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Death Row Diaries: Airline receipt, stuck in a TV Guide, leads police to murder suspect

Posted at 12:06 PM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 13:02:45-05

Arizona’s most notorious death row inmates past and present have incredible stories, including this one where an airplane ticket receipt stuck in a TV Guide magazine led police to a suspect in San Diego.

ANTHONY MARSHALL SPEARS

Date of Birth: October 2, 1958
Sentenced: March 31, 1993

Preview to Murder:

In December 1991, Anthony Marshall Spears was living in San Diego with his girlfriend but also had another female acquaintance in Phoenix named Jeanette Beaulieu. Jeanette referred to Spears as her boyfriend and often talked about their plans together.

In late December Jeanette prepared for a trip with Spears, she had her truck serviced and received and extended family leave from her employer. 

On January 2nd, Spears flew to Phoenix on a one-way ticket, purchased by Jeanette. He told his girlfriend in San Diego that he was going to Phoenix to work on airplanes for a few days. 

On January 3, Jeanette got cash ready for her trip, bought a watch and sleeping bag, and had the title to her truck notarized to make it easily transferable.

There was no evidence that she was alive after that day.

On January 4 Spears drove back to California in Jeanette’s truck telling his girlfriend that he bought it from an older couple. He also had the cash, sleeping bag and weapons that belonged to Jeanette.

The Investigation Begins:

On January 19 a family was target shooting near Ellsworth and Elliot Roads when they found Jeanette’s body and contacted police. It was revealed that she died from a gunshot wound to the back of her head. She was also wearing the same clothes that were recorded on bank cameras when she withdrew the cash on January 3. 

When police searched her home, they found a TV Guide magazine opened to January 3rd. In the magazine, they found a receipt for the airline ticket she purchased for Spears. 

Police traced Spears to San Diego and asked the sheriff's office there to pick him up. He was taken into custody on January 25 when he returned home driving Jeanette’s truck.

Investigators found the notarized title to the truck in the glove box. Spears was charged with first-degree murder and theft and was convicted of both on December 9, 1992.

He was sentenced to death on March 31, 1993