LINCOLN, NEB. A Chicago woman has fallen for one of the "Boys Don't Cry" killers and has been granted a marriage license for their future prison wedding.
Justine Mirth, 32, says she can't wait to marry Tom Nissen, although she's never seen or met him in person.
"I'm dying to go see him. I want to hold him," she said. "He's the man I love. I want to spend the rest of my life with him."
Nissen and co-defendant John Lotter were convicted of the 1993 murders of three people in a farmhouse in southeast Nebraska.
Nissen, of Falls City, said he stabbed one of the victims, 21-year-old Teena Brandon, and that Lotter shot Brandon, Lisa Lambert, 24, and Phillip DeVine, 22.
Nissen got life in prison. Lotter got the death penalty.
The crime inspired the 1999 movie starring Hilary Swank, who played the Brandon character.
Mirth and Nissen communicated through long letters and 15-minute phone calls - the prison maximum.
When she saw the film, Mirth said, she identified with the characters who represented Lotter and Nissen. She had grown up "in a small, stupid town in Indiana," she said, and escaped by running with a rough crowd.
Killers fascinate her, she says. She's written to Gary Ridgway, the Green River killer, who killed upward of 50 women, and to Dennis Rader, the BTK killer of Kansas, thought to be responsible for at least 10 homicides.
No response from them.
In November 2004, she wrote to Nissen, who wrote back.
"She's beautiful, not just in looks, but in thought and deed," Nissen said.
There's no wedding date yet. She wants to move to Lincoln, then plan their wedding, to take place in the prison visiting room.