Episode 27: A Dark and Haunted Holiday

   Some relatives are unwelcome at Christmas. Some are rude. Some look down on you. Some are unwelcome because they’re already dead. In 1937, a dead man allegedly compelled his son to commit a terrible crime at Christmas.



Vesper Youth Confesses ‘Spiritual Slaying’ of Son. Marshfield News-Herald, 12/27/1937

Release Wife of Confessed Baby Slayer. Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 12/28/1937

Infant Killed Christmas Day. Marshfield News-Herald, 12/27/1937

Youth Confesses Killing Foster Son of Girl Wife. The Capitol Times, 12/27/1937

Vesper Youth Confesses ‘Spiritual Slaying’ of Son. Marshfield News-Herald, 12/27/1937

Officials Call in Pathologist. Marshfield News-Herald, 12/28/1937

Fine Hair, Skin Found Under Nead’s Nails. Stevens Point Journal, 12/28,1937

Vesper Youth Enters Plea Of Insanity. Stevens Point Journal, 12/29/1937

Nead Pleads Innocent; Claims Insanity. The Daily Tribune, 12/29/1937

Slayer Makes Insanity Plea. The Journal Times, 12/29/1937

Slayer of His Foster Son to State Asylum. The Capital times, 12/29/1937

Nead Calm on Trip to State Hospital. Stevens Point Journal, 12/30/1937

Spiritualists Defend Nead. The Daily Tribune, 1/7/1938

Nead Sane, Claim of Psychiatrists Who Examined Him. Stevens Point Journal, 2/23/1938

Doctors Claim Youth Is Sane. Marshfield News-Herald, 2/23/1938

Nead Pleads Guilty; Gets 14 to 20 Years. The Daily Tribune, 3/14/1938

Nead Sentenced To 14 To 20 Years On His Plea of Guilty. 3/14/1938

Nead Accuses Wife of Christmas Day Murder. Marshfield News-Herald, 3/15/1938

Henry Nead to Ask Executive Clemency. Stevens Point Journal, 11/29/1940

Henry Nead Faces Return to Prison. Marshfield News-Herald, 12/9/1943

Nead Under Arrest for Violating His Parole. Green Bay Press-Gazette, 12/10/1943

Henry J. Nead To File Application About May 10. Marshfield News-Herald, 4/2/1946

Vesper ‘Ghost’ Killer Plans to Seek Clemency. Marshfield News-Herald, 3/31/1948

Whetstone, Rhonda. Man blames dead father’s ghost for killing infant. The Daily Tribune, 12/9/2014

Whetstone, Rhonda. Teenage dad plead insanity in death. The Daily Tribune, 12/23/2014

U.S. Census Records

Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952




6 thoughts on “Episode 27: A Dark and Haunted Holiday”

    1. Hi Damien! I hope that this knowledge didn’t come as too much of a shock. For a deeper dive, the sources listed in the article should provide a good jumping off point. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      1. Damien K Kelly

        No I had known most of it because my mother wanted to know why he was in jail. If you look up Ancestry.com you will find an entry I did for him and tons of articles are all connected to his entry. You filled some major gaps. I wanted to know what happened with his first wife and noticed that the family vanished from census records after this occurred. I figured that was something they did to put the past in the past. I appreciate the level of work you did on this. I was trying to do some research and I contacted the Vesper police department looking for records. It was a dead end due to the age of the case.

        the eerie thing is how much I looked like him at that age… well and my brother. We favor his looks.

    1. Damien K Kelly

      Hey sis… just remember: We are not him. as shocking as this is, we are not responsible for his sins.

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