Woven between the psychic readings in Life After Death With Tyler Henry is a true-crime story that would fit right into a fiction novel. In 2019, Tyler Henry’s mom, Theresa Koelewyn, discovered that the woman who raised her, an ex-convict named Stella Nestle, wasn’t her biological mother.
Theresa said that the revelation lifted ‘a ton of bricks’ off her. In the Netflix series, Theresa and her son Henry search for her biological family, eventually finding her kin in New Orleans.
Theresa still considers the siblings she grew up with, Felicia and Peter, as her family, despite being biologically unrelated to them. However, Felicia, Peter, and Theresa are united in their dislike of Stella Nestle.
Stella ‘took’ Theresa from her biological mother and raised her in an abusive manner
In Life After Death With Tyler Henry, Henry and Theresa study her error-riddled birth certificate. The doctored birth certificate states that Theresa’s parents are Stella Mary Guidry and Gwle Nestle, a lie she believed for over 50 years.
It’s unclear how Stella obtained Theresa from her biological mom. We know that Stella spent two years in Louisiana and returned to Hanford, California, with a child. Felicia and Peter assumed that Stella had gotten pregnant in New Orleans.
Unlike Peter and Felicia, who were black, Theresa was white. However, Theresa’s race didn’t raise suspicion as Stella was dating a white boyfriend.
Stella raised her kids in an abusive environment and often neglected to take her children to the doctor or dentist. She assaulted them and occasionally locked them up in closets.
The siblings survived by protecting and looking out for each other. “If Felicia wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be here,” an emotional Peter says in the series.
Stella used her children to con unsuspecting churchgoers off their money. She then used religion to stem attempts at rebellion, telling the kids that the Bible commanded children to obey their parents.
Nestle killed Judy Wang and Wai Lee to claim ownership of the Fowler Motel
Police found Judy Wang and Wai Lee’s bodies after Stella Nestle alerted them to a shallow grave a few feet away from one motel room. Nestle worked as a maid at the Fowler, so it made sense for her to have discovered the grave.
Judy Wang, the Fowler’s owner, and her boyfriend, Wai Lee, died due to multiple gunshot wounds. Stella killed the pair and enlisted her son’s help to tie and bury them. Peter explained:
“Me and my mom, you know, we dragged the bodies… [behind the motel] one at a time. I trusted her. You obey your parents. I mean, that’s in the Bible. That’s all I knew. And I took [the] face value [of] that; hey, my family is in trouble, and look, I would do what I have to do to protect my family.”
Nestle told Peter and the police that four Mexicans who had previously demonstrated violent behavior at the Motel were responsible for the murders. Authorities staked out the hotel and arrested four Mexican-Americans who Stella identified as the violent guests.
Stella alleged that Wang and Lee left her in charge of the Fowler after leaving for a trip to Taiwan. (Peter later speculated that Stella killed Wang and Lee to take over the Fowler.)
However, Wang’s brother expressed doubt that she would leave anyone outside the family in charge of the Motel. Multiple people then came forward claiming that Stella asked them to help tie up Wang and Lee.
Peter opened up about the murders after police arrested him. He agreed to testify against Stella in exchange for a reduced sentence of accessory to murder.
Peter’s adamant that Stella ruined his life. He was always a victim of Stella’s depravity, and her manipulation turned him into a criminal. In the series, he laments his broken dreams of becoming a police officer and starting a family.
Nestle spent over three decades in jail and lives out her days in California
Stella was sentenced to life sentences while Peter got two years of probation for his cooperation.
Nestle spent over three decades in prison. She resides in California and prefers to stay away from the limelight.
The Netflix series implied that Stella’s doing well, wrapping up the little we know about Stella Nestle now.