“I have been through hell my whole life because of this,” Hawkins told the news station, crying as he spoke.
Watch Hawkins’ confession to a KRCR reporter below.
Hawkins described the weight of the guilt he has felt.
“Horrible. Horrible. Absolutely horrible every day. Almost every minute of every day has been a nightmare,” Hawkins said. “It’s kind of weird that Frank never even got to have a life, and neither did I. We were teenagers and now I’m 44 and still haven’t even had a life, and now probably, most likely won’t anyway.
“God and Christ, these things that have happened throughout my whole life since then, for 25 years, have pushed me and pushed me to do the right thing,” a somber Hawkins said. “I know the wrong can’t be changed, but this is as close as I can come to doing the right thing.”
Hawkins had been on Redding detectives' radar since McAlister's disappearance, according to police officials. Investigators in 1993 learned that Hawkins and two siblings, Curtis Dean Culver and Shanna Nichole Culver, were the last people to see McAlister alive.
Shanna Culver was Hawkins’ girlfriend at the time of the crime.
All three suspects denied involvement McAlister’s disappearance, police officials said.
Curtis Dean Culver, left, and his sister, Shanna Nichole Culver
Credit: (Redding Police Department)
Credit: (Redding Police Department)
Investigators followed leads and examined evidence through the years since McAlister’s slaying, but were never able to make an arrest.
Then, Hawkins showed up at the KRCR studio. The news station reported that Hawkins walked in and said he wanted to confess to the murder.
"He refused to answer any questions about the case itself, but said he wanted people to know that he had found God, and that is what led him to finally do the right thing and confess," the news station reported. "We agreed to interview him on the condition that we would hold the interview until he turned himself in, and law enforcement could corroborate his confession."
Hawkins told the news station that he did not know McAlister before the homicide. He said the Culvers knew the victim.
Hawkins went to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office later that day to turn himself in. He then met with Redding police detectives, to whom he made his official confession.
Police officials said Hawkins told investigators that he and the Culvers, then in their early 20s, lured McAlister to the Shingletown area with the intent to rob him. McAlister had a large amount of cash that the trio wanted to steal to buy methamphetamine, Hawkins said.
McAlister's family told the Redding Record Searchlight in 1993 that he had about $4,500 on him the day he vanished. The money was from a settlement he received following a car crash he was in two months before he was killed.
Once McAlister met them in rural Shasta County, their plan turned to one of murder, and Hawkins and Curtis Culver stabbed McAlister to death, according to Hawkins’ confession. They left his body in a wooded area and drove his vehicle to the Costco where it was later found.
Hawkins' confession was corroborated by evidence collected in the case, police officials said.
Curtis Culver, 45, and Shanna Culver, 46, both of Red Bluff, were taken in for questioning on Wednesday. Like Hawkins, they were ultimately charged with McAlister’s murder.
Redding police Capt. Eric Wallace, the lead investigator on the case, told KRCR that both Culvers made incriminating statements during questioning.
Redding police officials on Thursday thanked McAlister’s family members for their patience in the more than two decades it took to make the arrests in his slaying.
"We sincerely hope that the recent arrest of Frank's alleged murderers will bring some measure of closure to his family," officials said in a statement.
McAlister's grandmother, Avis Rice, 81, told the Record Searchlight Thursday that the family was stunned by the arrests.
"It is such a shock to us," Rice told the newspaper.
The family had long suspected Hawkins and the Culver siblings of killing her grandson, Rice said.
McAlister's uncle, Jon McAlister, wrote about the arrests on Facebook, lamenting the fact that his brother -- and Frank's father -- is not around to see his son's killers brought to justice.
Douglas McAlister died in October.
“Twenty-five years ago, my nephew, Frankie, was murdered. Today, the man that did it confessed, and he and two others will now be brought to justice,” McAlister wrote. “Some closure, but the passing of Frank’s father, my brother, a couple of months ago (is) too little, too late.
“May Frank and Doug rest in peace.”
Wallace said there is more to the investigation than what has already been released, and that detectives are still questioning people in the case. The department has issued a plea to the public for any information anyone has on McAlister's slaying.
Anyone with information can contact investigators at the Redding Police Department at 530-225-4200.