|JW abusers in the news
|Another JW father commits murder
|Victim's family dresses down murderer
By Laurel J. Sweet
Saturday, July 16, 2005 - Updated: 09:20 AM EST
A bitter brother-in-law of the mild-mannered monster who pinned his sister face down while he strangled her with a necktie wanted to see Kevin Hensley off to prison in style yesterday.
``I notice you don't have a tie on,'' Thomas Gillespie, his voice crackling with sarcasm, told Hensley, 49, who once attempted suicide. ``You know what? I brought one for you.''
Hensley - who was a tow truck driver for the Boston Transportation Department when he murdered his wife, Nancy Hensley, 45, in their East Boston bedroom Jan. 31, 2002 - had planned to speak at his mandatory sentencing to life behind bars. But crushed by the weight of his family's grief, he backed down.
After deliberating only two hours, a jury convicted Hensley of first-degree murder Thursday - the same day his daughter Candace Hensley turned 14.
The Hensleys had four children during their 22 years of marriage: daughters Candace and Kerry, 24, and sons Pat, 22, and Kevin, 10.
``They're beautiful kids,'' Maryann Gillespie, the aunt who took them in, told their father in her gut-wrenching good riddance. ``They deserve the best, and we'll have that for them.
``I wish you had come to us for help,'' she told Hensley, whose slain wife was her husband Robert Gillespie's sister. ``We would have been there for you, but there's nothing we can do now.''
Kevin and Nancy Hensley, Jehovah's Witnesses, had been separated only a couple of weeks when he beat and choked her to death and then dumped her body beside a toilet in the basement - what prosecutor Dennis Collins called the ``final indignity.''
The couple's religion teaches that men run the home and women are to be subservient, but while Kevin Hensley was a homebody, family members said Nancy, a working mom, wanted to spread her wings.
``My sister lived for her children. She loved them dearly,'' Karen Nolan told Hensley. ``She would have been proud of each one of them for how they've handled this.
``Unfortunately, this state doesn't have the death penalty yet for animals like you, Kevin, so the best I can hope for is that you live a long and miserable life.''