After the nine-hour flight from London, a weary Terry Anderson walked off the plane at 2 p.m., phoned his office and was surprised to learn Marylynn would be picking him up. Marylynn, a religion teacher at Ursuline Academy and his wife for almost 28 years, never did that.
It was February 20, 2003. For weeks, Anderson had been traveling between Dallas, London and Brisbane, negotiating deals to set up international offices of Data Recovery Services, the company he'd started in 1996 to retrieve data from damaged computer hard drives. Anderson brought to his business the same intense focus that had made him a world-class marksman in rapid-fire pistol. For almost 30 years, Anderson had been a competitive shooter in an event that requires nerves of tungsten steel.
Born into an aristocratic Australian family, Anderson moved to America in 1974 and embraced it in every way. He joined the Army Reserves and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, serving most recently as a liaison from the Pentagon to Congress. As an Army marksman, Anderson had won 17 national championships. Twice chosen for U.S. Olympic teams--though he never got to fire a shot--Anderson, even at age 57, had not given up his dream of winning a gold medal.
He saw the 2004 Olympics as his last chance to achieve the goal he'd set 32 years earlier. After placing second at the nationals in 2002, Anderson planned to compete again in 2003. "I would have trained with a vengeance," Anderson says. Despite the odds, Anderson believes he could have been representing the United States in Athens, putting it all on the firing line.
Instead, Anderson is sitting in federal prison in Seagoville, convicted of possessing a secret cache of deadly weapons, in one of the strangest cases to land in the Dallas federal courthouse in recent years. Far from being just another devoted sportsman, Anderson, Marylynn says, is a trained assassin who killed his first wife and has been involved for years in shady international enterprises. Marylynn says she feared for her life when she turned him in to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms after finding machine guns, silencers and other illegal weapons.
Anderson's friends have launched a fierce defense, saying that his wife dreamed up the perfect scheme to screw her rich husband for being unfaithful. His supporters call him a patriot, a man who'd do anything for his adoptive country. They call the hit-man accusation utter nonsense. Anderson describes Marylynn as a damaged woman, lashing out at him to get back at parents who abused her.
Truth is a slippery substance in the Andersons' lives, and it's difficult to determine who's lying and who isn't. But after decades of ricocheting from continent to continent, rubbing shoulders with the elite and the low, what's certain is that Terry Anderson's high-flying life has been destroyed, along with any hopes of ever competing again. "I think it's a tragedy that someone who's contributed so much to this country at great personal risk has to lose everything that mattered most to him in this world," says Barry Sorrels, Anderson's prominent defense attorney.
Maybe Anderson--slick, self-absorbed and often selfish, according to some friends--deserved it. But the collateral damage from the Andersons' "scorched-earth" divorce, as Terry's attorney, Paul Brumley, calls it, has been enormous. The Andersons' all-out fight has damaged their family-owned business, cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and destroyed a father's relationship with his two children--let alone his military career. His daughter, a student at the University of Dallas, and his son, now at West Point, refuse to have anything to do with their father.
It's this last consequence that anguishes Anderson most.
Outside the terminal, Marylynn was waiting in her Mercedes. Anderson threw his two laptop computers and suitcase in the trunk and gave her a kiss.
While Anderson was traveling overseas, they'd kept in contact about the office, bills and the vacations they'd planned through e-mail. They'd end each message with their pet names, "T-Bear" and "M-Lamb," sounding friendly and affectionate. That was about to change.
While they were driving, Marylynn's cell phone rang. "We're almost there," she answered. Anderson assumed it was someone at Data Recovery Services.
They pulled into the DRS parking lot off Walnut Hill Lane and got out, but when Anderson tried to open the trunk, Marylynn beeped the automatic lock. "No," she said. "This man wants to talk to you."
A process server plopped divorce papers in his hand; moments later, a police officer presented Anderson with a restraining order. "You must leave this area at once," the officer said, "or you'll be arrested." Not only was Anderson barred from his office, but from his house, his church and his son's school. He couldn't access his bank accounts or contact his children.
