It is a strange experience to have met and spent time with a person who police believe is capable of hiring someone to shoot and kill another human being. In December 2004, I met a very nice lady named (Vera) Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail at the annual Christmas party given by my husband’s employer. Yesterday, the Frisco, Texas police arrested Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail, 42, for the contract for hire murder of her estranged husband Craig William Nail, formerly of Brighton New York. According to a press release on the City of Frisco website, Craig William Nail was found deceased on December 26, 2007 in his Frisco, Texas home. His girlfriend,Therisa Hofman, was also shot, but survived.
Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail seemed to be a very normal wife and mother when I met her at the 2004 McAfee, Inc. Christmas party. Her husband, Craig William Nail, was a Senior IT Network Security Engineer in the company where my husband is employed. As we sat side by side, we talked of home, children and family. She told me all about her children and excused herself briefly to use her cell phone to call and check on them. She seemed to have a good relationship with her husband. We talked about her career with Mark Kay cosmetics. She had been very successful and loved the job. She was pretty, stylish and confident-a very good representation for her position with Mary Kay Cosmetics. As of this date, she is still listed as a consultant for the Carrolton/Frisco, Texas area on the Mary Kay website. The photo taken of her at the police station is nothing like she would have appeared in a picture taken at that Christmas party. She is being charged with a First Degree Felony, and her bond has been set at $100,000.00.
Sometime after May 2005, my husband told me that Craig and his wife had separated. I was surprised and saddened. I remembered our conversation about their children and how devoted she was to them. I contemplated the effect that divorce has on children and said a prayer for these children. My husband and Craig Nail continued in their work relationship. The next time I saw Craig Nail was at the 2006 Christmas party. This time he was with a blond lady we did not know. When my husband pointed him out to me, I once again thought of Elizabeth and wondered how she was doing. Although, we did not have a friendship, I had connected with her in that brief period of time at the Christmas party when I remembered my long ago struggles as a young mother who tried to juggle work responsibilities and a life with my husband while still doing my best to be a good mother.
My husband and Craig Nail continued to work together. They worked just across the hall from each other and spoke almost daily. Then on December 27 2007, my husband came home from work and reported that Craig Nail had been found dead in his home. The suspicion was that he had been murdered. My husband and his fellow employees were shocked. You never expect this type of thing to happen to someone you know. In a matter of days, my husband was reporting to me that (Vera) Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail was under suspicion. I guess I am naïve. I could not believe it. I thought surely the police would find some other person responsible. The person I met at the Christmas party could not have done this act. She could not be capable of killing another person, especially if that person was the one person her children probably loved as much as they love her.
The arrest of Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail does not prove me wrong, but it does force me to believe that it is possible. Apparently, the police believe it is so. According to local news, the police have a statement from a man Elizabeth Nail had dated. He states that she asked him on several occasions to kill her husband. There are also news reports that the Nail’s divorce contest had been bitter. Craig Nail was apparently being given the house and custody of their six-year-old daughter. According to the boyfriend, Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail had told him that she would rather go to prison than for Craig Nail to have custody of their daughter.
Whether or not Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail will be convicted of this crime remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain. The children have already been sentenced. They have been sentenced to a life without their father and whether or not their mother is convicted, they will probably have a strained or non-existent relationship with her. If the testimony of Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail’s boyfriend is correct, I can only wonder why a mother would feel that her children would be better off with no father and a mother with whom they most probably will not have a relationship with. Only Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail knows the answer to that.