Wayne Nance

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Wayne Nance
Victim Marcella Bachmann (left) alongside Nance
Wayne Nathan Nance

(1955-10-18)October 18, 1955
DiedSeptember 4, 1986(1986-09-04) (aged 30)
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
Other namesMissoula Mauler
Span of crimes
1974 or earlier–1986
State(s)Montana, United States

Wayne Nathan Nance (also known as the Missoula Mauler, October 18, 1955 – September 4, 1986) was a suspected American serial killer and Montana native.[1][2]

Nance was killed by a gunshot to the head in 1986. He had never been tried or convicted of any murder.[3][4][5][6]



Nance is believed to have raped and murdered a middle-aged woman named Donna Pounds in 1974. Pounds had been shot and was held captive in her basement with her body tied to a chair. Nance was seen in the back yard about the time of Pounds' death. He also apparently had evidence of the crime in his home.[2][4]


In January 1980, the badly decomposed body of 15-year-old Devonna Nelson was discovered on a roadbank close to the city of Missoula.[7] Because of the condition of the body, her remains were not identified until February 1985. Prior to her identity being confirmed, she was dubbed "Betty Beavertail." [2][4]

The body of Marcella Cheri "Marci" Bachmann, 16, was found in an advanced state of decomposition on December 24, 1984, by a hiker. The body had been buried in a shallow grave.[8] Strong evidence indicates that Nance murdered Bachmann; hair belonging to her was found at his house. She had run away from Vancouver, Washington due to conflict with her family members.[9] Like Devonna Nelson, she was given a nickname, "Debbie Deer Creek," before her body was identified. She was killed with three gun shots to the head.[2] She had been seen alive with Nance, who had "taken her in" after she was left by a trucker in the area. She may have used the alias name "Robin" and claimed to have been either native to Texas or had passed through the state. Nance claimed she had left the area in September 1984, which was about the time she was killed.[10] Her brother, Derek Bachmann, had been searching for Marcella since he was 21 years old, along with a private investigator. He originally believed that she may have supported herself as a prostitute while away from home and may have become a victim of Gary Ridgway. Ridgway murdered at least 49 runaway children and prostitutes during the 1980s and 1990s. However, Marcella was never identified as one of his victims.[9][4]

Bachmann was identified in 2006 through DNA profiling. Her cremated remains were subsequently interred.[11]

On September 9, 1985, the skeleton of a Japanese or mixed-Asian woman, nicknamed "Christy Crystal Creek," was found in Missoula, Montana with two .32 caliber bullets in the skull. Investigators believe she died between 1983 and 1985.[1][3][12][13] Her identity has never been established.[2][4]

She was between 18 and 35 years old. She was estimated to be between 4 feet 10 and 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed between 90 and 110 pounds. Examination indicated that she most likely had a history of smoking and had many fillings in her teeth, as well as two root canals. She also had had a type of oral surgery which is distinctive of Asia's dental techniques, involving the screwing of a dental post into the tooth.[3][14][15][16][17][18]

Nance is also responsible for the 1985 murders of Michael and Teresa Shook, who were tied up inside their home and shot. The killer then attempted to destroy evidence by burning the house down. The couple's children survived the crime.[4]


On September 3, 1986, Nance attempted to murder Doug and Kris Wells. Nance worked with Kris at Conlin's furniture moving company, and engaged Doug in friendly conversation while they were in the front yard of his home[19]. Nance asked if he could borrow a flashlight, and after Doug invited him inside, Nance struck Doug in the head, before tying up him and Kris. Nance then stabbed Doug in the chest and left him to die in the basement. Nance forced Kris into the bedroom on the second floor to rape her.

Although badly wounded, Doug, who is a gunsmith, managed to free himself and load one bullet in a rifle he had been repairing. He staggered up to the second floor where his wife was being assaulted in their bedroom. Nance heard Doug ascending the stairs and went to finish him off, but was shocked to find Doug with his rifle. Doug raised his rifle and fired.

The bullet struck Nance in the abdomen, knocking him back, but was not enough to incapacitate him. Nance panicked and fired three shots wildly at Doug, hitting him once above the knee. Undeterred, Doug continued to fight back by using his rifle as a club, unwilling to leave his wife and desperate to keep them both alive. He struck Nance several times in the head until Nance dropped his revolver. Doug picked it up and fired several more shots, striking Nance once in the head and sending him into convulsions. Kris freed herself, came to Doug's aid, and called 911.

Nance and the Wellses were rushed to a hospital, where Doug and Kris made full recoveries. Nance's injuries proved fatal, and he died the following day.


  1. ^ a b Wetsch, Elizabeth (2005). "Nance, Wayne Nathan". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Wayne Nance (1955–1986)". Missoula County Sheriff Department. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Case File 3UFMT". The Doe Network. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Withrow, Ian. "Christy Crystal Creek and the Missoula Mauler". Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  5. ^ Moore, Michael (30 April 2006). "In search of Christy's true identity". Independent Record. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Wayne Nance". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  7. ^ To Kill and Kill Again ISBN 978-0-451-40323-0 pp. 150-151
  8. ^ "Marcella "Marci" Cheri Bachman". Center for Human Identification. Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b Larabee, Mark (24 April 2006). "After years of searching, man puts his sister, mystery to rest". The Origin. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  10. ^ "2UFMT". The Doe Network. 2004. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Identified – Marcella Bachmann: Washington State to Montana". 7 December 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Serial Killer Wayne Nance and the Case of "The Montana Jane Doe's"". 6 March 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  13. ^ "ViCAP ALERT: UNIDENTIFIED HUMAN REMAINS". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 21 April 2014.[dead link]
  14. ^ Vicap Alert: Unidentified Human Remains, FBI Victims Identification Project
  15. ^ Wetsch, Elizabeth (2005). "Nance, Wayne Nathan". Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Withrow, Ian (June 10, 2012). "Christy Crystal Creek and the Missoula Mauler..." Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  17. ^ Moore, Michael (April 30, 2006). "In search of Christy's true identity". Independent Record. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "Wayne Nance". Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Wayne Nance, "The Missoula Mauler"". Billings Gazette. March 18, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2018.

Cited works and further reading[edit]