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Terrance L. ANDERSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: July 26, 1997
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: November 19, 1975
Victims profile: Stephen and Debbie Rainwater (his ex-girlfriend's parents)
Method of murders: Shooting (.357 caliber magnum handgun)
Location: Butler County, Missouri, USA
Status: Sentenced to death May 16, 2001

Supreme Court of Missouri

opinion SC83680

State of Missouri vs. Terrance L. Anderson

Case Facts: 

In February of 1996 Terrance Anderson began dating Abbey Rainwater, a high school student in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, when she was 16 years old and he was 21.

That summer, Abbey became pregnant with Anderson's child. Her parents, Stephen and Debbie Rainwater, then invited Anderson to live with them in their house. Anderson moved in with them, and then began neglecting his job with a local furniture company and staying out late at night.

He was eventually discharged from his job in December 1996. That same month, Anderson grabbed Abbey by the neck and threw her against a wall. Abbey's parents asked him to move out, and he went to live with his mother.

Abbey's and Anderson's child, Kyra, was born on April 18, 1997, after which Anderson violently assaulted Abbey on two occasions. During the second of these assaults, Anderson told Abbey that if she told anyone about what he had done to her, he would kill everyone who lived with her, that he would make her watch him kill the baby, and that he would then kill her and himself.

The next morning, July 25, 1997, Abbey told her parents what had occurred, and then went to the courthouse and got a restraining order against Anderson.

Later that day, Abbey spoke with Anderson by phone, notified him of the restraining order, and told him that he could not see her and that his visitation with the baby would be arranged through the court. Anderson then said he knew what he had to do now.

Late that afternoon, Anderson went to the home of a friend and obtained a .357 caliber magnum handgun.

That night, Abbey was at home with two of her teenage friends, Stacy Turner and Amy Dorris. Also present in the home that night were Abbey's parents, her 10-year-old sister, Whitney, and Kyra.

Abbey, Stacey and Amy were downstairs when they heard knocking on the back door. One of the girls looked out of the small windows by the side of the door but did not see anyone. They then went upstairs and told Stephen Rainwater. He told them to go back downstairs to see if it happened again, while he looked out of an upstairs window.

About a minute elapsed, and someone knocked on the back door again, but Mr. Rainwater did not see anyone. He picked up a rifle and walked around the yard, but again saw no one. He came back in the house and placed the rifle in a corner of the master bedroom.

Stephen Rainwater then started driving around the neighborhood to see if he could find any suspicious vehicles or persons. Back home, the doorbell rang. Abbey, Stacey, Amy and Whitney went to the door and looked out of the small windows next to it.

They saw Anderson standing outside the door holding a handgun. As the girls screamed and backed away from the door, Anderson then kicked in the door, splintering its frame. Debbie Rainwater told Abbey to run.

Abbey and Whitney ran out the back of the house; Abbey ran to a neighbor's house and got the neighbor to call the police, while Whitney stopped fleeing shortly after she got outdoors. Stacy Turner stayed in the house, hiding in a bedroom closet. Amy Dorris stayed in the house near Debbie Rainwater.

Anderson approached Debbie Rainwater, who was standing beside a couch holding the baby. Anderson yelled at her and pointed the gun at her, telling her she was going to die. She got down on her knees and begged for her life. Anderson placed the gun against the back of her head, and fired it. The bullet killed her instantly.

Anderson then grabbed Amy Dorris, who had just witnessed the killing, went outside with her, and told her to yell for Abbey and the others to come out, but no one came out of hiding.

While Anderson was in front of the house, Whitney, who had heard the gunshot, went back into the house and heard Kyra crying. She found her mother's dead body lying on top of the baby. She lifted her mother's body, picked up the baby, and attempted to hide with her in the house.

Anderson found Whitney, however, and took Kyra from her. Anderson and Whitney then walked to the front yard, where Amy was still standing. Anderson, who was holding Kyra, pointed the gun at the baby's head and yelled that he would shoot the baby if Abbey did not come out.

Anderson saw Stephen Rainwater driving toward the house. Anderson took Kyra, Whitney and Amy around to the side of the house, so that Stephen Rainwater could not see them, and told them he would shoot them if they ran.

Anderson, still holding Kyra, approached Stephen Rainwater and began talking to him. He then shot Stephen Rainwater in the forehead, killing him.

Anderson then went back inside the house and ordered Whitney to search for survivors. Whitney saw Stacy hiding in the master bedroom's bathroom, but did not tell Anderson.

Two officers from the Poplar Bluff police department arrived at the residence and saw Stephen Rainwater lying dead. They then saw Anderson, who was in Abbey's bedroom, open a window.

Anderson held the baby in front of him as a human shield, waved the handgun in the direction of the officers, and yelled at them to put down their guns. The officers told Anderson to put down his weapon, which he refused to do, repeatedly yelling at them to drop their weapons.

After other officers arrived and surrounded the house, Anderson eventually came out of the house without the handgun he had been brandishing and surrendered. Anderson was placed under arrest and taken into custody.



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