DNA collected from the son of a retired Nevada prosecutor helped detectives finally make an arrest in the 50-year-old murder of a 19-year-old McDonald’s employee in Hawaii.
Nancy Elaine Anderson was found dead in the bathroom of her rented apartment in Waikiki in January 1972. She had 63 stab wounds on her torso, arms, hands and legs, including three so deep they left exit wounds. Five decades later, DNA found on towels on her fire escape and near the entrance has been matched to Tudor Chirila, a prominent lawyer in Reno who once ran unsuccessfully for the Nevada Supreme Court.
Police charged 77-year-old Chirila—who lived in Hawaii before moving to Nevada and becoming a lawyer—with second-degree murder, according to Law & Crime. He is being held without bond.
Homicide investigators were initially told that the Michigan native, who had moved to Hawaii just months before she was killed, had likely killed herself—which was quickly proven impossible due to the nature of her injuries, including a defensive wound on her thumb.
Over the years, several suspects were investigated, including her former boyfriend and a door-to-door knife salesman who had tried to sell her a blade the day she died. None matched DNA found at the scene.
The first real break in the case came in 2021, when an anonymous tipster suggested the former deputy attorney general living in Reno might be involved. It is unclear what proof the tipster had to tie Chirila to Anderson.
Police first obtained DNA from Chirila’s son in Newport Beach, California, which showed he was the biological son of the person who left DNA on the towels found at the crime scene in Hawaii. Police in Reno then secured a warrant to get DNA from the elder Chirila, which they did on Tuesday. Chirila then tried to take his own life, according to several media reports, but was unsuccessful. He was taken into custody on Wednesday and subsequently charged for Anderson’s heinous murder.
Chirila previously testified for the state in the 1988 scandal involving the IRS and the Mustang Ranch brothel near Reno, which was tied up in a money laundering scheme. Chirila was the acting president of the A.G.E. Corp. owned by Joe Conforte, whose ties to organized crime have been established. No court debt has been set and Chirila has not yet entered a formal plea.