Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Who Killed Melissa Trotter: Selma Janske

Selma Janske is a pseudonym for the fourteen year old girl that Anthony Allen Shore raped in her home. The girl's actual identification has been kept secret  I know of no one other than Corey Mitchell, author of Strangler, who uses the pseudonym. I therefore presume that he created it. Whoever created it, I've adopted it for this series.

I tell Selma's story mostly via her trial transcript during the penalty phase of Anthony Shore's trial for the murder of Carmen Estrada. I follow that with Anthony Shore's confession regarding his attack against her. The comparison will give you a sense of how much you might be able to trust the word of Anthony Allen Shore.

Selma Janske was questioned by Assistant District Attorney Terese Buess.

October 22, 2004
Buess: I want to go back in time. I want to go to October 19, 1993.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: How old were you back then?

Janske: I was fourteen.

Buess: Where were you going to school?

Janske: Lamar High School. I was a freshman.

Buess: Tell us what kind of activities you were involved in at Lamar High School back then.

Janske: Mostly, I played soccer. I played soccer most of my life. And doing school and hanging out with my friends.

Buess: Was your brother living with you at the time?

Janske: No, he had gone off to college that year.

Buess: So, in your home, tell me who was living in your home that day.

Janske: My mom, my dad, and myself.

Buess: Just the three of you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Tell us how you got back and forth to school.

Janske: I had a car pool with three or four of my friends. Our parents took turns driving us to and from school.

Buess: What time did you normally get home from school with the car pool?

Janske: About three-thirty, or right around then.

Buess: And how would you get into the house at that point?

Janske: I had a key. I'd just let myself in through the front door.

Buess: And when you came home, would either your mom or dad be home at that time?

Janske: No, they worked.

Buess: What time would they normally get home?

Janske: Somewhere in between five-thirty or six-thirty usually.

Buess: And would they both come together or separately?

Janske: No, separate.

Buess: When you would come home from school on a regular school day, what would you normally do once you got home?

Janske: I would usually come in and get a snack, probably watch some TV, do some homework.

Buess: TV first, then some homework?

Janske: Right.

Buess: Typical freshman in high school. Okay Selma. On October 19, 1993, did you come home from school on that day?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: It was a school day?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Got home at the regular time, about three-thirty, with a carpool?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: How did you let yourself into the house?

Janske: I let myself in like normal.

Buess: Do you recall what you had with you at the time?

Janske: I always had a backpack with me at school, and that's probably it.

Buess: Tell me on the day what you were wearing.

Janske: I had on jeans, I think, tennis shoes and just a T-shirt of some kind.

Buess: Do you remember what color the T-shirt was?

Janske: I believe it was blue.

Buess: Underneath your shirt, what did you have on?

Janske: A bra.

Buess: Underneath your jeans, what did you have on?

Janske: Underwear.

Buess: Let's talk about what you did when you came home. You said you came through the front door.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: And tell me what you were doing at that moment.

Janske: I was checking the mail because the mail slot is in the front door and it goes on the floor. So I would always walk in and just pick it up.

Buess: What were you looking at?

Janske: There was a catalog in there. I had sat down on the couch and started flipping through it.

Buess: What did you do next?

Janske: I started walking through the living room and I had walked through the dining room and was walking into the kitchen watching the clock.

Buess: So, are you in the kitchen or almost there?

Janske: I'm walking through the doorway of the kitchen.

Buess: And what happens next?

Janske: I heard a noise behind me. It was a voice. I think he said, "Hey," and I turned around and saw a figure standing where the table usually sat.

Buess: Let me stop you right there. Let me back you up a little bit. We're going to go slowly so we don't have to do it again. Okay? In its place, what was there?

Janske: There's a man standing there.

Buess: When you looked at him, did you look at him in the face?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Could you see his face?

Janske: No.

Buess: Why not?

Janske: His face was covered with a bandanna or something on his head.

Buess: Could you see any part of his face?

Janske: I could see his forehead, maybe his eyes.

Buess: What could you tell from seeing that much of him?

Janske: That he was white.

Buess: When he spoke to you and he called your attention, do you recall the words he used?

Janske: I can't remember if he said "Hey" or if he just made a noise to get my attention.

Buess: Aside from noticing the white forehead and the eyes, tell us what he was wearing.

