By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Anita had a second child in 1993 but soon separated from her husband. She moved back in with her parents.
In 1995, Anita found a boyfriend. He convinced her to leave the children--one with her former husband and one with her former mother-in-law back East--while she traveled around the country with him. He also introduced her to crack cocaine.
By the time the couple arrived in Denver in June 1996, Anita was an addict. Her boyfriend left her to fend for herself, which she did initially by working in strip bars. But her wages and tips weren't enough to cover her habit, and by the spring of 1997 she had turned to prostitution.
That April she met Shane Delray, whose current girlfriend was in jail, so she filled the void until "Gigi" got out. By that time, Anita wanted Delray to herself, but Gigi wasn't giving him up. It was all he could do to keep them apart.
Anita grew more depressed. One day Delray found her in the bathroom cutting her wrists. She wasn't doing a very good job of it. After he took her to the emergency room to get bandaged, he told the other girls that he thought Anita had done it more for attention than anything else.
But she was obviously a troubled young woman. She told Delray and the other hookers she met that she was schizophrenic. Somewhere she found a book on the subject. She was reading it in May, when Brandy introduced her to Bob Davis.
Bob seemed nice enough. He bought her crack right away, and that was a good thing. He also invited her to pick from a pile of new clothes he had in the back of his van. Most were too big for her tiny frame, but she did keep a pair of lacy maroon underwear. Then he took her shopping where, he said, they could exchange the other clothes for something that fit.
He told her he'd appreciate it if she'd pretend to be his wife. She went along with the idea--why not, she was high and happy--and made sure people in the store knew she was Mrs. Bob Davis. She wanted to do a little pretending herself. "I like to be called 'Buffy,'" she said. So from then on, that's what Davis called her.
Davis said he wanted to show her his favorite place in the whole world. Anita thought a trip to the mountains sounded like fun.
But when Anita returned to Delray's house in the early hours of May 15, 1997, she was distraught. Delray asked what was wrong. "The guy in the blue van raped me," she said, and burst into tears.
She'd expected he'd request sex. But Davis hadn't asked; he'd just used her, violently, as though her feelings didn't matter a bit.
Still, Davis had promised to buy her more crack, she told Delray, so she planned to meet him again later.
Anita spent the rest of the morning reading the Bible on the couch, then went out for a walk. While she was gone, Joanne Cordova showed up.
"Hey, Jo-Jo, I need to talk to you," Delray said. He guided her to a room where he could speak to her in private. "I need to ask you something, and I want you to be honest with me."
"I've always been honest with you, Shane," Joanne replied. "What's up?"
"The guy in the blue van--what's he like?" Delray asked. Whatever his other shortcomings, he liked Anita, and he didn't want her dealing with some sick guy who got off by hurting hookers.
Joanne shrugged. She really didn't know what to think of Bob Davis--a nice guy one moment, bizarre and scary the next. All she knew is that she wished she hadn't left her new clothes in his van. "Why?" she asked.
"Anita says he raped her."
Joanne's first inclination was to wonder if Anita was just trying to get more attention from Delray. But as she remembered the not-so-nice side of Davis, she thought maybe there was something to it.
Joanne, too, liked Anita and considered her a friend. Anita tried to act tough, like she'd been on the streets her whole life--she'd told everyone that her parents threw her out of the house when she got pregnant--but Joanne thought othewise. To her, Anita seemed frail and naive...innocent in a world where there was no such thing.
Anita didn't own much more than the clothes she wore. About the only things she had left of her former life were photographs of her daughters.
Joanne had been surprised when she learned about Anita's children. She told her about her own two kids and her guilt about having failed as a mother. But Anita didn't want to talk about her children. That only made her cry.
Joanne was still at the house when Anita returned. She had to get ready for her date with the guy in the blue van.
Joanne had been looking for Davis since she'd gotten out of jail. She wanted her clothes, and she asked Anita to get them.
Anita said she would. When the van pulled up, she headed out the door, the rape apparently forgotten. Joanne thought she looked happy.