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Double slaying lacks motive

| Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004, 12:00 p.m.

Theories abound as to why Gilda Venson and Alexander Anderson were stabbed to death in early October inside a tidy three-story colonial on Atwell Street in Lincoln-Lemington.

One theory has it that Anderson, from the Miami area, was in the witness protection program and was killed as revenge for turning state's witness in a drug case, a neighbor says.

Another theory has that the two were killed over an insurance policy held by Anderson's recently deceased wife, Lorraine Robinson, who lived in the house where the two were found dead.

There are other theories, too, but the truth is no one knows for sure. And police are appealing for the public's help in solving the case.

"We are working leads, but have no motive to elaborate on at this point," said police Cmdr. Maurita Bryant. "None of the leads have panned out."

More than a month has passed since Joe Styles, the owner of the house at 6735 Atwell St., strode up the walkway to inquire about a late rent payment and stumbled upon a thick pool of blood on the front porch.

Uniformed officers from Zone 5 responding to the Oct. 5 call found Venson's battered body in a foyer on the first floor and Anderson's corpse sprawled in a bedroom on the second floor. Both had been stabbed multiple times, police said.

"It was a pretty horrific, bloody crime scene," Bryant said. "They were brutally assaulted."

Police said they believe Venson, 50, and Anderson, 56, were slaughtered sometime between Oct. 2 and Oct. 5. The last known contact anybody had with the two appeared to be the Saturday night before the bodies were discovered, police said.

Very little is known about Anderson, who was romantically linked to Venson for two years even as his wife, Lorraine Robinson -- a longtime Port Authority bus driver -- struggled with the cancer that consumed her three weeks before the killings. Venson's family members claim Robinson approved of the relationship.

Venson had a criminal record. She was arrested in October 1991 and pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy and intimidation of witnesses or victims. She was sentenced to 23 months in jail in August 1992.

A man who answered the telephone at the home of a Venson relative and who identified himself as Gilda Venson's son hung up when asked about the killings.

Anyone with information is asked to call the city's police homicide squad at (412) 323-7161.

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