Skip to comments.Time served, sex offender who killed 6-year-old girl has come to live in Derry
Posted on 02/01/2008 5:53:09 AM PST by KeyLargo
Time served, sex offender who killed 6-year-old girl has come to live in Derry
By PAT GROSSMITH AND NANCY WEST New Hampshire Union Leader
DERRY A man who strangled, then sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl and stuffed her body into a storm drain in 1981 is living near the Derry Montessori School, a park and the public library.
Douglas Allen Simmons, 47, moved into 71 East Broadway, Apt. 3, Derry, over the weekend, according to police. Yesterday, his name and photo were posted on New Hampshire's child sex offender Web site.
Simmons was a 20-year-old sailor when he lured freckle-faced Michelle Spencer, 6, into his apartment July 19, 1981, and murdered her in Norwich, Conn., according to The Hartford Courant account of his sentencing. Simmons lived with his wife in the same building as Michelle.
Simmons strangled Michelle with a paint-speckled gray telephone cord, then sexually abused her and disposed of her body in a sewer drain near her home, according to the newspaper.
Michelle was last seen playing in her front yard wearing green shorts and a red T-shirt with a "Wonder Woman" emblem on it.
At Simmons' sentencing, a prosecutor said Simmons hit the child's hand when she reached for his stereo and, when she began to cry, covered her mouth with his hand to quiet her. She collapsed to the floor. Simmons grabbed a telephone cord, wrapped it around her neck and strangled her, The Hartford Courant reported.
The 6-year-old lived in the same building as Douglas Allen Simmons in Norwich, Conn. On July 19, 1981, he strangled her with a telephone cord, sexually abused her and disposed of her body in a sewer drain, according to the Hartford Courant.
The prosecutor said Simmons then molested the girl before putting her body in a cardboard box and dumping it in a storm drain, the newspaper reported. Simmons, a Michigan native, was a fireman's apprentice aboard the USS Fulton in New London, Conn., and had just returned home from drinking with friends.
Amid controversy, Simmons was released on probation in 2003 in Connecticut after Michigan officials scuttled his attempt to move there to be near his mother, Jacqueline Dean, of Grand Rapids.
"The facts of the case suggest that Mr. Simmons is a serious predator who will likely commit similar crimes if released," Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm said at the time. A judge ordered Simmons to complete probation in Connecticut.
Simmons' mother spoke briefly with the New Hampshire Union Leader yesterday.
"He served his time. He's doing fine. He's been out of prison over five years," Jacqueline Dean said. "He just wants to live his life." Asked whether Simmons has friends in New Hampshire, Dean said she believes he does.
Simmons is free to live wherever he wants because his sentence and probation are completed; in New Hampshire, he is required to register for the child sex offender list. He came into the Derry police station Monday and registered, police said. There is no mention of his murder conviction on the New Hampshire state police site.
Simmons was never charged with sexual assault, but later admitted it. And there were errors in his original sentence when he pleaded guilty, according to Connecticut officials.
Philip Fazzino, of the New London, Conn., state's attorneys office, said the state erroneously added probation to Simmons' murder sentence, so he was brought back to court in 2003 and re-sentenced on a new indictment of second-degree kidnapping in connection with Michelle's murder.
Simmons essentially ended up with a 35-year sentence and five years probation, but earned time off for good behavior because of laws in effect when he was sentenced, Fazzino said. Simmons served about 22 years in prison and completed probation.
Yesterday, people in Derry remained on edge.
Cheryl Lynch, director of the Derry Public Library, said security at the library is already tight. "We're vigilant every day," Lynch said. "We ask the patrons to be aware of their surroundings."
Union Leader Correspondent Adam Benson contributed to this report.
Do the crime....do the time. And then you’re a free man. It sucks in this case but them’s the rules.
Derry? Isn’t that the location of the town in the Steven King horror novel “It”?
If so, appropriate place for a predator!
In a saner time, the perp would’ve danced the Tyburn Jig. Unfortunately, there is a better than 50-50 chance he’ll do it again.
Why single him out?
A quick search of Derry shows multiple sex offenders in the city.
Being the father of five children, three of them girls, which my wife and I have raised to maturity, I believe if I had been the Dad of this little girl that I would have had some temporary insanity go on and this aniumal would have never been in any position to be freed. His next tribunal would have been before a non-earlthy bar.
I can’t imagine how anyone in their right mind could believe that children will ever be safe around this man. The parents of Derry must be horrified.
And when he does it again, there will be a lot of hand-wringing, and “oh what could have been done differently” musings. And then we’ll let another one out and repeat the process.
In theory this idiot should have been hanged. Problem is, at this point in time, a death penalty in America would simply amount to handing the Mike Nifongs and Ronnie Earles of the land licenses to kill people; those three lacrosse players could easily be dead. I’d have to have some very major changes in the entire system before I could support a death penalty in America. The job of DA would have to be abolished and the entire “adversarial” system of justice bagged in favor of some sort of an “inquisitorial” system such as you see in France in which the common incentive of all players is to figure out what happened and who if anybody is guilty of what. NOBODY should have any sort of a career or money incentive to simply put people in prison or hang them.
Yes that is where "It" takes place (and others I think). But all of King's novels take place in Maine. This is New Hampshire.
What about the six-year-old child he strangled and abused? Can she 'live her life'?
and when the gov’t lets felons vote, I’ll bet he registers and vote as Democrat
That’s worse; that’s not even self-preservation, but protection of their kids. If their liberal idiocy spills over to abandoning the safety of their children, then they’re one sorry excuse for a human being.
No, this is a murderer! Calling him a sex offender makes him sound like Aqualung leering at Cross-Eyed Mary. He's not, he's a cold-blooded killer. He took a precious child and strangled her with a telephone cord. The poorly written article we have here sets the sexual assault as after the murder, yet it seems to be the dominant theme and concern. I don't understand.
Not unlike the liberal mother of that girl, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped.
That mother told her husband to hire this homeless grifter to help him paint the house or something. She felt sorry for him. The grifter does the work, sees the girl, comes back and kidnaps her.
Great job Mom! You got to feel better about yourself and what you were doing for society. Hope it was worth it for you.