Residents of Mississauga, Ontario, were left shocked when Linda Andersen was discovered dead inside her bathtub on January 3, 2003. Although the death was initially ruled an accident, evidence soon hinted at a sinister plot, and with time the police announced that Linda had been murdered. The movie ‘Perfect Sisters’ chronicles the gruesome incident and follows the police investigation that eventually brought the perpetrators to justice. However, readers should note that the names of the victims and killers have been changed as their identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Nevertheless, let’s delve into the details surrounding the crime and find out more, shall we?
How Did Linda Andersen Die?
Linda Andersen was a loving mother of three who lived with her children in a townhouse in Mississauga, Ontario. Although most people described Linda as a kindhearted and generous woman, reports claimed she was an alcoholic and would remain drunk most of the time. Later, an investigation revealed that Linda had to live with acute depression after her first husband abandoned the family and left her alone as a single parent. Even her second marriage ended in a bitter divorce, which made Linda take to drinking in order to combat her depression.
Nevertheless, the family made most of their situation, and there was nothing that hinted at an oncoming tragedy. On January 3, 2003, 911 operators in Mississauga, Ontario, received a frantic phone call from two teenagers who claimed their mother was found deceased in their house. The teenage girls further insisted they had been at a restaurant all evening and that, upon returning home, they found Linda unresponsive in the bathtub.
Once first responders reached the crime scene, they found Linda floating face-down in the bathtub and soon declared her dead. Moreover, even though an initial medical examination was unable to find any external bruises, the autopsy determined that Linda was drowned to death. Still, as nothing seemed missing from the house and there were no signs of forced entry, the police were forced to classify the tragedy as an accident.
Who Killed Linda Andersen?
Around the time of the murder, Linda’s eldest daughter, Sandra, was 16-years-old, while her sister, Elizabeth, aka Beth, was 15. Incidentally, Sandra and Elizabeth Andersen were the ones who called 911 after discovering Linda Andersen in the bathtub, and the sisters even met the first responders once they arrived at the scene. When questioned, both Sandra and Beth claimed they had spent the entire evening with a friend at a restaurant and weren’t involved with the homicide in any way.
Besides, the pair mentioned that their mother was already drunk by the time they left for the restaurant, and it was usual for Linda to take a bath while intoxicated. On top of it, the sisters also informed the police about their mother’s addiction to alcohol and claimed that it would not be unusual for her to lose consciousness in the bathtub. Once Beth and Sandra’s alibis checked out, the police struck them off the victim list and began canvassing the neighborhood for more witnesses. That was when they came across a neighbor who claimed Linda knocked on his door around 9 pm for some alcohol and smokes.
Regardless, the man sent her away with some cigarettes, and he even watched Linda walk up her driveway. At 10:30 pm, about an hour and a half after Linda was last seen alive, the neighbor spotted Beth and Sandra pulling up in a taxi. The girls then offered him some food before making their way into the house. Ten minutes after the girls entered the house, the neighbor spotted cops pulling up to the door, and he later learned that Linda had passed away.
Since the death was considered an accident, the investigation remained dormant for about 11 months until one of Beth and Sandra’s male friends approached authorities and claimed that the girls had confessed to killing their mother. The friend, whose identity has never been revealed, insisted that Beth and Sandra were drunk at a party when they began boasting about getting away with their mother’s murder. Since there was no evidence to support such a claim, and the police had no way of bringing in the sisters for questioning, they asked the friend if he would help in the investigation.
Once the friend consented, authorities wired his car and asked him to pick the sisters up before casually conversing with them. When in the car, both Beth and Sandra appeared to be in a jovial mood, and they soon confessed to planning the entire murder. The sisters revealed how they gave their mother several Tylenol 3 tablets along with her drink before holding her head underwater until she died. The pair then arranged the crime scene to look like an accident before setting up an alibi with a different friend.
With the entire confession caught on record, the police were finally able to charge Beth and Sandra with murder. Shortly after the confessions, the police raided the Andersen home to recover a laptop, which had incriminating text messages proving Beth and Sandra’s involvement in the crime. This laptop played a massive role in the trial, as both sisters were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006.
While ten years was the maximum youth sentence at that time, the judge ruled that Beth and Sandra would have to spend six years behind bars and the remaining four years under community supervision. On the other hand, Beth’s boyfriend was also convicted of conspiracy; while he was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison, the judge later changed it to eight months of imprisonment and four months of supervision.
Read More: Bathtub Sisters: Where Are The Killers Now?