Simon Peter Nelson - 1978 Murders - U...
Ed in Columbia Maryland


#65 Aug 15, 2012

"Jenny was very, very upset and crying (he [SPN] apparently told the children of their Mom's decision), and was in the kitchen, cradled on SPN's lap and in his arms." He heard him [SPN] tell Jenny, "Everything will be all right and I love you very much."

He said that he played with the kids for an hour or so following their dinner, ate snacks with them later, got them bathed and into pajamas, then into bed between 10:00 and 11:00 PM. All of the kids were in their own rooms and they went right to sleep. After getting them all settled, he went down to the living room, made a fire in the fireplace, laid down on the couch, and searched for something interesting to watch on TV. He fell asleep before Midnight, but suddenly woke up around 2:00 AM with a terrible sense of dread. He says that he remained on the couch for several minutes "Fear struck!" but did not know why. For whatever reason, he said he was compelled to leave so he got up, looked out the picture window and saw SPN's station wagon in front of the house. He then stirred the ashes and logs in the fireplace to be sure the fire was out, and left via the front door. He said that he never heard anything and has no idea ["no memory"] of what caused him to wake in such a startled state.

As mentioned briefly above, while Mr. Hamm tended to the children, SPN met with his boss on Jefferson Street around 10:30 PM to get the advance he requested. They only spoke briefly, and although SPN was there for only a few minutes, the bartender testified that he seemed, "quite normal. " Where SPN went immediately following the meeting at the bar is unclear and Mr. Dan Doyle never offered any information either. Ann testified that she received calls from SPN, "all through the night right up to 2:30 AM." Around 4:30 AM (Saturday Morning, 01-07-1978), the newspaper carrier, for that part of Camp Avenue, stated that the family's station wagon left from its usual spot in front of the house. For those of you who do not remember, the weather was terrible that night, with strong winds, snow and icy road conditions. Ann further testified that SPN arrived at her hotel room [near Milwaukee] around 6:30 AM, so depending on SPN's driving speed, it is consistent time wise. Ann was actually at the hotel with her lover, but SPN testified that he phoned the man and asked him to go see her, get her to calm down, and somehow try to convince her that a divorce was not necessary. At the time, the man was a Wisconsin resident, one of Ann's [ice skating] students at Rockford's Riverview Ice House, and later her husband. They wed just before moving away from Rockford [and the state of Illinois].

Before murdering the children, SPN is known to have spent time in the basement, where he informed investigators, his defense team, and later testified that he attempted to commit suicide by cutting off his arm. Unable to gather the strength to overcome his fears, he told authorities, "I saw my father 's image suddenly appear and he began to berate me, call me names such as loser, coward, etc." He further claimed that he "fought" his "father's apparition" for some unknown length of time, "Until," he asserted, "he [his dead father] ascended the stairs [from the basement] with a mallet and hunting knife." He believed this "spirit being" was going to kill his children so SPN insisted that he, "became frantic and tried stopping him, as he screamed and chased him from the basement up to the 2nd floor and attic area," [where all the kids slept in various rooms], "but unfortunately was unable to catch him and powerless to stop him." "It is at that point," SPN said, "I blacked out."

Even if we were to disregard the alleged apparition and ensuing struggle, one would have to believe that SPN was probably making considerable noise in the middle of the night (and on into the early hours of Saturday morning).
Ed in Columbia Maryland


#66 Aug 15, 2012

Also, SPN is 6'-3" tall and he weighed over 300 lbs. at the time of the murders so climbing the narrow steps from the rear, offset basement of the tri-level house (with known, low clearances) would not have been easy (or graceful) if what he testified is true (i.e., "running frantically trying to stop an apparition from harming his children").

Regardless of whether he suffered a 'whiteout' or 'blackout,' SPN could indeed have been shouting [self-loathing taunts at himself or his Dad] aloud, while incidentally making many banging or thumping sounds, mixed with very heavy footsteps as he tore through the house/stairs, not to mention the unimaginably horrible screams and shrieks from the six (06) children who were brutally attacked (presumably in descending order). We also know that two of the boys fought their father, as did the dog! It's so awful and disturbing to even imagine. Keep in mind too, that most of the houses on Camp Avenue, while well-built, are neither very large nor terribly soundproof). I believe it is disingenuous [at best] that someone else in the house heard "nothing," especially when the same person claims to have suddenly awoke "fear struck," and that he "left the house [without first checking on the children]," whom he was charged to baby sit that night, merely because SPN's car was in front. Clouds of mystery shroud many aspects of Mr. Hamm's various claims but Judge Dan Doyle (prosecutor at the time of the case) never regarded him as what we would today call, "a person of interest." When questioned by one researcher/writer, he forgot who Mr. Hamm was entirely. I concur with those who remain suspicious of his role and actions (and/or inactions). Lastly, I also believe that he has convinced himself not only of the veracity of his story, but also of his complete innocence of any "sins of commission or omission," and that he's therefore blameless for what happened to the children that night.

