Summary of Offense:
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on November 4, 1980, 10-year-old Elisa Nelson was riding her bike to school. She was late for school because she had a dentist appointment that morning, and her mother had given her a note excusing her absence. Elisa’s bicycle was found later that day in a ditch approximately one mile from Elisa’s school. A search party, which included police officers and community members, was initiated.
Elisa’s body was found on November 5, 1980. Elisa had died from a skull fracture possibly caused by a single blow to the head. A cement-encased steel pipe was found lying next to the body. There were two lacerations approximately 3.5 and 4.5 inches along the girl’s neck. The medical examiner could not discern if the lacerations were made before or after the child’s death, but they were not the cause of death. There were no signs of molestation on the body.
The same day that Elisa disappeared, Larry Mann attempted to commit suicide by slashing both of his forearms. The police were summoned to help, and Mann stated to them that he had “done something stupid and needed help.” Mann was taken to the hospital were the doctor ruled that Mann had made a serious attempt to end his life. On November 8, 1980, Mann asked his wife to retrieve his glasses from his 1957 Chevy pickup truck. Upon doing so, Mrs. Mann found the bloodstained note that Elisa’s mother had written to excuse her from school. A friend of Mrs. Mann’s reported this finding to the police and that resulted in a search warrant of Mann’s truck and house. Inside the truck, a bloodstain was found with the same blood type as both Mann and Elisa.
On November 10, 1980, Mann was arrested. Prior to the above incident, Mann had previously attempted suicide at least three or four times. Mann also has a history of pedophilia and psychotic depressions.
Mann was re-sentenced to death for the third time in Pinellas County on March 2, 1990.