Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Mona Yvette NELSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Drunken rage - A motive has not been identified
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 24, 2010
Date of arrest: 5 days after
Date of birth: 1966
Victim profile: Jonathan Paul Foster, 12
Method of murder: Tortured to death with a blowtorch
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without  parole on August 27, 2013

photo gallery


Woman found guilty in death of 12-year-old boy kidnapped on Christmas Eve

By Kevin Reece -

August 27, 2013

HOUSTON—A Harris County judge has found Mona Nelson guilty in the capital murder of 12-year-old Jonathan Foster.

Nelson will now serve life in prison without parole. She was accused in the kidnapping and murder of Jonathan on Christmas Eve in 2010.

Surveillance video showed Nelson dumping something out of her truck the night of the murder. She originally lied to detectives, then admitted in a third questioning that she did dump the body, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors admitted they would not be able to establish a motive for the murder, but they claimed Nelson murdered the boy in a drunken rage and then burned and dumped his body.

However, Nelson said she was asked by the boy’s stepfather to get rid of a container, but didn’t know a body was inside.

During the trial, Jonathan’s next-door neighbor and grandmother both talked about how they thought the stepdad might have been involved in the boy’s disappearance and murder. They said he had been abusive. The grandmother said she didn’t like him from the start and that she originally thought David Davis had taken Jonathan.

But the police investigation did not lead to Davis. Surveillance video shows him at a bar nearby at the time of the boy’s disappearance.

“I am extremely convinced, I am 100-percent convinced that there was no other person that was involved in this case....everything leads to Mona Nelson, absolutely,” Prosecutor Connie Spence said.

Prior to her arrest and trial, Nelson was a maintenance worker and welder in Houston.

District Judge Jeannine Barr returned with a decision in the case on Tuesday morning.

In court Nelson reacted calmly to Barr’s decision. When asked if she had anything to say Nelson said, “I’m innocent, and an innocent person is going to prison.”

Nelson’s attorney Allen Tanner said he has already begun the process of filing an appeal on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to convict.

“We believe someone else kidnapped this child and someone else killed this child. I do not believe Mona Nelson committed this offense,” he said.

City of Houston Victim’s Advocate Andy Kahan said the verdict is justice for Jonathan’s family.

“It doesn’t get any worse than this. She’s about as cold blooded diabolical killer as I’ve ever experienced being involved in the criminal justice system. And she’s where she belongs right now,” he said.

But they are still left with the question: Why did she kill the boy and burn and dump his body?“

"I hope that one day, maybe ten years down the line, she writes me a letter and says I wanna talk to you and I wanna tell you what happened,” Spence said.


Mona Nelson Trial: Damaging Evidence is "Enough to Legally Convict"

August 22, 2013

Mona Nelson, 44, allegedly tortured a child to death with a blowtorch before dumping his little body in a ditch in northeast Houston on Christmas Eve, 2010.

Compelling evidence during the trial linking Nelson's DNA to 12-year-old Jonathan Foster's Looney Tunes sweatshirt is "enough to convict," according to a legal analyst. Katie McCall of the local ABC affiliate reported yesterday that "an FBI scientist said he found Nelson's blood and DNA on several areas" of the sweatshirt.

The heartbreaking story of Jonathan Foster has barely registered a blip in the mainstream media, let alone any discussion that this case may be a "hate crime." Nelson has not only escaped media scrutiny for the truly heinous crime; she has been offered support by racist activist Quanell X, the leader of the New Black Panther Party hate group in Houston.

Nelson does not have to face a jury of her peers, as her fate will be determined by a judge.

About a week ago, Deborah Wrigley of the local ABC affiliate reported that Jonathan's mother Angela Davis "delivered heart-wrenching testimony." Davis was at work on Christmas Eve 2010, and Jonathan was home alone. Davis returned a call from work that was allegedly from Nelson. Wrigley reported that "...a strange woman answered. She could hear her son in the background and then the line went dead." Davis testified that when she arrived home, nobody was there. She said,

"I ran up and down the street banging on doors, standing in the parking lot, hollering my son's name."

But Jonathan was gone. His charred body was dumped on the side of the road that night. He was found four days later. There were no signs of trauma, other than the burns. There was no accelerant found on his body. He was likely burned alive by a blowtorch. While Angela Davis was screaming her child's name, Mona Nelson had already dumped his body.

A neighbor told Cynthia Cisneros of the local ABC affiliate that Nelson, unbelievably, was at the house while people were looking for Jonathan. The neighbor said, "Yeah, she was just sitting there, looking at what was going on." Cisneros wrote that "the horrible details were too much for several detectives who struggled to keep from crying."

