Anthony Allen Shore
After trying unsuccessfully to find a case in which drew my interest I finally came across this one on my list. One of the interesting things about it is that Anthony Shore was executed just two weeks ago. He was the first to be executed in 2018 in Texas, let alone the United States. A little over a week later, on January 30th Texas executed William Earl Rayford. Then while I was doing the research for this case I was basically on “death watch” as once again Texas was visiting their death chamber as they were preparing to execute John Battaglia. Texas has three more executions scheduled for this year and even they are all carried through, at six, while Texas will again have executed more than any other state, it will still be a “slow” year for them. Counting the three scheduled later in the year in Texas, a total of eleven more people are scheduled for execution this year (2018).
Most of the time when someone is scheduled to be executed their family does one of two things. They either do not speak to the media at all or they generally try to be sympathetic to the families of the victims but either insist their loved one is innocent or just simply protest the death penalty in general. That was not the case her. Now, in fairness, while Anthony Shore had not murdered anyone in his family, he was accused and pleaded guilty to molesting his own two daughters. Obviously this in and of itself could have turned his family and I do believe there were some other things too, but the interesting part is that before his execution two of his sisters all but advocated for his execution, both saying they hoped there would not be a stay given. His youngest daughter also talked to the media and talked about how evil he was but in fairness I cannot say that she advocated for his execution for certain.
Anthony Shore may have never gotten caught had he not pleaded guilty in 1998 for molesting his daughters. Although he served no jail time for his guilty plea of “indecency with a child” he did receive probation as well as was required to submit his DNA and register as a self offender. It was this, and the fact that a cold case was re-opened and new DNA advancements were used that eventually got Anthony Shore caught. It seems that no one will ever fully know just how many people were victims of Anthony Shore. After his arrest in 2003 he would confess to four murders and the assault on another. Throughout his prison stay he would confess to it seems at least two other murders and up to sixty more sexual assaults. However, the murders were all but proven not to be committed by Shore and thought to be a tactic to stay his execution. As far as the sexual assaults go, most believe that yes, there were many more dating back long before his supposed first murder, but not likely as many as he would say just a few weeks before his execution.
On April 16, 1992 a twenty-one year old woman named Maria Estrada was found half naked behind a Dairy Queen in the drive-thru area in Houston. A ligature was around her neck and a stick had been used to help tighten (or loosen) it. On August 8, 1994, 9 year old Diana Rebollan had gone to a grocery store but had never returned home. Her body would be found the following day on a loading dock. She, like Maria, had a ligature around her neck and a bamboo stick had been used. When it came to these two cases investigators were almost certain that it was the same person and the nickname “The Tourniquet Killer” was born. They did not know there were more. Even still it would be more than a decade before the cases would be solved.
In 2000 the Estrada case was reopened and DNA was tested. However, while is was non-specific, my research stated that the lab involved in the testing had “issues” and would close in 2002. The DNA was sent to another lab where it was tested again to confirm prior testing and a match was made to Anthony Shore. Keep in mind authorities already believed that who ever killed Maria Estrada also killed Diana Rebollan simply based on the MO.
Authorities went to Anthony Shore's home and arrested him. At the time he was living with a new girlfriend and her three teenage children (I did not discover their gender). After about eleven hours of interrogation Anthony Shore not only admitted to the murders of both Maria and Diana, but also to the murders of fourteen year old Laurie Trembley and sixteen year old Dana Sanchez. He would also apparently confesses to at least one sexual assault against fourteen year old Selma Janske.
So, how did Anthony Shore get to this point and how was he not caught before for anything more than molesting his own children? My research revealed a report taken by a psychologist but it appears that much of the information provided to the doctor was given to them by Anthony Shore himself and a lot of it could not be proven. However, interviews with family members filled in some pieces too. Anthony was born in 1962 and to both a military mother and father, although his mother would be discharged upon her pregnancy (whether it was with him or another child I could not say for sure). Throughout his childhood the family would move around often depending on his father's assignments. It appears that many described him as angry and rebellious.
There were reports that he had killed at least one kitten as a child in retaliation in anger towards another child and had gone after one of his sisters with a knife. Anthony would proclaim that his mother began molesting him when he was thirteen or fourteen years old but not only has there never been any proof of this, most believe that this was untrue. There was indication that this allegation may not have come out until long after Anthony was convicted for his crimes and may have been one of many instances in which most believe he used tactics to delay his execution. The interesting thing about these tactics was the fact that after his conviction he asked the jury to give him the death penalty. Defense attorneys over the years would argue that he had suffered some sort of accident “early in life” that had caused brain damage and had affected his decision to ask the jury to sentence him to death.
Anthony Shore would marry his first wife, Gina in March of 1984. Just a few weeks later Gina would give birth to their daughter, Amber. Some information had described her as an autistic child but I am unsure where this “diagnosis” come from and wonder if it is not something alleged by Anthony himself. The couple had a second daughter, Tiffany in 1985. It was not clear at what point the couple divorced or why or how Anthony received custody of his daughters. It is also not clear whatever came of Gina and just how much contact she had with her daughters after the divorce. In 1997 Anthony would marry Amy Lynch. While Anthony and Amy went to be married and have a honeymoon Amber and Tiffany were left with Anthony's mother. It was then that the girls told their grandmother and their aunt that Anthony had been molesting and abusing them. The adult women went to the police with the allegations.
In 1998 Anthony pleaded guilty and apparently Amy remained married to him for another year. Then she would file for divorce, later saying that she had felt as if he had drugged her and raped her while she was sleeping. It is not clear just what his provisions were with his probation but as I stated earlier, by 2003 he was living with a girlfriend and her children. It is also not clear exactly where Amber and Tiffany began living after 1997.
