Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard and Nancy Lyon

Fire Ant Solution

Nancy Lyon's personal affairs began to inhibit her ability to function at work, so she took an unpaid leave from Trammell Crow. But with no savings and substantial monthly bills, her financial morass deepened. Soon the utilities and phone at her home were cut off for lack of payment. Her father stepped in, once again, with financial help.

As if she didn't have enough problems, Nancy's backyard was being overrun by stinging fire ants, which made the outdoor space unusable for the estranged couple's young daughters.

Perhaps "strange couple" is more appropriate.

Richard would show up with some new chemical concoction to kill the ants, and he and Nancy would end up between the sheets.

According to author Gray, not only did they continue to have sexual relations, but Richard encouraged his wife to mimic the erotic techniques that Tami Lyn Gaisford apparently had mastered. Gray wrote that Richard "took vicious pleasure" in telling Nancy the most intimate details about his extramarital sex life.

Confused, distressed and desperate, Nancy tried to play Kama Sutra queen as best she could.

At one point, she received a letter of sympathy and explanation from Gaisford in which the paramour declared her deep love for Richard. Meanwhile, the lover was unaware that Richard was still sleeping with Nancy, according to Gray.

Throughout most of 1990, Richard and Nancy Lyon endured this curious relationship.

Over those months, they maintained a peculiar focus on one mutual enemy: the fire ants.

Maybe their quest to eradicate the insects by whatever means necessary was a sanity-saving diversion from their myriad other problems.

Or maybe it was a more calculated diversion, for at least one of the Lyons.


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