If Nelson used a gun, would this story have gotten media attention? What if the races were reversed? Why has nobody questioned whether this crime was motivated by race? What was the motive?

To this day, a motive has not been identified.


Testimony in capital murder trial centers on autopsy of child's burned body

By Katie McCall -

Thursday, August 22, 2013

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Investigators took the stand again on Thursday in the Mona Nelson trial. She's charged with capital murder, accused of killing a 12-year-old boy.

For the first time we heard about the autopsy of Jonathan Foster, whose body was found face down in a ditch and severely burned. Dr. Paul Radelat, a pathologist testifying for the defense, admitted that he had not actually examined Jonathan's body, but merely viewed photographs of the boy's remains and read the forensic pathologist's report. He said we may never know what happened to Jonathan, but he was confident the child was neither strangled nor burned alive.

Dr. Radelat testified, "I believe he was dead by the time he was burned. & This child was turned into a piece of firewood. & I can't say with any certainty what burned him. & There is no clear-cut cause of death."

As for how the child died, there were some theories, but nothing stated as a fact.

Dr. Radelat testified, "You have to think some sort of smothering event. & It's very difficult to come up with any conclusion, the body was badly charred. Any external evidence was gone. & We don't have any affirmative evidence that he was smothered, but smothering wouldn't leave any affirmative evidence."

Prosecutors introduced something on cross-examination that indicates someone hit Jonathan in the center of his chest, supporting some theories that he was struck by his killer and possibly smothered afterward.

Prosecutor: "You did see a contusion on Jonathan Foster's chest, right?

Dr. Radelat: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "He could have been punched?"

Dr. Radelat: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "He could have been kicked?

Dr. Radelat: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "He could have been hit with an object?"

Dr. Radelat: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "Have you ever done any autopsies on someone burned by an oxy-acetylene torch?"

Dr. Radelat: "No."

A detective from the Houston Police Department took the stand Thursday morning. He's a detective who interviewed Nelson on several occasions before and after she was charged with capital murder in this case.

He testified about a police interview that lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. He spoke about several different conversations on multiple topics, describing Nelson's testimony as choppy and he says that she was changing her story.

The prosecutor asked Brian Harris on the stand, "When did she first realize what she was dumping was a little boy's body?"

Harris replied, "She said when the investigator showed her the picture of the charred body and I told her I was that investigator."

The prosecutor asked, "Was there any discernible, physical reaction?"

Harris said, "No."

Her defense attorney, Alan Tanner, also cross-examined Harris.

He asked why no polygraph exam was given, pointing out that his client had voluntarily said that she would agree to a polygraph exam.

The defense said, "All three times she said OK."

Harris replied, "Yes."

Defense said, "And you never did one?"

Harris replied, "No."

The defense points out again, "You never followed through with it?"

Harris replied, "That's right."

Closing arguments could be delivered as soon as Friday afternoon.


Mona Nelson's 'dirty' shirt used as evidence at murder trial

By Katie McCall -

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- On Wednesday, the mother of a little boy who was allegedly kidnapped and later turned up dead had to relive that day in court. On Thursday, Jonathan Foster's grandmother had to do the same.

In tears, Mary Gifford testified about Foster, her grandson, coming home to Texas after living with relatives in Mississippi and Missouri in 2010.

"We talked about him going to live with his mother. That's when he said that was his wish for his birthday. He was really, really happy. He was flourishing, he was complete," Gifford said.

Foster turned 12 in November, and on Christmas Eve, he vanished from the duplex where he and his mother, Angela Davis, were living with a woman who was friends with the defendant, Mona Nelson.

Prosecutors say Nelson was the last person to see Foster on the afternoon of December 24. His body was found burned in a ditch four days later.

Nelson is charged with his kidnapping and murder. Her attorney says she had no motive in this case and that someone else could have committed the crime.

Neighbor Rita Jackson testified that she saw Nelson just before the child's disappearance and the day after wearing the same clothing.

Prosecutor: "And that white shirt, what did you notice on the front of that?"

Jackson: "It was dirty."

Foster's stepfather, David Davis, also testified Thursday. He admitted he's hit the boy's mother in the past, but he loved her son and never harmed him. He was ruled out as a suspect in this case after being questioned by police for 12 hours. He established his whereabouts the night the boy disappeared and is a key witness as the state continues to try and prove how Nelson is the only person who could've committed this crime.


