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Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Woman faces second murder charge in death of female friend
Small town shocked
Joanne Laucius
Ottawa Citizen

Cherrylle Margaret Dell

OTTAWA - An Ontario woman who was charged three years ago with murdering her estranged husband was yesterday charged with first-degree murder in the death of a female friend.

Cherrylle Margaret Dell, 44, is alleged to have killed Nancy Fillmore, 39, who died of smoke inhalation in a fire that destroyed her apartment in August, 1997. The two women, both of Killaloe, Ont., are former roommates, however it is not clear if they were living together at the time of Ms. Fillmore's death.

In December, 1997, Ms. Dell was charged in the first-degree murder of her estranged husband, Scott Dell, 44, who died after drinking ethylene glycol, or antifreeze.

The substance was found in a partially-filled glass and a bottle of red wine in his remote farmhouse.

The macabre nature of the deaths and the subsequent charges have shocked residents of Killaloe, a village in the Ottawa Valley about 140 km from the nation's capital.

Mr. Dell had come to the Ottawa Valley in the 1960s while trying to avoid the draft in his native U.S. The couple had been married in Oshawa when Mr. Dell was 19 and Ms. Dell was 17. The couple moved to the Killaloe area about 10 years ago and were known in the village for their tumultuous relationship.

Mr. Dell was described by neighbours as the perfect house husband and a loving father, cooking and baking bread, growing vegetables in his garden and even taping his voice reading stories to the children after his speech was affected by cancer.

Friends and family of Mr. Dell said he was deeply in love with his wife, forgiving her for an affair with another man and, according to one friend, for later leaving him for a female companion.

At one point in their relationship, Ms. Dell had claimed that Mr. Dell was abusing their children. Child welfare authorities removed the children from his custody until the allegations were proved to be false in court.

The charge lead to animosity between Ms. Dell and her husband's family. Mr. Dell's mother, Myra, stood up and walked out of her son's funeral service when Ms. Dell stood up and said, "I'm Scott's wife."

Ms. Dell, who is now in custody on the first murder charge, is scheduled to appear in court March 28.

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