The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
What was Anastasia's relationship with Byron Case?
On the tenth anniversary of Anastasia's murder, Byron Case wrote of Anastasia, writing of her warmth, of her giving, nurturing nature, of her caring for him, and of their close friendship. Ten years can play a lot of tricks on one's memory.Top of page
When Byron Case initiated email dialogue with Anastasia's family in December 1997, he claimed at that time that Anastasia had been one of his "closest friends",1but later evidence indicated differently.
Anastasia and Byron Case got along at times, and Anastasia even thought him a friend on a few occasions -- Case escorted Anastasia to her senior prom in May 1997, substituting for Justin Bruton, though he did so wearing "goth" makeup and a skirt -- but he betrayed that friendship a number of times long before her murder. At the time he murdered Anastasia, Case's relationship with her could at the most charitable be described as "contentious", and at worst as "mutual dislike".
Most of their difficulties had to do with Anastasia's on-and-off relationship with Justin Bruton, whom Case considered his best friend; the friction did not come just from the difficulties between Anastasia and Justin, but also from when their relationship was doing well, as Case felt it robbed him of his time with Justin.2
That he and Anastasia did not get along well with each other was obvious from a letter Anastasia left on Justin's computer on Monday night, October 20, 1997, two days before her murder,3 mostly about her and Justin's relationship, but taking a few direct swipes at Case and his interference in their relationship as well.
Case's anger toward and dislike for Anastasia was evidenced in his pager's greeting in fall 1997, with a message to the effect of "Leave a message unless this is Anastasia. Nobody is going to bother to call you back,"4 a fact confirmed by one of his defense witnesses;5 even Case's attempt to explain the message revealed anger toward and annoyance with her, and not friendship at all.6
On the night of Anastasia's murder, Case and Anastasia engaged in a shouting match in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen where Justin picked her up,7 indicating the relationship was confrontational at best, and openly hostile at worst at the time.
In short, Anastasia and Case had been friends at different times, but were antagonistic toward each other by the time of her murder.