Forty-four-year-old Brian Keith Hawkins turned himself into California police on Tuesday over an unsolved cold case murder—from 1993.
Immediately prior to giving himself up to authorities, however, Hawkins was confessing to the crime for the first time at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KRCR in Redding, California.
The television station is directly adjacent to the police station. Hawkins phoned ahead so producers and journalists could be ready for his interview. When he arrived, he asked for a soda and a cigarette.
Without going into any details about the murder itself, Hawkins explained why he came to confess.
He said, “God and Christ and these things that have happened over the course of 25 years have pushed me and pushed me to do the right thing. I know the wrong can’t be changed but this is the closest I can come to doing the right thing.” Visibly shaken throughout, Hawkins continued:
Horrible, horrible, horrible, absolute horror, absolutely horrible since that day. Every minute of every day has been a nightmare It’s kind of weird, Frank never got to have a life, but we were teenagers and now I’m 44 and still haven’t even had a life and now most likely won’t anyway.
This wasn’t the first time Hawkins wanted to confess–it was just the first time he was finally able to bring himself to do so. According to Hawkins’ KRCR interview, he searched out McAlister’s family and tried to own up to his actions on numerous occasions, but it just never happened. Hawkins said, “I talked to them several times and told them I was going to make it there so I could tell them what happened and I wanted their forgiveness. By the time I got there, his father had passed away.”
In 1993, 20-year-old Frank Wesley McAlister was killed. Police now believe his death resulted from a cat-fishing robbery gone awry. After hearing Hawkins’ story, investigators say McAlister was lured out to Shingletown, California by Hawkins and two others—purportedly so they could sell him methamphetamine. Instead, he was robbed and stabbed to death—his body left to rot and his car dumped at the nearest Costco.
Redding Police Captain Eric Wallace said multiple investigators took on the case over the years, trying multiple leads—with little to show for all their work. In 1997, one Michael Vielbig—a suspect in another killing—confessed to the crime. But police couldn’t find a plausible connection and Vielbig wasn’t charged.
Now, nearly 25 years later, Hawkins finally provided authorities with the break they couldn’t obtain on their own. As a result of Hawkins’ confession, Redding police immediately searched out and rounded up two of his alleged accomplices: 46-year-old Shanna Culver and her brother, 45-year-old Curtis Culver.
All three individuals currently reside in the Shasta County jail–on charges of murder, robbery and burglary.
Watch Hawkins’ full television confession here.
[image via screengrab/KRCR]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
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