Skipping the horrible details of what happened upstairs (and the curious actions and statements both of and by Mr. Hamm, following his departure from the home), SPN testified, "I woke up just as my father finished murdering the last two boys." Undoubtedly a bloody, sweaty mess (following his allegedly 'unsuccessfully fighting his Dad's Spirit,' as the latter bludgeoned the kids and dog!), SPN said, "I went to the bathroom, washed myself up, changed clothes, got in the car and drove to Ann's hotel." Details of what SPN said to Ann upon his arrival is mentioned elsewhere in this forum. For some reason, though, he forgot to take/wear his glasses on the trip yet he managed to get there safely in a nighttime winter storm. SPN wore thick bifocals due to his being severely nearsighted and farsighted. How he safely navigated from Rockford to Milwaukee remains a real mystery! As an aside, it is also interesting that Mr. Hamm's presence at SPN's house was never brought up by the defense at trial. However, when questioned by authorities in Wisconsin (later in Illinois) as they routinely went over SPN's activities for the last 24 hours prior to being taken into custody, and asked about whom he had watch the kids while running errands [in Rockford], he replied, "Doug [Mr. Hamm], "babysat the kids for a short time Friday night."

So Ralph (and anyone who wondered too), I hope this lengthy 3-part reply helps answer your question/s about who was in the house (and when) during that fateful evening/early morning of Friday, January 6th and Saturday, January 7th, 1978. To those with more specific questions (or information you can share with me too), please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] I've been fighting a severe, chronic pain condition for most of the last 8+ months and only now am I getting to where I can again resume daily Emails, IMs, etc.(after several false starts this year). I look forward to hearing from others.

jane from Rockford

Rockford, IL

#67 Aug 29, 2012
Ed did you hear about his parole hearing being postpone until August which is this month.? I assume he was denied but I never like to assume anything
Ed in Columbia Maryland


#68 Aug 30, 2012
jane from Rockford wrote:
Ed did you hear about his parole hearing being postpone until August which is this month.? I assume he was denied but I never like to assume anything
Hi Jane ~

I think you may be mixed up on the year. In May 2011, Nelson's parole hearing's decision was supposed to be ruled on rather quickly, but it was delayed until August last year. It was my understanding then that he'll not be eligible for another hearing for 3 years, meaning he'll have to wait until sometime in 2014. Perhaps nature will run its course by then, doing society a favor, saving Illinois tax payers the expense, and sparing residents of Rockford (former and current) the agony of re-examining the horrific crime every time he tries getting free.~ Ed L.

Rockford, IL

#69 Sep 1, 2012
Thanks for the info. Ed. Sounds like you will have quite a book when it's finished. Sad to think only hours before the murders he was tellig Jenny he loved her and that everything would be alright.
Do you think Mr. Hamm was awakened when SPN came home and went into the basement? I think after SPN got his advance at 10:30 he drank, became angry & enraged. Could have had an alcolholic blackout and murdered them at 2:30 and left for Milwaukee at 4:30. Were the kids too scared of him to fight back? I don't think Mr. Hamm was there when they were murdered. Is that you opinion?


#70 Sep 20, 2012
this is all bull, dan doyle framed nelson. if you think different, your a brainwashed fool.

La Mesa, CA

#71 Oct 9, 2012
OO7-A wrote:
this is all bull, dan doyle framed nelson. if you think different, your a brainwashed fool.

Who is that and why do u say that??
Ed in Columbia Maryland


#72 Oct 9, 2012
Neighbor wrote:
<quoted text>
Who is that and why do u say that??
Hi Neighbor ~

I just read the comment written by someone overseas on September 20th, and it doesn't warrant a response. If you're asking who 'Dan Doyle' was, he was the lead prosecutor for the case against SPN. To say anyone was "framed" in the murders of the children is laughable at best. However, there is NOTHING funny about what happened that night. Further, how someone gets 'framed' after-the-fact is beyond me. Perhaps he meant "railroaded" or "was used as a scapegoat." The true mysteries or lingering, open questions surrounding the crime, stories told, and/or timeline, are well-known and largely identified in the posts above. The best thing to do in the face of ignorance is to simply "ignore" it - period.~ Ed L.
Jill Johnson

Rockford, IL

#73 Jan 2, 2013
Machesney wrote:
Can anyone tell me where the children were buried? My wife & I would like to put flowers out for the children.
Calvary Cemetary in Rockford- far west side.

