Simon Peter Nelson - 1978 Murders - Up for Parole (again)

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PBMO

Fort Wayne, IN

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#22
May 31, 2009
 
I am a former resident of Rockford Ill and I remember the tragedy that occurred on camp avenue. I was very young at the time. only eight years old but, one of my older brothers knew the older children and were good friends. I believe Simon should, nor will ever be allowed to leave prison except in a box. He is a killer and he deserves what the lord has in order for him. The house is still for sale and I believe it should be demolished and a memorial be set on the land in honor of the children. GOD BLESS THEM!
Still Grieving

Johnson Creek, WI

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#23
Jun 14, 2009
 

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Hello 'Very Sad',

It is too bad that it takes a tragedy like this to bring people together, but I am very glad to see you here. My family does not have contact information for your branch of the family and I would love to get in touch with you.(I am first cousin to the children ~ Pete is my uncle.) I am so sorry that you never had the opportunity to meet your aunts and uncles. I feel very fortunate that I was able to get to know them--if briefly--during my childhood.

I hope you and your family are doing well and hope to see you here again.
Very sad wrote:
I am Pete Nelsons grandson and I have never even met my grandfather nor do I ever want to.I have read all the articles about what he did to my aunts and uncles and have personally seen how it has impacted his other children that are still living,including my mother.It has left a wound that can never be healed by anything he says or tries to do.I never even got to know my aunts and uncles because of his brutal selfish act that snuffed out thier lives.But I do believe that they are in heaven,enjoying eternal life with Christ our Lord!!Peter Nelson,my grandfather,should never be allowed to see freedom.he should feel lucky hes still alive and didnt fry for what he did to my family...May god have mercy on his soul...
Machesney

Roscoe, IL

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#24
Aug 13, 2009
 
Can anyone tell me where the children were buried? My wife & I would like to put flowers out for the children.
becky

Jenkintown, PA

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#25
Aug 13, 2009
 
Calvary Catholic Cemetary on US 20 between Rockord and Freeport.
TO_Very_Sad

Franklin Park, IL

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#26
Aug 16, 2009
 

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He has no grandchildren, he has no children at all, so stop lying
FreeHim

Franklin Park, IL

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#27
Aug 16, 2009
 
I will be in the minority but I believe he is remorseful and at 80 years old it is clear that Simon Peter Nelson cannot hurt anyone else.

Set him free!
ObamaHater

Franklin Park, IL

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#28
Aug 16, 2009
 

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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!
becky

Jenkintown, PA

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#29
Aug 16, 2009
 

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He had children from a previous marriage (before his marriage to Ann) so he quite possibly (and evidently) does have grandchildren.

Since: Jun 09

Johnson Creek, WI

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#30
Aug 16, 2009
 

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I am echoing what Becky posted: Yes, he does have children from his previous marriage. It is very upsetting to see the other poster (To_Very_Sad) making an incorrect assumption and accusing a family member of fabricating his place in the family. Very sad. People should get their facts straight before they start posting false and hurtful information.
Will

United States

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#31
Sep 2, 2009
 

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I will never forget that day, and will never forget those children. These pictures say it all
http://www.rrstar.com/multimedia/x1867419755/...
forever sadden

Rockford, IL

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#33
Apr 23, 2010
 

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I was 11 yrs old when this happened, I too remember being so afraid. I rmember the newspaper showing where the kids was all sleeping even the dog.It has stayed with me As soon as I got a computor, one the first things I did was looked up SPN to see is he still in jail ect, I do feel he should never get out. If he is truly remorseful good, for he has asked God for forgivness great,God will forgive him, but that doesnt mean his sentence that was giving to him will be forgiven. His freedom hopefully will be in heaven. But till then I feel he should have to serve the rest of his life in prison.He and only he but himself their.
Tina

Canada

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#34
Sep 22, 2010
 
I was 12 or 13 years old when the murders happened. I was scared to death it made you mistrusting of people because you never think the people that supposed love you the most would ever take your life. He should never get out he should wake up everyday knowing the place he is in is because of what he did and I hope he sees the faces of his children in his dreams....
Keri

