Lake Tahoe murderer paroled after 47 years in Nevada prison

Michael Anselmo, one of the Nevada prison system’s longest serving inmates, has finally been granted his freedom.

Anselmo, 67, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without possible parole in May 1972.

He served 47 years for the murder of Trudy Hiler, 22, at north Lake Tahoe.

His life sentence was commuted to grant the possibility of parole in 2005 at the urging of Supreme Court Justice Bob Rose, the Washoe County district attorney who prosecuted Anselmo. Rose told fellow members of the Pardons Board that, in those days, a convicted murderer could expect to serve 20-30 years.

“After 34 years, Michael has paid for his crime,” Rose said at the time.

But it wasn’t until June 2018 that Anselmo was finally paroled from the murder conviction to begin serving his sentence for a 1976 escape attempt.

He kidnapped Hiler, 22, as she left the Cal-Neva Lodge at north Lake Tahoe in July 1971. A teenage busboy working at the resort, Anselmo led police to her body two days later. She had been stabbed and strangled to death and her body left under a rock ledge between the casino and the lake.

Anselmo initially confessed to the murder telling authorities he was high on LSD at the time.

According to prison records he was paroled after a hearing in July, effective on his Oct. 31 parole eligibility date. He was released Nov. 1.

The only remaining inmate who has served longer than Anselmo is Thomas Lee Bean, 75. Bean was originally sentenced to death but that was commuted when the U.S. Supreme Court briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972. He is serving life without possible parole for the murder of Olympic skier Sonja McCaskie in her Reno home. Age 18 at the time, he was convicted in July 1963 and has now served 56 years.


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