Raped and Beaten to Death: The Brutal Murder of Wanda June Anderson

Fraulein Motte
5 min readFeb 14, 2024

On July 15, 1965, 11-year-old Wanda June Anderson suffered a brutal attack, leaving her severely beaten. 36 hours later she passed away from her injuries. Her murder triggered a statewide search for the perpetrator, with multiple suspects investigated. Despite almost 59 years passing, the person responsible for her death remains unidentified.

What happened to her and who did it?

Wanda June Anderson | Photo Credit: Anderson Family

Wanda June Anderson, born on July 10, 1954, was raised in Joelton, Tennessee, by her parents Nora Josephine and Noah Cooper Anderson, alongside her eight siblings. Described as bright and kind-hearted, Wanda was an integral part of her large family.

On Thursday, July 15, 1965, Kay May, Wanda’s older sister, and her husband Howard entrusted Wanda, aged 11, with the care of their six children, including their infant twins, as they stepped out to run errands and stop by Evelyn’s Beer Tavern. When they left their residence at 1213 16th Avenue around 10 pm, all the children were fast asleep.

Returning around 12:30 am on July 16, 1965, Kay and Howard discovered both the front and back doors wide open, sparking immediate concern. Inside, they heard one of their infants crying and found the home in disarray. While inspecting all bedrooms, they were horrified to find Wanda missing. Upon turning on the lights in the bedroom where Wanda had been sleeping, they were confronted with a scene of horror: blood and bone fragments splattered across the bed sheets, walls, and ceiling, but no sign of Wanda.

Howard, Kay, and Wanda’s parents began searching every corner of the home, desperately hoping to find Wanda. As they combed through the rooms, Kay passed by the open backdoor and caught sight of something in the backyard. In an instant, she recognized it as her little sister.

Wanda was discovered lying in tall grass and weeds, barely clinging to life. She appeared to have been viciously beaten and raped. According to news reports, she was strangled with her pajama pants and her yellow underpants were missing. Wanda was quickly rushed to Vanderbilt Hospital, where medical professionals fought to save her life. Despite undergoing two emergency brain surgeries, Wanda never regained consciousness. Tragically, on July 17, 1965, she…

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Fraulein Motte

I'm an independent journalist and writer based in Tennessee, USA. I specialize in covering true crime and other related topics.