Tag Archive for: stiletto murder

Death by Stiletto

By Kay Kendall

Earlier this
week I was brainstorming with my manager (AKA my husband) about topics for my
next piece here on the Stiletto Blog.

“Eureka,” he said. “Today on the radio I heard about a woman who’s charged with
murdering her lover using her stiletto. At first I figured it meant a stiletto
knife. But no, it was a shoe.”  

Kay & bunny Dusty

“Perfect,” I
said. “I hope I can find the story online.”  And so I began to search, typing in only these
words—stiletto murder. Up popped
pages and pages of articles. Naturally many citations were from local media
outlets, but also from major media like CNN, Huffington Post, and People
For lots of detail about this murder, you can Google it yourself. But here is the story in a
Prosecutors say Ana Trujillo (age 45) was out of control and stabbed her boyfriend Alf Andersson (age 59) at least 25 times, holding him down
until he bled to death. The defense says Andersson was an alcoholic drug user
who was drunk and attacking Ms. Trujillo, and she “did the only think she could
At least
25 times!
As luck would
have it, the murder took place in Texas. Do you realize how many interesting
(read bizarre) murders occur in this
state? Remember the cheerleader mom contracting out a hit on her daughter’s
rival for a place on the cheerleading squad? Yep, that was Texas all right.

In fact, both
the stiletto wielder and the cheerleader mom inhabited my crazy, fast-growing
city—Houston. Oh, it doth make one so very proud. Yes indeed. (All jokes aside, but I
really do love living in Houston.)
I once read an
article that said if you want to publish a bestseller, then just throw the name
Texas into the title. That state name outsells any other. Again, I am so proud. Texas Chain Saw Massacre anyone? 
Seriously, it’s
a good thing that I enjoy unusual human behavior, since I live where I do.
There is so much material just lying all around, material for a mystery author
like myself to pick up and use.
Now, I’m not
going to claim that Texas has a lock on unusual behavior. Immediately other
states come to mind—like California and Florida. Or cities like Chicago and New
Orleans. Places where unusual behavior is more commonplace then where I was
born and raised—Kansas. When all people can say about your state of birth is
that a fictional character named Dorothy wore sparkly red shoes and had a
little dog named Toto, you know they think your state is boring.
No one ever
says Texas is boring. For good or ill, I cannot argue that fact.
Here’s why I’m
telling you all this. It’s because mystery authors have a warped sense of
interest in some things. I am totally curious about all human behavior, what makes
people tick, as we used to say all the time. I could care less how a car runs
or anything else technical. Just bores me to tears. But people, oh how
endlessly fascinating they all are—we
all are.
That’s the kind
of mystery I like to write—when the person “who done it” seems to be a perfectly normal
human being, but then snaps. I don’t care for the serial killers who everyone admits
are out and out crazy. Where’s the interest, the mystery, in that?
The British writer
Anne Perry has produced endless streams of who-done-its, now numbering more
than 60 books that have sold more than 26 million copies worldwide. At least
the first half of them featured killers who were actually nice people, driven
to do the ultimate evil deed, murder.
When I first
began reading her books in the early 1990s, I noted that quirk in her fiction
right away. Then in 1994 a film was released—Heavenly Creatures, an early feature directed by Peter
Jackson, who went on to direct the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy—that let the cat out of the proverbial

As a teenager, Anne Perry had helped a friend kill her mother in 1954.
Both teens were imprisoned in their home country of New Zealand, and then
released five years later under the condition that they never see each other
again. Ms. Perry had gone on to adopt a pseudonym and make a new life for herself. I
myself sat beside her during a luncheon at which she was going to speak. (Of
course we were in Houston!)
Now if that
doesn’t tell you truth is stranger than fiction, I don’t know what would.

I wonder if any of you are as fascinated by this tale as I am? The teen killers did not use a stiletto. Do you know what weapon they did use to murder the mother in NZ?

For more on
Anne Perry (real name Juliet Hulme, played by Kate Winslet in the film), I
recommend reading these:
Kay Kendall is an international award-winning public relations
executive who lives in Texas with her husband, five house rabbits, and spaniel
Wills. A fan of historical mysteries, she wants to do for the 1960s what
novelist Alan Furst does for Europe in the 1930s during Hitler’s rise to
power–write atmospheric mysteries that capture the spirit of the age.