Rockford, IL

#75 Jan 13, 2013
Why is this creep still alive. what a monster. Why do all the creepy people come to Rockford?


#76 Mar 1, 2013
one can be "framed" after the fact, that is my understanding of the word, but "railroaded" or "scapegoated" is fine with me

Kerens, WV

#77 Apr 17, 2013
ObamaHater wrote:
I have no problem with the life sentence, but he should have gotten the chair for what he did to the dog. Now that was mean!
you are an I***t

Milton, WI

#78 Oct 31, 2013
My opinion is that 007 is Simon Peter Nelson. How sick is that. I think they must be allowed time on internet in prison.
Ed in Columbia Maryland


#79 Oct 31, 2013
As I recover from yet another cordotomy procedure (the severing of nerve bundles extending from my spinal cord to my lower left quadrant), I have ample time to reply to the latest post from "wtf". First, I apologies to everyone for (01) my inability to continue writing on SPN due to ongoing chronic pain/mobility issues; and (02) my unwillingness to finish the work at this time. Negative psychological impact from studying such disturbing acts is well documented and may occur when writing extensively about a specific case that is as dark, evil, and horrifying as this over a long period of time. I must therefore, take care of myself first and foremost. I hope you all will understand. With respect to the latest post regarding "007's identity," however, I sincerely doubt it's SPN using the Internet! LOL Either the person is:(01) a apologist for SPN and thereby an advocate for/of his innocence, and possibly a proponent of another killer/s or an alternative theory regarding the crimes' commission; (02) a skeptic or contrarian who merely enjoys taking the "opposing side" to provoke others; or (03) they're completely deranged and have irrational thoughts about the crimes and suspect/s. I'll leave it to the reader to decide which possibility seems most likely here.

Based on what I know about procedures governing SPN (who's now 82 years old), being held at the Graham Correctional Facility in Hillsboro, Illinois, he does not have access to the Internet [his Sex-Offender Status and Prison Classification precludes this], although he may receive mail, see visitors, enjoy [non-conjugal] visits from his wife (he married "Jewel Friend", his third wife, in 1983 - see earlier posts above or search online/RRS for the topic and articles), as well as visit the library and access various media such as books, television and selected newspapers, etc. As I've posted previously, it's really best to simply "ignore the ignorant." How can one say the state/prosecutors "framed" SPN after he confessed his guilt to Ann [and the authorities] in both Wisconsin and Illinois (although he added 'blacking-out' along the way). There was absolutely no evidence of coercion nor a forced [false] confession either! In actuality, the trial was a de facto sentencing hearing rather than a legal argument over his guilt (accept for the temporary insanity issues). So again, I am not sure how SPN was "framed." Regardless, it's a moot point anyway as SPN will never get parole (though I have no doubt he'll try to seek release if there's a hearing in 2014), his advanced age (82), and his earliest target release date (calculating good-time on his [revised] 200-year sentence) is in mid-2076.~ Ed L.


#80 Nov 24, 2013
watch the tv show "the americans" and you should be able to understand who was behind those murders.

Loves Park, IL

#81 Feb 27, 2014
TO_Very_Sad wrote:
He has no grandchildren, he has no children at all, so stop lying
I believe he had children from his first wife...the children's mother was his second wife

Rockford, IL

#82 Mar 5, 2014
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard...those children were well loved and well cared for...their mother was and is a dear, dear friend...Jennifer (the oldest) was like a sister to me, and all of the children were smart and happy. Pete warped into some type of evil, self obsessed creature who brutally killed his children with a hunting knife and hammer while an unsuspecting houseguest slept, then drove to where his wife was staying overnight on business and - after bragging about what he'd done, attempted to kill her, too. He is an animal, and I'm sorry he hasn't died yet.
Shame on you for spreading such hateful, ignorant lies. And your mother? I suspect she was/is a sick gossip and liar, just trying to make herself important by trashing the reputation of a wonderful, woman who is the only surviving victim of this man.
I was one of Ann's skating students, and about a year older than Jennifer. Ann was so kind to me, and would call me when I was babysitting other people's kids to see if I was OK, and stayed to help after I'd fallen on my head after a show rehearsal. She was one of the kindest people I've ever known. I won't ask for any information, but when you do hear from her again, could you please tell her that there are people here who really care about her? There isn't a day that's gone by that I haven't wondered how she was. I still have a photo of her and myself on my dresser from 1978. I really looked up to her, and she was so compassionate. I cried for days after the murders, and still remember every January 7th. I've done some blogging about the murders, to deal with my own feelings about what happened, as I wasn't really allowed to discuss it at home- nobody knew how to handle it. But how does a 14 year old deal with such things? I have wondered my whole life since then if Ann has been able to find some happiness somewhere. She is regularly in my prayers.

