Inmate's Murder Brings Back Painful Memories

By: Jaime McCutcheon Email
By: Jaime McCutcheon Email

A tragic murder in 1991 still haunts a Nebraska family to this day. Now another death has brought all the painful memories right back into the present after the convicted killer is himself killed in prison last week.

In the Linkenhoker house, there's a photo album unlike the ones most of us have. It's full of newspaper clippings that tell the story of the murder of Jerry Linkenhoker in 1991.

Daughter-in-law Nelle Linkenhoker says, "that was on Thanksgiving evening. My husband, my sister and Jerry and all of us were out playing Keno."

Nelle Linkenhoker says Jerry left around one a.m. and started his shift as a Happy Cab driver. His body was later found lying in the middle of the road at 144th and Old Military.

"I don't think anybody realizes what you go through until you're actually victimized by something like this. His good memories are with us and the memories of that night will never go away," explains Nelle.

Less than 24 hours after Jerry's body was found, Jesse Perrigo was arrested. He was later convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. It's a murder that devastated two families.

"During the court thing and the trial, his family and our family joined hands and prayed for Jerry and Jesse both," says Nelle.

And Nelle Linkenhoker is praying for all again after her father-in-law's convicted killer was himself killed in prison last Friday. "A loved one being taken away from you leaves a hole in your heart forever and the Perrigos are going to suffer just as bad, and we never wished that."

Another tragedy to add to this story, and one that makes nothing easier to live with. "Jesse's death did not put closure on what we lost and there will never be an end, never be an end."

Nelle tells Channel 6 News one of the hardest things is Jerry didn't get to watch his 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren grow up.

As for his killer, 39-year old Jesse Perrigo was at the Lincoln Correctional Center when he suffered critical injuries in a fight. He later died at the hospital. Correctional services and the Nebraska State Patrol are investigating his death.

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