I cover many gut-wrenching stories for CRIME WATCH DAILY, but this one involving the brutal murder of a North Dakota teen was particularly distressful.
I mean, watch as Anita Knutson’s adopted father describes how went to check up on his daughter and instead found her slashed to death inside her dorm room, and try to remain emotionally unmoved.
The pain, the anger, the agony over his daughter’s unsolved death, and what remains at the top of his and his family’s mind: who killed 18-year-old Anita and why?
“They go to where the window was and I seen somebody laying in there and I walked over and the window is open, and I touched her head and I said ‘You get that door open right now,'” said Gordon.
Inside the apartment, no signs anything sinister happened, until they get to Anita’s bedroom.
“he mattress was soaked with blood. She was covered up with a large house coat. She was laying face down on the bed,” said Gordon. “I touched her and her body was cold. So I knew she was dead and from that point I think I was just in total shock.”
Not only does the suspect remain a mystery, but the murder in general does. Anita’s family and friends tell me that she had no enemies.
Whether she was hamming it up for the camera or out dancing with the girls Anita Knutson was the kind of person almost everyone liked having around.
“Anita was the coolest girl. Everybody at school loved her. I was really lucky to have her as my sister,” said Anna Knutson, Anita’s younger sister.
When she was just a baby, Anita was taken in by Gordon and Sharon Knutson, and her adoptive siblings Daniel and Anna soon followed.
At only 18, Anita was living on her own, working two jobs, and putting herself through college at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota.
Many people wanted to be close to Anita. Until someone got too close.
According to police, “there were no signs of a robbery or a sexual assault.”
Which brings us to this question: “Was it a random crime, or was this a targeted killing?”
The family remained suspicious of one dude named Tyler who they claim was obsessed with Anita. The family says Anita befriended Tyler because she felt bad for him, but they think that he had romantic feelings for her that went forth unrequited. Tyler has since married, but remains active in Anita’s case with a Facebook page he organized for tips and even going as far as creating a 20-minute tribute video on YouTube.
Like I said, the family found the behavior obsessive. So we asked Tyler about it.
As if the Knutson family weren’t overcome with enough grief already — Anita’s brother Daniel committed suicide shortly after Anita’s murder. He didn’t know how to cope with his sister’s death. As such, he developed a drug habit. And that drug habit eventually led to his own demise.
Words cannot describe how terribly Daniel’s and Anita’s death impacted the Knutson family. So in this next portion, we dive deeper into the side of crime that many people don’t see: the devastating effects it has on the victim’s family.
Minto, ND is a small city that doesn’t see many murders, which is why the family’s patience has worn out.
Anita was murdered on June 4, 2007, and still no one has been arrested and charged with her death. The police understand the family’s frustrations, as they don’t want to see the killer lurking undetected either. But there have been serious allegations levied against the PD, accusing them of swabbing the DNA of early suspects, but then not running it against the DNA found at the crime scene.
Is that true?
The Minot PD gives their side of the story, and also shares new information with CRIME WATCH DAILY about the day that Anita Knutson’s life was violently snuffed out.