Mortified, Anderson could see employees peering out windows at the spectacle in the parking lot. Anderson believes Marylynn, 46, had engineered the moment for maximum humiliation.
"Marylynn was smiling from ear to ear," Anderson says. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, she's enjoying every minute of this.'" Marylynn handed her husband several photos of a pretty blonde--an Australian woman he'd met in mid-2002 and slept with--that Marylynn had found on his laptop.
An employee drove Anderson, who had nothing but his wallet and the clothes on his back, to a repair shop so he could pick up his Bentley. Discovering Marylynn had emptied their bank accounts, Anderson checked into a hotel and wondered what Mack truck had just hit him.
The first clue that this was going to be something more than a nasty divorce over infidelity came with Marylynn's parting words to him in the parking lot: "Oh, by the way, the ATF visited the house on Monday."
The second sign was an affidavit for the restraining order Marylynn had obtained in court that morning. Claiming to be in fear for her life, Marylynn accused her husband of flying into fits of rage, abusing her, killing his first wife and bragging about using his unique and deadly skills to commit covert assassinations in his capacity as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
And she provided some damning evidence. Marylynn's affidavit described how several days earlier, she'd opened a secret compartment in their home and discovered "illegal weapons"--including eight machine guns, five silencers and two "pen" guns--and notified the ATF.
The weapons, including a 1928 Tommy gun worth an estimated $10,000 and an Uzi, were all "Title II" weapons, illegal to possess or sell unless they'd been registered. ATF agent Jim Ruffin discovered that none of the weapons had ever been registered; some had no serial numbers, meaning they were never legal to possess.
"He was in serious violation of the law," says prosecutor Michael Gill. "He had more weapons than any other person I've ever encountered. The silencers were extremely high-quality, and the machine guns were very desirable." Though there was no evidence Anderson had tried to sell them or used them to commit a crime, Gill says, the idea behind the law is that these weapons are "inherently dangerous" in the wrong hands.
Colonel Harry Noble, who managed Anderson's career in the Army Reserve at one point and later became friends with both Andersons, believes Marylynn schemed for six months to destroy Anderson. "Marylynn was very cold and calculating," Noble says. "I've never seen anybody so determined to wreak vengeance."
Marylynn, however, says she never intended for her husband to go to prison. "Nothing was done intentionally to bring him down," she says. "It just unfolded."
Was Anderson simply reaping what he'd sown? One former associate, who insisted that he not be identified, says Anderson has a history of going after anyone who crossed him.
"Anderson always said, 'Rules are for fools, and guides are for the wise,'" he says. "He's a very dangerous man."
Terry Anderson enters the visitation room at the Federal Correctional Institution at Seagoville in characteristic style: military posture and grinning broadly, blue eyes fixed on his visitor. He extends a firm handshake with a "good morning" in a matey accent still strong after 30 years in America.
In 2001, Anderson returned to Queensland, the northeastern coastal state twice the size of Texas where he grew up, and sat in the seat once occupied by his grandfather, the legendary Edward "Red Ted" Theodore. A gold miner and fiery labor leader who served as Queensland premier, Red Ted later became the country's treasurer and deputy prime minister. One historian has described Theodore as "the closest that Australia has come to producing the Great Gatsby."
Anderson's mother was no less remarkable. "Imagine the Queen of England," Marylynn says. After making her debut in England at the Court of St. James, Monica Theodore married a dashing, much older Australian officer, Edward Fahey, who died in 1947 when Anderson was a toddler. Adopted by his stepfather, Anderson grew up in boarding school from age 10 on.
Anderson studied economics at Sydney University in the mid-'60s but never earned a degree, though he claimed otherwise on past résumés. He started a construction business, renovating convict-built homes from the 1830s.
