Video 1 of "Interview with Ms. Tammy Anderson."
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TAMMY ANDERSON: I like it now, I guess. It's so quiet. There's no, you don't hear no traffic or anything like that. This is really, really
too quiet sometimes. Then I come down here and listen to her holler at all these kids. She's got a bunch of kids and I said, Oh, take me home. She's usually got a house
full. I've gotten used to it, I guess.
ANDERSON: Sometimes I get a little lonely being here by myself when my husband works. Sometimes I wish I was back here. I miss the
kids. Well, my son's living with me right now, my other son, and he helps out a lot, too. There's Rachel. I miss being here, though. I was raised in this house.
Anthony was raised practically in this house. And now it's Rachel's house. I gave it to her. It's been here a long time; a lot of memories.
CRAFTS: Did Anthony have a relationship with his father at all?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Yeah, I guess. Yeah, no. He wasn't too into his dad. When he got older, he saw him a few times. Then when he
moved over there to Dad's house, he was right across the park from him.
CRAFTS: When he moved to—
TAMMY ANDERSON: When he moved to Dad's other house after they left here. He lived across the park from him and never went to visit him. It
was something I let them figure out for themselves. They grown up. It tore him up because his daddy didn't come to his graduation and it really hurt him.
ANDERSON: He sat down and cried and asked me, "Mom, why didn't he come?" He did, but it was just, how do you say it? He was upset with him
but he was polite. That was his dad. He dealt with it. He'd try to get his dad to do stuff with him and—I don't know. I don't know the situation, really.
CRAFTS: Did his dad ever come visit him in prison?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Once in a great while, maybe once every six months for something. He wasn't big on that. We think it has a lot to do with
the step-mom. But Anthony said he was going to write his mom and letter and let him know how he felt, but he never did it. He was a momma's baby. No matter if he was raised by
my daddy, he was a momma's baby. They had talked to me about everything, some things I didn't even want to know. But it wasn't a big relationship between him and his
CRAFTS: Okay, well anything else you want to add?
TAMMY ANDERSON: No.
CRAFTS: So now your mission is to prove his innocence, you said?
TAMMY ANDERSON: I don't know. Yeah, I've got to try. I don't know where to start or who to go to or nothing, how to do it. But I've
got to try, at least. That's the last thing he wanted me to do was prove his innocence, but I don't know how we could do that. He had a friend who did have a friend who worked at
the police station and he did look at my son's records and said we're going to be very, very angry is we ever see them. They don't let you see them. They said we're going to be very
CRAFTS: Sorry, if the—
TAMMY ANDERSON: His records.
CRAFTS: Oh, okay.
TAMMY ANDERSON: That they keep at the police station. He said that we're going to be very upset, but we'll never get to see them. They won't
let you see them. I've called up there and asked them. No, we don't do that. I don't think it's right. I think we should be able to see them. I'm going to do that
for him. I'm going to at least try. I know it's been a lot of years since then. These other guys are probably already out. They only got sixteen years, each of
CRAFTS: The other ones at the convenience store that night?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Yeah. Supposedly sixteen years, and I don't think that's flat, either. They're already out, probably. I don't
know. But that's what I need to do.
CRAFTS: Do you have any questions you'd like to ask?
HINZ-FOLEY: I had a few questions. Could you talk about what Anthony's relationship was with his siblings growing up, like how far apart, how old was
Jennifer and how far apart they all were?
TAMMY ANDERSON: There was Anthony and then Rachel. She's the oldest daughter of mine. Then there's Amy and Jennifer, his dad's two
daughters. Oh golly, Rachel is just a few years younger than Anthony. I couldn't tell you how old Amy and Jennifer are. Rachel could tell you more about them as far as their
ANDERSON: I know they're grown. But his sister, he loved his baby sister. He was always close to Rachel. Rachel, more or less, she'd
handle whatever he wanted done, whatever my dad couldn't get done, do it for him. He trusted Rachel on everything. Amy, they was close to Amy, Jennifer mostly.
ANDERSON: That was his baby sister, but I couldn't tell you anymore about their relationship. And my son Brandon, now Brandon is twenty-nine, I
think. I got my kids plus everybody else's kids. Everybody adopted me. His brother was little when he got in his trouble, so he missed a lot of Anthony.
ANDERSON: He says, "I just remember Anthony wrestling with him and body-slamming him," he says. But he was too little, really, to—but he's grown
now. He was more closer to his sisters, I'd say. He'd always go pick on them, but Rachel could tell you more about their relationships.
HINZ-FOLEY: Okay. Also, could you talk a little more about—You said you had to move him into private school when he started to get into
trouble. Could you talk a little more about that?