Janske: He was wearing large, baggy clothes. When I first looked at him, I thought he was a scarecrow-type-looking figure.

Buess: Was it a shirt or a jacket? What was it on top?

Janske: It was a shirt of some kind.

Buess: How about the pants? Could you tell what kind they were?

Janske: Blue jeans, I believe.

Buess: Did you look at his feet?

Janske: No.

Buess: Tell the jury, when you hear that noise, when you hear him talking to you or saying something and you turned around and saw him, tell us what's going through your mind right then.

Janske: I thought it was a joke. I thought someone was trying to scare me.

Buess: What did you do?

Janske: I just stood there. I didn't, I didn't know what to do.

Buess: Did you notice or learn anything about his hands?

Janske: He was wearing surgical gloves on his hands.

Buess: How did you know that?

Janske: I just saw them as he was walking up to me.

Buess: What did you think when you saw those gloves?

Janske: I wasn't thinking at that point?

Buess: Tell us what happened next. What does he say to you?

Janske: He said he was just breaking into the house. He wanted to steal something. He was just breaking in to find money. He didn't know that I was going to be there and it was an accident.

Buess: When he says that to you, what kind of voice is he using?

Janske:  It was very calm, very soothing almost.

Buess: [Did he say] "I'm just here to rob your house?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: I'm not here for you?

Janske: Right.

Buess: Does that make you feel any better?

Janske: I believed him.

Buess: So what happened next?

Janske: I was just standing right inside the kitchen. He came over, and he said he was going to put duct tape around my eyes so that I couldn't see him and couldn't identify him. And he kept saying over and over again, "I'm just breaking into your house. It's an accident that I'm here when you're here. And so I let him. And he wrapped my whole face around in duct tape, over my mouth, around the back of my head.

The Pseudonymous Selma Janske Being Comforted Soon after the Attack
Buess: What about your nose?

Janske: Well, I could still breathe.

Buess: So your nose isn't covered?

Janske: Right.

Buess: How about your eyes?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: You say he went all the way around?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Back then, what kind of hair did you have?

Janske: Pretty much like I have today, long.

Buess: What did he do with your hands?

Janske: He said that he was going to tie my hands behind  my back so that I couldn't come after him. And so he tied my hands real tight behind [my] back.

Buess: What did he tie your hands with?

Janske: Well, it was a wire of some kind. And later I found out that the alarm clock in my room wasn't working anymore, and he had cut the wire from that and split it down in two so it was long and thin.

Buess: Just so we have a good picture of you at this point in time, your eyes are covered, your mouth is covered, you can breathe.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Can you see anything at the time?

Janske: No.

Buess: And are your hands behind you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: He left your feet alone?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: What happened next?

Janske: He started walking me into the bedroom through the kitchen.

Buess: How is he doing that?

Janske: He's leading me from behind with his hand on my -- on my back.

Buess: So, he just kind of guided you forward.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Because you can't see, right?

Janske: We went through the kitchen and turned right into my bedroom.

Buess: On the walk through the dining room, through the kitchen into your bedroom, is he silent or is he talking?

Janske: No. He was -- he talked the whole time.

Buess: What's he saying?

Janske: Just repeating over and over again that it was an accident that I was there when he was there.

Buess: Did he tell you he wasn't going to hurt you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Did you believe that?

Janske: I had to.

Buess: You said his voice was calm and soothing. Is it still the same way?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Tell us, Selma, when you realized that it really was about you.

Janske: When we were walking back into the bedroom, he lifted up my shirt and just grazed my side. And that was the first realization that I had that it might not be just about the house, that it might be about me too.

Buess: So, now you're in the bedroom. What happened next?

Janske: He sat me down on the bed.

Buess: So are you at the foot of your bed?

Janske: Yes, with my knees over the end of the bed.

Buess: What does he say?

Janske: I don't remember. He started taking off my pants.

Buess: Did he tell you why he was talking your pants off?

Janske: He said he didn't want me to chase after him.

Buess: Are you still thinking that maybe if you go along, it's going to be okay?

Janske: I don't remember. I didn't have a choice at that point.

Buess: Did you let him take your pants off?

Janske: I think I struggled a little bit.

Buess: Did your pants come off?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: So, now at this point you've got your panties on?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Your T-shirt?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: And your bra?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: And you're sitting on the edge of your bed?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Okay. Tell us what happens next.

