by Robert A. Waters
The federal government has a poor record of carrying out executions. Only three men have been put to death since 1988: Timothy McVeigh, terrorist mass murderer; Juan Raul Garza, mass killer; and Louis Jones, rapist, kidnapper, and killer.
Hell impatiently awaits another 59, including Keith Duane Nelson.
The U. S. Court of Appeals published a summary of his crimes: “On October 12, 1999… ten-year-old Pamela Butler was rollerblading in the street near her residence in the same area. Nelson parked his vehicle at the side of the street and lay in wait. As Pamela skated near the slightly ajar door of the truck, Nelson quickly jumped out of the truck, grabbed her around the waist, and threw her into the truck. Pamela’s sister, Penny, observed the kidnapping and saw her sister struggling with Nelson in the cab of the truck. Several witnesses also observed the kidnapping, one of whom gave chase in his own vehicle. Although Nelson eluded him, the witness was able to write down the license plate number of the truck—Missouri plate number 177-CE2. Several other eyewitnesses verified the truck license plate number.
“Later that evening, the custodian of the Grain Valley Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, and his wife saw a suspicious white truck with Missouri license plate number 177-CE2 parked in the church lot. The custodian’s wife wrote down the plate number and noticed an afghan in the front seat of the truck. They contacted the police after seeing the kidnapping story on the ten o’clock news and informed them of the location of the truck. When the police arrived at the church, the truck was gone.
“The truck was found abandoned the next day in Kansas City, Missouri. A police dog that had been provided with some of Pamela’s clothing was dispatched to Nelson’s mother’s house and alerted to an afghan found inside the residence. That same day a large manhunt for Nelson commenced. On October 14, a civilian employee of a police department spotted Nelson hiding under a bridge. After he was spotted, Nelson went into the river and attempted to get away. When he made it back to shore, he was surrounded by railroad workers who detained him until the authorities arrived. After the authorities arrived, an onlooker shouted, “Where is the little girl?” Nelson turned to an officer and stated, “I know where she’s at, but I’m not saying right now.” His capture was broadcast live on television. The next day the police found Butler’s body in a wooded area behind the Grain Valley Christian Church. That discovery was broadcast on local television, and the United States Attorney held a live press conference from the discovery site. Subsequent investigation revealed that Pamela had been raped and then strangled to death with wire. The DNA in seminal fluid obtained from Pamela’s underpants matched Nelson’s DNA.”
A few days before snatching Pamela, Nelson had attempted to abduct Michanne Mattson, 20. The pretty medical student fought for her life, refusing to enter his truck even though she had been handcuffed. After hand-to-hand combat that seemed to go on forever, Mattson escaped.
Nelson, a career criminal who had recently been released from prison, was tried in federal court because of the Lindbergh Law—the kidnapping took place in Kansas but the murder was committed in Missouri.
KMBC.com reported that Nelson’s execution has been delayed because the government claims it has a “lack of funds to pay for the [appeals] of poor people charged with federal crimes.”
(Imagine that—the U.S. government can spend $175,000 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior,” but they summarily delay executions because, as KMBC.com reports, “federally funded lawyers don’t have the money to pay for travel and witness fees.”)
Pamela’s mother, Cherri West, figures it’s time for the Feds to quit playing around and execute this monster. “This has gone on long enough,” she said.