Linda Andersen 'drowned' in her bathtub. A year later, her teen daughters were arrested.

The famous Canadian ‘Bathtub Girls’ murder remains shrouded in mystery, even 20 years on.

We still don’t know the true identity of Linda Andersen and her daughters, Sandra and Elizabeth Andersen.

Aged 16 and 15 respectively at the time of their crime, the girls became 'fed up' with their mother's alcoholism and depression and decided to do the unthinkable.

It was a case that captured the world's attention, as the girl's story unravelled in Canadian headlines. 

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What happened to Linda Anderson?

Linda Andersen was a mother of three. Because of Sandra and Elizabeth’s status as minors, all three were given an alias as the crime unravelled, with their real names still unknown. Anderson's son, Bobby, was also given an alias, and remains untraceable to this day.

The family of four lived in Mississauga, Ontario. The children’s father had left many years prior, and her second husband, also unnamed, was convicted of drunk driving and domestic abuse. Andersen’s drinking worsened when he left her and the children.

Andersen was an X-ray technician but was unemployed at the time of her death, and suffered from both depression and alcoholism, something that greatly frustrated her two daughters.

The amount of money she spent on alcohol angered the girls, who reportedly wanted money for things their friends seemed to have - namely nicer clothes and a house with a swimming pool.


They hatched a plan to murder their mother and make it look like an accident in 2003. They decided to do so by drowning her in a bathtub.

Their mother drank regularly, so they plied her with liquor and several tablets containing codeine, which slowed down her heart rate. They drew her a bath and helped her in, then held her head under until she died.

Sandra and Elizabeth had confided in friends about their plan, and used them as part of their alibi. After murdering their mum, the sisters went out to a local restaurant with the group of friends, as 'proof' they weren't home.

They returned home at 10:30pm and called emergency services to report that their mother had drowned while they were out.

All of this amounted to seemingly the perfect crime. But just a year later, the girls would be caught.

Sandra and Elizabeth's identities were never revealed.


Catching the 'Bathtub Girls.'

At first the girls got away with the crime, but it seems their tendency to brag about their success got the better of them.

They were sent to live with their aunt, while their brother, who was only three, was sent to live with other family members. The sisters were paid out $130,000 in life insurance, while their brother received $67,000. Apparently, they had been aware of their mum's life insurance policy when they murdered her.

It’s believed the friends they told maintained silence, but one of the girls admitted to a male friend at a party that she had murdered her mother, leading him to report it to police. The police wired the young man, hoping he could get an audio confession for them. Over a period of one month, he discussed the details of the murder, feeding back the information that would lead to their arrest.

Sandra and Elizabeth were arrested in January, 2004, and placed in different youth correctional centres. Both girls made taped confessions of the crime, and a computer taken from their home found a search history detailing their plans and the effects of mixing alcohol and Tylenol-3.


Their trial began in late 2005, and they were found guilty of first degree murder. The following year, they were handed the maximum sentence: 10 years' imprisonment. They served six years in custody and four under community supervision. 

Justice Bruce Duncan said in court, “the two defendants set out to commit the perfect crime, but instead they created the perfect prosecution. The case against them is overwhelming. It is probably the strongest case I have seen in over 30 years of prosecuting, defending, and judging criminal cases.”

Georgie Henley and Abigail Breslin as Sandra and Elizabeth. Image: Lifetime.

Sandra and Elizabeth: Where are they now?

These days, the two sisters have completed their sentences and live freely. Sandra graduated from university and became a scientist, while Elizabeth attended law school. It’s uncertain whether she was admitted to the bar, given her criminal history.

Lifetime made a film, Perfect Sisters, about the case in 2015. It starred Abigail Breslin as Sandra and Georgie Henley as Elizabeth. 

The film was said to have taken a much too sympathetic look at the girl’s story. Bob Mitchell, a Canadian journalist who wrote a book on the case remarked, "I don’t think the movie dealt with how cold-blooded and calculating they were."

Since the film was made, Sandra has spoken to media about the crime anonymously. Speaking to Canada's Global News in 2020, she appeared with her face blurred.

She recalled thinking that her mother was "never going to stop drinking," and that she "should just kill her, because it was like torture being trapped there." 

“It was my tragic, mistaken belief that I had, that my mom was going to die from this,” Sandra admitted.

“She was a beautiful person… very smart and loving,” she added. 

"She was seriously traumatised. She was overwhelmed with addiction, with different kinds of abuse."

Sandra spoke to Canada's Global News in 2020. Image: Global News. 

Sandra also admitted to being abused by someone close to her family when she was just 12 years old. Although she disclosed this to a priest, he never reported it on her behalf.

“The hate did blind me. I’m so sorry (for my crime). I regret what happened… with every shred of my being, my soul.

“I’ve been through so much trauma and what I did is by far the most painful thing I have had to live with.”

Sandra reiterated she didn't want to cause any more harm, and had made plans to kill herself following the death of her mother. 

Now, Sandra is a single mother herself.

“I wished my mother were alive today. She was my best friend and I would have loved to have her see my young child,” she said.

“I want to share my whole life with my mom. I am so viscerally ashamed of what I’ve done," she continued.

“My life feels like a living nightmare. Like I really wish I could wake up out of this life.”

Feature Image: Lifetime.


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