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Associated Press, Published September 28 2013

Man convicted in ’83 killings says he’s sorry

MARSHALL, Minn. – A man convicted along with his father of killing two bankers in 1983 on a southwestern Minnesota farm said he’s remorseful for the two lives he took and the families he destroyed.

Steven Anderson, who changed his name from Steven Jenkins, was 18 when he when was convicted of shooting Rudy Blythe and Deems “Toby” Thulin.

Now 48 years old, Anderson is preparing for life outside prison after being put on a path toward parole by the Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections in March. Anderson is expected to be released in about two years.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the deaths.

“I’m feeling very grateful for the opportunity to possibly return to society in a couple of years, but I can’t forget the fact that I took two people’s lives and destroyed two families,” Anderson said. “I have a debt that can never be repaid. But I do have a lot of remorse for the harm I caused.”

The murders on the Jenkins’ former 10-acre farm in Ruthton became a national symbol of the tension between debt-ridden farmers and rural lenders who struggled to survive a flood of delinquencies in the 1980s. James Jenkins lost the farm in foreclosure.

The farm was vacant when James Jenkins called the victims, pretending to be an interested buyer. The bankers went out to the farm, where they were shot and killed.

For 17 years, Anderson wouldn’t admit he was the one who pulled the trigger.

For the first few years, he said, he felt justified because he still believed what his dad had told him, that Blythe was the cause of all of their troubles.

He confessed to the murders in 2000 in a television documentary.