Murdered Nuns In Mississippi Update: Rodney Earl Sanders Arrested And Charged With Vicious Crime

Two nuns in Mississippi were viciously murdered in their home on Thursday evening. On Friday evening, police identified Rodney Earl Sanders as their main suspect in the murders. When brought in for questioning, according to USA Today, Sanders did not deny that he murdered the nuns. Even though he did not deny the murders, he refused to give authorities any answers regarding why he killed the two nuns.

Sister Paula Merrill was a nurse practitioner with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, and Sister Margaret Held was a nurse practitioner with the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. Both Merrill and Held were 68-years-old at the time of their murder. One of the patients that Sister Margaret would visit just prior to her murder spoke under condition of anonymity to the Daily Beast.

“She called and asked me ‘Are you alright’ after I had come down to the clinic to meet with the doctor and had tests done. She had just gotten home at that time and it shows you how long she worked. I told her the doctor said everything was A-OK and that I didn’t have to come back till next year. I’m going to tell you she is—was—a living angel. All’s she had to do was flap her wings and go to heaven.”

The bodies of Sister Merrill and Sister Held were only discovered due to the fact that neither of them arrived at work. Patricia Weatherly lived next to the two nuns. Weatherly was distraught when she was asked to comment on the brutal deaths.

“They never leave their glass screen door open. The only thing I heard was a dog barking and then another dog barking loudly.”

Weatherly had a special relationship with the nuns after Sister Margaret helped Weatherly begin to eat healthy.

“It was sort of a pasta thing with their own vegetables they grew. It was different because I was used to eating pasta the spaghetti way. This was totally different. I had never had zucchini or some of the other vegetables they grew before. Sister Margaret came to my house asking for pine needles for their garden and she made me different dishes. I had asthma a long time and she helped me change me to a better treatment. She was an earth person and told me to take these herbs and stuff. She also told me about putting vinegar in water and boiling it and holding my head under a towel and breathing that in. I tried it and it was real good.”

Weatherly described the scene when the two nuns were discovered.

“When I got here lord behold I see them people everywhere and learned they were killed. Who would kill the sisters? They were homely. They didn’t mess with anybody. The first day I sat in my chair and just stared. It was just like I don’t know how to explain it. I told myself ‘You got to quit this. Sister Margaret would not want you to do this.’”

An autopsy will be conducted on the two murdered nuns in order to determine if the multiple stab wounds were the cause of death or something else entirely. Dexter Howard, the coroner assigned to the case, states that these murders are “one of the worst” he has seen during his career.

[Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo]