Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato will travel to Springfield Thursday, Aug. 28, to fight to keep one of Rockford’s most notorious killers in prison.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board will hold the en banc hearing for Simon Peter Nelson. Nelson was convicted of killing his six children and the family dog with a knife and rubber mallet back in 1978. He claimed he snapped after he got off the phone with his wife, who apparently told him she wanted a divorce. After killing his children who ranged in age from 12 to 3, Nelson drove to Milwaukee where he was captured by police. Nelson was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 100 to 200 years in prison and first became eligible for parole in 1986.
State’s Attorney Bruscato has fought Nelson’s release since he was elected to the office in 2008. In June, Bruscato traveled to Dixon to testify in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to protest Nelson’s release. The state’s attorney’s office even collected signatures from supporters who agree that Nelson remains a threat to the community and that he needs to stay in prison.