Kidnap Suspect's Friend Believes "He Just Snapped"

By Danya Bacchus and R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Aug 15, 2013  |  Updated 4:32 PM PDT
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Kidnap Suspect's Friend Believes "He Just Snapped"

Courtesy of Andrew Spanswick

A photo of kidnap suspect James Lee DiMaggio, provided by his friend Andrew Spanswick. This was taken on a camping trip two years ago.

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Search warrants unsealed Wednesday reveal new details about a crime spree that started with a double murder, arson and kidnapping near the U.S.-Mexico border and ended a week later in Idaho when a special FBI task force shot and killed suspect James Lee DiMaggio.

While the warrants reveal more details than previously known about the deaths of Christina and Ethan Anderson in Boulevard on Aug. 4, they don’t answer questions about motive.

DiMaggio was shot at least five times in the head and chest, according to the Valley County, Idaho, coroner, who was unable to determine a precise number of gunshot wounds. His body was cremated Tuesday near Los Angeles.

DiMaggio family friend and mental health therapist, Andrew Spanswick, said the suspect’s family is hoping to get more answers through a toxicology report.

"We're pulling our own toxicology reports. We pulled hair, skin and blood samples prior to the cremation. So, those are being run by our own lab,” Spanswick said. “And we'll see what the FBI and police come up with as well.”

Spanswick said he believes his longtime friend and camping buddy snapped.

NBC 7 obtained court documents that show DiMaggio’s father James Everet DiMaggio had a criminal history in San Diego. The elder DiMaggio committed suicide on Aug. 10 more than a decade ago, a family friend confirmed.

Spanswick says DiMaggio may have been reanacting similar abuse he suffered as a child by his father.

“He definitely only had feelings of a parental role towards Hannah, which I now think is proven and what I've said all along,” Spanswick said.

The suspect’s relationship with Hannah may have had similarities with James Lee DiMaggio’s relationship with his sister, Lora, Spanswick said.

“With the rejection of Hannah becoming 16 and starting to separate and becoming an adult, it's similar with Lora becoming 16 and running away after he had fended for her,” Spanswick theorized.

Court documents suggest DiMaggio "tortured and killed" Christina Anderson and her son, Ethan, before setting his house on fire.

Firefighters discovered Christina's body under a tarp in the burned out garage with a bloodied crow bar next to her. The family dog had been shot and killed and found under a sleeping bag. Ethan's body was inside the home.

The warrants show DiMaggio and 16-year-old Hannah Anderson exchanged about 13 calls before Hannah was picked up from cheerleading practice on Aug. 4.

The warrants don't specify the times, duration or nature of the calls. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been adamant that Hannah Anderson was taken against her will.

The six-day manhunt that covered California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho ended Saturday, Aug. 10 when law enforcement officials spotted DiMaggio and Anderson's campsite near Morehead Lake north of Boise, Idaho.
 

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