1971 and three counts of aggravated burglary in 1973. While incarcerated at Utah State Prison, Anderson murdered an inmate, assaulted another inmate, and assaulted a correctional officer. Anderson admitted to six other contract killings in Las Vegas, Nevada that happened prior to the crime for which he received a death sentence. On November 24, 1979, he escaped from prison, after which he worked for narcotics traffickers and committed at least one contract killing in the eastern mountains of Salt Lake County, Utah.

On May 26, 1980, Anderson, then 26, burglarized the Bloomington, California house of 81-year-old Elizabeth Lyman, a retired piano teacher. In the middle of the night, Anderson cut Lyman's telephone line with a knife, and broke into her home by removing a glass pane from her French doors. He checked the house for occupants room by room. When he entered Lyman's bedroom, she awoke and screamed. Anderson shot her in the face from close range with a .45 caliber handgun, fatally wounding her. He covered her body with a blanket, recovered the expelled casing from the hollow-point bullet that killed her, and ransacked her house for money. He found less than $100.[1]

Anderson then prepared himself a meal in Lyman's kitchen. A suspicious next door neighbor called the sheriff's department. As he was eating and watching television, sheriff's deputies responded to the call and arrested him. He admitted to the murder.[1]

Trial and execution[edit]

On July 24, 1981, a San Bernardino County jury sentenced Anderson to death. His last meal before the execution was two grilled cheese sandwiches with radishes, one pint of cottage cheese, a hominy/corn mixture, one slice of peach pie, and one pint of chocolate chip ice cream. On January 29, 2002, Anderson was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison. He was pronounced dead at 12:30 am Pacific Time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bovsun, Mara (August 22, 2015). "Stephen Wayne Anderson, a murderous creep with an IQ of 136, earned admiration and awards from the literary community while writing on death row". New York Daily News. Retrieved 16 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Robert Lee Massie
Executions conducted and scheduled in California Succeeded by
Donald Jay Beardslee