His older brother Tony began taking him to the firing range at the St. Ives Pistol Club, a social club in Sydney. "I didn't enjoy shooting," Anderson says. "I'd go to the range to train to win."
In rapid-fire pistol, the shooter holds a pistol with the muzzle tilted down at a 45-degree angle, waiting for a green light and a target 25 meters away to turn. He then has eight seconds to shoot five rounds. The sequence repeats for the second target. In the next round, the two targets are exposed for six seconds each. In the final round, the targets are exposed for four seconds. After two courses over two days, a perfect score is 600. The world record is 597.
Rapid-fire pistol has been an Olympic event since 1896. But this year no Americans will compete in it; their performances in qualifying competitions failed to earn any quota slots. Though Anderson has won titles in rapid fire, standard pistol and center fire, he excels in rapid fire. "In my event, virtually all of the shots have to be in the middle of the 10-ring," Anderson says. "The weapon hasn't got much to do with it. It's you against yourself."
While training, Anderson applies techniques he calls "advanced daydreaming."
"You have to transform yourself into someone who can accept success," he says. "It's my form of perfecting myself internally."
After shooting at St. Ives one day in 1969, Anderson racked up a score that could have won the previous year's Olympics. From that day on, he saw nothing but gold--Olympic gold.
Marylynn was right about one thing: Anderson killed his first wife.
Babette was an intelligent, lively art student with dark hair and big breasts. They married in November 1966, when both were about 21. After four months of marriage, the couple went on a kangaroo-hunting trip with a friend whose family owned one of Australia's vast farming "properties," where the marsupials can destroy 80 percent of the crops.
Anderson was carrying Babette's rifle, an old family weapon her father had given her. "I pulled it back to chamber a round, and it went off," Anderson says. Struck in the head, Babette died in Anderson's arms.
Ballistics tests revealed the rifle had a defective firing mechanism, Anderson says. After an inquest, Babette's death was ruled accidental. For six months, Anderson says, he was a "babbling mess." The only solace he found was on the firing range.
On their first date in 1975, Anderson picked up Marylynn in a Lincoln--his other car was a Jensen Interceptor--and whisked her to a restaurant near the French Quarter. Marylynn was a 19-year-old student at the University of New Orleans. Like Babette, she was intelligent and opinionated. And she looked enough like Babette, with dark hair, large light-blue eyes and a full figure, to be her sister. He was 30 and taking some UNO classes.
Anderson told her he was "independently wealthy," waiting out the recession before starting a business. "He was tall, handsome and charming," Marylynn says. And there was that accent. "I was absolutely mesmerized."
In pursuit of his Olympic dream, Anderson had shifted loyalties from Australia to the United States. Australia had sent only one rapid-fire marksman to the 1972 Olympics; ranked No. 3, Anderson didn't go. While visiting America in 1973, Anderson flew to Fort Benning, home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. "I wanted to meet the best in the world," Anderson says. "I wanted to meet Jim McNally."
Anderson trained several days with McNally. Believing America supported its shooting teams more than Australia, Anderson told his second wife, a Dutch swimsuit model who looked like Britt Ekland, that they were moving. They settled in Gulfport, Mississippi. Initially, Anderson couldn't compete for the Olympic team; he had to be a citizen for three years. But he heard that joining the National Guard could speed up the process. In April 1974, he was sweating his way through basic training when McNally tipped him that Brazil's Olympic committee was looking for a pistol coach.
Anderson took the Brazilian job with the conditions that the National Guard put him on active duty so he could retain amateur status and that immigration accelerate his citizenship. Anderson got his American passport in June and flew to Brazil.
His second marriage ended about the same time. Anderson says they split because she was unfaithful; Marylynn says they divorced over his obsession with shooting. "Terry told me his former wife had given him an ultimatum--her or shooting," Marylynn says. "He chose shooting." Anderson made it clear to his third wife that shooting was his life, his raison d'être.
