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Crime News Black Widow Murders

What To Know About 2-Time Husband Killer Sharon Nelson Before ‘Black Widow Murders’

Sharon Nelson had three husbands — but she had two of them killed, as seen in the new Oxygen series "Black Widow Murders." Why?

By Joe Dziemianowicz

First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes … murder?

How to Watch

Catch up on Black Widow Murders on Peacock or the Oxygen App.

It’s shocking but true. While most women plan on ways to spend their lives together with their husbands, others plot ways to kill their spouses. So it goes in cases explored in “Black Widow Murders,” premiering Sunday, September 25 on Oxygen. 

But what drives a woman to kill a spouse? Some motives include money, power, or sex. Ultimately, for these black widows, murder is a way to gain something.

The gripping new series features many different female killers, including Sharon Nelson, the black widow behind the deaths of two spouses.

Before the show airs, we get you up to speed on her intricate web of death.

Who is the black widow?

Sharon Nelson came from strict and humble roots. She was born to a Seventh Day Adventist couple in North Carolina, according to “Black Widow Murders." She and her first husband, a pastor, moved to the small town of Trinidad in Colorado. They divorced in 1976 and went their separate ways. 

Who were her victims?

Perry Nelson, a 50-year-old optometrist, was Sharon’s second husband. After going missing in 1983, his body was found nearly 18 months later in Clear Creek Canyon in Jefferson County. His death was ruled an accidental drowning, and Sharon collected on a $400,000 life insurance policy.

Glenn Harrelson, 45, a Denver-area fire dispatcher, was Nelson’s third husband. In 1988, when the two were estranged, his charred body was found by firefighters in his burned home, according to a 1988 AP report. An autopsy revealed that he’d been shot twice in the face before being incinerated.

But how did investigators tie Sharon to the two deaths? How did she kill them?  And why did she do it?

 To learn more about the shocking investigation, Sharon Nelson's trial, and her whereabouts today, watch “Black Widow Murders,” airing Sunday, September 25 on Oxygen.

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