Rockford, IL

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#35
Dec 28, 2010
 
My grandmothers grave is infront of all the kids everytime I go there I see the kids,why isn't this basterd on death row?
Sandy

Lombard, IL

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#36
Dec 28, 2010
 

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Keri wrote:
My grandmothers grave is infront of all the kids everytime I go there I see the kids,why isn't this basterd on death row?
Oh boo hoo. Its time you got over it and got on with your life.
Ed in Columbia Maryland

Columbia, MD

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#37
Feb 10, 2011
 

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Keri wrote:
My grandmothers grave is infront of all the kids everytime I go there I see the kids,why isn't this basterd on death row?
I was 14 1/2 and lived on the 1800 block of Camp Avenue at the time of murders and my younger brother was a 7th Grade classmate of Jenny's at St. Peter's, and I was a freshman at Boylan. While taking down exterior Christmas decor, I heard the sirens down the street. I dropped what I was doing and went in the house to turn on WROK in my Dad's workshop. Upon hearing the horrible news about the "Nelsons," I ran to alert him. He ran the 3+ blocks to join the crowd outside and was confronted with the grim sight of police, ambulances, Fathers Wenlink and Doherty, and eventually the gurneys being brought out. He was quite fond of Jenny and he was profoundly impacted by the tragedy. Like so many who knew her, it took many years for him to be able to even speak about his grief. He and his wife named later named their only daughter after Jennifer. My purpose in writing today is to provide a bit of insight from what I know about the jury's verdict as an answer your question. I'm a Political Psychologist and I've done a considerable amount of research on the case and how it pertains to a book I'm writing which is nearly completed and about to be sent to a publisher.
To begin with, it's important to recall that Simon Peter Nelson (SPN) pled, following the advise of counsel, "not guilty by reason of insanity," which is very, very challenging and it rarely succeeds for a variety of reasons. The initial vote in the jury room was 10 to 2, for guilty, with two Rockfordian women, who believed initially that he was insane, holding out. After the jurors meticulously went through the evidence, one by one, the two eventually crossed over. I'm sure it was an arduous and tiring process, not to mention gruesome.
Deliberations on the penalty came later, in addition to whether he was actually "insane at the time of the crime," and were not easy from what I've learned through interviews too. Rockford has always been a community steeped in faith, and the jurors were typical residents. From what I understand, ultimately the jury could not agree to put him to death either, so they did what they believed was the next best thing - to put him away for the rest of his natural life without the possibility of parole. I was told on good authority that the foreman was actually for the death penalty, but given the level of difficulty he foresaw in gaining complete agreement, especially following the preceding deliberations on guilt, he apparently reasoned that life in prison while having to remember and live with what he did to his own children would be a nightmare or "hell on earth." In my opinion, Nelson's continued efforts to gain parole show this to likely be the case. It was also explained to me that the jurors really didn't wish to be responsible for making a decision to take a man's life (especially if he might truly be insane or of a diminished capacity) so they elected to give him the next possible sentence, short of death. Society would be safe and done with him, so-to-speak.
Unfortunately, SPN's frequent parole hearings were neither intended, nor anticipated by the jury (or the legal system) when it pronounced sentence in the courtroom. Nelson is a C-Class Prisoner in Illinois, which are inmates who were sentenced in (or before) 1978. So, despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to be allowed parole ever, with the change in state law, SPN has been allowed the right to parole hearings every few years. I hope this helps answer your question. There is a great deal of information about C-Class Prisoners (and issues) online. One source is: http://www.mikemayborne.com/C-Class_Inmate_Is...
If anyone has additional information that might be helpful as I wrap up my book efforts, please feel free to contact me. I welcome any and all insight or information. Thanks!
Ed in Columbia Maryland

