Roy Allen Melanson has been indicted for the 1974 murder of Anita Elizabeth Fagiani Andrews: during a two-day hearing earlier this month, the grand jury found there was enough evidence to hold Melanson in connection with the crime.
UPDATE: Melanson was found guilty of first degree murder.
The hearing, which was held in secret, without Melanson or his defense attorney Deputy Public Defender Allison Wilensky present, included testimony from 13 witnesses, according to court documents.
Among them were former investigators who processed the original crime scene, a man who was at the bar at the evening of her murder, Andrews’ former neighbor, and Don Winegar, the Napa Police investigator whose work was key in cracking the case.
Anita Elizabeth Fagiani Andrews was brutally murdered at the Napa bar she co-owned with her sister Muriel Fagiani. She was a single mother who worked hard to provide for daughters Donna and Diana.
Anita graduated from Armstrong’s Business School in Berkeley in 1940. She married Clarence “Mike” Andrews Jr. in a formal white wedding in St. Helena in June 1942, according to her wedding announcement in the Register. They moved to Berkeley and had two daughters. In 1951, the couple divorced. Around 1956, Andrews moved with her daughters back to Napa. She worked as a secretary at Napa State Hospital. After her father died, she co-owned Fagiani’s with her sister Muriel.
On the night of the killing, Anita was seen with a stranger at the bar as per to court documents. Muriel found her sister dead the next morning after she failed to show up to work at Napa State Hospital. Anita had been raped and her throat was slashed.
Investigators launched a large-scaled investigation, but a suspect remained elusive for decades. Last year, Winegar turned in evidence from 1974 to the California Department of Justice crime lab, court documents say. Lab technicians were able to extract DNA evidence, which they submitted to a national DNA database called CODIS.
The DNA profile matched Roy Melanson, who was serving a life sentence at Fort Lyons Correctional Institute in Colorado for another murder. The district attorney’s office filed charges in July, and Melanson was extradited to Napa in September. Read more here and here.
Rest in peace, Anita Elizabeth Fagiani Andrews.