Marylynn didn't view Anderson's sentiments with alarm. "I thought it was fair," she says. "He was establishing the ground rules of the relationship."
When Anderson returned, he also lost a business partner, McNally, who'd retired from the Army in 1974 to go into business with Anderson. "I invested in the houses he was building," McNally says. "He went to Brazil and left me trying to sell the houses." After the loss of several thousand dollars, he severed ties with Anderson.
"Anderson was very self-centered," McNally says. "He didn't do anything he didn't want to do. As far as I know, he screwed everybody he came into contact with." (Anderson says they broke ranks over importing target pistols.)
Even in the '70s, Anderson had a fascination with weapons. "Terry gave me a box full of things to hold for him while he was in the National Guard," McNally says. "It was tear gas grenades and some other military pyrotechnics. I got rid of them. I turned them into ordnance. I assumed they were illegal." (Anderson says he doesn't remember this.)
After Anderson and Marylynn wed in 1976, they moved into a house on Lake Pontchartrain and began renovating it to sell later. But Anderson says Marylynn's troubled past moved in with them. Anderson learned that her father--whom Marylynn called "the sperm donor"--had abandoned the family when she was 8. Marylynn had been verbally and physically abused by her mother and a stepfather. Oftentimes Marylynn would have nightmares and wake up in tears.
While agreeing that there was abuse, Marylynn says, "It has not been a big issue in my marriage. We never talked about it."
If Anderson was ever sad, she never saw it. Except once.
Anderson had told Marylynn only that his first wife had died in an accident. Two years into the marriage, they were visiting Australia when a family friend told her the details.
When a stunned Marylynn asked her husband about the accident, she saw Anderson's face darken as he literally backed away from her. He never spoke about Babette with her again.
In 1979, Anderson was named national coach for the U.S. pistol team, but he took the post only on the condition that he could try out for the Olympics as an individual. He made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team--the same year President Jimmy Carter ordered a boycott of the Moscow games.
It was a devastating blow. "We got to go to Washington and have barbecue on the White House lawn," Marylynn says. "Jimmy Carter kissed me." But Anderson still detests the former president.
The stagnant Louisiana economy had Anderson scouting for new business opportunities. In '81, they moved to Dallas, where he developed apartments and office complexes; Marylynn sold real estate.
From 1981 through 1986, Anderson was on the board of Interrand Corp., a Virginia-based company that made silencers for the U.S. military. He often traveled with a bag of bulky .22-caliber target pistols that cost up to $1,500 each. Anderson competed in countries behind the Iron Curtain and developed contacts with their elite shooters, often military officers or members of agencies like the KGB.
Three or four years into the marriage, a lonely Marylynn asked Anderson to quit. "He said very gently, 'I told you shooting would always come first.' I said, 'Good point.'"
In those days, Anderson trained, performed his military duties or traveled to competitions as much as 180 days a year. Says Marylynn: "He loved that possibility of achieving his ultimate dream." But some of his trips scared her, like one journey to Rumania in the early '80s.
By then, Anderson had slipped into a world of political intrigue. In Rumania for a competition, Anderson met with Nina Iuga, wife of Rumanian world champion shooter Dan Iuga, who had defected to the United States in 1981. Ceauçescu's despotic regime had refused to let Iuga's wife and two kids join him. On a hunger strike, Nina told Anderson she wanted to kill herself so at least her children could leave. After promising to help, Anderson was detained and grilled by the secret police. Through the efforts of Anderson and others, Nina finally got her visa.
"Terry was instrumental in getting Dan here and pulling strings to get his daughters and wife out," says one former member of the U.S. pistol team who asked not to be identified. "To hear Terry tell it, he honestly thought they were going to shoot him."
A year later, Anderson persuaded a Cuban shooter to defect. The Cuban brought a Soviet-built Mi24 attack helicopter with him. When he landed in Honduras, Anderson was there with a $1.2 million line of credit supplied by a Department of Defense program called Operational Test and Evaluation, which assessed opposing-force--meaning Soviet--military aircraft and equipment.