Columbia, MD

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#38
Feb 10, 2011
 
I was 14 1/2 and lived on the 1800 block of Camp Avenue at the time of murders and my younger brother was a 7th Grade classmate of Jenny's at St. Peter's, and I was a freshman at Boylan. While taking down exterior Christmas decor, I heard the sirens down the street. I dropped what I was doing and went in the house to turn on WROK in my Dad's workshop. Upon hearing the horrible news about the "Nelsons," I ran to alert him. He ran the 3+ blocks to join the crowd outside and was confronted with the grim sight of police, ambulances, Fathers Wenlink and Doherty, and eventually the gurneys being brought out. He was quite fond of Jenny and he was profoundly impacted by the tragedy. Like so many who knew her, it took many years for him to be able to even speak about his grief. He and his wife named later named their only daughter after Jennifer. One writer above was absolutely right saying that as long as we all remember how precious and loving the kids were, they live on, and Simon Peter Nelson (SPN) will die in prison. My purpose in writing today is to provide a bit of insight from what I know about the jury's verdict as an answer your question about "why no death penalty?". I'm a Political Psychologist and I've done a considerable amount of research on the case and how it pertains to a book I'm writing which is nearly completed and about to be sent to a publisher.

To begin with, it's important to recall that SPN pled, following the advise of counsel, "not guilty by reason of insanity," which is very, very challenging and it rarely succeeds for a variety of reasons. The initial vote in the jury room was 10 to 2, for guilty, with two Rockfordian women, who believed initially that he was insane, holding out. After the jurors meticulously went through the evidence, one by one, the two eventually crossed over. I'm sure it was an arduous and tiring process, not to mention gruesome.

Deliberations on the penalty came later, in addition to whether he was actually "insane at the time of the crime," and were not easy from what I've learned through interviews too. Rockford has always been a community steeped in faith, and the jurors were typical residents. From what I understand, ultimately the jury could not agree to put him to death either, so they did what they believed was the next best thing - to put him away for the rest of his natural life without the possibility of parole. I was told on good authority that the foreman was actually for the death penalty, but given the level of difficulty he foresaw in gaining complete agreement, especially following the preceding deliberations on guilt, he apparently reasoned that life in prison while having to remember and live with what he did to his own children would be a nightmare or "hell on earth." In my opinion, Nelson's continued efforts to gain parole show this to likely be the case. It was also explained to me that the jurors really didn't wish to be responsible for making a decision to take a man's life (especially if he might truly be insane or of a diminished capacity) so they elected to give him the next possible sentence, short of death. Society would be safe and done with him, so-to-speak.

Unfortunately, SPN's frequent parole hearings were neither intended, nor anticipated by the jury (or the legal system) when it pronounced sentence in the courtroom. Nelson is a C-Class Prisoner in Illinois, which are inmates who were sentenced in (or before) 1978. So, despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to be allowed parole ever, with the change in state law, SPN has been allowed the right to parole hearings every few years. I hope this helps answer your question. There is a great deal of information about C-Class Prisoners (and issues) online. One source is: http://www.mikemayborne.com/C-Class_Inmate_Is...

If anyone has additional information that might be helpful as I wrap up my book efforts, please feel free to contact me. I welcome any and all insight or information. Thanks!
Tony

Lebanon, OR

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#39
May 5, 2011
 
Ed,
If you can send me your email address I would be willing to discuss SPN before he married Ann and moved to Rockford; I am Tony Nelson his eldest from his first marriage to Catherine. What resulted in the ultimate form of child abuse with the tragedy in Rockford, began in our home in Indianapolis.
tgnelson07@comcast.net
JWS

Rockford, IL

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#40
Jun 11, 2011
 
TO_Very_Sad wrote:
He has no grandchildren, he has no children at all, so stop lying
Peter had a son and a daughter by a previous marriage so it IS possible that he has grandchildren that he will never know.

Since: Jun 11

Rockford, IL

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#41
Jun 11, 2011
 
Ed in Columbia -- your link does not work. Sorry.

Since: Jun 11

Rockford, IL

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#42
Jun 11, 2011
 
For Ed in Columbia, MD -- your link doesn't work. And the police chaplain's name was Father Wentnik.

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