Yan's Corner - In Touch

Friday, March 18, 2005

"Textbook case"

It is a textbook case of how to deal with a hostage-taker.

In my earlier blog (February), I wrote of the top ten book sold by MPH last year. The third top book is “The Purpose-Driven Life”. And it’s this book that started the conversation between Nichols and Smith and touched the heart of Nichols and he eventually freed Ashley Smith from hostage.

The crime spree began when Nichols overpowered Atlanta Courthouse deputy escorting him to his rape trial on last Friday. Nichols took the deputy’s gin, then entered the courtroom where his trial was being held and killed the presiding judge and court reporter. He was also accused of killing a deputy who tried to stop him outside the courthouse and a federal agent during this fight with authorities.

Nichols then held hostage of a woman in her apartment. The woman is Ashley Smith.

I read with much interest on the account of how Smith was freed by Nichols. Here is an account as related by Smith:

We went to my room. And I asked him if I could read.

He said, "What do you want to read?"

"Well, I have a book in my room." So I went and got it. I got my Bible. And I got a book called The Purpose-Driven Life.

I turned it to the chapter that I was on that day. It was Chapter 33. And I started to read the first paragraph of it. After I read it, he said, "Stop, will you read it again?"

I said, "Yeah. I'll read it again."

So I read it again to him.

It mentioned something about what you thought your purpose in life was. What were you—what talents were you given? What gifts were you given to use?

And I asked him what he thought. And he said, "I think it was to talk to people and tell them about you."

Smith shared more with Nichols on her life and read Bible to him. Nichols told Smith he felt like "he was already dead," but Smith urged him to consider the fact that he was still alive a "miracle."

It's clear that sharing her faith with Nichols did much to help them both get through the situation ssafely.

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