Marsalee "Marsy" Ann Nicholas was home for the Thanksgiving holiday in her senior year at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She was brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend, Kerry Conley. She had a new boyfriend and Conley threatened to kill him and then came by her house and tapped on Marsy’s window at midnight, waking her, and it's believed he told her he was going “to commit suicide.” This is what he had said to a previous girlfriend in similar circumstances.
Marsy raced out barefoot and drove her car down to his house two blocks down the street. She walked in with the keys in her hand and he met her with a shotgun aimed at her head at close range. He said the gun fell off the wall, discharged and hit her in the head. His second story was that he shot over her head “to get her attention.”
During the trial, one of his friends testified that he said three days before the murder that he was going to “blow Marsy’s head off."
Marsy's story is important not because it is unique, but because it is tragically commonplace. Victims of violent crime have rights and deserve respect -- and that's why we must pass Marsy's Law in Illinois.