TN TN - Michelle Anderson, 15, Knoxville, 9 Jan 1987

Bargle

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Another forgotten case question. I'm trying to learn the name of this girl.
This one took place in Knoxville, Tenn in, I think, 1990 or 1991.
Victim was a white female, 15-17 years old at the time. Dark wavy hair, coming past her shoulders. Slim to medium build.
The facts as best I remember them.
She disappeared on her way home from a party. She was reported missing very soon and posters of her were placed all over the city. I think she disappeared in the North Knoxville area, but I'm not sure. 1-3 months later, her remains were found in a wooded area in a surrounding county. I don't think they were able to determine a cause of death, though obviously, she didn't bury herself. I don't think the police ever had a really strong suspect.
The case was featured as a segment a few years back on one of the true crime hour long shows on either A&E or The Discovery Channel. The photo used for her missing posters and shown on the program was a school yearbook picture of her behind a counter with her arms resting on the counter in front of her.
So, does this ring a bell with anyone?
 

maima

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Hmmm... This might not be it, Bargle, but the only thing I could find so far that might help is an article indexed at the Knoxville News Sentinel (www.knoxnews.com) (http://web.knoxnews.com/archives/newsbank/). I used the search terms "skeletal remains" and tried 1990 and 1991.

Unfortunately you have to pay $2.95 to access the full article, so below is the bit that shows in the search results. Anyone here on Websleuths have a Newsbank account and can view the entire article for us?




TEENAGE GIRL'S SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND

Published on April 30, 1991, Article 7 of 14 found. Article ID: 1991120032 The skeletal remains of a teenage girl were found by a hunter in a shallow grave about 7:30 a.m. Monday, officials said.

The remains were found near Rockwood Airport in Cumberland County near the Morgan County line, according to a spokesman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department.( Dr. William Bass, head of the University of Tennessee's anthropology department and a forensic anthropologist, was called to the scene, officials said. Bass said the remains are of
 

Bargle

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maima said:
Hmmm... This might not be it, Bargle, but the only thing I could find so far that might help is an article indexed at the Knoxville News Sentinel (www.knoxnews.com) (http://web.knoxnews.com/archives/newsbank/). I used the search terms "skeletal remains" and tried 1990 and 1991.
No, that isn't the correct case. Using the bit of info in the excerpt, I was able to identify that skeleton as being that of Sharon Elise George, missing since 1982 from Cleveland, Tn.
Thanks very much for trying.
 

Bargle

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I found the name while watching the TV show "New Detectives" Her case was one of the ones featured. Michelle Denise Anderson. I had the year wrong, though. She disappeared in 1987 and her body was found in 1989. There was no clear cause of death, but because of where her body was found, murder is assumed. I've found no mention of her case on the 'net and I assume it's still unsolved.
Her story was used because insect traces told them when she had died and that let investigators backtrack to persons missing at the time.
 

lajc27

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I have been searching on the internet trying to find any info about Michelle and her family but I can't find a thing, I wonder why that is? Anyway, Michelle and I went to middle school together and became best friends. In our freshman year of high school we sort of drifted apart, why I don't know. I have been thinking a lot about her here lately and I hope like heck the police find whomever did this to her.

I remember seeing on Unsolved Mysteries an episode featuring her death but I can't even find that on the internet, I have searched youtube but no luck there either.
 

Bargle

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For some reason, her case seems to be one of those that just didn't catch people's long term interest. I don't know why.
 

lajc27

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Bargle, did you know Michelle?

haha i realize you didn't from your OP, sorry.
 

zinc

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Michelle Denise Anderson was last seen riding in a truck with Larry Lee Smith, a convicted sex offender who in 1987 had recently been paroled from prison in Florida where he had sexually assaulted a teenage girl. After Michelle's disappearance, he served almost 20 years in prison for an unrelated Georgia sexual battery.

