Wayne Nathan Nance


Wayne Nathan Nance

the guy to the right
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: 1974 - 1986
Date of birth: 1955
Victims profile: Females age 15-39
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing with knife
Location: Montana, USA
Status: Fatally shot during home invasion on September 4, 1986

Wayne Nance is one of the few unlucky serial killers to be murdered by his final intended victims. Unfortunately, it would be too late for at least three people that saw their lives snuffed out by the homocidal Montana man.

The beginning of the end for Nance occurred when he invaded the home of co-worker Kris Welles and her husband Doug in Missoulla. Nance had quietly become obsessed with Kris and obviously intended to make her pay for some unknown snub towards him by killing her and her husband on September 4, 1986.

The obsessed slayer clubbed and stabbed Doug, leaving him for dead in the basement of the couple's home, and then forced Kris upstairs to the bedroom with the intent of raping her and most certainly killings her as well. Despite Doug's injuries, however, he managed to grab a rifle loaded with a single shot and confront Nance in an upstairs hallway where the two men exchanged shots, both being hit. Still Doug kept coming and with help from Kris, clubbed their attacker into submission and shot him dead with Nance's own pistol. Doug Welles recovered from his injuries.

It soon became evident to authorities that this was not an isolated incident from Nance. In 1974, when Nance was just eighteen, Donna Pounds was murdered in a fashion eerily similar to elements of the Welles' attack. Nance was a close friend of Pounds' son.

A search of Nance's home showed that he was in possession of property stolen form the home of Michael and Theresa Hook, victims of a 1985 double-murder that also bore similarities to the Welles. crime. In addition, hairs from the search matched those of a Jane Doe found dead in 1984. Around that time a woman, unnamed still but believed to be the Jane Doe, disappeared after staying for a short time with Nance.

Nance is also believed to possibly be the killer of a Seattle runaway found dead near Missoulla in 1980 and the attacker of a five-year-old girl in 1974. The youngster had been sexually molested and stabbed by managed to survive.

Serial-Killers A-Z

Nance, Wayne

An independent truck driver from Missoula, Montana, Wayne Nance had been known as a "weirdo" since his teens, when he boasted of worshipping Satan and once used a hot coathanger to brand himself with Satanic symbols.

By age thirty, Nance appeared to have worked through most of his adolescent problems, impressing his employers and acquaintances as something of an "average guy."

On the night of September 4, 1986, Nance turned at the Missoula home of a female store manager, for whom he sometimes delivered furniture. Meeting her husband outside, Nance clubbed him with a piece of wood, invading the house and drawing a pistol as he forced the woman upstairs, tying her to a bed. Doubling back, Nance dragged her husband into the basement and was binding him to a post when the man regained consciousness. Drawing a knife, Nance plunged it into the victim's chest and left him for dead. While Nance went back upstairs to rape his female victim, the wounded husband freed himself and found a rifle he kept in the basement. Nance met him on the stairs, gun in hand, and both men were wounded in the exchange of shots. Attacking despite his injuries, the husband broke his rifle stock on Nance's skull, then seized the pistol and dispatched Nance with a bullet to the brain. The would-be killer's bind-and-slash technique reminded local officers of an unsolved case dating from 1974.

Housewife Donna Pounds had been raped and murdered in her Missoula home by persons unknown, twelve years before the bungled crime that left Nance dead. Their suspect, then eighteen, had been a friend of Pounds's son, but officers had not suspected Nance of personal involvement in the case. A search of Nance's home turned up a hunting knife and small ceramic statuette stolen from the home of Michael and Theresa Shook, in nearby Hamilton, Montana, after they were murdered in December 1985.

Their killer also tried to burn the house while children slept upstairs, but neighbors had arrived before the fire had time to spread. The body-count for Nance was three and climbing. Female hairs recovered from his camper had been treated with a dye that matched the tresses of a "Jane Doe" corpse unearthed outside Missoula in December 1984. In those days, Nance was working as a bouncer in a local bar, and witnesses recalled a youthful female drifter who had shared his lodgings - and abruptly disappeared - in autumn of that year.

