Posted: Apr 27, 2012 2:38 PM by KBZK News
Updated: May 1, 2012 11:04 AM
Parole was denied this morning for "mountain man" Don Nichols who kidnapped a jogger in 1984 and shot and killed one of her rescuers.
A hearing was held before the Montana Parole Board this morning.
Nichols, 81, is serving an 85-year prison sentence. He will be eligible for parole again in five years.
In 1984, Nichols and his son, Dan Nichols, ambushed and kidnapped Kari Swenson, a world class athlete who was 22 years old at the time, while she was running in the mountains in Big Sky. They forced her into the woods and chained her to a tree. When rescuers arrived, Dan Nichols shot Swenson. Don Nichols shot and killed Alan Goldstein who was trying to rescue Swenson. The Nichols then fled into the mountains and were caught five months later.
Swenson has been reluctant to talk to the media. She recently wrote an editorial in the Bozeman Chronicle, saying Don Nichols is still a threat and belongs behind bars.
She wrote, "We the victims have a life sentence, not Don Nichols. They invoked the death sentence on Alan Goldstein.... The life sentence for me is every day of my life I have to deal with the death of a friend, the memories and horrors of being kidnapped, being chained up like an animal, being shot in the chest, and then left to die."
Nichols son, Dan, who was also convicted in the kidnapping, received parole in 1991. He is now facing drug charges stemming from an incident at a concert last summer.