Opening arguments begin in trial of woman accused of killing 12-year-old boy

August 14, 2013

HOUSTON—Opening arguments were underway Wednesday in the trial of a woman accused of kidnapping and killing a 12-year-old Houston boy on Christmas Eve in 2010.

Mona Yvette Nelson was charged with capital murder in the death of Jonathan Foster. Nelson has chosen to be tried by a judge, not a jury. Her attorney said he advised her against it.

Police said the 44-year-old maintenance worker kidnapped and killed Jonathan, then burned his body. Nelson admitted to discarding the boy’s body, but said she did not kill him.

Wednesday was an emotional day in court as Jonathan’s mother took the stand.

Angela Davis fought back tears as she talked about the last time she heard her son’s voice, on Christmas Eve 2010.

Davis was on the stand for nearly two hours.

But the one main question that everyone has been asking was not answered: Why did this happen?

Nearly three years later, in the trial’s opening statements attorneys said there is still no motive for the killing.

“The big question that everybody has in this case is the ‘Why?’”—The motive behind this case and there’s not going to be a motive. You’re not going to hear any evidence of that. I’m going to tell you the ‘what’ that evidence will prove,” said Assistant District Attorney Connie Spence.

Nelson, a 44-year-old grandmother, was a friend of the woman who leased the apartment where Jonathon and his mother were staying.

“Mona Nelson had absolutely zero motive to kill Jonathan Foster. They searched and searched and searched for a motive and there’s no reason why she would have killed that boy,” said Nelson’s Attorney Allen Tanner.

Nelson’s attorney asked several questions about the mother’s estranged husband and their rocky relationship, suggesting he would have had a motive.

“He wanted to get her back and he told people at work that Jonathon is the root of all his problems,” he said.

It is not clear who all will be testifying in the trial, or if Nelson will take the stand.

While this is a capital murder case the death penalty is not being considered. The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks.


Woman accused of killing Houston 12-year-old goes before court

By Allan Turner and James Pinkerton - Houston Chronicle

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A subdued Mona Nelson, charged with capital murder in the death of a 12-year-old boy, made her first appearance in court Monday. Then, after leaving the courtroom en route to her cell, she burst into wracking sobs.

"She cried her eyes out," her court-appointed attorney, Allen Tanner, said later. "She's not the stone-cold mean woman like the cops have made out."

Nelson, 44, is charged in the death of Jonathan Foster, whose charred body was found in a northeast Houston ditch last Tuesday, four days after he disappeared from his mother's home on Christmas Eve.

In 182nd District Court on Monday, Judge Jeannine Barr apprised Nelson of her rights and appointed Tanner as her attorney.

Tanner said he plans to meet with Nelson in the next few days to discuss the case.

"I don't know anything yet," he said. "I haven't gotten any reports from the state. I, hopefully, will find out what's going on. There just seem to be a lot of unanswered questions."

Foster disappeared from his family home about 2 p.m. Dec. 24. His body was found in a culvert near East Hardy and Schilder. With no indication of a fire at the scene, authorities concluded he had been killed and burned elsewhere.

Police found a portion of burned carpet, "hit on" by a cadaver dog, in Nelson's garbage. They also recovered twine that resembled the cord used to bind the boy's hands.

Nelson was linked to the case when surveillance video, filmed from a nearby office building, showed her Ford F-150 truck near the culvert. A witness told police a similar vehicle was seen at the boy's home earlier in the day and identified Nelson as the occupant.

Complaining of a stomach ailment, Nelson did not attend an earlier hearing in which a Harris County magistrate deemed probable cause existed for her arrest and detention.

New leads expected

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Connie Spence said she expects to present the case against Nelson to grand jurors in a couple of months.

Spence said the investigation into the boy's death is ongoing, and she expressed optimism that crime lab examination of physical evidence will develop additional leads.

Houston activist Quanell X attended Monday's court session at the request of Nelson's family.

After a meeting with Nelson, he said the woman admitted dumping the boy's body, but he believes that someone else may have been responsible for the killing.

"I believe this case is a drug debt," he said. "I do not believe that she had a motive to kill the boy. … I don't believe this case is solved at all, and I would urge the public not to rush to judgment."

Investigation ongoing

Police homicide Capt. David Gott invited the activist to share information with investigators.

"Obviously, it's very hard to tell whether she acted on her own, considering that we don't have all the details of the offense," he said. "She didn't give us a confession. She didn't tell us a lot of the things she's telling Quanell X."

Gott acknowledged the investigation is continuing.

