Anne Dunlap went missing and was murdered on December 30, 1995. Her body was found a couple days later in her car’s trunk in a Kmart parking lot on Lake Street in Minneapolis.
Was Anne Dunlap’s murder a random act of violence? That is Anne’s parent’s theory. An act of violence is often completely random. I learned at a young age to be aware of my surroundings and pay attention. Don’t walk alone at night. Travel in pairs. Put your keys between your fingers. Check your backseat before getting in your car at night. I have carried pepper spray since long before the turn of the century. According to Anne’s friends, she was also careful about her safety. The phrase, ‘random act of violence’ seems somewhat broad. It means an unprovoked attack that is usually committed by someone unknown to the victim. That definition would cover just about any crime one person can commit upon another; Robbery, carjacking, murder, rape, home invasion, and assault. Why not just call it an act of violence. I guess the “random” part refers to the lack of relationship between the victim and perpetrator. Such crimes are the hardest cases to solve because there aren’t any ties to each other. One and done.
Was Anne Dunlap’s murder a crime of opportunity? I listen to many true crime podcasts and often a woman’s unsolved murder or disappearance is referred to as possibly a crime of opportunity. For example; What happened to Maura Murray (missing since 2004)? The podcast hosts will ponder the possibilities… Was it her current boyfriend? Her ex-boyfriend? Her professor? A serial killer that just happened to be on that same road at the same time? Or…was it a crime of opportunity? I have heard this description often lately and I find it extremely disturbing. Defined as, “a crime committed without planning when the perpetrator sees that he/she has the chance to commit the act at that moment and seizes it. Such acts have little or no premeditation.” As in, with the right set of circumstances, a regular guy may commit an egregious, heinous act. That thought is terrifying. Of course, the term is not quite that literal. It is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Opportunity is not the cause of the crime, but merely determines the time and place of it.
Was Anne a victim of either a random act of violence or a crime of opportunity? Someone knows… If you have any information regarding the murder of Anne Dunlap, please contact Crime Stoppers of Minnesota. Phone – Call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)