January 20, 2020

Writers publish book about S.D. serial killer - Daily Leader Extra : Top Stories

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 3:33 pm | Updated: 2:33 pm, Wed Jan 15, 2020.

The authors of "Gitchie Girl Uncovered," a true-crime book that described a notorious 1973 mass murder in Lyons County, Iowa, have published a new book with help from Larry Long, a former South Dakota attorney general, about the murders committed by Robert Leroy Anderson in eastern South Dakota during the 1990s.

Anderson was initially convicted of kidnapping Piper Streyle, a Canistota mother of two, in 1997 and sentenced to life in prison. He was later tried and convicted in 1999 of kidnapping and murdering Larisa Dumansky of Sioux Falls and raping and murdering Streyle -- convictions that earned Anderson the death penalty.

Twenty years after Anderson's convictions, authors Phil and Sandy Hamman worked with Long to write and release "Duct Tape Killer," a recounting of the murders, Anderson's attempt at a third abduction, and the investigations and trials that sent the serial killer to prison. Long, now 72 and retired, started working with the Hammans about 1 1/2 years ago on the book, providing source material because he worked on the prosecution team during Anderson's trials.

"They (the Hammans) approached me about working on this book, basically due to the knowledge I had about the cases," Long said during a telephone call. "Because of where Piper Streyle was abducted, near Canistota, that case was officially the responsibility of the McCook County state's attorney.

``However, in the state's rural counties, when a big case occurs, the state's attorneys will call the Attorney General's Office and say, `Send us some help'."

Mark Barnett served as South Dakota's attorney general from 1991-2003 during the murder investigations and Anderson's trials. Long was the office's chief deputy attorney general from 1991-2002. Long was sent to McCook County with another attorney to work on the prosecution team.

Streyle was abducted from her rural Canistota home on July 29, 1996, in front of her two young children. Streyle's 3-year-old daughter described her mother's kidnapper as a "mean man" and had initially told authorities that she thought her mother was dead. Authorities learned that the kidnapper had stolen a tent that Streyle's son had received as a birthday gift, and he drove a "black car with black wheels."

Clues found by authorities led them to Anderson, a Sioux Falls resident and employee at the John Morrell plant. On Aug. 2, 1996, Anderson was arrested on kidnapping charges. During the investigation into Streyle's kidnapping, investigators found duct tape, furniture-moving straps, chain, traces of water-based black paint, and dog hairs similar to the Streyle family pet. Investigators uncovered information that Anderson had disguised his sports-utility vehicle by temporarily painting it black.

According to Long, while authorities investigated the Streyle kidnapping, Anderson became a suspect in the disappearance of Dumansky. Dumansky an employee at the Sioux Falls John Morrell plant, disappeared on Aug. 27, 1994, after finishing her work shift. Sioux Falls police made no headway on the Dumansky case despite suspicions that her disappearance was related to her workplace. John Morrell employed about 3,500 persons at that time.

Despite their suspicions, Long said, "We didn't have any hard evidence on Robert Anderson for the Dumansky disappearance." However, during the Streyle kidnapping trial, Glen Walker, Anderson's friend, provided information about how he and Anderson had kidnapped Dumansky, how Anderson killed her, and where the woman's body was buried.

Authorities also learned how Anderson and a friend had attempted to abduct a woman named Amy Anderson (no relation to Robert Anderson) in November 1994 after disabling her car on a road near Tea. Amy Anderson was able to escape her abductors and flagged down a passing vehicle to get away from them.

A jury convicted Anderson of kidnapping Streyle, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Streyle's body was never found. While in prison, Anderson told cellmate Jeremy Brunner about murdering Streyle and Dumansky and recruited Brunner to murder Walker.

Brunner turned over the information to authorities for a reduced sentence. Brunner provided enough information to search a house where Anderson had hidden a handgun and "trophies" that were Streyle's ring and Dumansky's necklace.

On April 6, 1999, a jury convicted Anderson of kidnapping and murdering Dumansky and raping and murdering Streyle. On April 9, 1999, the same jury sentenced Anderson to death. Anderson committed suicide in prison on March 30, 2003.

Authorities have described Anderson as a serial killer who would have continued to commit homicides until he was stopped. Long said the murders were prosecuted through the collection of large amounts of evidence, including DNA testing.

"We benefited from all kinds of good police work, and there was some good fortune mixed into the investigations," Long said.

Long was elected to two terms as state attorney general, serving from 2002-09, when he was appointed to serve as a judge in South Dakota's Second Judicial Circuit.

On Tuesday, "Duct Tape Killer" will go on sale at retailers in Madison and Sioux Falls and online with a list price of $14.99. Long has scheduled a short presentation about the "The Duct Tape Killer" at 4 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Sundog Coffee in downtown Madison with a book-signing there until 6 p.m. Rob Honomichl, Sundog's proprietor, said the coffee house staff will display the book for sale starting on Tuesday.

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