"There's always the possibility that there could be someone else involved, but right now there's nobody else who's being targeted and it doesn't look like there's going to be charges filed on anybody else," he said.

Nelson pleaded guilty to an aggravated robbery charge in 1984 in return for 10 years' probation. Her probation was revoked in 1991, and she was sent to prison. She was paroled in October 1994.


Woman charged in boy's murder speaks out

By Jessica Willey -

Friday, December 31, 2010

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Police released more details in their case against Mona Nelson, the woman charged with kidnapping and killing Jonathan Foster, and they say the 12-year-old boy may not be her only victim.

We now know Jonathan's body was burned and dumped on the same day he disappeared, Christmas Eve, and just miles from where he was last seen in north Houston. Investigators say Nelson is responsible for it all, but Nelson told us a very different story.

Nelson is charged with capital murder, a crime that carries a potential punishment of death if convicted.

As she wiped away tears, she told us her side of the story.

Jonathan's mother did not comment about her son, his murder or the woman accused of murdering him today, but Houston police did.

"She is a cold, soulless murderer who showed an absolute lack of remorse in taking the life of Jonathan Foster," said HPD Homicide Detective Mike Miller.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, homicide detectives were very descriptive when talking about 44-year-old Mona Nelson.

"There's only been one or two people I've ever talked to that had eyes like she did; it was pretty cold," said Det. Miller.

Sitting in jail, her mood had changed.

"She was very remorseful. Was it an act? I don't think it all was an act," said activist Quannell X.

This afternoon, Quanell X counseled Nelson and that's when we spoke to her, too.

"I'm not a monster. I have five grandkids and I love kids," Nelson said.

From behind bars on the fourth floor of the jail, Nelson gave her side, telling us one of Jonathan's family members stopped her Christmas Eve outside his Oak Street home and asked her to dump a plastic container. She said he paid her $20, and she didn't know what was inside because she was drunk on vodka.

She told us she randomly chose a ditch in northeast Houston because she said, "I was basically just drunk and driving and listening to music."

"I didn't know what was in it until they were showing me pictures in the interrogation room," Nelson said.

But the body, police say, was not found in a plastic container.

Investigators believe Nelson acted on her own. They say all family members have alibis. Eyewitnesses placed Nelson's truck at Jonathan's home at the time of his disappearance. They say they also found burned carpet and twine used to tie Jonathan's hands at her apartment along with welding equipment they believe she used to burn the body.

"I do have a cutting torch. I'm a welder. I would never do that. I have five grandkids," Nelson said.

Nelson, who attended but did not graduate from Bellaire High School, has 26-year-old twins -- a boy and a girl who live in north Texas. She was once a professional boxer and currently does maintenance work. She says she knew Jonathan's family because they all partied together.

Nelson's sister says she spent the four days after the murder, including Christmas Day, with her.

"She showed no signs of doing anything to anybody illegal," said sister Angie Johnson. "I don't believe at all she has anything to do with killing a child. That's not Mona."

Police call her a predator and say they will look deeper.

"Do I believe she's done it before? Yea, I do. I don't believe she began and ended with the abduction of Jonathan Foster, I don't," said Det. Miller.

While investigators say they have their suspicions about a motive, they are not yet releasing that information. Authorities are also not saying how Jonathan died.

A police source close to the investigation told us the story Nelson told us was different from the one she told investigators. While there were conflicting stories among Jonthan's family members, they have all been cleared.

Nelson does have a lengthy criminal history that includes aggravated robbery, drug charges and threatening a woman. She is due in court on Monday.

Stay with Eyewitness News and for the latest on this case.

Detectives noticeably affected

As the Eyewitness News team watched this afternoon's press conference, one thing really struck us was just how emotional the detective got when talking about this case. While day in and day out, police deal with difficult situations, it's obvious this gruesome case took an emotional toll on the those worked it.

Detective Mike Miller described what it's been like in his own words:

"There are few cases that impact homicide detectives in this matter, this is one of them."

"Doing what I do, I don't try to be surprised anymore, but his body did lay there in a ditch, and it take some time to report it. I don't have an explanation for that, but yeah I was shocked by that."

"For the sake of the family, I'm not going to go into detail description. There's been enough of that in the media, of Jonathan's body; it was incredibly horrible."

"Once we arrived at her house, we stumbled into a wealth of evidence, evidence that showed perhaps his body was burned at the residence, evidence that showed the items he was burned with, evidence that had us pretty shaken up in collecting it."

"She decided when the time was right and she swooped down and took him when she saw the time was right, and she saw an opportune moment."

