Katherine Olson, 24, was murdered on October 25, 2007 in a Minneapolis suburb after answering a baby sitting ad on Craigslist. The 24 year old was lured to her death by then 19 year old Michael John Anderson.
Katherine was shot in the back with a .357 Magnum at Anderson’s Savage, Minnesota residence. He stuffed her body into the trunk of her car and drove it to the Burnsville Nature Preserve, where it was discovered on October 26.
Anderson, 21, received a life sentence without parole on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 in a Shakopee, Minnesota courtroom, presided over by Judge Mary Theisen. He was convicted, after six hours of jury deliberation, of 1st and 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter.
The judge addressed Michael John Anderson with tears in her eyes yesterday and said, “Why did you do this? You are the only one who knows, and I won’t pretend to understand it.” Theisen added that she believed Anderson shot Olson as she was “running for her life”. She called it an act of cowardice, “a brutal, incomprehensible act”. She finished by saying, “You have shown no remorse, no empathy, and I have no sympathy for you.”
Katherine graduated co-valedictorian of her Cottage Grove high school in 2002 and went on to graduate from St. Olaf College in 2006, where she majored in theater. According to her father, the Rev. Rolf Olson, his daughter had used Craigslist to obtain several nanny jobs in the past. She was trying to earn enough money to pay for a graduate theater program being offered in Madrid.
After placing her last ad on Craigslist, she exchanged 14 e-mail messages with Anderson, who identified himself as ‘Amy’. Olson’s roommate Matt Thiede testified that Katherine thought ‘Amy’ was a little odd but planned to meet with ‘her’ anyway regarding an opportunity for baby sitting.
Olson is survived by her parents Rev. Rolf and Nancy Olson, sister Sarah Richter and brother Karl Olson.
Photos and video below. There is now another Craiglist murderer, Philip Markoff. Read that story here.