People who’ve lived in Rockford for many years will often say the most horrific crime that’s ever happened here was the brutal murder of the six Nelson children — Jenny, 12; Simon Peter III, 10; Andrew, 8; Matthew, 7; Roseann, 6; and David, 3. Their father, Simon Peter Nelson, killed them with a knife and rubber mallet the morning of Jan. 7, 1978.
RRSTAR.COM FILE PHOTO
Simon Peter Nelson is pictured with his children and wife Ann in a family portrait taken shortly before the murders. Nelson killed his six children — Jenny, 12; Simon Peter III, 10; Andrew, 8; Matthew, 7; Roseann, 6; and David, 3 — with a knife and rubber mallet in January 1978 before driving from his family‘s home in Rockford to Milwaukee to beat his wife, who was seeking a divorce.
Nelson long has claimed that he “snapped” on the day of the murders, when his wife announced her intention to divorce him, and alleges that he can’t recall the killings because of amnesia. Nelson is up for parole in June. No member of the Prisoner Review Board has ever voted to release Nelson. You can sign a petition against or in support of Nelson’s parole here. You’ll also find a photo gallery and past stories
We first posted the petition online at 1:44 p.m. Since then, 226 of you have filed petitions to keep Nelson in prison. Our special report on the upcoming parole has garnered more than 6,300 page views so far.
We’re also collecting petitions on behalf of Michael Mayborne. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy was killed by Theodore Bacino in 1974.
Already this year, Robert Henry Lower and Curtis Brownell were both denied parole for killing in the 1970s 15-year-old newspaper carrier Joey Didier and 17-year-old Louise Betts, respectively.