Hostage Says She Appealed To Suspect's Spiritual Side
By Manuel Roig-Franzia Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A01
Smith already knew something about untimely death. Her husband was fatally stabbed in August 2001, knocking her life so off kilter that her daughter, Paige -- now 5 -- had to go live with Smith's aunt. She was trying to put herself back together, attending school and looking for a job, when Nichols came into her world after she got back from a quick trip to the store for cigarettes.
During the morning, she recalled, she had many opportunities to escape. Nichols had cut her loose and left his guns on the bed, unattended. But she never picked them up. Instead, she read to him from "The Purpose-Driven Life." "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?" Smith said.
Nichols asked her to follow him in her car while he drove the customs agent's pickup truck away from the apartment complex. She asked whether she could bring her cell phone and he said she could. But she never placed a call. She picked him up after he dropped off the truck and drove back to her home with him, she said. Her decision had a courageous purpose: She feared that he would kill more people if she did not do what he said.
She had taken it upon herself to end the manhunt.
When they got back, she said, she made Nichols breakfast and ate with him. They talked about their families. He wondered what his parents would think; she talked about her faith and her daughter. "I guess he saw my faith and what I really believed in. And I told him I was a child of God and that I wanted to do God's will," she said. "I guess he began to want to. That's what I think." By 9 a.m., she was reminding Nichols that she needed to leave, that she needed to see her daughter. She thinks he knew that she would call the police. But he let her go anyway, she said. As she was walking out the door, he had one more question for her: He wanted to know whether he could help her, if he could hang some curtains for her. She looked at him and said, "Do whatever you want." Then, she was gone.
19. The trick is empathy. That is how you win over the hearts of the wrong
thinking repukes and freepers. She used empathy. I think she must of had great teachers because she was very good at it it seems. I wonder what happened to the majority of the politically active religious in the US. They could learn a thing or two from this girl about empathy.
Me - I have a hard time listening to her account of 'understanding him'. I was sure she was going to say: "and I was blowing smoke in the fucking monster's face the whole time" at the end of her description. But she didn't. Now that is a little to empathetic for me to understand. Though at 25 I was probably allot more like her.
A lot of fundamentalist sects prohibit cigarettes (but then, it's probably so you'll give them the money you save by not buying smokes).
I do get a weird vibe from this woman, but I think she's essentially telling the truth. It would seem odd to make up a lie that would portray you as a simpleton and a fool - for instance, not turning him in while she was following him in her car is just inexplicable. Would you voluntarily return to your apartment with a known killer, who had been mowing people down like weeds? Not a chance - at least, not if you're sane.
but there's something fishy about this gawd, angel sent from heaven angle. At first I thought, why would a good Christian woman have to go see her child. The article said she was trying to get her life together, good for her. It's unfortunate that the media has chosen to exploit religion as the reason for the non-violent ending to this tragedy.
4. I am really fearful of how the Reich Wing will treat this. I thought she
was truly heroic, keeping her cool in a terrifying situation, and really handling the whole thing well. But I bet you dollars to donuts some fundie nuts will be all over tv talking up the 'faith' part of it, then turning around the next day and supporting the Bush regime in promoting EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what she LIVED (not just said she believed). She practiced mercy, compassion, peace...and the so-called Christian Right will point to her faith as an example, then they will urge the gov't and the courts to enact legislation that is hateful, discriminatory, pro-war, pro-death, pro-greed... makes me sick.
She deserves a medal though, for keeping a cool head. She probably saved some lives. Rock on, Ms. Smith!
August 2001, knocking her life so off kilter that her daughter, Paige -- now 5 -- had to go live with Smith's aunt. She was trying to put herself back together, attending school and looking for a job, when Nichols came into her world after she got back from a quick trip to the store for cigarettes
55. the article said she was "trying to get her life together"
but still.. her daughter would have been ONR yr old when her husband was killed.. Who would give up their baby after such a trauma?? Maybe they would move in with a relative to help care for the baby, but she's living the "single life" while someone else raises her daughter.. Not for me to decide which is better for the girl, but she's not living the June Cleaver lifestyle.
34. I freaked when she said she "followed him in her car"
when he dumped the truck.. I hope she did not want him to escape from HER so THEY could get the reward.. If that was in her mind, she's very reckless.. MOST people with a brain would have been on that cell phone in a NY minute, and the cops would have arrested him at the drop-off point..