Prosecutor, Kelly Siegler (trial attorney and now star of Cold Justice) was given Anthony Shore's case. It was her decision to only prosecute him for the Maria Estrada case because that case had the most evidence available, especially considering the DNA. The trial would commence in October of 2004. The prosecutor alleged and Anthony's confession all but confirmed that Maria had been walking to work when Anthony had picked her up, sexually assaulted her, strangled her and left her in the drive-thru area of the Dairy Queen. The jury would convict him on capital murder charges.
I can only assume that Anthony's confession to the other crimes were at the very least mentioned to the jury after his conviction considering the fact that survivor Selma Janske testified at his sentencing hearing. Going with at least his initial confession, Anthony's first victim was Laurie Lee Trembley. She was murdered on September 26, 1986 while walking to school. Anthony confessed to sexually assaulting her. He then strangled her and dumped her body behind a Mexican restaurant in Houston. Maria Estrada was Anthony's second murder victim on April 16, 1992.
Anthony had entered Selma Janske's home on October 19, 1993. She had been bound and sexually assaulted but at some point Anthony left the home. The reasoning for this behavior was unclear. Anthony's next victim was Diana Rebollan. She was nine years old!! A neighbor had described a van seen in the area in recent days that seemed out of place. Anthony's confession but many other things made this case the one that investigators were most confident was committed by Anthony. At the time of the murder he owned a van like the one described and as I stated earlier the MO was similar to Maria. According to Anthony he killed sixteen year old Dana Sanchez on July 6, 1995. He claimed he offered her a ride in his van. Once inside she resisted his sexual advances. He proceeded to strangle her and dump her body in a field in Harris County. A local television news station received an anonymous phone call that led law enforcement to her body seven days after her murder. Authorities contend it was Anthony Shore who made the call but that has apparently never been fully confirmed.
After apparently hearing of Anthony Shore's other crimes and hearing him literally ask for the death penalty, the jury took about thirty minutes to deliberate before giving him just what he asked for on October 28, 2004.
For next nearly fourteen years Anthony would have three execution dates set. His first was delayed when foolishly it seems that the prosecutors believed he may have given more valuable information about previous crimes. I say foolishly because he was not specific enough to give anything to possibly solve any known crimes. Most people, including some of his own family members, believe that there were likely many more victims, whether from sexual assault or from murder, under Anthony Shore's belt. The problem was attempting to know what to believe that came out of his mouth. Anthony Shore's second date with the death chamber was to be in October of 2017. But, just three hours before he was scheduled the courts, with apparently prosecutors approval, granted a stay. All of my research agreed on the technical reason for the stay, a few things differed on why it occurred in the first place. Everyone seemed to agree that the stay was asked for because another death row inmate, Larry Swearingen, had asked Anthony Shore to tell authorities that he (Anthony) had killed a 19 year old girl named Melissa Trotter. Swearingen himself was looking at being executed in November for murdering Trotter. Some information says that Anthony Shore went to the authorities himself, telling them that Swearingen had approached him about this and they apparently believed him because it was said that Swearingen had tried this tactic in the past. At least one article stated that information had been found in Anthony Shore cell pertaining to the Trotter case, given to him by Swearingen, and that it was only found in a search of the cell. It claims that only then had Anthony Shore admitted to the scheme but that particular article indicated that he had planned to do just as Swearingen wanted. While the courts granted Anthony Shore a stay they granted him only a ninety day stay immediately. To be fair I have not researched Swearingen's case but I can say he also was granted a stay of execution but I have no idea the specifics.
Within days of his execution on January 18, 2018 in a Huntsville Texas prison Anthony Shore would admit to allegedly committing more than sixty rapes, some dating as far back as the 1970's. He told authorities that he went to bars, seduced strangers, drugged them and then took them to his van where he assaulted them. At least one woman came forward saying she was one of his victims and he had used that method. This is similar to the method his ex-wife Amy would claim had been the reason she had filed for a divorce. I have to be fair though in saying I am unsure just what Amy completely claimed and why to be truthful. I cannot say how long the couple dated before they married but just after their marriage the fact that he molested his own children came out and apparently she stayed with him through that. By her account it sounds as if she was fine with things (although admittedly his other crimes had not come out yet) until she was personally affected. Authorities would say that they too believed that some of the rapes that Anthony Shore confessed to likely happened, but not likely all of them, although that does not mean that there were not more that he never confessed to. In the end though prosecutors saw it as another tactic to delay his execution.
At his execution Anthony Shore would apologize for his crimes. Whether that apology was genuine will never be known. His next act though could have changed things the following weeks as Texas continued executions. When the first of the three chemicals was released into his body he alleged that he could feel it and that it burned. Almost immediately however he fell unconscious and thirteen minutes after the execution began he was declared dead. However, that comment about feeling a burning sensation would be used by the defense attorney's at least in the John Battaglia execution two weeks later. I am sure that the lawyers for William Earl Rayford, who was executed between these two men did not miss the opportunity to use that themselves.
There was talk in one article that while in prison Anthony Shore had produced some artwork and that it may have been sold but I could not determine just how true that was. There was a note that he had given his “estate” to a pen pal he had made while in prison. It was said that his daughter, Tiffany was irritated by this and was quoted as saying “He was a pretty awful person in life so it only follows that he would be an awful person in death.”
Late last year a show called Evil Lives Here aired on the ID channel. Tiffany participated in the taping of the show. I cannot recall if any other family members had done so also but in separate articles in my research two of Anthony Shore's sisters were interviewed. It seems there was no love lost anywhere and everyone believed he had done everything he said, and more. It was mentioned both then and in other parts of my research that Tiffany's sister, Amber “hasn't been heard from in years.” Obviously the events of her childhood took a toll on her. One can only hope that with the execution of her father she can find peace and maybe find her way back to her family.