Sat | May 25, 2019

Barbaric killing! - Widow of US missionary murdered in Ja details slaying

Published:Wednesday | January 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Gleaner Writer
Terry Nichols

The widow of one of the two American missionaries killed in Jamaica nearly two years ago has detailed the barbaric death her husband met, but insists that despite the pain, she maintains a positive view of the island.

The killing of the two Americans, Harold Nichols, 53, and Randy Hentzel, 48, made international headlines in May 2016, but Jamaican authorities refused to divulge details about how they died.

However, Teri Nichols revealed, during an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, that based on the account relayed to her by the Jamaican police, Hentzel was attacked first. "Randy was tied up, put on his knees and executed. Shot in the back of the head," she recounted.

Then the hoodlums turned to her husband of 25 years. She said Harold Nichols was shot in the back "right off of his motorcycle", but still found the strength to make a desperate attempt to elude his attackers.

"Somehow, he got away. I don't know how, but he ran a long, long way from where they killed Randy. And they chased him for a long way and chopped him up with a machete in his head," she recounted.




The bodies were found nearly 24 hours apart in Albion Mountain, St Mary.

Nichols said police investigators have told her that it was a "chance encounter" and that robbery was the motive, but she questioned those assertions.

"The violence doesn't fit. The amount of violence that was inflicted upon them, it doesn't make sense to me if it's just a robbery," she reasoned.

"Because nothing was stolen ... . Nobody tried to use the credit card, nothing that would come from a robbery. It was more like an execution to me," she insisted.


'I love Jamaicans'


Teri Nichols returned to her hometown of Randolph, New York, one year after the killings of her husband Harold Nichols, and Randy Hentzel in St Mary, Jamaica. She admitted that she was still upset that she was forced to leave the place she and her husband called home for 14 years.

She revealed, too, that it was painful to leave the ministry she and her husband had used to change so many lives in St Mary.

"I love Jamaicans. We didn't have any problems with anyone up until that point. I am just mad that it was all taken away," Nichols said.

She spoke of her late husband's love for Jamaica and how, through their ministry, he helped to build 70 houses that were distributed to persons in the community.

"If you heard him speak Patois, you would think he is Jamaican. We were gonna be there another 10 years. He probably would have built another 70 houses. You couldn't do that much if you didn't love the people there," she said.