Janske: He used a knife to cut my panties off.

Buess: Selma, how did you know it was a knife.

Janske: Because he -- I don't remember if he told me at that point, but at some point he told me that he had a knife that he would cut me with.

Buess: So, when he cut off your panties, did you feel that knife on your body?

Janske: I don't remember if I felt it, but I knew that's how he did it.

Buess: When he's cutting off your panties, did he say anything to you?

Janske: I don't believe so.

Buess: At this point, with your panties off and your jeans off, are you still sitting upright in your bed?

Janske: I don't think so.

Buess: Where are you now?

Janske: I'm laying on my back on the bed, but my legs are still hanging off of the bed.

Buess: Off of the edge of the bed?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: And you're laying back flat?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Where is he?

Janske: He was standing at my knees.

Buess: Is he still talking to you?

Janske: I believe he was.

Buess: Do you recall what he was saying at this point?

Janske: He started talking, telling me to just relax, and he spread my legs open.

Buess: How is he spreading your legs open?

Janske: Using his hands.

Buess: And you said that you think you struggled at one point.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: What do you recall doing?

Janske: Tying to close my legs and screaming?

Buess: At that point the tape that's around your mouth, is it still in place?

Janske: It's a lot looser by then because the moisture from my mouth and moving around.

Buess: So, it's come a little bit loose?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: In your screaming, can you hear yourself screaming?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Can he hear you screaming?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Tell the jury, please, as you're screaming, what changes with him?

Janske: As I was screaming, he got upset. He was telling me that I was being too loud, that I needed to be quiet. At that point he was threatening me with the knife, that he had a knife and he was going to cut me.

Buess: And at that point you knew he had a knife, right?

Janske: Yes, because he had cut my panties with it.

Buess: So, with that knife and the threat of being made, did you believe that he was capable of doing that to you.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Of killing you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: You said you were screaming. When he told you to be quiet, did you stop or did you continue?

Janske: I think I did quiet down for a little bit.

Buess: What happens next?

Janske: He was able to open my knees.

Buess: And what happened next?

Janske: That's when he raped me.

Buess: Did you ever hear him unzip his pants?

Janske: No.

Buess: When you say "raped," tell us -- I'm sorry to have to ask you this, but we've got to -- the written record has to be clear. What part of him goes into you?

Janske: He put his penis in me, into my vagina.

Buess: And again, just so the jury is clear, he's not on top of you, is he?

Janske: No, he's not.

Buess: How is he at this point?

Janske: He's leaning over me. On me.

Buess: So, he's standing in front of you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: And your legs are between his legs now?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Did he stay still or did he move? Just tell us what you recall.

Janske: I think he stayed still.

Buess: Selma, tell the jury, back then when you were fourteen years old on that date, had you even started your period yet?

Janske: No.

Buess: Did you really know anything about sex?

Janske: No.

Buess: Ever had anything enter your vagina before that you know of?

Janske: No. No.

Buess: Tell the jury, when his penis went inside your vagina, what it felt like.

Janske: It hurt.

Buess: When that happened, what did you do?

Janske: I started screaming again.

Buess: And what did he do?

Janske: He told me I was being too loud.

Buess: Did he ever tell you -- aside from the "quit screaming" and "quit being so loud" did he tell you what to do?

Janske: No.

Buess: Did he ever tell you to relax?

Janske: Yes, he did.

Buess: How many times did he tell you to do that?

Janske: I only remember once.

Buess: Did he tell you what would happen if you didn't relax?

Janske: He told me if I relaxed, it wouldn't hurt.

Buess: Did you believe that?

Janske: Well, not at that point. No.

Buess: Tell us what you recall happening next.

Janske: I want to say I started screaming again, and he told me I was being too loud. I remember, suddenly I wasn't able to breathe.

Buess: You said the tape around your mouth is coming a little bit loose and you can hear yourself?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: How about your eyes? Does that come off your eyes?

Janske: At some point I could see just a little sliver of light coming through.

Buess: But you didn't see his face?

Janske: No.

Buess: At any point up to this time, have you ever said, "No. Stop"?

Janske: I don't know that I specifically said "no".

Buess: And while you're laying down on your bed, your arms are where?

Janske: They're still tied behind my back.

