Author Topic: Lowell Lee Andrews - American Crime  (Read 3737 times)

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Lowell Lee Andrews - American Crime
« on: March 04, 2011, 02:32:PM »
I recently read "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, and although primarily about the murder of the Clutter family by Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, Capote did refer to the murders relating to the Andrew's family by their son Lowell Lee Andrews.

The following is taken from Wikipedia.

Lowell Lee Andrews (1939 or 1940 – November 30, 1962) was convicted of the murders of his parents and his sister on November 28, 1958; a crime for which he was later executed.
Andrews, a zoology major who played bassoon in the college band, was described by his hometown newspaper as "The Nicest Boy in Wolcott". In reality, The 18-year-old entertained fantasies of poisoning his family and moving to Chicago, Illinois to become a gangster and professional hitman.

Andrews and his sister, Jennie Marie, were both home for the Thanksgiving holiday in 1958. Jennie Marie was watching television with her parents while Andrews was upstairs reading The Brothers Karamazov. When he finished reading the novel, Andrews shaved, put on a suit, and went downstairs carrying a .22 caliber rifle and a revolver. Walking into the room where his parents and sister were, Andrews turned on a light and opened fire with his rifle. He shot his sister, Jennie Marie, 20, between the eyes, killing her instantly. He then turned the gun on his parents, shooting his mother, Opal, 41, three times and his father, William, 50, twice.

His mother moved towards him and he shot her another three times. His father attempted to crawl to the kitchen and was shot repeatedly with the revolver. Andrews fired a total of 17 shots into his father.

After opening a window in an attempt to make the crime look like a burglary, Andrews left the house and drove to the nearby town of Lawrence. He drove to his apartment to establish an alibi, claiming that he'd needed to pick up his typewriter to write an essay, and then went to the Granada movie theater, where he watched Mardi Gras (1958). When the film ended, he drove to the Kansas River, dismantled the weapons and threw them off the Massachusetts Street Bridge. He returned home and called the police to inform them of a robbery at his parents' house.

When police arrived, they noticed that Andrews seemed unconcerned over the massacre of his family. He protested his innocence until the family's minister was able to persuade him to confess.

Conviction and execution
Andrews pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but was convicted and sentenced to death. Despite his appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court let his conviction stand, and the State of Kansas executed Andrews by hanging on November 30, 1962 at the age of 22. Andrews had no last words.

Andrews was on death row at the Lansing Correctional Facility at the same time as Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, murderers of the Clutter family.

References to Lowell Lee  in "In Cold Blood" include;

1) The elder Andrews was a prosperous farmer who owned land at approx. $200,000
2) A desire to inherit this estate was ostensibly the motivation behind Lowell Lee's plot to destroy the family.
3) Lowell Lee fancied himself a master sport cars.
4) Lowell Lee did not dislike any member of his family, at least not consciously,.....murdering them seemed the swiftest most sensible way of implementing the fantasies that possessed him.
5) He planned on poisoning them and then burning the house down, but he feared the autopsies may reveal the poison.
6) He then evolved another plan and there came a night when he was ready to act

Extract from "In Cold Blood",

" He (Lowell Lee) switched on the light, aimed the rifle, pulled the trigger, and shot his sister between the eyes, killing her instantly. He shot his mother three times, and his father twice. The mother, eyes gaping, arms outstretched, staggered towards him; she tried to speak, her mouth opened,  closed, but Lowell Lee said: "Shut up". To be certain she obeyed him, he shot her three times more. Mr Andrews was however still alive; sobbing, whimpering, he thrashed along the floor to the kitchen, but at the kitchen's threshold the son unholstered his revolver and discharged every chamber, then reloaded the weapon and emptied it again; altogether his father absorbed seventeen bullets".

When reading this it sent the proverbial down my spine.

Is it me, or does anyone else see the similarities to another crime (excl. the twins and the confession)?

« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 10:26:AM by Newbury1 »


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Re: Lowell Lee Andrews - American Crime
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 03:12:PM »
Yes it appears that parallels can certainly be drawn, all except a confession.

Offline Kaldin

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Re: Lowell Lee Andrews - American Crime
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 09:56:AM »
Very interesting - I hadn't heard of that one. It is similar apart from the confession, and I suppose that's why the Bamber murders are still talked about - because Jeremy never confessed.

It's also similar to the Menendez murders in 1989. Erik and Lyle shot their parents and claimed they came home and found them dead. Like in the Andrews case, they confessed to it so the only mystery was their motive.