Community deals with another tragedy after Jason Ellis’ death


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 24 at 11:45 PM

NELSON COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Bardstown, Kentucky: voted the most beautiful small town in America, and proud of it. The quaint center of town is dotted with small shops and restaurants.

Light posts are adorned with purple ribbons. But, those ribbons aren’t for decoration; they’re a symbol of the undercurrent of loss churning just below the surface of this picture perfect town.

“This is such a beautiful little town, we don’t take into consideration that there are bad things happening all around us and it’s scary!” Bardstown resident Lynn Farnsworth said.

“It’s very pretty, you know, so it’s very shocking that we’ve had murders in our town, you know? You would never think that something like this would happen so close to home,” Sarah Hatfield another resident added.

The ribbons hung downtown are in honor of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis, who was gunned down nearly one year ago on his way home from work. His murder remains unsolved.

Just days ago, 48-year-old elementary school teacher Kathy Netherland and her daughter Samantha were killed in their home in Botland.

“When it rains, it pours,” Bardstown Mayor Bill Sheckles said. “In the last year, we’ve had two murder situations that we don’t have any clues to who, what, when, where, or why and that’s a little disheartening.”

He insists it’s not indicative of the safety of Bardstown in general, just a painful streak of terrible tragedy.

“We’re still the most beautiful small town in America. But, it’s like any other city that’s growing and developing. Not to say that we don’t have problems or issues being the most beautiful small town. We’re still a community of people and people will do things that are not necessarily the way that we always want them to be,” he explained.

Still, people in Bardstown would like answers sooner rather than later.

“I just hope that they can find out and that they will know really soon. We’re all praying for them. Just like we did for the Ellis’ and are still praying for the Ellis’,” Farnsworth said.

KSP is reviewing surveillance video from at least two businesses, hoping to get something from them.