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California cold case breakthrough comes from confession

No arrests were made in the two decades since. Then someone walked into a television news station Tuesday and confessed.

“I’m going to turn myself in next door at the sheriff’s department for a crime I was involved in years ago. … It was murder,” Hawkins, of Shingletown, told KRCR reporter Courtney Kreider.

Hawkins told KRCR he and the others robbed McAlister, who was stabbed to death.

The station did not air his on-camera interview until he surrendered to police. The station said it called authorities to let them know what was happening, and called after the interview to say he was on his way to turn himself in.

Hawkins made the same confession to police that afternoon, the Redding Police Department said.

Acting on that statement, police also arrested Curtis Culver, 45, and his sister, Shanna Culver, 41, after finding them Wednesday in the nearby community of Red Bluff, authorities said.

Hawkins told the TV station that his faith in God and overwhelming feelings of guilt led him to confess.

“God, Christ — these things that have happened throughout my whole life since then, for over 25 years, have pushed me and pushed me to do the right thing,” Hawkins said. “I know the wrong can’t be changed, but this is the closest I can come to doing the right thing.”

Unsolved since 1993

Hawkins and Curtis Culver were charged Friday with murder and robbery. Both were arraigned in Shasta County Superior Court on Friday afternoon and charged with murder, robbery, and two special circumstances: lying in wait and murder during the commission of a robbery, Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett said. They are being held without bail.

They will appear in court next week to confirm their attorneys and on January 23 for a preliminary hearing.

Online records indicate Shanna Culver was booked into Shasta County Jail and is being held on suspicion of murder. Because she was a minor at the time of the alleged crime, details about her case are private.

McAlister’s girlfriend reported…

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