Anderson says he got paid nothing for what he considered a simple act of patriotism. But he was living a daredevil life other men only fantasized about. That Marylynn wanted him home more seemed unimportant.
Some acquaintances say Anderson bragged about his overseas adventures, but most of those contacted by the Dallas Observer say he never mentioned them at all. Nor did he claim to be an assassin. But friends began pulling Marylynn aside at parties to ask, "Is Terry in the CIA?"
With two children and a husband who traveled all the time, Marylynn felt "abandoned." She began seeing a psychiatrist, a former priest named Leo McCandlish. But she didn't leave Anderson. "I had no money and two small children," she says. "What would I do?" She portrays herself as trained "like a dog" by her husband to avoid confrontation. One midnight in 1987, Marylynn got a chilling call from the Cuban Interest Section of the U.S. State Department informing her that Anderson was in critical condition and a fellow U.S. shooter had been killed in a car accident. Anderson and teammate Robin Vinnola, in Cuba for shooting competition, had left the range after practice, heading to the beach in a rented Russian-made Lada. As Anderson drove over a rise, the Lada was slammed head-on by a Cuban troop transport.
Frantic, Marylynn began phoning everyone they knew in Washington to try to get Anderson out of Cuba. She finally reached Gary Anderson, head of the National Rifle Association, who contacted a Miami doctor with a private jet who picked up Terry and flew him to Dallas.
Anderson's right leg, left arm and both hands were broken; his face had been lacerated by the non-tempered windshield glass. His doctor showed Marylynn rocks and grass still embedded in his wounds under the casts put on by Cuban doctors. Infection set in because Anderson's wounds hadn't been sterilized. "The orthopedic surgeon said, 'If you hadn't gotten him here, he would have died within six hours,'" Marylynn says. On her birthday Anderson sent her 100 roses for saving his life. But over the years he began giving credit to everybody but her, Marylynn says bitterly.
In the hospital, Anderson's major concern was that his shooting career was over. But through "sheer force of will," Marylynn says, he had healed enough by the end of the year to attend a match in England. "I admired him for that," she says. Anderson started training for the 1992 Olympics as if his life depended on it.
Around that time, Colonel Noble became Anderson's "PMO"--personnel management officer. Noble oversaw the careers of about 3,000 Army Reserve officers, cutting orders, dispatching them for training, making sure their paperwork was up to date. Major Anderson was assigned to the headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C. Most of Noble's reservist officers had files an inch thick. Anderson beat them by several feet. "I got full access to his file, including the restricted file, which has classified information," Noble says. Anderson had a Top Secret security classification, one level higher than most officers.
Anderson was working on RESDRO--Reservists in Support of Disaster Relief Operations--which Noble calls Anderson's "brainchild." It mobilizes reservists with expertise within hours during national emergencies, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and 9-11. "He would have 10 or 15 projects going on at the same time," Noble says. Some of his orders had classified components. "Terry was in a position, with a dual citizenship...to get in and get equipment and get intelligence, if you will, that has certainly made this country more secure. I can't elaborate beyond that."
After the Cuban-defector incident, Anderson saw an opportunity to turn his contacts into another kind of gold. He set up Combat Core Certification Professionals to acquire and test opposing-forces aircraft under four classified contracts issued by the DOD. The C3P catalog included missiles, light and heavy arms, tanks, radar, antiaircraft guns and fighter aircraft.
Anderson brought in David Baskett, formerly with the Advanced Armament Concepts office of the U.S. Army weapons laboratory. "You could sit down with Terry and talk about how the KGB was monitoring the shooters," Baskett says, "or just how things were running behind the Iron Curtain in places we couldn't go but he could. The intrigue was fascinating to him, and Terry liked being the center of attention. But he was also very disciplined about his business activities and could build a company very quickly."