In 2011 he kidnapped and raped another teenage girl in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was able to escape from Mr. Smith's apartment when someone knocked on his door. This April he was sentenced for that conviction to life without parole as a violent repeat offender. He has not been tried for Michelle's murder, but her mother was able to attend the recent trial and sentencing.

WATE: Police hope to solve Knoxville teen's murder from 1987
February 24, 2011
http://www.wate.com/story/14136630/cold-case

Knoxville News Sentinel: Rape case defendant is chief suspect in '87 death of Knoxville girl
February 24, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/24/rape-case-defendant-is-chief-suspect-in-87-death/

Knoxville News Sentinel: Jury needs less than an hour to convict Knox man in rape, kidnapping
February 26, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/26/slaying-suspect-standing-trial-in-alleged-rape/

Knoxville News Sentinel: Suspect in 1987 killing of Fulton High student gets life term for rape
April 11, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/apr/11/suspect-in-1987-killing-of-fulton-high-student/

Sasha Reynolds writes that Larry Lee Smith has three convictions but nine known victims.
http://www.similartransactions.com/
 

December

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they found an older man named Larry Lee Smith who helped them buy some alcohol. Smith then stayed with the crowd.

"We've found some witnesses from that day. It's hard to find witnesses over 20 years later, but we've found some," Day said.

Day says he's found out Smith was last seen dropping the rest of the group off at an intersection, but left with Michelle still in his truck. That was the last time she was seen.


from the first link in the above post...

Maybe the police have solved this one whether they can prove it in court or not. Don't get me wrong, I hope they can. This Smith individual should be punished if he murdered Michelle.
 

Bargle

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Thanks very much, Zinc. I don't keep up with the local news the way I used to. I missed the stories on Larry Lee Smith.
 

OkieGranny

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3LrBfZE.jpg


http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local-news/rape-case-defendant-is-chief-suspect-in-87-death
 

MajorHoople

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Michelle Denise Anderson was last seen riding in a truck with Larry Lee Smith, a convicted sex offender who in 1987 had recently been paroled from prison in Florida where he had sexually assaulted a teenage girl. After Michelle's disappearance, he served almost 20 years in prison for an unrelated Georgia sexual battery.

In 2011 he kidnapped and raped another teenage girl in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was able to escape from Mr. Smith's apartment when someone knocked on his door. This April he was sentenced for that conviction to life without parole as a violent repeat offender. He has not been tried for Michelle's murder, but her mother was able to attend the recent trial and sentencing.

WATE: Police hope to solve Knoxville teen's murder from 1987
February 24, 2011
Cold Case: Family secret uncovers new suspect in 1944 beheading | WATE 6 On Your Side

Knoxville News Sentinel: Rape case defendant is chief suspect in '87 death of Knoxville girl
February 24, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/24/rape-case-defendant-is-chief-suspect-in-87-death/

Knoxville News Sentinel: Jury needs less than an hour to convict Knox man in rape, kidnapping
February 26, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/26/slaying-suspect-standing-trial-in-alleged-rape/

Knoxville News Sentinel: Suspect in 1987 killing of Fulton High student gets life term for rape
April 11, 2013
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/apr/11/suspect-in-1987-killing-of-fulton-high-student/

Sasha Reynolds writes that Larry Lee Smith has three convictions but nine known victims.
http://www.similartransactions.com/

Larry Lee Smith is still behind bars at the Northeast Correctional Complex. His birth date is 01/27/1961. His TDOC ID is 00518437. To me he looks older than his photo.

At 05' 05" and 240 pounds I suspect he won't live to a ripe old age. I hope the details of his crimes are revealed before he leaves this world.