Buess: So, you're laying on top of your arms?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: You said you were screaming?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Are you crying?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: When did you start crying?

Janske: It's hard to say exactly. I mean, probably when I started screaming.

Buess: So, even before he had pulled your legs apart?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: You said you were still screaming and he was upset about it. And then you said it became hard to breathe.

Janske: Yes.

Buess: What was happening?

Janske: I realized that something was choking me.

Buess: Could you see what was choking you, Selma?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: What was choking you.

Janske: His hands.

Buess: Tell us how far that went. That choking.

Janske: I kind of came out of my stupor, I guess, and realized that I had to do something at that point.

Buess: Let me back you up just a moment. You realized that you can't breathe. What's happening to you aside from the realization that you can't breathe. Did you black out?

Janske: No, I don't believe I did.

Buess: What are the thoughts going through your mind.

Janske: If I don't do something, I'm going to die.

Buess: So what did you do?

Janske: I pulled my legs up to my chest and I pushed him off as hard as I could.

Buess: So you kicked him?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: What happened?

Janske: He didn't come back to me. I was really scared that ...

Buess. What did you hear, though, when you kicked?

Janske: I heard him knock into something.

Buess: And you were scared that he was going to come back to you?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Because you knew he had the knife?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Did he come back to you right away?

Janske: No.

Buess: What happened?

Janske: I don't think he came back to me at all after that. He started talking to me again.

Buess: What's he talking about now?

Janske: Now he's talking about how he knows everything about me. He had been watching me. He knew I came home from school That he knew I played soccer and where I played soccer at, and that ...

Buess: Specifically, what did he say about where you played soccer that he knew?

Janske: He knew what field I played at.

Buess: Did he name the school that you played at?

Janske: He named my high school that I went to and said he knew I went to school and it was Lamar and --

Buess: How did that make you feel?

Janske: Later it made me feel pretty scared.

Buess: So, he's talking and you're still on your bed?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Laying flat on your back?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Where are your legs now?

Janske: I think at that point, once I kicked him off, I think I curled up int a ball on the bed.

Buess: So, are you on your back or on your side?

Janske: On my side.

Buess: And he's talking now?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Is his voice nice and calm, like it was in the beginning.

Janske: I believe so.

Buess: Can you tell what he's doing?

Janske: I think I hear him putting on his pants or shuffling around.

Buess: Now at this point, are you talking?

Janske: Well, he was making me promise -- he was telling me the description that I needed to give to the police.

Buess: What description was that, Selma?

Janske: That he was a short black man with a New York accent.

Buess: Which was not what he was at all?

Janske: No.

Buess: You knew he was white?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Did he have an accent?

Janske: No.

Buess: And what did you tell him when he's asking you do do that?

Janske: I swore up and down that I would.

Buess: What else?

Janske: He told me that if I told them, the police, the correct description of him, that he would come back for me and that he would come back and kill me.

Buess: And did you believe it at that time?

Janske: Yes.

Buess: Did he tell you he was leaving?

Janske: Yes.

Shore left.

Selma called 911.

Selma then called her mother.

October 25, 2003
Shore: Talk about another case y'all don't know about.

Swaim: Okay.

Shore: There's a reason I wanna talk about that.

Swaim: Okay.

Shore: There was a girl that I'd never seen before, which once again ... I had fantasies about her. I had seen her several times.

Swaim: Where was this?

Shore: [1900 block of] Portsmouth. I don't know for sure that's the right address.

Swaim. Okay.

1900 Block of Portsmouth Street, Houston
Shore: Girl's name is Selma Janske, I know that. J-A-N-S-K-E. I'm guessing she's probably sixteen, seventeen at the time. I'm not really sure how old. She was young. She was attractive. I was a phone man working outdoors, outside plans, and I worked down this street several times. I'd seen her coming home and I knew she was a latchkey kid. Came home from high school or whatever school she was going to and I wanted to put a stop to ... the taking of life. I didn't want to do this anymore. Hell, I did this, at this time I, it's a sexual union, had something to do with it. The more I'm thinking in retrospect, that it's having to do with possession of a person. Making them ... do ... things. So I broke into the house which wasn't easy. The door was unlocked and I waited for her to get there. She got there. I stole twenty dollars off of the dresser, probably her parents' room. She came in and I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't have to ... take the life. That's the reason I'm telling you this.