Anderson invested in a company called Aviation Classics in Reno, Nevada, operated by a cantankerous mechanic named Al Reddick. Baskett bought opposing-forces equipment in Afghanistan; Reddick did the same in Indonesia, and his son, Alby Reddick, made purchases in Eastern Europe. "We thought the Cold War would go on for another 20 years," Anderson says. But the fall of the Berlin Wall spelled the end of the C3P.
Now living in California, Baskett was astonished to learn Anderson was in prison. "He always had guns around," Baskett says. "I always did, too. You admire the engineering and artwork and design that went into them. As the rules changed, he didn't keep up with the requirements for keeping them. You can't give them away, you can't sell them, but at one time they were perfectly legitimate."
But Anderson knew the machine guns and silencers were illegal; he stored them in the secret compartment and told Marylynn never to open it. For years, she complied.
When his children were old enough to shoot, Anderson built an air-pistol firing range on their back porch. Though his oldest child, Monica, wasn't interested in shooting, his son Edward picked up the sport and competed at the junior level.
Marylynn portrays her husband as a "neglectful, absentee" dad who gave Edward the silent treatment for months when he decided not to pursue competitive shooting. But one longtime associate--who otherwise despises Anderson--disagrees. "He was an attentive father," the associate says, "especially for someone who grew up in boarding school."
When Edward got an invitation to the Olympic Training Center, Bob Mitchell, executive director of the USA Shooting Team, says Anderson wasn't a pushy papa when it came to coaching his son. "It was just the opposite," Mitchell says. "It was all very laid-back. Terry was probably giving Edward less advice than I do to my own kids."
In court Marylynn would blast Anderson for not contacting their children. But Anderson says he was told by his attorneys he couldn't call their home. He had to go to court for permission to attend Edward's graduation from high school. Anderson blames his wife for pushing his children to take sides.
Noble signed an affidavit saying that while waiting outside the courtroom to testify in the divorce, Marylynn's psychiatrist, Leo McCandlish, showed Monica a book describing the traits of a sociopath, which he applied to Anderson. "Many times Monica said, 'I don't want to testify against my father,'" Noble says. "That guy Leo badgered her and hounded her."
Monica complained to Noble that her father didn't care about her because he hadn't called. Noble explained that there was a protective order prohibiting him from contacting his children. "She didn't know that," Noble says.
Calling from a hotel room in New York during a trip with her mother, Monica says, "Actions speak a lot louder than words. I was not on that restraining order. He knows my cell phone number. He knows my e-mail address."
But Brumley says when Anderson did phone her, Monica wouldn't take the call.
Monica says she had dinner with her father before he went to prison. "He was talking about how he contacted the IRS, and they were going after my mom," Monica says. "I don't really appreciate that. He doesn't really understand that his actions affect us."
In 1996, Anderson qualified for the Olympics in Atlanta as an alternate. At 51, he was the oldest member of the U.S. delegation. "He was thrilled," Marylynn says. "He was so close. But he never got to shoot one round in Olympic competition. We watched the event, but it was a wistful watching. I felt so sorry for him."
Anderson started Data Recovery Services a year later. He and Marylynn owned the stock; she held 51 percent so they could qualify for government contracts. Marylynn worked at DRS as her husband's assistant, handling administrative duties while Anderson focused on the technical side.
Though he won anothernational championship in 2000, Anderson didn't go to the Sydney Olympics, because the United States didn't qualify for a rapid-fire quota slot.
By 2000, Marylynn was carving out a separate identity, though she still had a hand in at DRS. After earning a master's degree, she started teaching religion full time at Ursuline and part time at St. Monica's.
Anderson was spending lengthy periods in England and Australia. As he saw it, Marylynn was distracted, overworked. In May 2002, Anderson says, he told his wife one of her jobs needed to go so she had more time for the family. Coming from a guy who was away from home 181 days in 2002, it seemed like an extremely selfish request.
