Montana has a storied history, and with it comes some dark blights on the state, one of which was a serial killer who prowled the western portion of the state in the 70's.

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Who is Montana's most notorious serial killer?

Missoula native Wayne Nance, also known as the Missoula Mauler, murdered at least six people during his lifetime; however, officials suspect he may have committed more killings. He was born in 1955.

He attended Sentinel High School and graduated in 1974 from Milltown and East Missoula, two neighborhoods in the city.

On April 11 of that year, Nance killed his first victim, Donna Pounds, who lived in West Riverside and was discovered shot to death in her basement.

Living in close proximity to the murder scene, Nance was still a teenager when the crime occurred; she was friends with the children of Donna Pounds.

Now we're in 1984, and ladies in the Missoula area started going missing for no apparent reason. Nance was a bouncer at the Cabin pub when three women went missing; he has since been connected to their disappearances.

The initial female victim, Devonna Nelson, was discovered in 1979 with stab wounds.

In September 1985, a second woman was discovered on Crystal Creek; her head was shot. Her identity remains a mystery as of 2022; however, she is widely believed to have been Nance's victim.

Thirdly, on Christmas Eve, 1985, the corpse of Marcella Bachman was unearthed from a shallow grave on Deer Creek. Until DNA testing in 2006, nobody knew who she was; she died of a gunshot wound to the head.

An armed robber broke into the home of Mike and Teresa Shook in Ravalli County on December 12, 1985, murdered them, and robbed them before setting their house on fire, almost killing four young children who were inside.

The long-lost possessions of the Shook family were located in Nance's home after a search warrant was executed.

After attempting to assault the manager of the furniture company where he was employed as a warehouse delivery worker on September 3, 1986, Nance's violent criminal rampage came to a stop.

Nance called Doug Wells while he and his wife, Kris, were at home, requesting a flashlight. Nance entered the house after getting permission, hit Doug in the head, and then forced Kris to hold him down before tying Kris up in the bedroom.

Even when Nance brutally assaulted Doug in the cellar with a knife, the latter managed to flee and pursue Nance upstairs. Nance managed to get his pistol and fired three shots at Doug, who subsequently received treatment for numerous wounds. Doug was hit in the side as he loaded his gun.

Nance had already passed out when emergency services reached the location. The following day, at St. Patrick's Hospital, he was declared dead.

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Gallery Credit: Meg Dowdy

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