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2002 Livermore Teen Murder Case on TV

Teen bride Jenna Nannetti's murder by her husband told Thursday on Investigation Discovery.

It’s not easy reconciling the image of Jeff Hamilton, the kid who used to be in the Junction Avenue band with my son, and the man who was involved in the cold-blooded killing of Jenna Nannetti, 17, and attempted strangling of another teen.

Or, for that matter, Michael Simons - the ordinary boy from Portola and Junction Avenue schools who shared a cabin with my son and other boys during fifth grade camp.

Simons, the not-so-ordinary young man who, with the help of Hamilton and his then-girlfriend Katie Belflower, killed his young wife Jenna with a shotgun in 2002.

In 2005, Simons was convicted of first degree murder in the slaying of Jenna. He is serving a life plus 25-years without the possibility of parole sentence.

Also in 2005, Belflower pled no contest to murder and was sentenced to 25-years to life. Hamilton was convicted of second-degree murder, now serving a 15-year sentence.

On Thursday at 6 and 9 p.m., “Wicked Attraction” on Investigation Discovery is featuring the story of these unlikely killers and their victims.

The show was filmed right here in Livermore, which lends an authenticity to the otherwise pretty standard episode of a series that spotlights crimes across the country.

The reason this story caught the eye of producers is because of the personalities involved, and brings out the point that if Jeff, Michael and Katie had not found each other, individually they may have never entered into a deadly alliance.

After looking through court documents in addition to watching the episode, it seems clear that Jeff, Michael and Katie might never have been caught for the murder of Jenna if Jeff and Katie had not attempted to take out Katie's rival Aspen Lum.

Pregnant with Michael’s child, Katie was ticked that he was seeing a 16-year-old Livermore girl Aspen. So she and Jeff took Aspen, who thought they were just all going out for a good time at Top of the World near Del Valle, for what could have been her last look at life.

They were stopped by a park policeman, Tim Phillips, who foiled their plan. Later, while being interrogated, everything began to unravel for the trio.

Jenna, who only briefly knew Michael before they were married, wanted to reunite with Michael, who had left her for Katie after only four months of marriage. Michael knew she has a life insurance policy and in his muddled mind, thought he would be the beneficiary of it since they two were married. He was not. Jenna’s grandmother Linda, who took out the policy and was her guardian, was the beneficiary.

Michael is shown as a charismatic, good-looking kid who charmed his way through life. The memories of those I spoke to run more toward a sneaky kid who never quite fit in, and took pleasure in trying to make others look bad. They knew he had a rough life – an aunt here in town adopted him  – and some had tried to befriend him, but that never quite worked out.

Jeff was seen by those who knew him as a benign kid who didn’t get into trouble, whose mom worked at the local Taco Bell. Jeff didn’t stand out, but then he didn’t seem like someone who could harm another human.

“Wicked Attractions” depicts Livermore as a sleepy suburban town stunned by the tragedy.

It was, indeed, stunning when the town was rocked by the news of what had unfolded.

The film crew trekked to Livermore to re-enact the details of case, including the burning of Jenna’s Mustang in the parking lot of Mountain House Bar on West Grantline.

Michael torched the car there because he knew Jenna went there often, and her father Jim was a regular. Perhaps he hoped, and was probably proved correct, that it would throw investigators away from him and toward a possible connection with the bar, known as a hangout for bikers.

Genie Gonzales, who is identified as a friend of the family and then employee of the bar, talks about the case. Also chiming in for Jenna is her friend Daniel Bonacich. Police and investigators also speak about the case.

Jenna’s troubled father Jim Nannetti died April 4, 2010. In a touching message on a memorial page, Jenna’s mother Bobbie Nigro wrote that when he passed, she lost perhaps the one person who could understand the pain of losing Jenna.

Katie, Jeff and Michael are all still serving time in prison. Katie and Michael's child was put up for adoption.

Family members of the victims still live in town, as do those related to the perpetrators. I don’t know if they cross paths, but it would be difficult not to do so in even in a town that has grown much in the past decade. As people say, Livermore may get bigger, but it’s still a small town in many ways.

And a town still wondering how tragedies like this can happen here. 

Andy Halvorsen August 25, 2011 at 06:31 PM
excellent heads up, thanks!
Rochelle eck April 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Great show, maybe these young ppl can see it is not worth it to cheat on one another
stygean hugh April 23, 2012 at 06:01 AM
In 2002, when Jenna went missing I was living in Pleasanton and working in Livermore at the Dollar Tree. My nephew had dated Jenna briefly, an I new her only in passing. A short time after she disappeared, a friend asked me to go to his friend "Katie's" house because she was setting him up on a blind date with a mystery friend. This mystery friend turned out to be Aspen. When we arrived, a very pregnant Katie answered an let us in. She offered me Prozac, as if it were an snack. Then she asked me if I wanted to watch the porno she, her friend, and her boyfriend had. Honestly, I was a little horrified and uncomfortable. I wanted to leave, but hung around because my friend and Aspen were not ready to go. A short while later, a fuming Mike arrived and foiled Katie's plan. My friend grabbed me and told me to get in the car as Mike tried to confront us. I remember him screaming at Aspin that she "wasn't f*ing going any where" and then he threw a garbage can at our car as we tried to escape. I thought he was going to seriously do something. Mike was anything but charming, and Katie was anything but normal. Its sad that Jenna had to loose her life in this whole mess, but I'm glad those two ( or three, I never met the third guy) are off the street, other wise I'm sure they would have kept killing people. An earlier episode of this same show features a story about a case that happened in Pleasanton as well.
Michelle Kathleen Schenck May 27, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I think that all three of them, including that whore Katie should have gotten the death penalty.
rascal August 30, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Katie learned everything she knew from her mother. Never forget that.
Jeff December 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The evil leaf doesn't fall far from the tree. She's a pig that should be on death row.
Patricia December 07, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I agree, but I don't think nice little pigs everywhere would appreciate the association!
Jeff December 07, 2012 at 10:19 PM
How correct you are.....that's a compliment to her and an insult to pigs everywhere. My mistake indeed.
R Christine February 13, 2013 at 08:29 AM
Stygean hugh I believe you are full of it because Katie tryed to kill Aspen once she found out she was pregnant & the moment Aspen was free of her would be killers she told on them & they got arrested! So I don't think they'd be hanging out after that. Secondly, Katie was "very pregnant" as you state, during her trial,yet another reason you weren't hanging with them during her "very pregnant" phase! Therefore your story is complete B.S.!
Ivy griff March 05, 2013 at 09:06 PM
How would you know? Did you know them or did you just get your facts off of ID?...
david June 06, 2013 at 07:43 AM
You overlooked an important ingredient in this crime; all the people involved were involved with alcohol, drugs and sex. They were largely disfunctional at an early age and it didn't get better as they aged.
david June 06, 2013 at 08:02 AM
This story was written in 2011, no wonder the TV program IS NOT on today. Why the heck is this on Patch today? Patch is quickly becoming irrelevant.
lorna June 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Comcast guide shows it on Friday, June 6 10-11.
Livermoronian June 06, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Another local, Earl Forrest will be on A&E channel Sunday June 16, 2013 at 3pm for Uverse and Friday, June 6, 10-11 if you are Comcast. The program is called "The Killer Speaks"episode called "Payback". He is on death row for the killing of three people in Missouri. One of them being "Toddy" also a person from Livermore. Just an FYI.

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