Petition for the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors to authorize money from the general fund for re-trying Greg Nelson and trying Suzanne Little for
If you've ever had a kid, or been one, remember back to what it's like to be six. You are eager to explore your world with your friends and cousins, but Mom and Dad are still heroes that you look up to and depend on. Life is OK. You live in a small town with a rushing river going through it, surrounded by mountains with huge trees. Dad is a successful tree planting contractor and logger with cool trucks and other stuff. Some of your ancestors have lived here forever, but Grandpa is white and he is really nice too. It is a warm Saturday afternoon in summer. Mom is playing in a softball game at the park. You are excited because you get to be batboy for the tournament and are proudly wearing your batboy shirt. During the day you go back and forth between Mom's game and playing with your friends. Dad is taking care of his business but you see him on the way home and want to go home with him. He has you wait in the back of the pickup while he finishes up. For the rest of his life he agonizes over why he turned his back and went back inside for a few long minutes. When he comes out, you are gone. Six months later, a decaying body, its soul long since departed, is found way up the river, stuffed into a small barrel. That was Willie Cook. In 1976, in the small northern California town of Happy Camp, six year old Willie Cook was snatched from the back of his dad’s pick-up truck in broad daylight. Six months later, his naked body was found stuffed inside a barrel approximately 60 miles from Happy Camp, where it had been dumped near the Klamath River. For more than 3 decades, the crime went unsolved. Finally, 32 years later, in the year 2008, two arrests were made. Greg Nelson was charged with the kidnapping and murder of Willie. Suzanne Little, Willie’s aunt by marriage, was charged with his kidnapping. The pair lived in the small reservation town of Hoopa, California approximately 78 miles away. The friends and family of Willie were stunned, outraged and hopeful that justice would finally be served for Willie. Greg Nelson confessed to the kidnapping and murder and the family began to hear the horrifying details of Willie’s last days on earth. Willie was allegedly held for several days in a box outside of Suzanne Little’s home. Despite Greg Nelson’s confession, the trial ended in a hung jury; seven to five guilty for murder and split for kidnapping. Although the new trial was placed on the court calendar, the charges against both Greg Nelson and Suzanne Little were dismissed by the DA’s office citing budgetary restraints and the need for additional evidence. In the words of a family friend: Words can not express the pain and sickness the Cooks are feeling. Please pray for their strength. They now know what happened to their baby, their only little boy. They know who took him, and where and how he was kept. They know that he cried and was terrified for days. They know that Willie knew he was being held by his relation and they were not helping him. And they know that Willie knew what was going to happen to him the night he was murdered. We all heard how Willie was screaming for his mama and sad and terrified as he was being "shut up". Ya, now the Cooks know, but how can they move on seeing that none of that matters. Money, money matters and there is not enough of it for justice. Godspeed Cook family, I love you. Willie was a shy, sweet little boy, who filled his pockets with frogs, rocks and his little friends, his rolly pollies (potato bugs). His life was worth more than this and he deserves more than this. I appeal to you for help .We hope that bringing attention to this injustice may help us get a retrial for Mr. Nelson and a trial for Ms. Little. Please help us finally get justice for Willie.