Swaim: Okay. That's fine.

Shore: So I had on --

Swaim: Now when was, you think, was that?

Shore: Probably after ... I don't remember the time frame for sure but probably after Diana Rebollar but before Diana Sanchez. [It was after Carmen Estrada but before Diana Rebollar. - tsj]

 Swaim: Okay.

Shore: Okay. So, I ... tied her up with electrical cord. And I took, and, the resistance from the violence that I thought that I was going to do this again but I promised myself that I wasn't going to take any more lives no matter what. As sick and fucked up as it sounds, I really, really, really was trying to get better in a real sick, demented way. I don't discount it. I'm not stupid, but I was trying ... but I promised myself I wasn't going to do it and , uh. In her bedroom, and uh, I told her that I knew how the police would ask her this and that and I told her say that it was a short, fat black man and that if I heard different then I come back and take her family out and I made a lot of threats and uh, when I mentioned the family thing she started fighting and kicking. Now her hands were restrained as she started just going berserk. I really didn't know when everybody else would come home or when somebody could show up. I just knew that it got out of hand and I had to make a decision.

Swaim: At what time? This was when?

Shore: Afternoon. Right after school. 4:00, 5:00 o'clock.

Swaim: Oh, that's right. Right after she got home from school.

Shore: So, I thought I had to make a decision. Once again, I started to strangle her and I thought "No, I just can't. I just need to get the fuck out of here" And I left. Thank God.

Swaim: You take anything?

Shore: Naw.

Swaim: But you didn't, you strangle her at all or you started to --

Shore: I started to and I stopped.

Swaim: Did you have something around her neck to do it?

Shore: On this one, no. I think I was gonna use my hands and I just freaked 'cause I promised myself I wasn't going to do this and all the sudden -- like the pathology and the anger and the freaking out. I kept telling myself, "This isn't necessary. This is not. None of it is necessary." So I bolted. I left. And uh, I walked out, people saw me. There's people walking in the street. Driving by.

Swaim: Normal business.

Shore: Finally walked through the back yard out to the front. I parked my phone truck over on the Whataburger parking lot over at Shepard and Portsmouth or somewhere in that area. Walked right up to my truck, go rid of my shirt that I had on. Went back to work scared to death. I was paranoid. I was afraid because I had left somebody as a witness. Nobody ever came and talked to me. Nobody ever came and arrested me. There was a part of me, I think, that wanted to get caught.

Swaim: That's what I was fixing to ask you ---

Shore: I wanted to be stopped so many times. I just wanted the whole thing to end. That's why I'm talking to you now. and I want to make sure that nothing ever happens again.

January 1, 2013
I provide an updated version of Shore's victim map.

The green pins on the left identify Laurie Tremblay's apartment complex, the bus stop from which she was abducted, and the location where her body was dumped. The yellow pins near the top represent Carmen Estrada's home, the bus stop from where she was abducted, and the location where her body was dumped. The teal pins at the right represent Selma Janske's home and high school.

The yellow house at the right is the location where Anthony Shore was living when the attacks took place.

The red pin at the right is the location where Sandra Charles and Marcell Taylor were murdered.

Clearly the attack on Selma Janske was different in significant details from the attacks on Laurie Tremblay and Carmen Estrada. His next attack will be entirely different from any of its predecessors, and even more hideous, assuming that's possible. As I noted in my last post, each of Shore's attacks seems to have been an experiment of sorts, trying to find the formula that would satisfy his indescribable, irresistible urges.

With respect to the possibility that Melissa Trotter was one of his victims, I took particular note of the following portion of his confession.

The more I'm thinking in retrospect, that it's having to do with possession of a person.

Someone possessed Melissa Trotter for nearly three weeks before killing her.


Anonymous said...


kim thunert said...

I just watched this on an old episode (2005) of 'Cold Case Files'. This man should never been allowed to walk the streets after molesting his stepchildren! I don't believe for a minute that he was insane nor remorseful. I think the ONLY thing he was sorry about was that he got caught. He's been on death row for too long! (Actually, he belongs either in general population where even the worst of the worst prisoners HATE child molesters/killers or strapped to a gurney already!) Rant over! Thanks for the court record. I really hope that child is doing alright! How do you ever get over something like that? :(

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