The Austin roller derby community reeled this week as it mourned one of their own, a pioneer of the sport who founded Texas Rollergirls and helped turn roller derby into an international phenomenon.
Jennifer Nalley, known on the track as “Pixie Tourette,” was found slain Tuesday in a small Idaho town. Authorities say her boyfriend, Erik Martin Ohlson, 39, shot Nalley multiple times and killed her. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nalley and her fetus.
An outpouring of grief for Nalley and her work quickly surface on social media following the news of her death. She was remembered for her intellect as much as her roller derby proowess. In one Facebook post, Nalley’s roller derby friend Manda Clair said of her:
“There will never be another entity like her! I will never forget her wildly rolling eyes, her crooked grin, her velvety voice like one too many cigarettes over ten too many Dietrich films, her quirky tattoos, her fabulous taste in fashion, her hair the color of cornsilk, her eyes as black as ink, often the most ridiculous person at the bar or at the party, and yet even in that state she could sweetly bury you with her tremendous command of high-level calculus, physics equations, or chemistry…”
Nalley’s death shook the national roller derby community, not just the Texas community. To many, including Clair, Nalley was a happy study in contrasts and contradictions.
The Jackson Hole Juggernauts are holding a memorial for Nalley in Wyoming Saturday.
Sign the Statesman’s guest book to express your condolences for the Godmother of Texas Roller Derby.