Everyone Who Uses Must Converge

Last March, Ashley Smith was taken hostage by Brian Nichols after he shot a judge and three other people to death escaping an Atlanta courthouse. During a seven-hour ordeal, she read to him from the Bible and The Purpose-Driven Life. He eventually let the 27-year-old woman leave and tell the police his whereabouts, surrendering peacefully.

Wall Street Journal pundit Peggy Noonan was deeply moved by the incident:

Ashley Smith and Brian Nichols were together for seven hours. This is Nichols's mug shot. This is Nichols's face after he gave himself up to police Saturday.

Something changed.

Something happened. ...

It is an amazing and beautiful story. And for all its unlikeliness you know it happened as Smith said. You know she told the truth. It's funny how we all know this.

Something did happen. Smith revealed a secret in her new memoir that she kept from police, the press, and Peggy -- during the ordeal, she gave Nichols some of her crystal meth:

... as the night wore on -- after Nichols had snorted some of Smith's meth -- she tried to win Nichols' trust by talking about her faith in God and relating to him her personal stories. ...

She writes that she asked Nichols if he wanted to see the danger of drugs and lifted up her tank top several inches to reveal a five-inch scar down the center of her torso -- the aftermath of a car wreck caused by drug-induced psychosis. She says she let go of the steering wheel when she heard a voice saying, "Let go and let God."

In the short term, crystal meth brings reduced fatigue and a deep feeling of well-being, intelligence and power. (In the long term, not so much).

Noonan found in Nichols' transformation a redemptive Easter miracle:

This is all quite a mystery, too big to be understood, too beautiful to be ignored.

I just feel like bowing to everyone, all the victims and all the survivors, the good judge, the good guards, the good woman, the reporters, all of whom became part of something big and without borders. The only lesson is love. I feel certain this is true.


Update: Lee Siegel, a critic for the New Republic, questioned Smith's story from the beginning, faulting the broadcast media for spinning a fable that omitted her criminal record, the circumstances of her husband's murder and the reason she lost custody of her child.


We have to be careful, don't we?

So the morality tale has to be re-written, but we know that this sort
of distortion, willful or not, is commonplace in the Murdochosphere.

Imagine how much history will have to
be re-written to square with the facts
once We the People boot that fake Texan, George W. Bush, back to his own private Connecticut.

Come on! Next you're gonna tell me that the Jessica Lynch rescue story wasn't true!

Oh. Right.

very interesting

Sorry, this angle is a yawner to me:

Woman gets held hostage by killer, escapes unharmed (everybody gives thanks).

Decides to sell story (hey, this is America, no surprise).

Turns out she had illegal drugs in the house (ditto).

Gave them to the killer (may have helped save her life).

Conservative pundits fooled by original inspiring story (big whoop).

Liberal pundits more skeptical (ditto).

Noonan would not have any idea about the meth when you wrote the story (btw, there are bunches of real crap she writes about, not as easy I'll admit).

Also, Ashley Smith wrote a inspiritual book rather then a tell all book. The basic point of the book is that there is nothing like being a meth junkie and be held hostage and tied down by a mad killer for seven hours to make you understand you have to make some basic changes to your life (grin).

yes we have to be careful...

I remember thinking it was a little weird to be driving to the store to buy cigarettes at 2 a.m. as apparently Smith did before she came home to be abducted. Makes more sense now.

Uncle Mikey: you obviously are a non-smoker. Being out of cigs at midnight or 2 am is not good. Time of day does not matter - Rule # 1: MUST have cigarettes at the ready. Otherwise you would have to go to the store first thing in the morning to get a pack. This is the smokers prime directive. It is much better to go out and get 'em at 2 am so that you can sleep in peace. Believe me, I know. cough.cough.


I was a smoker at one time, but I rarely broke 5 or 10 smokes per day. I guess I have commitment issues. I will take your word for it, Eric.

Are you a picker? A grinner?

Mr. Mikey, do you get your lovin' on the run?

No, but I play my music in the sun. Woooo, ooooh.

...now why is it this story is important again?

Has this really become a weblog where people come for stories of importance? Sweet.

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