Forget the religious stuff necessarily. A single mother trying to get her life back together after tragedy and in a world that is not easy on people like her and a black man who lost it and went berzerk have a lot to talk about and really can feel each others pain.
11. I have seen it too, but "most" people who lose their husband
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 12:53 AM by SoCalDem
to murder, would NOT turn over their one yr old to an aunt to raise. They "might" move in with an aunt, baby in tow, to get "back on track", but it strikes me as odd that she's "on her own".. I foresee problems ahead for that daughter..
and I agree that there was a connection--something both related to on the same level---between the two. Her husband had been stabbed by some drug-dealers he had once knew because he befriended an undercover drug agent. I'm sure there's alot that they talked about that we haven't heard. Bottom line--she's geniune and she's alive to see her daughter. If it had been someone who had not been streetwise, they would be dead.
I say give her the damn reward money and leave her the hell alone!
18. As a victim of violent trauma the meds she is on could have had
her give a tearless cry. Those trauma suckers are pretty tough pills these days. I am on pills for trauma. Years after starting on the pills I witness some robbers, got terrified and 3 minutes later all the feelings of fear were GONE (processed, past, finito, nada, ended, finished). So I would not be surprised if the woman was on the same pills as I am. That is why she kept so calm that night, and thought so clear.
Trauma victims on trauma victim drugs... a new race of superheros!!!
32. You are one cool customer. Me I get terrified when my life is in danger.
I was terrified that night on the pills when I met a gun and three stockingheads. Terrified. And it was over in 3 minutes. I've never re-experienced the fear of that 'little' robbery again. Those pills I am on for trauma are really, really fast acting.
33. I was majorly traumatized as a child, so maybe my senses are "numb"
The really hard part of the robbery was going to court for EIGHTEEN MONTHS to finally get the guy put in jail../ That was horrible..Every time I turned around, I was called to court (only witness who picked him out of the lineup)..
He ended up doing 7-12 (it was his FIFTH armed robbery..he was 25
47. I had no choice.. They would have subpoenaed me
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 07:14 PM by SoCalDem
I was the only witness..
I had his weight within 2 lbs height within an inch age ..on the button I remembered his tattoo on his left hand knew he was right handed and picked him from a line up of 6 guys who could have been brothers.. It was not like on TV where they look different.. these guys were practically look alikes.. I was so afraid I would pick the wrong one, and he would end up being a deputy or something
The thing that bothered me in court was that every time I went they would say..
"You are..... you live at....."
When I finally got the courtroom transcripts in the mail later it shocked me.. I had forgotten.. And that scumbag's family was front and center.. For a long time I was afraid that they might pay me a visit..but they didn;t
59. The "press" POUNDS this type of story so HARD and so FAST
because it's a "feel-good" story..and because of that the few real reporters who might actually have some hard questions, are scared off. If they DARE to question "America's Newest Sweetheart", they are pilloried. Only after the "story" fades a bit, do the "other" things start to dribble out, and by then the people have "moved on".. A few months from now (before the movie of the week and the book and the series) lots of people will hear "Ashley Smith" and say.. "Oh, one of the Olsen twins? or Smith?? the one who drowned her kids?".. The national attention span is less than the average gnat !
There are reporters right now who ARE questioning this, but they have mortgages and car payments and remember what happened to Dan Rather, so they are hol;ding back.. When they finally do have enough information to write their stories, and gain some notice, we will be looking frantically for these threads to say,.. "See ... we TOLD you so "
57. I wondered if she knew Nichols before. And, I wondered why her husband
was stabbed. What's that all about. The Christian spin on it is odd to given what we know of the media wanting to push Bush's faith based stuff and "born again."
I didn't see any interviews with her and haven't watched any of the story. Just read the newspaper accounts on DU and thought whole thing was odd. Glad to see a thread on this.
We DU'ers are a naturally inquisitive bunch having found the media lies to support the Bush agenda and remembering the Atlanta bombing suspect who was hounded, how can one believe most of what we read or hear these days.
60. Being "born again" makes everything you did BEFORE... go away.
Notice how many people are conveniently "re-born" right about the time they would have settled down anyway. They never give credit to the natural maturation process. Somehow all that partying and goofing around just MUST be "cured" by a good dose of religion, so that the person does not have to "own" it..
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