No Thanks: 5 Notorious Crimes Committed On Thanksgiving Day

By: Mike McPadden

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

In 1789, President George Washington declared November 26 to be officially recognized “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

Since then, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving Day on each fourth Thursday in November, with most citizens typically observing a traditional gathering of families and intimate friends for a peaceful turkey-centered feast.

Then there are these people.

Omaima Nelson during her sentencing in 1993 after being convicted of murdering her husband and dismembering his body.
Photo: Glenn Koenig / Getty

Omaima Nelson during her sentencing in 1993 after being convicted of murdering her husband and dismembering his body.
Photo: Glenn Koenig / Getty

Omaima Nelson: The Model Who Killed, Castrated & Ate Her Husband For Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day 1991, Egyptian-born fashion model Omaima Nelson, 23, repeatedly plunged a pair of scissors into the chest and stomach of Bill Nelson, her 56-year-old pilot husband. Then she reached for a clothing iron.

As Bill flailed, Omaima pummeled him to death with the iron until the heavy object actually broke in her hand (imagine the force it takes to break an iron!).

Omaima unleashed her fury, she claimed, over the sexual terror and other abuses to which Bill had subjected her — acts that reportedly included him pimping out his glamorous bride to kinky old creeps in exchange for rent, cash, and, in one case, a car.

When Bill finally expired, Omaima butchered his body on the kitchen floor. She then boiled his hands in oil to remove fingerprints and stuck his head in the freezer so she could later break out his teeth. In symbolic revenge, Omaima made a point of castrating her husband, as well.

Read more: CrimeFeed

Paul Michael Merhige [TyneRoseMedia]

Paul Michael Merhige [TyneRoseMedia]

Paul Michael Merhige: A Thanksgiving Massacre 20 Years in the Making

On November 26, 2009, South Florida resident Paul Michael Merhige ate a hearty Thanksgiving meal with 16 family members and friends, conversing and joking and even joining in sing-alongs. After dinner, Merhige whipped out a handgun and executed four relatives, including his cousin-in-law, his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, and his cousin’s six-year-old daughter. Afterward, Merhige reportedly said, “I’ve waited 20 years to do this.” Merhige fled the scene but was captured, and eventually cut a plea deal for seven consecutive life sentences to avoid the death penalty.

Read more: CBS

Ayalis Clay Oliver [El Paso County Jail]

Ayalis Clay Oliver [El Paso County Jail]

Ayalis Clay Oliver: Colorado Father Kills Son Over Unfinished Thanksgiving Chores

The annoyance Ayalis Clay Oliver, 76, felt toward his son Keith Oliver, 49, over the younger man’s refusal to help out around the house escalated to homicidal rage on Thanksgiving Day 2009. The father and son had reportedly been “arguing for hours” prior to Marjorie Oliver, 75, Ayalis’s wife and Keith Oliver’s mother, asking her son to leave. He refused. His father went upstairs, retrieved a .357-caliber revolver, and shot Oliver to death.

Read more: Fox News

Byron David Smith's mug shots [Morrison County Jail]

Byron David Smith's mug shots [Morrison County Jail]

A Man's Home Is His Castle: Byron David Smith's Thanksgiving Day Murders

Byron David Smith (above), a retired security-engineering officer with the U.S. State Department, had dealt with his Little Falls, Minnesota, home being burglarized several times in as many months. He installed an alarm system, complete with video cameras aimed at several areas around his house. Then, on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, he sat in his basement with a rifle and waited.

The video from that day captures Smith moving his truck from the driveway prior to the break-in to make it appear as if he weren’t home. Then an hour later, two teens in hoodies can be seen casing the place before entering the property. The teens were Haile Elaine Kifer, 18, and her cousin, Nicholas Brady, 17, both of whom were unarmed. Smith had suspected Kifer and Brady of having been responsible for at least some of the earlier break-ins, and they were later suspected of a robbery of a retired schoolteacher that had occurred earlier that day.

While Smith sat in his basement waiting, he had a tape recorder running. There are hours of audio recordings that document his time lying in wait, complete with the sound of breaking glass and the ensuing confrontation. The audio captures the shots fired, and Smith’s statements during and after the killings, including,“I refuse to live in fear. I am not a bleeding-heart liberal. I felt like I was cleaning up a mess . . .I was doing my civic duty . . . I don’t see them as human. I see them as vermin.”

Incredibly, despite the two dead bodies in his house, Smith wouldn’t actually call the police until the next day, stating that he didn’t want to bother them because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Read more: CrimeFeed

Shenika Allsup [Annapolis Police Department]

Shenika Allsup [Annapolis Police Department]

Shenika Allsup Stabs Half-Brother in Neck With Serving Fork Over Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving 2012 turned gory for celebrants gathered at the home of Shenika Allsup, 27. In the course of a sibling spat about the food being served, Allsup stabbed her half-brother, Deonte Antionio Wallace, 23, in the neck with a serving fork. Wallace survived, and Allsup went to jail for first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Read more: Huffington Post