When Marylynn refused to cut back, Anderson says, he told her he wanted a divorce but agreed to stay in the home until the end of Edward's senior year the next May.
Here, the Andersons' stories diverge sharply. Marylynn says that conversation never took place. But Monica describes her father returning from a trip that May to find her college stuff still piled in the sunroom. Upset about the mess, he yelled, "I want a divorce!" Marylynn says she didn't take him seriously, or she would have hired an attorney the next day.
In December, Marylynn found a prescription bottle for Viagra in Anderson's car. "I was not the recipient of its benefits, shall we say," Marylynn says. Snooping around, she got into Anderson's laptop and found information about two women he was seeing. Then she learned he had reservations for two at a hotel in Paris in mid-February.
In January 2003, while Anderson was in Australia, Marylynn says, she was approached by unhappy DRS employees who said her husband was behaving erratically. In addition to payroll problems, people hadn't gotten their Christmas bonuses. They needed her help. Sleuthing around, Marylynn became convinced that Anderson was planning to move to Australia so he could make that country's 2004 Olympic team. He'd resigned from the U.S. Shooting Team in 2002, had purchased a Bentley in Sydney and was shopping for real estate. (Anderson admits that he resigned from the shooting team but says he later tried to rejoin. He denies planning to move.)
Fed up, on February 13, 2003, Marylynn put Anderson on a plane to Europe, kissed him goodbye and lined up her weapons for a pre-emptive strike.
In an interview, Marylynn portrays herself as a beaten-down woman at the mercy of an abusive, violent husband. With tears in her eyes, Marylynn says that she never expected Anderson to go to prison, that she was in a "no-win" situation when she found the illegal weapons. Marylynn claims she didn't realize right away that her husband couldeven get time behind bars.
That claim is almost certainly disingenuous; after all, she'd received immunity from prosecution when she turned over her husband's guns.
At a hearing on February 20 for a temporary restraining order, Marylynn wept her way through testimony, describing Anderson as a man who went by more than a dozen aliases, possessed multiple passports and used credit cards taken out in his son's name. She picked up her husband from the airport just hours after the hearing.
Anderson admits taking out a Mississippi drivers license in his brother's name to avoid getting speeding tickets but claims Marylynn applied for the credit cards. In addition to his U.S. passport, Anderson still had his Australian passport and a gimmick passport from British Honduras, a country that no longer exists, to use "in case of hijackings" by terrorists.
Marylynn testified that she'd found the weapons while rooting around the house for proof of his infidelity. She noticed that the caulking around the forbidden compartment had been unsealed. Removing nails holding it in place, Marylynn discovered the guns. ATF agents came to the house after being notified by Marylynn's attorney.
"I was told they were used in killings and assassinations and things of that nature," Marylynn testified. "I am a dead woman walking." But Marylynn did nothing about Anderson's other weapons: a handgun he kept in their bedroom and a closet full of target pistols. If Anderson was going to kill her, one of those could do the job just as well.
Anderson was particularly upset by Marylynn's reference to Babette's death. According to court records, Marylynn portrayed Babette's death as murder to the ATF and to the company's staff and, when she sat down with their children to tell them about the divorce, neglected to mention that the death certificate listed the cause of death as "accidental."
By February 26, Marylynn had taken over the company, signing a letter as "president" of DRS, changing the locks and alarm codes, and moving funds to her own or her daughter's bank accounts. On one $98,000 check to herself, Marylynn wrote "bonus." (A few weeks later she would call a meeting of the board of directors for the purpose of firing all the officers and installing herself as president and her daughter as secretary. Marylynn's effort to stack the board was derailed by Anderson's attorney.)
A day later, Colonel Noble, subpoenaed to testify about Anderson's military record, says he encountered Marylynn in the courthouse. "Harry, I am sorry that you got brought into this," he claims she told him. "You are going to end up with egg on your face. There are things about Terry that you don't know."