"I've worked in Homicide Division 14 years and this is the worst case I've been a part of -- an innocent 12 year old who everybody says was happy, outgoing and well-liked by everyone in the neighborhood. It's an absolute tragedy that can't be put into words."

For situations like this, HPD has counselors available to help officers deal with what they're going through.

New details released in case

It was surveillance cameras where Jonathan's body was found in northeast Houston that gave investigators their break. At the news conference, HPD Captain David Gott said around 6pm Christmas Eve, surveillance video showed a silver truck pull up to a ditch outside of a building on East Hardy. A person can be seen getting out of the truck, taking a body out of the bed of the truck and placing it in on the ground.

That person was recognized by neighbors and family as Nelson. Capt. Gott said Nelson drives a similar truck.

"The fire department has dogs that can detect accelerants such as fuel and that was not found on Jonathan. We don't know how he was burned; Mona was a welder," said Capt. Gott.

That same day, authorities searched her apartment. Torches and other welding tools were found inside Nelson's northwest Houston home. Authorities beleive Jonathan was taken there, killed and burned beyond recognition the same day within hours. Twine used to tie Jonathan was also found inside Nelson's home. His body laid in the culvert through the Christmas holiday until he was discovered on Tuesday.

Jonathan's mother, Angela Davis, did not comment about Nelson when we saw her today at a makeshift memorial near Jonathan's apartment. A next door neighbor gave a chilling statement, saying Nelson was there while Jonathan's family was looking for him on Christmas Eve.

"Yeah, she was just sitting there, looking at what was going on," said neighbor Rita Jackson.
Jonathan's body was identified Wednesday by his dental records. A cause of death has not been released.

Nelson, 44, is being held at the Harris County Jail with no bond.

Authorities will look at other cases now of missing children. They ask anyone with information about Nelson to contact Houston police.


Woman Charged With Murder in Death of 12-Year-Old Texas Boy

December 30, 2010

HOUSTON -- A woman has been charged with capital murder in the death of a 12-year-old Houston boy whose badly burned body was found in a ditch this week following his Christmas Eve disappearance.

Mona Yvette Nelson, 44, was arrested Wednesday. She remained in jail Thursday on no bond. Court records did not list an attorney.

Police say Jonathan Foster, who had been left home alone, was kidnapped from his home on Christmas Eve before being killed and burned.

"Mona Nelson has made what investigators call a self-serving statement, which places her with Jonathan. However, she has not admitted to killing him," Houston police spokesman Kese Smith told the Houston Chronicle. "She is the only suspect."

Homicide investigator Mike Miller said investigators believe Nelson took the boy to her home, where she likely killed him and burned his body.

Miller said that while a search of Nelson's home turned up an "incredible amount of evidence," investigators are still trying to determine a motive.

Jonathan's mother, Angela Davis, said she'd met Nelson only once, on the night of her son's disappearance.

Nelson was friends with Davis' roommate and the boy's frequent babysitter, Sharon Ennamorato, who described Nelson as a friend who used to work in maintenance at an apartment complex across the street from the home.

Davis had moved into the home with Ennamorato on Dec. 14, after she and Jonathan's stepfather split up. Both Davis and Ennamorato had to work on Friday morning, so Foster was to stay home alone till his mother was expected to return in the early afternoon.

While at work that morning, a colleague told Davis her son had called the office and was asking for Ennamorato's number.

Then a woman called back, saying it was an emergency. Davis said that by the time she made it to the phone, the line was dead.

Concerned, Davis called the house phone repeatedly as she drove there, she said. Someone picked up just minutes before she pulled up around 2 p.m.

She said when a woman answered, Davis asked to speak to her son. She heard a woman say: "Is your mama's name Angela?" she said.

And she heard Jonathan say: "Yes ma'am, my mama's name is Angela." Then the phone went dead.

When she opened the door moments later, cartoons were still on the TV, and a game was up on the computer screen. She called for her son, but got no answer.

"The only thing missing in this house is his tan T-shirt with a guitar on it, a pair of jeans, his white sneakers and his black stuffed cat that my grandmother made him," Davis said. "There was no struggle."

Davis said that Nelson stopped by the house that night, telling her that she had come to the house that morning looking for Ennamorato, and that Jonathan had answered the door wearing no shirt, and it seemed like someone was in the house with him.

Court records show that in 1984, Nelson was charged with aggravated robbery. She later pleaded guilty in exchange for 10 years' probation. Her probation was revoked in 1991 and she was sent to prison. The newspaper reports that it was unclear from court records how long she spent in prison.



home last updates contact