Despite the quick conviction in the trial regarding his murder charges in Knox County, IL this trial has had a long bumpy road since Sheley was arrested outside of a bar in Granite City after he fled Northwestern Illinois.
This case began in the summer of 2008 with the disappearance of a 93 year old man from Whiteside County who was reported missing and was discovered murdered in the trunk of his own car. Following his death Sheley was the key suspect in the murders of a 29, 25, 20 and 2 year old in Rock Falls, IL four days later. At this point in time Sheley was no where to be found and law enforcement was leading searches in the Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon areas in Northwestern Illinois. It became apparent that Sheley had fled the area aware that law enforcement was searching for him. The same day that the four murders in Rock Falls had occurred three more bodies had been discovered, a 65 year old man in Galesburg, IL and a 54 year old couple in Festus, MO. It was determined that the majority of the deaths were caused by blunt force trauma and great bodily harm.
Sheley has plead not guilty to all counts charged against him and has continued his reign of terror in prison. He has racked up several more charges although not as severe during his state in the corrections system. This event scarred the small communities in which it affected even to this day. Sheley was listed on America’s Most Wanted during his spree of killings and the State Police of Illinois had even offered a $25,000 reward for the arrest of Sheley. At one point in this process Sheley had even asked to defend himself, which the request was obviously denied. He is in no way in the right mind to represent himself in murder trials.
Sheley did not get complete all of these crimes on his own however. He had the help of his wife who is now in prison on other charges irrelevant of the murder case and the help of his brother who is also incarcerated. Nick Sheley’s criminal record is a mile long and will only continue to grow as he faces the trials for seven more murders. This is a case in which the death penalty was originally to be sought, however now that Illinois no longer has the death penalty that will not be an option for Sheley in 5 of the 7 murder trials but is an option in the trial regarding the couple murdered in Missouri. Sheley is the perfect definition of a killer. He took eight innocent lives and has damaged a community and several families with his behavior, not to mention his own family.
The justice system has done their job so far in convicting a guilty man and I hope the speed with which this process is going can be upheld in order to relieve the suffering of the families. This man is one who deserves to spend his life in prison for what he has done. Also I wish Illinois had the death penalty still so Sheley would get what he deserves.