TAMMY ANDERSON: He was just starting to skip school and hanging around the wrong people and he only had three years to go and I wasn't going to let him
mess it up, and I told him that. I said, You're going to go to private school. If I have to pick you up and take you everyday, I will. And I did.
ANDERSON: I took him everyday and I picked him up everyday and he graduated. I done the same thing to her, but that was basically it. He was
starting to skip school and I didn't get in and grudge him about it or anything. That was just the way it was going to be. I'm not going to have him missing school and he done good,
HINZ-FOLEY: You said he was on probation and you were taking him to his parole officer. Why was he on probation and what was—
TAMMY ANDERSON: His probation was—what do you call that?
TAMMY ANDERSON: No, no. It was probation, I guess. Dang it. I can't remember the word for that. There are so many words to
CRAFTS: It's not a big deal.
TAMMY ANDERSON: But anyhow, yes, it was for another case. Supposedly something—around the wrong people again. They were saying Anthony shot
somebody, a girl, a guy or something. But anyhow, nothing came of it. I mean it wasn't him. I'm not saying this because I'm his mother, but it wasn't him. They proved it
wasn't him somehow.
HINZ-FOLEY: Were you involved in—did you go to any of that trial at all?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Yeah, I went and picked out lawyers and stuff. Yeah. I was there and they had witnesses, but they couldn't describe
Anthony. They couldn't describe him at all. Whoever it was came out of somewhere else supposedly, they said. I barely remember a little bit of it.
HINZ-FOLEY: And this was after he graduated already or before he graduated?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Yeah, after.
TAMMY ANDERSON: Yeah.
HINZ-FOLEY: Let me see. You mentioned writing in a notebook a lot. Have you ever revisited and reread your notebook again or gone
TAMMY ANDERSON: I have, yeah. I haven't done it lately, but I do. I go back and read it. Boo hoo, cry. I don't know. I
guess it's just something for me to do, I guess. I would tell him, I know you're watching. I know you see what's going on, stuff like that. What should I do?
HINZ-FOLEY: And how did that help you or were there other things you did to kind of help yourself cope after he was executed?
TAMMY ANDERSON: To tell you the truth, that dog right there, she did a lot. His stepmother bought her for me and she's like a kid. I treat
her like a kid. She thinks she's human. She's so old right now. But yeah, I think that dog helped me out a whole lot. She's treated like a kid. She even gets to
wear her little dresses and stuff.
HINZ-FOLEY: What's her name?
TAMMY ANDERSON: Precious.
TAMMY ANDERSON: She—I don't know. If it wasn't for that dog, I'd probably be a nervous wreck. It's like she understands me. She looks
at me like she's reading me. But yeah, I think if is wasn't for that dog, I'd probably be worse. I guess you trade them and try to make a kid out of an animal. I know so many
people that do that.
ANDERSON: She helped out a lot. It was that and writing to him. But it's taken me about this long to ease up from crying every single
day. I did it for years, couldn't help it. Those were the two basic things, the dog and writing to him. I'd write goofy stuff, too, ‘cause he was goofy.
HINZ-FOLEY: Is there anything else you'd like to say for the public record or anything you'd like the public to know about your
TAMMY ANDERSON: I hope nobody has to go through it. A child, losing a child like that, I don't wish it on nobody. Worst feeling in the
world. That's about it. That's about it. I just wouldn't wish it on nobody. It's sad.
Tammy Anderson is the mother of Anthony Guy Fuentes, who was executed by the State of Texas on November 17, 2004 at the age of thirty for a 1994 robbery and murder at a Houston convenience store. In Video 1, Anderson shares early memories of her eldest son and discusses Anthony's childhood, his experiences with family and in school, his first job and his relationship with his fiancée. She also discusses the beginnings of Anthony's troubles with the law, his arrest for capital murder when he was nineteen, his trial and death sentence in 1996, the resulting years on Death Row, his claims of innocence of the murder charge, and the effects of these events on Anthony and his family. In Video 1, she further describes Anthony's time in prison, their writing practice and correspondence, the friendships he developed, his relationship with his spiritual advisor and his deepening Christianity, as well as Anthony's execution day, his funeral, his cremation, and the family's activities and coping after his death. In Video 2, Anderson continues to describe Anthony's relationship with his family and his experiences in school, discusses her ongoing efforts to prove Anthony's innocence of the murder charge, and elaborates on the aftermath of his execution, her memories and her methods for coping with her son's death. This interview took place on July 28, 2009 in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
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Tammy AndersonRole: Narrator
Texas After Violence ProjectRole: Collaborator
Lydia CraftsRole: Interviewer
Sabina Eva María Hinz-FoleyRole: Videographer
Kimberly Ambrosini-BaconRole: Transcriber
Virginia Marie RaymondRole: Proofreader
North America--United States--Texas
North America--United States--Texas--Austin
Type of Resource:
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