Robert Jude Nanni
22 Years Old

April 23, 1966 to December 11, 1988

Robert Jude was a smiling child, a happy child, one who enjoyed life. In the morning, Robert Jude would say, "Good morning, Mommy" with a big smile, was ready for the day. His name, Robert Jude, was given to him as I had a miscarriage and promised St. Jude if he would grant me a child his name (Jude) would be a part of his name. My wish was granted. Robert Jude was born April 23, 1966.

Waiting for 4:00 pm each day to wake up his father was an anxious time for him. He knew could wake up his father and play with him before he went to work. Robert Jude was the type of child with a high pain tolerance, loved riding his bike, playing with his Atari, building blocks, and cars. He and his father joined the Indian Guides and loved doing things together. He also had two cousins that were known as the three rabbits. They were very close and played with each other daily. They played together until my sister moved to North Haven, Connecticut, yet they visited regularly. When we moved to Florida, they remained close to phone and visits.

He went to Catholic school and Public High School and graduated in 1984 with a certificate in Auto Mechanics. Also, as a teenager, he worked in kitchens, starting as a dishwasher, becoming a prep cook, and then a cook. Yet his love was cars. As a mechanic, he could hear a car run and know what was wrong with it. He loved to dance, cook (when there was cookouts with friends), play darts, play pool, enjoyed the company not only of his friends but his parents, grandparents and brother as well.

He wanted a baby brother badly. Since his mother had several miscarriages and was told that Robert Jude may be an only child, we bought him a dog called Snoopy. The following Saturday I found out I was having a baby. Robert's excitement was so great he ran out the door yelling to all the neighbors he was going to become a brother. The best part was his father did not know, so when he walked in the door, he told his father of the coming event before I could get out a word. He and his cousins followed the new baby's progress until he was born. On July 11, 1975, my second son was born. We named him Steven Nanni. Robert had the honor of giving his brother his middle name. His name on his birth certificate was Steven Joseph Nanni. Robert was more than pleased. They got along well. Many times he would take him to McDonald's, or one of the fast food places, just he and Steven. He enjoyed the idea of being a big brother. He and I, as he grew, became more than Mother and Son. His friendship with his Father and Grandparents had long been established. Yet, we would talk about anything and thoroughly enjoyed each other.

In 1986, Robert Jude was hurt on the job. Plastic Surgery on his face, the inside of his nose was done. Repair to his shoulder we had to wait for as compensation had to give the okay for his shoulder to be done.

December 9, 1988, his attorney told him that his shoulders were to be fixed on December 15. A letter was coming on Monday and he would have medical for the rest of his life. Robert was happy, for soon a check would arrive.

December 10, Robert was going out. His father gave him the car keys and $20.00. He was to come home early as we went to Church on Sunday.


At 4:00 am on December 11, 1988, we were informed by the police that our son, Robert Jude, was shot and killed. Eleven years later and his killers have never been caught. His case is one of two unsolved. Yearly, I keep in touch with the Vero Beach Police Department. December 11 each year, I write in the opinion page of the Vero Beach Press Journal hoping someone will come forward.

In the 1980's, no Victim's Rights or any organization was in place to help anyone. We joined Stop Turning Out Prisoners , (which yearly holds a vigil), Crimestoppers , (who profiled his case three times), take phone pledges at their telethon, a victim's advocate, Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc. , starting the Bell Campaign Chapter in West Palm Beach.

Webmaster's Note: Robert Jude Nanni's Unsolved Murder is featured on our Catch A Killer page. His case is Unsolved Case #7 .

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Robert Nanni