In September 2006, Christian Nielsen was staying at the Black Bear Inn in Newry, Maine, when he went on a killing spree over the Labor Day weekend, which left four people dead.
Signs of a Psychopath are examining the case on ID, where they will be piecing together the tragic events of that long weekend and will be speculating as to Nielsen’s motives in a case that left the people of this quiet ski resort reeling in shock.
On Friday, September 1, Nielsen shot dead Arkansas native James Whitehurst, 50, in a secluded wooded area near the Black Bear Inn. Whitehurst had been a fellow resident at the same Bed and Breakfast.
The next day, Nielsen dismembered Whitehurst’s body and attempted to burn the body parts. The day after that, Whitehurst killed the innkeeper, 65-year-old Julie Bullard, supposedly to cover up Whitehurst’s murder.
The following day, Bullard’s daughter, Selby Bullard, 30, and her friend Cindy Beatson, 43, turned up at the inn and were also attacked and killed by Nielsen. He then used a chain saw, hacksaw, and pickax to dismember the bodies.
His reign of terror ended after he made a phone call to his father, telling him he had taken over the inn’s running. When his parents decided to visit the inn that day, they discovered a series of blood trails and phoned the police.
When Trooper Dan Hanson of the Maine State Police first approached Nielsen and his father at the inn, he asked, “What’s going on?” to which Nielsen responded, “Well, I killed some people, Dan. I shot them all. The gun’s in the house in the tool chest.”
No motive for the murders has been satisfactorily established. Nielsen has said that he found Whitehurst “objectionable,” and that he had fantasized about killing someone for quite some time. He also said he wanted to take over the inn.
Nielsen subsequently pleaded not guilty by way of insanity; however, two physiologists ruled that he was not insane but that he did have a schizoid personality disorder, which made it difficult for him to express emotions or remorse.
In October 2007, Nielsen was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more gruesome murders profiled on ID.
Previously on Signs of a Psychopath, Kevin Davis from Corpus Christi, Texas, bashed his mother’s skull in with a hammer. He then proceeded to have sex with her corpse. When detectives later asked him why, he responded with, “I’m just a terrible, disgusting person.”
In January 2014, Donna Scrivo drugged and strangled her 32-year-old son Ramsay Scrivo at their home in Michigan. She then dismembered his remains in the bathtub and dumped the body parts along an icy highway.
Signs of a Psychopath airs at 10:30/9:30 on Investigation Discovery.
I’ve always wondered about people incapable of feeling compassion. Are they born that way or does something happen to them that just turns off that emotion