Connie L. Nelson moved to Santa Fe, NM when she retired in 2018. She joined the New Mexico Book Association (NMBA) with a goal of participating in workshops and training events, meeting people who are writers and authors, and learning about independent publishing. Connie says that she encourages beginning writers to surround themselves with local writers and authors. She says she is forever grateful for the support of these new friends and mentors in New Mexico.
(Excerpt from Cavalier: The Story of an Unsolved Murder in a Small Town)
The Red River of the North divides the Midwest states of North Dakota and Minnesota for two hundred miles along the eastern border of North Dakota. It is the only river that flows north in the US. Perhaps this explains the unique culture of the region? I have lived in five of the communities that adjoin this river border, so it might also explain my individual outlook on life. While the rest of the world flows south, I seem to be flowing north! So, when someone asks, “Where are you from?” my response is usually the “Red River Valley.” Sometimes this flippant answer makes people uncomfortable. They really want to know where I went to high school or where my parents live. This book represents a composite of the places I’ve lived in North Dakota, and the people I’ve interacted with throughout the state for the past sixty-plus years.
When I started writing this story, I realized that there were no follow-up stories in the regional media after December 1986 when Pembina County Sheriff Glenn Wells retired. It felt like the investigation was just sitting on a shelf, waiting for someone to discover it and reach some conclusions. Most of the individuals involved in the original investigation have since died, retired, or moved away from the Midwest, complicating access to the case records and the opportunity to interview key people.
Jack’s unsolved murder impacted my life along with the lives of many others, including his family, of course. I hope that writing this book will help to raise awareness about the many murder investigations that reach a “dead end,” take years to solve, or go “cold,” leaving friends and family wondering what happened, and why. I encourage readers to carry their hunches to whoever might be able to act on the information they have either stumbled across or pieced together, in the hope that someone will listen. This is exactly what I did in 2020. I began by reviewing what is known of the case.
Connie Nelson’s educational background includes: a B.S. in Business Administration. She also completed a graduate program in Vocational Education and has an M.S. in Organizational Communications. Her thesis focused on women serving in state legislatures in the 1980’s, and their treatment by the media.
Her work experiences have included: advertising manager for a chain of seven men’s clothing stores; marketing/communications manager in several different health care organizations; and grant writer for a large school district. She also taught marketing in two different post-secondary schools as an adjunct professor. Connie is also an avid community volunteer who enjoys local politics.
Connie Nelson wrote grants and proposals during her entire career and was also a writer and researcher for several published projects including: