13-year-old girl’s murderer dies in prison, opens old wounds for family

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- A serial killer’s death while in prison is opening old wounds for a woman whose 13-year-old daughter was one of the people killed.

Thirteen-year-old Talita Dixon was described as a caring and loving young girl by her mother, Marsha Dixon Showers.

“I remember she was a special child. She loved to sing. She loved to play Barbie,” Dixon said.

Talita was murdered over 30 years ago, but her family said those wounds never fully healed.

“I had no idea that the next time I saw her she would be laying on a slab with her neck broken and her arm pulled out of her socket,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the pain of losing her daughter was unbearable, and the reality of it was something she never in a million years thought she would see.

On Friday, she found out the man who murdered her daughter died in prison.

“I wanted him to go on death row and be executed. But then, I thought about it, and I said vengeance is his, said the Lord, and who am I to say he should be killed. And God called him home,” Dixon said.

Sixty-five-year-old Anthony McKnight was first sentenced to 63 years for charges including attempted first-degree murder and the rape of several women in Alameda County back in 1987.

It wasn’t until 1999 that investigators were able to use DNA to link him to the murders of five female victims, all between the ages of 13 and 27.

The youngest victim was Talita, who had just celebrated her birthday.

“I felt that the system had failed us. It forced me not to trust anymore, to be overprotective of my other children,” Dixon said.

While Dixon says she spent years waiting for justice that came too late, she’s remembering the life of her eldest daughter along with the lives of the other women.

“I don’t think there will ever be closure, but I thank God for allowing me to live to see this day that he's actually gone from this earth. I thank God for that because so many people didn’t get the chance to see that,” Dixon said.

Officials say McKnight’s cause of death is still unknown, and they are waiting for the results from the autopsy to determine how he died.

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