Lynnwood deadly stabbing suspect journaled about killing, charges say

“It felt good,” Cali Anderson wrote in her notebook after stabbing Michael Marks in the back, according to charging papers.


LYNNWOOD — After a stabbing in June outside a Lynnwood apartment complex, Cali Anderson cracked open her journal.

“June 6th,” she began, according to charging papers. “So this morning I stabbed my first person in the back, literally stabbed, it felt good and of course I was smart and left the scene right away, so I don’t know what happened after that.”

Anderson, who later surrendered at a police station, claimed self-defense in an interview with detectives.

Marks died of his injuries on July 24, following weeks on a ventilator. The official cause of death was “delayed complications of stab wound of the back,” according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was 35.

Meanwhile, prosecutors charged Anderson with first-degree assault at the end of June. Updated charges of murder had not been filed as of this week. Anderson was identified in court papers by her legal name, Christopher Brian Anderson. Her attorneys noted she was being held in protective custody in jail because she’s transgender.

According to her lawyers, this was not Anderson’s first run-in with Marks. In court documents, the defense claimed Marks was known to be a “violent person,” who had a reputation for stabbing people with screwdrivers. She knew him as “Ghost.”

And prior to the stabbing, Marks tried to break into an RV that Anderson was staying in, according to the court papers filed by defense attorney Rachel Forde. After a fight, Marks left, reportedly telling Anderson, “You’re going to regret this!”

Just before 7 a.m. on June 6, Lynnwood police responded to reports of violence at the Woodland Greens apartment complex in the 19800 block of 50th Avenue W. Officers found Marks on the ground in the parking lot. He had one stab wound in the middle of his back.

Marks was bleeding profusely. On the way to the hospital, he lost his pulse. First responders performed life-saving measures via open cardiac massage — a medical procedure where a paramedic physically holds a patient’s heart in their hands and pumps it, according to court documents.

Marks remained on a ventilator in the hospital for about a month and a half before he succumbed to his injuries.

A witness showed video footage to police of someone walking in the parking lot near the stabbing, holding an object. The person wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and carried a longboard, the charges say. Another witness reported seeing the person in the gray sweatshirt talking with Marks. The witness said it appeared the two were arguing, and the suspect walked away looking angry.

Anderson’s attorney wrote that Marks “was trying to get drugs from Cali.” When she refused, he threatened her, saying he was going to find out where she lives and that her life was in jeopardy, the defense claimed. He appeared to have “some sort of weapon” under his shirt while saying this, according to Anderson’s account. She feared Marks would kill her in her sleep, so she stabbed him, believing she had done “just enough to disable him and prevent him from finding her and hurting or threatening her,” her lawyer wrote.

The suspect quickly turned around, walked back to Marks and hit him in the back with something in her right hand, saying, “That’s what you get (expletive),” prosecutors alleged.

Detectives discovered that a couple days earlier, officers served a trespass notice to “Cali B. Anderson” near the apartment complex, court documents said. Body camera footage from the trespassing incident showed Anderson wearing similar clothes and sitting on a longboard.

Authorities learned Anderson had been staying in a red tent in a homeless encampment about a mile away from the apartment complex. Police found a notebook in the tent, with “Cali” written on the front, according to the charges.

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators looked through it, and reportedly found the entry describing the stabbing.

On June 7, Anderson found out “Ghost may have been seriously injured,” so she spoke with her mother, who encouraged her to turn herself in, according to the defense.

Anderson told police Marks threatened her, police wrote.

“Did he die?” the defendant reportedly asked detectives.

She said she used a large, fixed-blade Bowie-type knife and directed police to the weapon, according to court papers.

Police recovered a knife with an 8-inch blade Anderson had left with a friend. It still had red smudges on the blade.

Anderson has a criminal history in King County, including convictions of second-degree robbery in 2013 and residential burglary in 2017. She pleaded guilty to both offenses and spent around four years behind bars.

On Friday, she remained in Snohomish County Jail.

In early July, the defense asked to have her “excessive” bail amount reduced to nothing, citing Anderson’s self-defense claim, her mother’s support and her “complete lack of financial resources.”

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson kept the bail at $500,000.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

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