You can read more about him by entering his TDOC ID at FOIL - Offender Search
 

MajorHoople

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Another forgotten case question. I'm trying to learn the name of this girl.
This one took place in Knoxville, Tenn in, I think, 1990 or 1991.
Victim was a white female, 15-17 years old at the time. Dark wavy hair, coming past her shoulders. Slim to medium build.
The facts as best I remember them.
She disappeared on her way home from a party. She was reported missing very soon and posters of her were placed all over the city. I think she disappeared in the North Knoxville area, but I'm not sure. 1-3 months later, her remains were found in a wooded area in a surrounding county. I don't think they were able to determine a cause of death, though obviously, she didn't bury herself. I don't think the police ever had a really strong suspect.
The case was featured as a segment a few years back on one of the true crime hour long shows on either A&E or The Discovery Channel. The photo used for her missing posters and shown on the program was a school yearbook picture of her behind a counter with her arms resting on the counter in front of her.
So, does this ring a bell with anyone?

Hello Bargle, here is a new article from a local news station:

Appalachian Unsolved: The predator and the high school student | wbir.com

WBIR News - May 6, 2021

"Larry Lee Smith likes abusing young women. The Knoxville man likes threatening them, lying to them and entrapping them, as his lengthy criminal record shows.

Authorities think he's also killed a young woman, although they've never been able to prove it. The slaying of 15-year-old Michelle Denise Anderson, a Fulton High School student, remains one of Knoxville's oldest unsolved killings, dating to January 1987.

Smith, 60, is serving a sentence of life without a chance at parole in Tennessee for a 2011 attack on a 20-year-old woman at a Knoxville transient motel. It 's the third time he's been convicted of assaulting a young woman in the South.

He is a manipulative predator, said retired Knoxville Police Department Investigator Randy York.

"He was a sick puppy," York said. "He couldn't quit. He couldn't stop."

The detective tried for years to compile enough evidence to charge Smith, a Michigan native who grew up in South Knoxville, in Anderson's killing. Two FBI agents and Dr. Bill Bass, one of the nation's most respected forensic anthropologists, investigated the case as well."

More at the link
 

MajorHoople

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Appalachian Unsolved: The predator and the high school student

WBIR Channel 10 via Youtube

 

MajorHoople

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Inmate long suspected in Knox County murder takes stand in 2011 rape case

"A serial sex offender and longtime Knox County murder suspect testified Thursday his lawyer didn't properly represent him for a trial that resulted in him having to spend the rest of his life behind Tennessee bars.

"You keep on twisting what I say," Larry Lee Smith told longtime Knox County prosecutor Leslie Nassios during testimony in his bid to have his 2013 aggravated rape and kidnapping convictions thrown out.

A Knox County jury convicted Smith, 60, who grew up in South Knoxville, of attacking a young Georgia woman in October 2011 in his cheap studio apartment on Dale Avenue. It was the latest conviction for a man investigators and prosecutors have long labeled a sexual predator."

"Veteran police investigators say Smith likely murdered Anderson after inviting her and her boyfriend to party at his Western Avenue apartment in January 1987. After the gathering broke up, with Anderson and her boyfriend quarreling, Smith dropped off the boyfriend first at his family's home."
 

MajorHoople

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Convicted Knoxville rapist, serial predator loses bid to toss criminal convictions | wbir.com

"A convicted Knoxville sex offender and suspected killer didn't get bad representation at trial and doesn't merit help from the court system, a Knox County Criminal Court judge has ruled.

Larry Lee Smith, 60, who authorities say has preyed on women for 40 years, filed a petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction in Knox County on counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape.

He argued he was poorly represented and unjustly treated during his 2013 trial. Smith was accused of entrapping a young Georgia woman in his room in October 2011 at a Dale Avenue flophouse and raping her.

Smith, who has a history of sex crimes against women, testified on his own behalf during the 2013 trial and suggested to the jury he'd never been convicted of a felony. That opened the door for Knox County prosecutors to challenge, or impeach, his truthfulness, revealing that in fact he had been previously convicted of felonies."

"Veteran Knoxville investigators think he kidnapped and killed 15-year-old Michelle Anderson, a Fulton High School student, in January 1987. He was the last person known to be with her and had promised to giver her a ride home after partying with her."
 
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