As death row inmate Carey Dean Moore's execution approaches, we remember his two slaying victims. 


Maynard Helgeland was putting his life back together, reconnecting with his children

LINCOLN — Maynard Helgeland turned to driving a taxicab because he could do the job with two prosthetic legs.

He had lost his legs as a result of an alcohol addiction that also cost him his marriage and damaged relationships with his three children

But by Aug. 27, 1979, Helgeland had gotten sober and was working to reconnect with his children until he was shot in the head after picking up a fare.

That fare, Carey Dean Moore, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday for killing Helgeland and a second cabdriver five days earlier.

Helgeland, 47, was an Air Force veteran who fought in the Korean War. After the war, he held a series of labor jobs before moving his family to Council Bluffs. He mostly worked construction before losing his legs to frostbite.


Reuel Van Ness was father, stepfather to 10 children, drove cab for extra money

Reuel Van Ness enjoyed the time he spent taking people around Omaha in his taxicab.

He drove the cab to supplement his other jobs. The money came in handy to help support his family of 10 children and stepchildren.

But the job cost Van Ness his life on Aug. 22, 1979, when a fare shot him three times and stole $140.

That fare, Carey Dean Moore, is slated to be executed Tuesday for killing Van Ness and a second cabdriver five days later.

When he died, Van Ness was 47. He was a Korean War veteran who worked construction and was an auto mechanic.

His daughter, Richelle Van Ness-Doran of Omaha, recalls him as a generous man. Bob Howell, a former boss, described him as having a “personality that just wouldn’t quit.”

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Martha Stoddard keeps legislators honest from The World-Herald's Lincoln bureau, where she covers news from the State Capitol. Follow her on Twitter @StoddardOWH. Phone: 402-473-9583.

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