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Thirty-five years after Timothy James Glashien was found shot to death in Mill Creek Canyon, authorities announced Friday they have identified a prison escapee and his accomplice as the ones responsible for the murder.
Both suspects are deceased: Stephen Wayne Anderson, believed to be the gunman in Glashien's slaying, was executed in California in 2002 for an unrelated murder. Anderson's alleged accomplice, Ace Fairbanks, a member of a motorcycle gang, died of natural causes in Iowa in 1986.
The determination closes the book on the cold case, the Unified Police Department says.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said at a news conference that Glashien was killed execution-style on Feb. 23, 1980, after being driven 2 miles up the canyon by Anderson and Fairbanks to what purportedly was to be a marijuana transaction.
Instead, Glashien's life was "snuffed out" in a robbery, the sheriff said.
"Obviously, we're excited by the resolution of the case," Winder said.
Detective Ben Pender, who investigated the cold case, said Glashien, 28, of Bountiful, was shot twice in the head and twice in the upper torso at close range with a handgun that was later used by Anderson in the California murder. He described Anderson, who was 26 at the time of the crime, as someone with "no emotion" and "no soul, probably."
Edward Glashien, the victim's brother, said knowing the facts of the case is "somewhat comforting."
"It was just so incomprehensible that such a bad thing happened to such a good person," Glashien said.
The Unified Police Department's investigation, along with corrections and court documents, give this scenario of Anderson's crimes, including Glashien's murder:
Anderson who also used the name Felix Smith began serving time in Utah State Prison on an out-of-state aggravated robbery conviction in March 1975. In August 1977, he got into an argument in the prison's kitchen area with Robert Blundell, a fellow inmate suspected of being a snitch, and stabbed him to death with a kitchen knife. (Court records on how or whether this case was resolved have been archived and were not readily available.)
In November 1979, Anderson pulled off a walk-away escape from the Utah prison and hid out in Mill Creek Canyon. While still on the run a few months later, he and Fairbanks, a former fellow inmate, set up a drug deal.
Pender said Fairbanks, then 41, asked an acquaintance if he knew of anyone who wanted to buy marijuana and the acquaintance put him in touch with a friend of his, Glashien. Investigators think the deal was for one pound of marijuana for approximately $400.
On the evening of Feb. 23, 1980, the two men picked up Glashien and drove up the canyon. Pender said robbery was their motive all along because they did not have the drugs with them.
Glashien's body was found the next day in a pull-off area by a couple collecting aluminum cans. He had been shot outside the car and there were no signs that he fought back, according to the detective.
On May 26, 1980, Anderson, who was by then in California, broke into the San Bernardino County home of retired piano teacher Elizabeth Lyman and shot the 81-year-old in the face at close range with a .45-caliber handgun, according to court documents. He ransacked the home, finding less than $100, then sat in her kitchen to eat a dinner of noodles and eggs. A neighbor who saw Anderson through a window called police and the escapee was arrested.
Detectives in Utah had identified Anderson as a suspect in Glashien's killing and traveled to California to question him. Pender said Anderson admitted to the shooting and claimed he was hired by drug traffickers to kill Glashien. Tests showed the gun he used to kill Lyman was the same one used to kill Glashien.
Anderson later recanted and claimed he had an agreement with people who helped him escape from prison in Utah to "take the rap" for the Glashien homicide if he ever got caught for some other crime, court documents say.
As California's capital murder prosecution moved through the justice system, the Utah case eventually went cold, Winder said. Anderson was convicted of Lyman's murder, sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection on Jan. 29, 2002.
The Unified Police Department reopened the case earlier this year and investigators say they determined that only Anderson and Fairbanks were involved. They also rejected the claim that the slaying was a contract killing.
Anderson claimed to have committed other homicides, including several in Nevada, but Pender said investigators have confirmed his involvement only in the Blundell, Glashien and Lyman slayings.
Detectives recently presented their case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, which found there would have been probable cause to charge Anderson with criminal homicide if he were still alive. In addition, prosecutors found there was evidence to charge Fairbanks with second-degree murder and aggravated robbery, but the statute of limitations ran out in 1984.
Edward Glashien said his brother was very loving and generous and that friends still get tears in their eyes when they talk about him.
He is grateful the Unified Police Department pursued the case until there was a final resolution, Glashien said.
"Now that it's officially closed," he said, "it feels good."