Tracy Nichole Thompson


John Nestor

Presented By

Bonnie M. Wells

February 9th, 2005


A grandfather walks up to the place he lost his grandson and a women remembers the good times she shared with her best friend.

Those closest to the victims of the 19th Street homicide were horrified to learn Tuesday that it was indeed their loved ones who had been killed, and right now, no one knows why.

"I thought everybody liked him. Most everybody has someone that don't like them for some reason. I don't think there was anybody that didn't like him enough to kill him," says John Nestor, the grandfather of John Nestor the third.

"You wouldn't want to think that someone would want to harm her," says Tracy Thompson's best friend.

But that exactly what police say someone did. The names of Tracy Thompson and her boyfriend John Nestor III were released early Tuesday morning.

Now, Tracy's best friend of eight years, who chose to remain anonymous, is speaking out about the life Thompson led.

"We have a tattoo, it's of a butterfly and we always called each other butterfly girl," say her friend.

"She was just beautiful inside and out."

Now Thompson's friend is left holding onto only memories.

"She's in my heart. She's always in my heart."

"I don't know how to get on without her. She has been my rock. I don't know what to do."

Both family and friends say the feeling of helplessness and not knowing what truly happened is one of the most difficult things to cope with.

The only comfort, we're told, is knowing that perhaps their lives will go on in a different way.

"I know she's in a better place. I know she's watching over me, and every time I see a butterfly I'm going to think of her."

Thompson leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son.

If you have any information that could help in this case, please call the Parkersburg Police Department at (304) 424-8440.

Jan. 19, 1974 - February 5, 2005

Tracy Nichole Fox-Thompson Fund

c/o WesBanco

415 Market Street

Parkersburg WV 26101

Justice For Tracy

Man Charged With Arson Death Of Neighbors

2005 United Press International

March 10, 2005 :PARKERSBURG, W.Va.

The bodies of John Nestor III and Tracy Thompson were found Feb. 5 in a Parkersburg building that belonged to Nestor's grandparents.

The complaint filed by Parkersburg police says that Drew Edwin Spencer got into an argument with Nestor and Thompson in their apartment, disabled them and set the fire, the Charleston Daily Mail reports.

Nestor was reportedly a student at the University of West Virginia and Thompson a beautician and nursing student. Spencer, in addition to teaching a math class at the university, is a gymnastics teacher and coach in a business owned by his parents, the newspaper said.

Spencer's roommate told the newspaper that Nestor and Thompson occasionally came to their apartment to play poker and drink.

Murder Charges Dropped Against Suspect In Burned Bodies Case

Thursday, March 17, 2005

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- Authorities have dropped murder charges against an Ohio University student in the deaths of a couple whose remains were found in a burned apartment last month in Parkersburg.

Court records show the charges against Drew Spencer were dropped because of a lack of evidence and inconsistent statements from the key witness, Spencer’s roommate.

Spencer is a senior majoring in integrated math at Ohio University. He was originally charged last week in the deaths of 31-year-old John Nestor the Third and his girlfriend, 31-year-old Tracy Thompson.

Preliminary reports from the West Virginia state medical examiner’s office indicate Nestor and Thompson died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the February Fifth fire at Nestor’s apartment building.

Old Unsolved Cases Remain Active, Not Cold


PARKERSBURG — Police hear the term “cold case” all the time, but local investigators say they don’t consider a case to be “cold” unless it’s solved.

There are a handful of unsolved murders that are never far from the minds of investigators in the Parkersburg Police Department’s detective bureau. Two of the cases date back to the 1960s and 1970s while the others are more recent.

The passing of time may cause a case to become less active, but investigators say they never lose hope that the right piece of the puzzle may fall into place to bring about an arrest.

The oldest of the unsolved murder cases in the police department files is the 1965 slaying of Garry Cowdery, 18, of Belpre.

The case has come to be known as the “Burger Boy Murder” because it happened at the former Burger Boy Foodarama on Ann Street in Parkersburg. Cowdery, an assistant manager of the establishment, was found shot to death. About $700 from the restaurant’s daily proceeds were stolen.

After about four decades, a suspect in the case was indicted by a Wood County grand jury. However, the case was not strong enough for a conviction and the charges were dismissed, officials said.

The 1979 slaying of Ronzel Dornon is the second of the department’s older unsolved murder cases. The 27-year-old man was found lying face down in the burned rubble of a home on 622 Bird St. in Parkersburg.

Though many people were questioned during the course of the investigation, a suspect was never arrested in the case.

In both the Burger Boy and Dornon cases, police officials said they believe they know who the killers are, but there isn’t sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Lt. John Young of the detective bureau said both investigations are open and there is always hope that the right piece of information or the right witness might be discovered to change that.

“Any information we receive — and we do receive information on these cases from time to time — we follow up on it,” Young said.

In a more recent case, investigators are still trying to determine who killed 80-year-old Roy Matheny in December 2006.

Matheny went missing Dec. 26, 2006, and his truck was found abandoned the following day at Park Shopping Center, detectives said. His body was found Dec. 28 in a vacant lot at the end of Staunton Avenue. He had been stabbed multiple times.

Police said they have developed “persons of interest” in the case. The investigation is continuing.

“I feel the investigation is moving forward. I’m hesitant to say that we have a suspect, but we have developed persons of interest,” Detective Decker Moody said. “We have a couple of people we’re looking at.”

Police also are still working on solving the January 2006 murder of Darrel Boyce, 48. Boyce died in a fire at his residence at 1226 Swann St., detectives said. The fire was ruled an arson.

Investigators believe the fire may have started near the front porch of the residence. The investigation indicates an accelerant was used. Detectives are continuing to follow leads in the case, Young said.

Finally, the February 2005 killing of John Nestor III and Tracy Thompson is still under investigation. The two died in a fire at a home on 19th Street in Parkersburg.

Police made an arrest in the case, but the suspect had to be released due to a lack of evidence.

“These cases are always on our minds,” Young said. “I think it would be safe to say that in the majority of these cases, there’s someone out there with the right piece of information that could help us solve them.”

Until then, investigators won’t be thinking of these cases as “cold.”

“I think of them more as ongoing investigations than cold, inactive or anything else,” said Lt. Carl Sizemore, an investigator with the police department’s major crimes unit.

Contact Roger Adkins at

Definition of 'Cold Case'

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cold case refers to a crime or accident that has not been solved and is not the subject of current criminal investigation, but for which new information could plausibly arise. New technical methods developed since the case can be used on the surviving evidence to re-analyse the causes, often with conclusive results.

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