Detectives also feel that Nance may be connected with the death of a Seattle runaway, found buried near Missoula during March of 1980. With the suspect permanently silent, we may never know how many other crimes "weird" Wayne committed in the years before he pushed his luck too far.

Guns save lives

September 12, 2003

The gun-haters start with the basic premise that guns are bad. You shouldn't have them in your house because they're dangerous, they say. I should let you know right from the start that handguns are used for protection against criminals in America nearly 2 million times per year. That's up to five times more often than they're used to commit crimes and nearly 128 times the total number of murders in the United States. Those stats alone are good enough to blow any anti-gun argument out of the water, but there's more. According to the National Crime Victimization Surveys, people who use guns to defend themselves are less likely to be attacked or injured than people who use other methods of protection or don't defend themselves at all.

Robert A. Waters chronicled many such stories in his book "The Best Defense" (Cumberland House). In one of the most gripping accounts, Waters tells of a psychotic serial killer who brutalized his victims before killing them. One woman was found dead with a gun shoved in her vagina. Wayne Nance was one of the most sadistic killers in American history, and he attempted to make a couple in Missoula, Mont., Kris and Doug Wells, his 11th and 12th victims. That proved to be his fatal mistake. You see, Nance had chosen a couple who kept guns in the house.

Nance had been stalking Kris, and when Doug surprised him outside the couple's home, the killer shot him in the back of the head. Dazed and bleeding from a deep scalp wound, Doug struggled with his assailant from the garage into the house. Amazed that Doug was even still alive, Nance pounded him with a length of pipe and finally prevailed. After grabbing Kris and tying her to the bed frame in the couple's bedroom, Nance took Doug to the basement and tied him to a post. Doug, a gunsmith by profession, had earlier placed an antique lever-action Savage Model 99G Take-Down rifle near his workbench in the basement. He knew that if he could get to it, he and his wife might have a chance.

Doug had been shot, bound and beaten nearly to death, but Nance still stabbed him in the chest with an oak-handle kitchen knife, puncturing one of his lungs. The killer then left to have his way with Kris, most assuredly intending to kill her afterward, as he had done with so many of his other victims. Somehow, Doug managed to muster enough strength to break loose from the clothesline that bound him. He grabbed the Savage, loaded it, and waited, knowing that if he headed upstairs for the bedroom, Nance would surely use Kris as a shield. Doug banged the butt of the rifle against the wall to get Nance's attention. The ploy worked. Nance raced back toward the basement stairs, and as soon as he came into view Doug let him have it with the Savage.

In the meantime, Kris had managed to free herself except for one arm. Hearing the shot, she feared that Nance had killed her husband. Doug managed to stumble up the stairs, and when he saw the wounded Nance begin to rise, proceeded to pummel him with the butt of the rifle. As Nance crawled toward the bedroom, Doug continued to beat him with the gun until the butt splintered. By then, Nance was in range of the still-tethered Kris, who began to kick and punch him. Nance pulled his gun from its pouch on his belt and fired at Doug, missing him. His second shot caught Doug just above the knee, but Doug kept coming, beating Nance with the barrel of the rifle. In the process, he knocked the lamp off the bedside table, plunging the room into darkness. Doug heard another explosion, and as he lunged for the table where he kept a pistol, he hit the switch for the overhead light. When he grabbed the handgun and trained it on Nance, who lay on the floor convulsing and twitching, Doug saw that the criminal had shot himself.

Wayne Nance died a few hours later. Doug Wells miraculously recovered from his wounds, and his wife, Kris, was not physically harmed. Care to wonder what would have happened had Doug Wells not had a gun in the house? Want to guess how many other innocent victims Wayne Nance might have slain had Doug Wells not killed him? This is but one example of literally millions of times that guns have saved lives, something the anti-gun nuts don't want you to know. But now you do.


MO: Shot/stabbed females age 15-39

DISPOSITION: Fatally shot during home invasion, Sept. 4, 1986.

Photo of Derek and Marci in 1971 courtesy Derek Bachmann; Photo of Wayne Nance and "Robin" courtesy of Missoula County Sheriff's Office