October 12, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Recently while browsing through the newspaper on the internet I noticed the article on Cliff Nelson. Mr. Nelson was my seventh and eighth grade teacher who at the hands of a cowardly fool, was murdered.
To this day I have an understanding of who the murderer is and find it haunting that the sheriff's department basically closed the case after the trial of Rambo Hoosier.
I wrote a letter to Governor Marc Raciot in protest to the case not being investigated and he replied to me that it wasn't in his jurisdiction to open such cases.
Just the other day I remembered the morning of the murder and the pain and agony everybody at school went through. I remember the night before he was murdered. It was homecoming and a friend of mine and I and Cliff were all at the high school taking pictures. The morning after was like a nightmare.
Everybody was at school and they were crying. Finally I asked somebody what had happened and they told me that Mr. Nelson had been murdered.
Why did this happen to a man who loved his job? He loved the kids. Cliff Nelson was the best teacher I have ever encountered and he was a man of integrity. For such a thing to happen to a man of this caliber was a nightmare.
What's done is done and if only we as humans could go back in the past.
I read the letter that Ben Irvin wrote (Sept. 28 issue Pathfinder) and I agree that something should be broadcast live to find some justice in this case.
Had he died a normal death it would be easier to accept. But he was murdered and the man who did it is walking freely. Justice must be brought to Mr. Nelson along with the family members, and the community as a whole.
I know that the community of Seeley Lake still mourns his death and by all means should do whatever is possible to put Cliff's murderer behind bars.
I write this letter because I know that the memory of his murder still remains a menace not only to me, but to Seeley Lake. Justice must be served. My heart will only find rest in this case when it is finished.
Uss Carl Vinson