How Is It This MT Serial Killer Was Never Charged With A Crime?
Did you know we had a suspected serial killer right here in Montana that was never formally charged with any crimes? This is quite the story.
Who Was The Suspected Serial Killer?
Wayne Nance, also known as the Missoula Mauler. After doing research, I'm pretty sure the "mauler" part of the nickname was just because it went with Missoula so nicely. It doesn't look like he necessarily mauled his victims.
Who Did The Missoula Mauler Kill?
- Donna Lorraine Pounds, April 1974. It's believed Nance raped Pounds in her home in West Riverside, Montana. She was found shot to death in the basement tied to a chair. There are other details, but it's pretty brutal. Nance was seen at the residence, but there was insufficient evidence to charge him with the crime. Later, after the death of Nance, they found evidence in his home tying him to the crime.
- Devonna Nelson, February 1980. Nance was in Seattle at the time she went missing, but they could never really tie him to the crime. Her body was found close to Interstate 90 in Missoula. Due to the condition of the body, her remains weren't identified until 1985. She died of gunshot wounds to the head.
- Marcella Cheri Bachmann, December 1984. A runaway from Vancouver Washington, her remains were found in a shallow grave by a wildlife photographer a couple of miles from Nance's home. Cause of death was gunshots to the head. Police believe Nance took her in, and when later questioned about her whereabouts, he'd say she left in September 1984. After Nance's death, police found photo booth pictures of the two in Nance's home and a strand of her hair in his pickup.
- Janet Lee Lucas, Found In September 1985. Police believe Lucas was killed between 1983 and 1985. She was found a couple of miles from Bachmann in Missoula with gunshot wounds to the head. Nance was never definitively linked to her death, but he is the only suspect.
- Michael Robert Shook and Teresa Lynn Shook, December 1985. Nance is believed to have walked into their home with a gun announcing himself as Conan The Barbarian. He locked their 4 children in a bedroom. There was an altercation and Mr. Shook was hit in the head then stabbed. He took Mrs. Shook upstairs to the bedroom, tied her to the bed, raped her then stabbed her to death. Police believe Nance returned to the home, stole some items then tried to burn the house down.
- The attempted murder of Douglas Wells and Kristen Wells, September 1986. Mr. Wells and Nance talked outside about Nance claiming there was an intruder in the bushes and asked to borrow a flashlight. He proceeded to hit Wells in the head, then tied both of the Wells' up in the basement. Nance stabbed Mr. Wells and left him for dead forcing his wife upstairs to rape her. Mr. Wells escaped and was able to load one bullet into a gun he was fixing. He went upstairs to stop the assault on his wife. There was another altercation that ended with Nance being shot and incapacitated. Nance died the next day.
Police were able to tie Nance to a number of murders after his death when they searched his property.
It's crazy to me he was able to commit so many murders in Missoula. However, we have to keep in mind, the forensics available then, like DNA coding, were still in their infant stages.