Kansas woman in infamous murder case off parole

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Three decades after teaming up with her minister to murder their spouses in a criminal case that sparked a popular television miniseries, Lorna Anderson has been released from state supervision.

Anderson, 61, ended parole Feb. 17, The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/P3UcVu ) reported. She was released from prison in 2007 and most recently had been under supervision in Reno County, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections website.

Lutheran minister Tom Bird killed his wife, Sandra Bird, in July 1983, then pushed her car over an embankment near Emporia and placed her body in the car, authorities said. Her death was initially ruled a homicide.

Lorna Anderson’s husband, Martin Anderson, was shot to death in November 1983 after he, his wife and their four daughters pulled to the side of a highway in Geary County after Lorna Anderson said she felt ill. She got out of the family’s van, said she couldn’t find her keys and asked her husband to help find them.

While he was looking, a masked gunman emerged and shot him. Lorna Anderson later confessed to her role in the murder and said Tom Bird had killed him.

Lorna Anderson was convicted in August 2005 of two counts of soliciting murder for the deaths of her husband and Sandra Bird. In November 1988, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her husband’s death.

Tom Bird denied killing anyone and was acquitted in Geary County of first-degree murder for Martin Anderson’s death. He was convicted in 1984 of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, and in August 1985 was convicted of first-degree murder in his wife’s slaying.

The case was the subject of a 1987 CBS miniseries, “Murder Ordained.”

Anderson’s name was Lorna Eldridge when she was first sentenced to prison after marrying Randy Eldridge in 1985. They were divorced in 1990, but Corrections Department records continued to list her last name as Anderson even after she married Terry Moore in 2004.

Bird was paroled in June 2004 and went to live in Wyandotte County with his wife, Terri, a schoolteacher he married while in prison. He was released from parole in 2006.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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