Saturday, March 3, 2012

Verdict In Sheley Trial

In 2008, Nicholas Sheley was the target of a Midwest man hunt as a suspect of eight murders committed in three separate counties. As of Monday September 19th he has been found guilty in the first of many murder trials. The jury needed less than an hour to deliberate and the vote was unanimous.
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.   


  1. I remember hearing about this while I was attending junior college in the Quad Cities. People in the area were in a panic about Sheley.

    I disagree with you when you say that the justice system has done their job so far. If the statements in your article are facts, then I feel like the best case scenario for the justice system would be to extradite Sheley to Missouri to face the double murder charge. If convicted, the state of Missouri would sentence Sheley to the death penalty and the charges in Illinois could then be dropped. This would save the state of Illinois thousands of tax dollars for a trial that could, at worst, allow this monster to live behind bars.

  2. I think sheely should be extradited to Missouri as well in order to receive the death penalty. This man is a cold hard killer who will continue to reek havoc in prison. Also totally agree with cjwhelc about how it would save Illinois thousands of tax dollars. I say he doesn't deserve life in prison, this mass murderer deserves death for the wrongs that he has done to society.

  3. Funny that this is posted seeing that I am from Sterling Rock Falls. It was definitely a frightening time for everyone in our town. You hear of situations like this in other cities and never think it'd happen in your very own. I remember our towns were like ghost towns for so long. No one was out and about, stores were closed and everyone stayed in a panic! It was definitely very relieving when they finally caught him.I agree that Sheley's charges should be taken to Missouri to face the double murder charges.

  4. I would have to agree with you that I wish Illinois still had the death penalty. Although nothing can stop the pain the victims families must be feeling and it would not necessarily restore these communities, I think it would bring a little closure knowing he got what he deserves. The fact that he enacted this with his wife and brother is just sickening... some family pass time. I hope he does continue to get convicted and sentenced for the other murders because I would not feel comfortable knowing he was back on the streets.

  5. I actually don’t know why i hadn't heard of this case before. This is actually interesting because we talked about this in another class, how a person can commit the same crime and receive different sentences or still get the death penalty. I am actually glad that Illinois doesn’t have the penalty. I know most people think he should be put to death, but i think it is so much more painful and dreadful for a person to know that they will never see outside as a free person again and that as long as they live, they will have nothing outside those four walls to look forward to. Most people in jail make it because they have something outside or something to look forward to. What were the reasons he committed this murders anyways???

  6. I also never heard of this case. He is clearly a serial killer with a psychopathic mind. It amazes me how people like him slip through the cracks and are able to allude lengthy prison sentences until it is too late. More than likely he will have to face his charges here in Illinois and then have to travel to Missouri. I'm sure the prosecutors in both states have been communicating with each other to discuss how they want to handle the case. I wonder if his wife will face any murder charges along with this man. His victims range in sex and age, the race was not mentioned. I wonder what was his motive in all of this. Was this just a killing spree or did he specifically target these people?

  7. This is shocking for me to hear because I have family in Rock Falls and one of my relatives retired as a State Trooper not too long ago. I agree with all of the above comments. Its one of times where we wished we never abolished the death penalty. I hope Missouri gets him and results in Sheely receiving the death penalty. He obviously is messed up in the head and deserves the worst for taking all these innocent people's lives.