CRIME: Death of a Neighbor

Bill and Laurie Nelson were among the quietest couples on Bethany Home Road, a well-tailored neighborhood just outside the city limits of Phoenix. Ariz. They owned their home, a rambling ranch house trimmed with apple-green cement blocks; they were surrounded by tasteful but not lavish trappings—Louis XIV-style furniture, a collection of miniature ivory elephants, a lantana-and-plumbago hedge planted and tended by Bill Nelson himself.

Around Phoenix, 55-year-old Bill Nelson described himself as a retired business man, indicating that hie had been a cattle broker. Every morning he would drive downtown in his 1953 Ford pickup truck to look over the...

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