Willy's life had begun to spiral out of control. During a 1999 Oprah Show follow up, Ellie said Willy was sent away to boot camps throughout his teenage years. "He needed help, and he needed support," she said. "But they didn't know how to deal with it. ... I regret the pain I have caused my children. In hindsight, I wouldn't have done it."
Then, in 2001, the Nesler family made headlines once again. Ellie was arrested for selling and possessing meth, and she pled guilty. The following year, a judge sentenced her to six more years in prison.
While Ellie was serving her time, 23-year-old Willy was having his own troubles with the law. In 2004, Willy stomped a man to death in a fit of rage. He's now serving 28 years to life for murder in the first degree.
Freed from jail in June 2006, Ellie was unable to visit Willy in prison because she was in the final stages of a long battle with breast cancer. She was 56 years old when she died on December 26, 2008.
See a timeline of the Nesler family's tragic past