On Valentine’s Day 2011, Michael Anderson, 19, was at home with his roommate, 38-year-old Stephen Starr, a gay man Anderson had met at a bar. Starr had taken Anderson in to his Hickory, N.C., home, and that night, according to Anderson, tried to touch him. Anderson, apparently terrified of his sexual identity, reportedly “turned straight” and shot Starr three times before mutilating his body with an ax. He also carved the word “JOKER” into the victim’s abdomen and wrote some words in pen that police deemed too offensive to release.
The two had only lived together for two days, and according to posts Starr made on his Facebook page, he considered Anderson more like a son than a lover.
After it was all over, Anderson dialed 911 and told the operator, “I took some pills and the pills made me get mad and I murdered my roommate.” The pills he took were Mucinex DM, an over-the-counter cough suppresant that in high doses has dissociative and hallucinogenic effects.
A year after the murder, Anderson pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years in state prison.
Listen to the 911 call below.