Breast Cancer Awareness
|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • DiMaggio leaves life insurance to teen's grandmother

    $112,000 was to go eventually to Hannah Anderson and her brother, Ethan, says slain suspect's sister
  • LOS ANGELES — James Lee DiMaggio, at the center of the kidnapping saga involving San Diego County teenager Hannah Anderson and the killings of her mother and 8-year-old brother, left his life insurance to the children's grandmother, a family spokesman confirmed Monday.
    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • LOS ANGELES — James Lee DiMaggio, at the center of the kidnapping saga involving San Diego County teenager Hannah Anderson and the killings of her mother and 8-year-old brother, left his life insurance to the children's grandmother, a family spokesman confirmed Monday.
    Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for DiMaggio's family, said the 40-year-old left $112,000 to Bernice Anderson, whom he named his beneficiary in 2011.
    DiMaggio's sister spoke to him once about his beneficiary, Spanswick said, and he indicated that the money was to go to Hannah and her brother, Ethan. DiMaggio told his sister he didn't want to leave it to the children's parents because he felt their relationship was "too unstable" and they might divorce, Spanswick said.
    DiMaggio, who was best friends with Hannah and Ethan's father, was so close a friend to the Anderson family that the children called him "Uncle Jim."
    DiMaggio worked as a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. Spokeswoman Jan Coury declined to comment.
    Steven Weisbart, chief economist at the industry-backed Insurance Information Institute, said insurers generally won't challenge a claim unless the beneficiary is suspected of involvement in the death.
    Investigators have given no indication that DiMaggio had any accomplices.
    "Pretty much as long you're dead, the insurance company has very little opportunity to deny the claim," Weisbart said.
    Lora Robinson has taken possession of her brother's cat, Princess, from Hannah Anderson, Spanswick said. DiMaggio, a cat-lover, took Princess while on the run, and the cat was reunited with Hannah after the rescue.
    DiMaggio was shot and killed in a remote stretch of Idaho wilderness Aug. 10 when FBI agents raided the campsite where he and Hannah were tracked after a nearly weeklong search that triggered Amber Alerts across the West.
    Hannah was rescued safely. DiMaggio, who authorities said fired at least once at the agents before he was killed, was shot at least five times in the head and torso, the Valley County, Idaho, coroner said.
    The search began Aug. 4, after the bodies of Hannah's mother and 8-year-old brother were found at DiMaggio's burning San Diego County property.
    Authorities allege that DiMaggio set a trap by asking the family to come to his home so he could say goodbye before moving to Texas.
    Christina Anderson's body was found in a stand-alone garage, with blood near her head and a crowbar nearby, according to search warrants released last week. Her son's body was later found burned in the home. Both had been "tortured and killed," the documents noted.
    The family's "medium brown dog" was also found shot to death under a sleeping bag, the warrants said.
    Investigators believe the fires on the property were set separately, possibly with timing devices and accelerant, according to the warrants. Incendiary devices and "arson wire" were later found on the property.
    The search warrants provided some insight into the investigation, including the communication between Hannah and DiMaggio. Letters from Hannah were among the items seized from his home, the documents showed, and investigators said the teen and DiMaggio "called each other approximately 13 times" before their cellphones were shut off about 4 p.m. Aug. 4.
    The documents did not specify during what time period the calls occurred. They also did not detail what the letters - along with a handwritten note seized from DiMaggio's property - said.
    San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said Friday that the department's investigation was ongoing and declined to comment on the specifics of the warrants.
    But she reiterated previous comments from Sheriff Bill Gore, who said Hannah "was not a willing participant."
    "As Sheriff Gore said earlier in the week, Hannah is a victim in every sense of the word," Caldwell said in an email. "Our follow-up investigation has not changed that sentence."
    Hannah, who has returned to California, attended a fundraiser held on her behalf Thursday at a Lakeside restaurant. She did not speak to reporters as she walked inside, but her father said she "sends her love" and was "doing good day by day."
Reader Reaction

      calendar