I can understand getting out of Rockofrd (it's not that great on a good day- but Ann was raked over the coals in the media from what I remember). I left for 17 years, but returned for family reasons. I would love to know how she's doing- not sure if that's possible. My name is Jill- I was a bit stocky- and was being encouraged to pursue ice dance instead of singles. I had mediocre skates back then, and only had two skating dresses (red and navy). I didn't care what discipline of skating I was being encouraged to do as long as I got to skate (would have lived at the rink if I could have snuck my sleeping bag in !). But, back then, funding was by parents, and that wasn't going to work.

It broke my heart to have to stop skating regularly. And I always wanted to tell Ann how much she meant to me, and give her my condolences as an adult- at 14, I was horribly unprepared for how to talk to her after the murders- and I'm sure that until she could get out of Rockford after the trial, the kids at the rink were probably the easiest to be around in some ways because we DIDN'T know what to say. I loved her like a big sister. If you can get her a message, it would be greatly appreciated- it's haunted me for so long, hoping she's doing as well as someone could after such a horrific tragedy. I'm an RN now (disabled). But I always wish I could have gone further in skating. It was a true passion. And she was my role model. There is no way she would have done anything to risk harm to those kids. I still pray for her regularly. My heart breaks when I watch skating on TV. I think about all of the 'what ifs' with Jennifer and Eddie's skating, as well as my own. Please let her know that there are those of use who remember her very fondly.
Ed in Columbia MD


#83 Mar 8, 2014
In case the news has not been disclosed by Rockford area media outlets or out-of-towners have not heard nor read, both Simon Peter "Pete" Nelson and Robert Henry Lower [Joey Didier, 1975] are both up for parole again this year. As was stated in the former's October 2011 denial, his eligibility would next occur in this calendar year. Their parole hearing dates were announced earlier this year. I apologize for the delay in sharing the information on the forum, but none of the appellants have had their review yet. Sadly, the two other convicted murders from the 1970's of what I dubbed in my yet-to-be-completed book, "Winnebago County's Notorious, Fiendish Four" are set to appear before Illinois' Prison Review Board yet this month. Indeed, Curtis Brownell [John Logan, 1970] and Calvin Madison [Louise Betts, 1977] will plead their respective cases for parole this coming Tuesday, March 11th.
Robert H. Lower's 19th such hearing before the Board is set for later this month, on Thursday, March 27th. Pete Nelson is due to appear for his 18th time on Tuesday, June 3rd. As we know, he still claims no memory of his murdering all six of his children, Jenny, Andrew, Matthew, Roseann, David, and Simon in the early hours of Saturday, January 7, 1978. If there are any developments from the hearings, announcements and/or any changes in scheduling, I'll immediately post such information here.
Also, to Jill (OldSk8r), I'll pass along your posts and send the link to your Blog to Ann's currrent legal representative.

Willards, MD

#84 May 12, 2014
I have never written anything to anyone on the internet before, but I was moved by Jill's comments about Ann. She was my skating coach as well. I lived on Harlem Blvd., then moved out east when I was in 5th grade, still having private lessons with Ann. The day after the tragedy, my parents kept me home from school and unplugged the TV and radio in our house. I did not even know her children were killed until several days later. I was crushed. I knew Jenny and at that age, I couldn't fathom the entire event.

After the trial, I was driven (with my parents knowledge) to the home of an FBI agent to see Ann for the last time. Like Jill said, she was my mentor. I absolutely adored her. I am glad I was young when I said goodbye because it was very natural -- I didn't have the ability, at that age, to process what had happened. And I'll never forget "knowing" that I wouldn't see her again, but also "knowing" this had to happen for her.

I contacted a friend at the FBI... not to intrude on her but simply to see if she is alive and happy -- but I realize even that was selfish on my part. I think those of us who knew Ann or the family still grapple in some way with it happening when we were too young to process and, at the same time, still missing Ann and the children.

Still have tears to this day.... Karrie
First World Hungry

Rockford, IL

#85 May 28, 2014
Bastard should have been killed before trial.

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