Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


no '.'s required for this obit
December 29, 2008 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Ellie Nesler, "Vigilante Mom", dead at 56. From her arrest in April 1993 to her conviction on manslaughter charges six months later, Nesler's image morphed from avenger and victim to talk-show trophy and movie-of-the-week heroine, and finally to meth-head and motorcycle mama. The movie-of-the-week earned bad reviews. Her long, strange story is over, but the son she declared she was protecting grew up to commit murder himself. In prison for 25-to-life, he has a myspace page.
posted by wendell (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't do posts like this, but this story was compelling for reasons I don't understand myself, and the more I went searching for background, the stranger everything got.
posted by wendell at 2:32 PM on December 29, 2008


I don't do posts like this, but this story was compelling for reasons I don't understand myself,

Well, those people who fill our prisons don't spring fully formed as monsters, and this is a particularly vivid illustration of what makes them, and to be fair what happens when people find themselves in unthinkable situations.
posted by jonmc at 2:38 PM on December 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


From the son's MySpace page:

I have a big heart and would sacrifice anything for those who are close to me. I don't like people messing with me or my family. I had a crazy childhood and now a crazy adult hood. When I was 12 I got on probation for running away from home (because my mom got locked down)....While on probation I carried a SMALL knife around nothing illegal but got busted with it and they charged it as a weapon....so I got sent to boot camp for a year at the age of 13! More crap was to follow....Now I am up here in HDSP for 28-life....but we're appealing right now. I got a first degree murder charge that is Crap! Since I was 12 the justice system railroaded me all because of my last name.

He tore a disabled guy probably half his size out of bed and then stomped him to death because he suspected him of stealing tools....but nothing is his fault. Nice.
posted by availablelight at 3:18 PM on December 29, 2008


Oh, it's his own fault he's in jail, availablelight, but he didn't turn into that type of person for no reason.
posted by jonmc at 3:21 PM on December 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


posted by jonmc he didn't turn into that type of person for no reason.

Well, he explains the reason. It was all because of his last name.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:34 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus

I just don't have the heart to read this.

I wish, I truly wish there could be, in the same way we can set aside a day for Moms, and a week for pickles, this world could just have one day without sadness. No rocket attacks, no murders, no infants found in dumpsters, no million people just lost their houses they were 10 payments away from owning. Maybe I just need to throw away the paper and get off the blue for a while but I swear I can't stand it anymore.
posted by timsteil at 3:49 PM on December 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


So, Daniel Driver alleged molester innocent or guilty?
Was it time for a vat of acid for his junk?
posted by pianomover at 3:49 PM on December 29, 2008


Oh, it's his own fault he's in jail, availablelight, but he didn't turn into that type of person for no reason.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on December 29


That's correct, and it's also correct that I can still feel revulsion at the fact that he lacks empathy for his victim or a sense of responsibility towards his own actions.

The man who molested him (for which he received death sentence) undoubtedly wasn't sprung from whole cloth as a monster either....I'm sure he had his own "reasons" as well. At this stage in the game, most people acknowledge that "hurt people, hurt people".
posted by availablelight at 4:07 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe I just need to throw away the paper and get off the blue for a while but I swear I can't stand it anymore.

There are good things happening out there. You just need to know where to look, that's all =).
posted by shoebox at 4:18 PM on December 29, 2008


Dude deserves to rot in prison, if only for those horribly wrong pictures on his MySpace profile.
posted by dhammond at 4:42 PM on December 29, 2008


And speaking of the cycle of abuse: for those who didn't read the second link closely, Ellie Nestor was herself molested as a child as well.
posted by availablelight at 4:43 PM on December 29, 2008


['Nestor' should have read 'Nesler']
posted by availablelight at 4:44 PM on December 29, 2008


He's single and would like to meet any ladies who want a pen pal and to send some nice/sexy pictures of themselves.
posted by The Straightener at 6:02 PM on December 29, 2008


Yeah, I remember this case, as it happened maybe a hundred miles or so away from where I lived. There was this huge outpouring of approval for the courtroom shooting. People crawled all over themselves to congratulate Ellie and her "nice shootin'". Then...it was revealed that she used methamphetamine. In a twinkling all the approval was gone, replaced by stern disapproval. The linked story is inaccurate in that Ellie didn't "morph" into a "meth head", she had been using during the time of the shooting too. But whatever, mythology will triumph in the end anyway.
posted by telstar at 6:05 PM on December 29, 2008


Great story, but holy fuck is that second link a perfect example of turgid, supercilious academic prose: "Even at this post-modern moment, journalists flatter themselves that the similarities among their tellings betoken their objectivity." Spare me.
posted by googly at 6:24 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


How long before this post-modern moment gives way to a post-post-modern one, or will modern start all over again? Also, "betoken" .......... really hating that word.
posted by longsleeves at 6:52 PM on December 29, 2008


In a twinkling all the approval was gone, replaced by stern disapproval.

I wonder if this her meth use didn't prompt the action in some way? ie, if I'd been a better mother -- more attentive, less likely to dump him on others so I could get high, etc. -- then this molestation would never have happened. Therefore I owe it to my kid to get some sort of payback.

OTOH, she may also have been anxious about her kid taking the stand, hearing what he'd give up under cross examination, etc. etc.

Sad story all around though. This type of intergenerational dysfunctionality seems to be growing increasingly common where I live. Breaking the cycle seems so much harder as kids brought up in that environment rarely lack a vision of any kind of achievable better life.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:06 AM on December 30, 2008


What a sad story all the way around. Tragedy on top of tragedy. For some reason this reminds me of the Stayner family (one son abducted and molested for years the other a serial killer).
posted by MikeMc at 8:12 AM on December 30, 2008


Weird... I go to his Myspace page and find out that ol' Bad Boy is in my Extended Network. *shudder*
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:03 AM on December 30, 2008


“A dead man is a dead man,” Nesler said in a deep voice. “That’s all I really have to say about him.”

Is this guy Forrest Gump's evil twin?
posted by a3matrix at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2008


From the article (citing a folklorist):
A key difference between outlaw hero traditions old and new is that the oral tradition comprised a folklore of protest, while "mediatized" versions tend to use the subversive elements to challenge, but ultimately affirm, even strengthen, the status quo. As much as the media get caught up in "glamorizing the sensationally violent aspects of the outlaw's career," writes Seal, they are careful, in the end, "to present the proper moralizing sentiments about his receiving his just desserts for defying the law"
That's not bad. The writing in the article has some really bad moments perhaps because the author didn't know what hat to wear: he was a folklore student, then a reporter, and a friend of the Nesler family from before the Driver shooting.
posted by CCBC at 2:53 PM on December 30, 2008


I wonder if this her meth use didn't prompt the action in some way?

Right. Exactly. Shooting defendant in head in court: yay! Shooting defendant in head in court having used methamphetamine: booo!
posted by telstar at 6:42 PM on December 30, 2008


« Older TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you fe...  |  The Wired Vaporware Awards, an... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments