Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I wonder what David Brooks would say about this...

Too bad I don't have Times Select yet.


Ashley Smith, who was held hostage in her apartment in March by the man now charged with murder in the Atlanta courthouse shootings, was hailed as a hero after she disclosed how she had persuaded her captor to surrender, partly by reading to him from the spiritual best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."

But in a memoir released yesterday, Ms. Smith also recounts that she gave the kidnapper some of her supply of crystal methamphetamine during her captivity and that she did not tell the police for some time afterward.

In the memoir, "Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero," Ms. Smith recalls that Brian Nichols, who has been charged in the death of three people shot at the Fulton County Courthouse and a fourth killed elsewhere in Atlanta soon before her kidnapping, asked her if she had any marijuana. She answered no but said she did have some "ice," or crystal meth.

Ms. Smith says that at the time, she was fighting an addiction to crystal methamphetamine that had previously led her to spend time in a psychiatric hospital and to lose custody of her 5-year-old daughter.

She says she last used crystal meth about 36 hours before being taken hostage. Though Mr. Nichols used it and invited her to do so, she refused, she writes, and has not taken drugs since the episode.

"Suddenly, looking down at my drug pouch," she says, "I realized that I would rather have died in my apartment than have done those drugs with Brian Nichols. If the cops were going to bust in here and find me dead, they were not going to find drugs in me when they did the autopsy. I was not going to die tonight and stand before God, having done a bunch of ice up my nose."

I'm glad the woman got her reward. But what a strange culture ... what a strange culture...

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