The holidays, a magical time filled with joy, laughter and tradition. Something Judy Anderson and her husband, Wayne, were looking forward to celebrating with three generations of their tight knit family. Little did they know that for more than half of their clan, this Christmas would be their last.
It was Christmas Eve 2007 and, like clockwork, the Anderson family gathered for an annual celebration at their Carnation home. A heavily wooded property, a large metal gate ran the length of a private driveway. It was closed and secured with not only a chain, but several padlocks. Keeping family in… and strangers out.
A steep dirt road led up to the Anderson property, that looked more like a homestead. The main house, a modest rambler surrounded by towering evergreens, flanked by gigantic sword ferns. A quarter mile from the main house, around the bend of the dirt road, was the single wide mobile home Judy and Wayne’s 29 year old daughter, Michelle, had been living in for the past six months with her boyfriend, Joe.
Everything was prepared for their annual gathering. Judy, she was ecstatic. All would be in attendance. Judy and Wayne’s three adult children, Mary Scott and Michelle, along with their partners and the grandchildren. Both Mary and Scott were bringing their little ones, the apples of Judy’s eyes. Never could she have imagined that six people would lose their lives that evening in what would become one of the most horrendous family massacres in Washington State history.
But some wonder if the outcome could have been different. If only the Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the first 911 call had scaled the padlocked metal gate and made that long trek up that steep private road on foot… instead of driving away.