Accused killer of 3 people was self-proclaimed sadist - Tucson News Now

Accused killer of 3 people was self-proclaimed sadist

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Anthony Nelson, who died in a Nevada shootout, was a self-proclaimed sadist. (Source: Booking photograph) Anthony Nelson, who died in a Nevada shootout, was a self-proclaimed sadist. (Source: Booking photograph)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The former Arizona inmate accused of killing one man in Tucson and two women in Nevada before dying himself in a shootout was a self-proclaimed sadist.

40 year old Anthony Nelson died June 13, only 11 days after being released from the prison in Florence.

The Level 3 sex offender had just finished a six-year sentence for raping a woman in Mesa.

What happened after his release impacted at least three families forever.

On June 16, Tucson Police were called to a home in the 3000 block of East 30th Street to perform a welfare check.

They did so because authorities in Washoe County, NV contacted them, saying they'd just shot and killed a man suspected of two murders near Reno.

"They identified that individual as 40-year-old Anthony Nelson," TPD Sgt. Pete Dugan said.

"And during their investigation, as they started looking into things, they found a vehicle that Nelson had been using. That vehicle had Arizona plates and returned to a Tucson address," Dugan said.

That East 30th Street address was where officers found the remains of a man who'd been mutilated, quite possibly by a machete.

That man was later identified as 32-year-old Quincy Gangwer, a registered sex offender himself, who was  last seen alive June 9.

The next day, Gangwer's white Nissan Frontier was picked up by a license plate reader in California, traveling west on Interstate 10.

At that point, nobody suspected any foul play because Gangwer's body hadn't yet been found by police.

But two days later, the vehicle surfaced again -- this time near Reno, NV.

On June 13, Washoe County, NV authorities received a 911 call from a man who said he'd just been shot and that two others were dead.

The man told authorities he and his wife went to check on a 70-year-old friend who hadn't been answering her phone.

When they knocked on her door, authorities say Anthony Nelson opened it.

He immediately shot the husband and wife, authorities say, killing the woman instantly.

Her friend lay dead inside after being tortured and mutilated.

Nelson himself would die after being shot by deputies in a high speed chase across two counties.

But who was this man and why was he so hell bent on hurting people?

Nelson was released from prison June 2 after serving a six-year term for rape.

He was a Level 3 sex offender: the most dangerous, and most likely to re-offend.

While inside, Nelson was a self-proclaimed sadist meaning he drew pleasure from inflicting pain on others.

Records show he was disciplined at least eight times in prison, four times this year alone.

Still he was released June 2 and wanted by the law again the following day for removing his ankle bracelet.

Eleven days later three people were dead.

Thankfully, some say, so was the person accused of killing of them.

The question a lot of people are asking -- including investigators in two states -- is how was somebody like this released to the public?

We're told his 2007 rape in Mesa was absolutely brutal, yet Nelson was only sentenced to six years.

We reached out to prosecutors' offices in Pima and Maricopa counties, but didn't hear anything back.

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