Parole hearing held for accomplice in 1990 kidnapping and murder of Nancy Shoemaker

Donald Wacker (KSN Photo)
Nancy Shoemaker

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The man convicted of kidnapping and being an accomplice in the murder of 9-year-old Nancy Shoemaker 27 years ago had a parole hearing this morning.

Donald Wacker was convicted in 1992 for the kidnapping of Shoemaker in 1990.

“I think of her every day. This year Nancy would be turning 37,” said Susan Canoll, Nancy’s biological mother. “As a family we should be celebrating many lifetime events with Nancy. I will never get the phone call that she is engaged to the love of her life. As her mother I will never have the opportunity to plan her wedding.”

Bo Shoemaker, Nancy’s father, told the prisoner review board that Donald Wacker should never get out of prison. Doil Lane was convicted of raping and murdering Nancy, but Bo Shoemaker says Donald Wacker should have done something to stop the violent crimes.

“He (Wacker) was the last person, the only person that could help her and he chose to do nothing,” said Bo Shoemaker. “We feel like he is unfit to return to society.”

Shoemaker and about two dozen family members and friends sat in front of the prisoner review board Wednesday. Also in front of the prisoner review board was a stack of 9,000 petitions to keep Wacker behind bars.

Family members and friends of Shoemaker collected 9,000 signatures urging the parole board to deny his request and keep him in prison. They also delivered a passionate plea before the board to keep Wacker behind bars. They talked about the search to find Nancy that lasted seven months.

Erica Tamez says she still has nightmares about her friend, Nancy Shoemaker, being taken off the street.

“My parents had to put me in a lot of therapy growing up because I just couldn’t cope,” says Tamez. “I still have nightmares. I still have bad dreams.That fear is still real. It will always be alive inside me because Nancy was just picked out of the blue. For a long time I wouldn’t go anywhere. Every time a stranger would come up I would cry, hysterically.”

Tamez sat quietly behind Bo Shoemaker and others at the parole hearing. But she did not hesitate to speak out, when it was her turn.

“I want to be her voice. I couldn’t speak back then,” says Tamez. “I was too little. but I can speak now. And I will speak and I will stand with my best friend.”

Wacker’s accomplice Doil Lane was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He is currently serving a prison sentence in Texas for another crime.

The parents of Donald Wacker were also at the prisoner review parole hearing. They both spoke quietly, and his mother said it may be time for Donald Wacker to be let go from prison.

The prisoner review board will meet with Donald Wacker in November to talk. That board will have a decision on parole by the end of the year.


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