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Crime News Snapped

Why Was There A Murder-Suicide Attempt At The 'Peanuts' Office? 'Snapped' Dives Into The Shocking Case

After Shirley Ann Nelson's husband left her for another woman, she turned to deadly measures.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

When people are pushed to the breaking point, dangerous — and deadly — things can happen. 

How to Watch

Watch Snapped on Oxygen Sundays 6/5c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

“Snapped,” Oxygen’s longest-running original series, has shared evidence of that dynamic over 500 times. The predominant focus has been women who kill — or try to.

On Sunday, July 3, 6/5c, Season 31 of “Snapped” premieres on Oxygen. The series returns with the unsettling story of a scorned wife, an unfaithful husband, a murder-suicide attempt, and a crime scene at 1 Snoopy Place.

Before the new season launches, we break down the can’t-miss first case.

Who snapped?

Shirley Ann Nelson, a Santa Rosa, California woman, had been married to Ronald Nelson for nearly three decades. Ron, who was more than 10 years younger than his wife, worked for “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schultz as his business manager. 

Shirley Nelson featured in Snapped

On July 4, 1995, Ron told Shirley, then 65, he “was leaving her for a younger secretary who was another 'Peanuts' employee,” according to SFGate.com.

What happened?

On Wednesday, July 5, 1995, Shirley went to her estranged husband’s office at “Peanuts” with a loaded handgun, aimed it at him, and opened fire. She wounded him twice in the back. Shirley Nelson then shot herself in the chest, reported the Press Democrat. 

Shirley, who was seriously injured, later told police “she tried to kill her husband because he’d left her for another woman,” according to The Press Democrat. Her effort to kill her husband — and herself — both failed. But Ronald’s injuries were so extensive he was in the hospital for more than six weeks to recover.

What went down at her trial?

The explosive trial that followed had many twists and turns. To find out what happened, how Shirley defended herself, and where Shirley Nelson is today, watch “Snapped,” airing Sunday, July 3 at 6/5c on Oxygen.

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