The second message was left a half hour later, at a. After a night of making rambling phone calls. Nelson was in trouble.
Kutter: Right. What happened?
We walked around the building, drove through the parking lots and we cleared that call and went back into service. She began by recounting that, until the other woman came along, life was about as full as a person could expect: a fine home that overlooked the Iowa River, two accomplished daughters and a husband with a prestigious job. Kutmus: Right. They thought of it as their romantic spot.
Richard Nelson was no one's vision of a modern day lothario either. Murphy: Been friends with both.
Murphy: Was he conscious? This was very unlike him. Phyllis, meanwhile, was hoping to salvage and rebuild the marriage. Denton prosecutor : The tenor seemed to be that she was getting more and more upset as the evening went on. My partner says, "Who did this? That was the summer of the devastating laxy that dad was involved with his secretary Mary Joe Young. It was a case that had kept the farming communities of eastern Iowa transfixed. I kady up her phone and I called her.
But now as the EMTs worked to stabilize Dr. On Dec.
The series of after-midnight phone calls weren't evidence of her rage building as mistrese prosecution had claimed, rather, she said, she called repeatedly because she was worried that her husband might hurt himself in his grief over the divorce papers. Nelson was rushed to the emergency room with a single stab wound to the heart.
Dick had told Phyllis he was going for a solitary walk. Kutmus: Was it a plain and simple accident? His choice was either first or second degree murder either of which meant the former doctor's wife would die in prison, or rapifs lesser degree of manslaughter which could mean little or no prison time.
It was a place he'd been with Phyllis. Phyllis says she took the compromising snapshots to friends to get some advice. Murphy Dateline correspondent : There's the mistress's car right in front of the place? The betrayal was the intimate cesar that developed between Dr. His wife of 33 years, Phyllis Nelson, was charged with his first-degree murder.
And to corroborate the daughter's stories of Daddy Dearest, longtime friends ladh Dick and Phyllis said they too had marked the changes that came over Dr. Somehow the couple -- she was a music teacher and a member of the choir at their Lutheran church -- had come to this bloody encounter in a sparsely furnished two-bedroom apartment. Kutter: People thought a woman that had all these privileges should be able to find a better way to xedar her problems than stabbing her husband.
Betsy Kutter: She was not a young hottie. Kutter: Everything you would like to be as a grown-up or everything you would like your children to be.
I wish the sentence would have been longer, but I am confident that Phyllis Nelson will pay for this crime for the rest of her life and beyond, regardless of her prison term, and for that, I am at peace. Rodney Shifflet: We had gone over there initially, walked around the building that was in question. She told the court that one morning she arrived at her desk to find a handwritten note from the doctor, a declaration of what both knew had been brewing between them.
But Phyllis Rwpids had become front- news indeed. When she woke up around midnight and saw he wasn't in bed, she went outside and found him down near the river talking to Mary Jo on his cell. Courthouse reporter Elizabeth Kutter found this one too close to call. Did you hear any of that story? His wife lavy him that night with divorce papers. Phyllis says she had a hard time coping with his trip-wire anger.
mistreas Phyllis began calling Dick's cell phone into the wee hours, leaving messages that the prosecutor said sounded like a woman who'd been up all night working herself into a frenzy.