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Woman Who Confessed to Killing 2 of 3 Husbands Central to Insurance Lawsuit

November 8, 1991 GMT

DENVER (AP) _ A woman who confessed to killing two of her three husbands and collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in life insurance refused to testify in a lawsuit filed by children of one of the victims.

Sharon Lynn Nelson, 46, is appealing her two life sentences for the murders and said Wednesday she will withdraw the guilty pleas she entered.

Because both convictions are being appealed, District Judge Ben Hoffman said Nelson had a right not to testify Wednesday in the civil suit brought by the five children of Dr. Perry Nelson against Western States Life Insurance Co. and North American Life and Casualty. The insurance companies had asked that Sharon Nelson testify.


Perry Nelson, a 50-year-old optometrist, was Nelson’s second husband until his disappearance in 1983. His body was found a year later near Golden, and his death was ruled an accident by police and the insurance companies.

His children, who are suing the insurance companies for $400,000 paid to Sharon Nelson, claim insurance investigators uncovered evidence their father’s wife was behind his death but failed to share the information with police.

Nelson confessed four years later, in 1988, to murdering Nelson and Denver fire dispatcher Glenn Harrelson, her third husband. Harrelson was shot to death in 1988.