They call her the female Jeffrey Dahmer. The femme fatale Hannibal Lecter. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but she’s a worthy candidate.
23 year old petite, barely 5 ft tall, olive-skinned beauty Omaima Aree Nelson shocked the world when she was discovered to have murdered, dismembered, and possibly even cannibalized her glorified sugar daddy of a husband, 56 year old William “Bill” Nelson.
Bill was a large man at 6’4 and 230 lbs. He was a former pilot, dishonored after he was convicted of smuggling marijuana in Texas and electronics to Mexico, and served hard time for it in federal prison. He managed to get out and rebuild his life by attaining a job at a mortgage company.
Omaima was an Egyptian immigrant who had arrived in the U.S.A. at the age of 18, after a tough and horrible early life in Cairo. Her family made her undergo female genital mutilation during her childhood, which made sex unbearable and uncomfortable for Omaima in later life.
She tried her hand at modelling gigs and worked as a nanny for a time, but most of all, she was looking for a consistent sugar daddy. She had been with several wealthy older men, but nothing had come out of it.
Until she met Bill at a California bar. The pair played pool together, and something clicked. She had found a sugar daddy, and he had found a kept woman. They married after a whirlwind courtship which lasted not more than a few weeks. It would be the worst decision of both their lives.
Bill’s manager would describe the couple as “real quiet, mysterious people” who were married way too soon. Bill’s daughter was disgusted her father married such a young woman, and refused to interact with the pair.
Omaima claimed that Bill began beating and raping her soon after marrying, and he would tell her that “I paid for you, I’m getting what I paid for.” She even claimed he had thrown her kitten out of a moving car. However, Omaima had previously been arrested for assaulting an ex with a gun after tying him up, and then demanding money from him at gunpoint. Who was to be believed?
On Thanksgiving day in 1991, Omaima decided that Bill’s time was up. They had been married for barely a month.
According to Omaima, she asserted that Bill had tried to rape her again that night, and she was forced to kill him in self defense. The autopsy found that Bill’s feet were bound during the murder, and Omaima had a history of performing bondage on her sugar daddies. It seemed unlikely that she would have been able to subdue such a large man, had he not been bound.
The prosecution argued that she had tied him up, fooling Bill into believing the bondage was part of a sex game, then brutally murdered him in cold blood while he lay helplessly bound.
The details of the murder are gruesome: he was struck in the head with a lamp, causing blunt force trauma. He was then stabbed with scissors, and beaten with a clothes iron. It is unclear when in the attack he died, but it must have been excruciatingly painful. The Costa Mesa apartment was completely drenched in blood.
As if the murder wasn’t extreme enough, Omaima then proceeded to dismember her dead husband. She decapitated him, cooked his head, and put it in the freezer. She cut off his hands and boiled them in hot oil to remove traceable fingerprints. Bill was also castrated, as revenge for the alleged sexual assaults, and his lower body, legs, and torso were skinned with a knife.
Omaima wrapped Bill’s remains in newspaper and foil, and put them in garbage bags in their trash can, mixing them with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. She put sections of the corpse in the garbage disposal chute, and neighbours heard the machine grinding his body parts for 48 hrs after the murder. They “heard the garbage disposal go on for a long time . . . and constant chopping sounds.”
The next day, Omaima drove around in Bill’s 1975 red Corvette, asking friends and exes to help her dispose of Bill’s plentiful remains, which lay in the back seat of her trunk. She even offered a pal $75k for assistance. The friend wasn’t having any of it, and called the cops immediately. Omaima would watch calmly as the police removed bags filled with bloody pieces of corpse from the vehicle.
When police raided their apartment, they found “suitcases and plastic bags soaked with dark liquid from his body parts,” and “in the fry cooker there sat Mr. Nelson’s hands, and when we opened the refrigerator there was Mr. Nelson’s head with stab wounds.” Coincidentally, police had also found severed heads in Jeffrey Dahmer’s fridge earlier that year, in July of 1991.
Omaima managed to successfully dispose of 130 lbs of Bill’s body, and authorities were never able to find the missing body parts.
In court, there began a sensational trial. The most startling accusation of all is that Omaima cannibalized Bill’s remains. According to the psychiatrist who interviewed her in jail, Omaima had donned red lipstick, a red hat, and red high heels before she set out to dismember the corpse.
Omaima would deny it later on, but she told the psychiatrist that she had cooked Bill’s ribs and eaten them with barbecue sauce. She had enjoyed cooking him and said she “did his ribs just like in a restaurant.” While sitting at a table and consuming his remains, Omaima talked aloud to herself, saying “it’s so sweet, it’s so delicious. . . . I like mine tender.” At least she enjoyed the meal.
The psychiatrist said he had never seen anyone “so bizarre, so psychotic” in 20 years of medical practice, and said that her early years of abuse and genital mutilation in Egypt had left her mentally unhinged and plagued by PTSD and anger.
At the trial, she argued in her defense; “If I didn’t defend my life, I would have been dead. I’m sorry it happened, but I’m glad I lived. I’m sorry I dismembered him. I swear to God I did not eat any part of him. I am not a monster.”
In an extremely odd defense of his client, Omaima’s lawyer argued that she had dismembered Bill according to Ancient Egyptian tradition, fearing her husband would haunt her in the afterlife. In the myth of Osiris, his traitorous brother Set drowns him, then cuts him into 14 pieces and scatters his body across Egypt. Osiris’ wife Isis travels through Egypt and finds every body part, then puts him back together. With the exception of his phallus, which was devoured by fish in the Nile. Jurors did not buy this religious background story as adequate defense.
Omaima was convicted of second degree murder. Some jurors believed her tales of abuse, and others felt she was lying. After seeing images of the butchered corpse, a traumatized juror said, “All I want to do right now is go home and go to bed. You had to see the pictures (of the victim). The pictures were bad enough.”
Omaima is still in prison, and has been denied parole at every chance. She says she has turned a new leaf, but ironically enough, she found a new sugar daddy while in jail. The man was in his 70s, and is now deceased. She said of him; “We had three-day conjugal visits. There were knives in the kitchen. He never felt threatened or endangered in any way. I loved him so much.” Whoever this man was, he certainly was brave.