Investigation report reveals gruesome details about cold case murder
REDDING, Calif. —
In a report from the Redding Police Department, cold case murder suspects Brian Hawkins, 45, and Curtis Culver, 45, reveal the details about the day they allegedly murdered Frank McAlister, 19, in May of 1993.
According to investigators, McAlister was reported as a missing person by his girlfriend at the time, Donell Tatich, on May 7, 1993. She said McAlister had her vehicle, which was also missing. On that same day, Tatich's vehicle was found in the Redding Costco parking lot with what appeared to be a large amount of blood on the interior and exterior. Investigators say McAlister's whereabouts were still unknown at that point.
Further investigation into McAlister's disappearance revealed he had received an insurance settlement check for approximately $5,000 just prior to his death.
Investigators determined very early on that Hawkins, Curtis Culver, and Shanna Culver, 41, were the last individuals to see McAlister after the three said they were with McAlister, in his vehicle, on the day he disappeared. All three told investigators they had been dropped off by McAlister near Waterworks Park and that was the last time they saw or heard from McAlister.
Investigators said the three were contacted and interviewed multiple times over the last 25 years and all three maintained their innocence in the murder throughout the last 25 years.
On April 13, 1994, McAlister's skeletal remains were found. It was determined his cause of death was having his throat cut.
Now, almost 25 years later, Hawkins says he couldn't live with the guilt anymore and decided to turn himself in. After asking investigators for some water and a soda, Hawkins started telling his story.
Hawkins says he was with Shanna and Curtis at their apartment on that day in May with the plan of meeting up with McAlister. Hawkins said while the three were together they learned McAlister was looking to purchase a large amount of methamphetamine with some of his insurance settlement money and then wanted to turn around and sell it to make a profit.
Hawkins said he suggested going up to Shingletown because he knew people in the area who McAlister might be able to purchase the methamphetamine from.
Once the decision was made to go to Shingletown, Hawkins said Shanna told him she had come up with a plan to murder McAlister because he had money on him. Hawkins said he blew Shanna off originally because he figured she wasn't being serious but shortly after, Shanna removed a folding pocket knife from a box in her closet and showed it to Hawkins. Hawkins said he recalled thinking she was showing him the knife because she possibly wanted to use it to stab McAlister when they robbed him.
Awhile after, the four of them left the apartment, in McAlister's vehicle, to drive up to Shingletown. Hawkins said he was in the back seat behind McAlister, who was driving, Curtis was in the front passenger's seat, and Shanna was behind Curtis in the back seat.
Hawkins said he told McAlister where to go once they arrived in Shingletown, instructing McAlister to drive down Alward Lane, past both Grace and Nora Lakes, and then to pull into a dirt turnout off the road and park the car. Hawkins said the four of them then sat in the car for what could have been a couple hours, just talking.
During the time they were in the car, Hawkins said Shanna removed the knife from her purse and showed it to him, telling him to take it and stab McAlister in the neck with it. Hawkins said he took the knife from Shanna but Curtis is the one who ended up stabbing McAlister in the neck, with a different knife, while they were all still in the car.
Hawkins said after Curtis stabbed McAlister, McAlister opened his door and got out of the car. Hawkins said they then all got out of the car and walked to where McAlister was. Hawkins said McAlister laid down on his back on the ground and that's when he says he straddled McAlister and began stabbing him in the throat with the knife Shanna had given him in the car. Hawkins told investigators he stabbed McAlister "a lot of times".
Hawkins told investigators it did not appear as though McAlister was still alive after he got done stabbing him in the throat numerous times and he said while he was stabbing McAlister, Shanna and Curtis were standing nearby.
Hawkins said Curtis then drug McAlister's body towards the front of the vehicle and grabbed a large rock and dropped it on McAlister's head. After that, Hawkins said he, Shanna, and Curtis all got back into McAlister's car and drove back to Redding, leaving McAlister's body. Hawkins said he was the one who drove the car back to Redding, leaving it in the Costco parking lot. He said the three of them then took a taxi cab back to the Culver's apartment.
Hawkins said he noticed after getting back into Redding that Curtis and Shanna had a lot of cash. He said they gave him several hundred dollars and he said he knew the money came from McAlister because it had blood on it.
Investigators noted in the report that throughout the entire interview with Hawkins he appeared very upset, was physically shaking and was crying at times. After the interview was done, Hawkins was arrested and booked into the Shasta County Jail.
On January 10, 2018, Curtis was found in the Red Bluff area and agreed to go back to the Redding Police Department with the officers. Investigators say once in the interview room, Curtis confessed being involved in the murder of McAlister.
Curtis told a very similar story to Hawkins up until the point when McAlister was stabbed.
Curtis said he recalled pulling out a knife he had while in the car and pointing it in McAlister's direction because he was "afraid". He said around that same time, Hawkins reached around the front of McAlister's neck and slit his throat with a knife he was holding.
Curtis said McAlister then got out of the car and fell to the ground and that's when he says Hawkins sat on McAlister and began stabbing him in the throat and upper chest numerous times with the knife. Curtis said after Hawkins stabbed McAlister numerous times, Hawkins got off McAlister and Curtis said McAlister appeared to be barely still alive.
Curtis said that's when he picked up a large rock from the ground and dropped it on McAlister's head "out of mercy". Curtis told investigators McAlister appeared to be dead at that point.
Curtis said Hawkins was the one who removed cash and some methamphetamine from McAlister's pockets and then they all got into the car and drove back to Redding. Curtis said all three of them ended up getting some of the cash taken from McAlister. After his interview with investigators, Curtis was arrested and booked into the Shasta County Jail.
Shanna was also contacted in the Red Bluff area by the Redding Police Department but she refused to accompany them back to Redding to talk about the case. Shanna was arrested and was then brought back to the Redding Police Department Investigations Division.
Shanna continued to profess her innocence telling investigators that she was in McAlister's vehicle the day he went missing but that he had dropped her, Curtis, and Hawkins off at Waterworks Park after he received a page on his pager and needed to go somewhere to possibly purchase some methamphetamine. She said that was the last time she saw McAlister.
Investigators said Shanna ended up getting very emotional, crying and yelling during the interview, before she invoked her Miranda rights and asked for an attorney.
Curtis and Hawkins appeared in court Friday afternoon. Due to her age at the time of the murder, Shanna's case is being processed through juvenile court.