“Last Chance”

Tracy and Nancy Floren had been married for 20 years. They lived in an “upscale” community and both were employed. Reportedly they didn’t have any history of domestic violence reports. They had plans to build a “dream home” for their retirement. Tracy, 64, reportedly did have a problem with alcohol and sometimes that was a “battle.” Reports indicate that was a problem in the marriage. Reports indicate that Tracy had said in treatment that he got angry at her when she attempted

“to control his money”

and he also worried about her leaving him.

Nancy’s friends have told police that Nancy, 56, had told them that he was getting his

“Last chance”

when he recently enrolled in his latest treatment program. 

 On Sept. 2, 2007 a little after 6 am the alarm went off at their home. Police arrived to investigate the burglar alarm and found Nancy lying alone in the home, she was dressed in a robe and had two gunshots to her head. A gun lay beside her but that weapon did not match the gun that had fired the shots to Nancy’s head and tests showed it had not been fired.

Police were beginning their investigation when Tracy Floren pulled up to the home. Police say that immediately Floren established his alibi with them, he had been to an early morning AA meeting. He reportedly showed them a sign in sheet for the AA meeting and pulled out a receipt for a cup of coffee he had purchased that am. He told police his wife was alive when he left home that morning. Police say he didn’t appear to be concerned about what his wife’s condition was and gave his alibi even before he was told his wife had been found dead.

Investigation of the scene revealed that a window of the back door had been scored leaving a square hole. A backdoor was unlocked. There were signs that someone had climbed the back fence and walked through the field behind their home leaving a trail. Near the fence investigators found two florescent earplugs.

Months went by with no arrests in the murder of Nancy Floren. Tracy Floren gave away the family pets, retired from his job, sold the family home and spent time overseeing work on the “dream home.” Police say that is where they found him on Friday.

During the police investigation they found glass in Floren’s vehicle, on his clothing and shoes that they believe matches the window that had been scored. Grass like from the back field was also allegedly found in the vehicle. Police say the green ear plugs found in the field matched plugs that Floren used while recreational sport shooting, and also were stained with his DNA. Though Floren had given his alibi as being at an AA meeting that morning starting at 5:45 am, police say that other attendees have told police that he didn’t arrive until about 6:20 am.

Tracy Floren has been arrested and charged with 1st degree murder in the death of his wife Nancy Floren. Police say that Floren stood to benefit from his wife’s death. She had a $250,000 life insurance policy and the couple had a $500,000 retirement account. Police say the murder weapon has not been found. And they also say they believe the crime scene was staged to look like a burglary.

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20 years of marriage. They shared a lot of living in 20 years. Most likely they had many times they agreed and many times they disagreed during that time. Couples married for 20 years can almost tell each other’s stories and finish their sentences. They can frequently predict their spouses reactions to events. Yet no matter how well they may think they know each other, they cannot usually read what is in their spouses private thoughts. She most likely wasn’t aware of the danger she was facing when she gave him one last chance. She most likely never thought he was capable of this action. He allegedly complained that she was controlling “his” money, though they both earned money for the household. Now he stands to profit from her death- if he is not convicted of killing her.

Almost 6 months went by. He reportedly made major changes in his life after she was killed. He retired, he sold the home they shared and was building the “dream home.” Six months probably seemed like a breathing time after the death of his wife with no arrest in sight. But police investigations are quiet. The go about talking to people, collecting evidence and testing. Police are able to read a lot from a crime scene, but sometimes that testing can take time.  

Edmond Locard was a forensics scientist that developed the Forensics Exchange Principle that in effect says that

“with contact between two items, there will be an exchange”

Any evidence that Floren was in the home can be explained by the fact that he lived in the home. But what police will be trying to prove is that Floren had evidence on him that could only come from the crime at the time of his wife’s death.

Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.
– Professor Edmond Locard

Police have reported they found glass and grass from the crime scene on Floren. They also report they found Floren’s DNA at the crime scene by way of the DNA on the earplugs found near the home. Many times they will also have other evidence that will not come out until the trial. If it is proven that Floren did commit this murder, he may very well have had his “last chance” to live in society.



  1. Lori Barbieri said,

    April 5, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Great article, I am trying to follow this closely as Tracy had a girl friend over here in Sequim where he was arrested. She is the friend of my next door neighbor. Keep in touch please. Lori

  2. Bob & Helen Burger said,

    April 9, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    We are Nancy’s uncle & aunt. We live in Bellingham, Wa.

    We want to share that Nancy was a beautiful, intelligent, and kind lady…We are still finding it difficult to believe that anyone could do this horrible thing to her. She never had a cross word to say about anyone and had a mild mannered disposition. She was kind hearted and loving to everyone, including her dear dog & cat. This was evident by all her many friends that came to her memorial service that was held in Bellingham, and so many comments in the memorial book on the internet..

  3. Jan said,

    November 3, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Check this out…http://www.seattlepi.com/local/411780_wife02.html

  4. Jan said,

    November 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    check this out..http://www.seattlepi.com/local/411780_wife02.html

  5. Andrew said,

    December 11, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Tracy has been convicted. We may never know what happened to the murder weapon, but we can be sure of the general course of events that morning. Nancy did not ever deserve such a horrible end. I witnessed the man at the funeral, he was no in mourning, or in shock. He was just hoping he didn’t have to deal with Nancy’s well wishers. Good riddance.

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