Noble wrote in an affidavit, "She told me that Anderson was going to lose everything and that he was going to jail for the illegal firearms. Marylynn did not state precisely how long Anderson had the guns in their home but indicated that she knew that the guns were there for years."
Anderson was not a sniper or a hit man for the government, Noble testified. "I'm not going to say he never did any work for the CIA or military intelligence," Noble says. "But if you are [a sniper], you are doing that in a combat zone shooting other combatants, not civilians. There was no evidence of any of that. Marylynn made that up."
Prosecutor Michael Gill says Marylynn was not pushing the case in any way. "She was very troubled by the fact that he was looking at prison time."
But Anderson points to documents anonymously mailed to him last year, including excerpts of Marylynn's diary, which begins on January 21, 2003; it describes finding the Viagra and laments Anderson's apparent impotence and loss of sexual interest in her since the summer.
"Terry informed me that he had a goal to build the company even bigger than it is and that nothing was going to stand in his way--especially me. I was stunned by his bluntness--all my feelings about rejection--about not being enough of anything came rushing back. Why didn't either my mother, father or husband know how to love me? I feel so unloved...everything I want and can't have."
Marylynn describes Anderson going to his doctor and learning he was anemic and low in testosterone. "Dr. Sample gave him a vitamin shot but no testosterone. Terry won't consider it because it's on the 'banned list' of the U.S.O.C." Anderson hadn't given up the dream. "Once again, his needs, desires, goals, etc. are 1st...Why are we sentenced to pay the price for our parents' and grandparents' sins?"
The packet included a typewritten outline dated February 2, 2003, that describes in great detail her plan to take away "Terry's loves": Olympic shooting, the Army Reserve, their kids and the company. "How? Destroy Terry, make him pay the price for his infidelity to me, send him to hell on earth for his lack of love and appreciation for our relationship and make sure they never release him from his sentence...Locate Terry's secret storage closets that no one else has access to. Then inform the Feds that I accidently [sic] discovered illegal weapons and negotiate a surrender reiterating the surrender never include Terry!...I get the house, company and kids. Terry goes to hell. I have God on my side!"
While Marylynn admits the diary excerpts are hers, she contends the typed "scheme" letter is phony.
Also in the anonymous packet was a "personal mission statement." "I, Marylynn Anderson, pledge to be a beacon of the light of Christ's love to my family...I will strive for this by ardently seeking knowledge of and obeying Christ's will for my life--accepting nothing less than my personal best for his honor and glory. As a Christian educator, this is my calling, my vocation, indeed the very reason for my existence."
If Marylynn did scheme for six months to take away all of Anderson's loves, she succeeded, but at great cost to herself. Eighteen months after Marylynn filed for divorce, the Andersons' house has been sold, and their company is in receivership. Instead of Marylynn getting 92 percent of DRS, a mediated settlement has split their company 50-50. Marylynn has testified that the IRS, Secret Service, DOD and other agencies are looking into the Andersons' business practices. To ward off a possible IRS criminal investigation--and to put pressure on Marylynn to sell DRS--Anderson filed amended tax returns going back to 1993. They now owe more than $112,000 to the IRS.
After pleading guilty, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Anderson was sentenced to 36 months in Seagoville's federal prison, which he began serving in May. Brumley says the "old liberal" federal judge gave Anderson the maximum time and that the sentence reveals the problem with the federal guidelines. "If the state had arrested Terry, he would have gotten probation," Brumley says. Anderson now keeps himself busy teaching motivational techniques to other inmates, hoping some day to reconnect with his children. Like the rest of us, Anderson will watch the Olympics this week on television and dream about what might have been.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- Houston vs Dallas: How Super Bowl Performers Stack Up
Thu., Feb. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Feb. 12, 8:00pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 2:00pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 7:00pm
- A Texas Doctor Again Puts on His Hat as Virus Hunter
- Why the Crackdown on K2 Among Downtown's Homeless Won't Work