March 12, 2005

Nichols manhunt update

These images are from CNN/Turner Security, operator of the Centennial Garage in downtown Atlanta. They were taken at 9:30 Friday Morning in the same garage where the 1997 Honda Accord that everyone was looking for yesterday was found at about 11 last night.

This is the same garage where Nichols took the vehicle from Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Don O'Briant.

The garage is bordered by Spring St. facing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the AJC's trucking facilities, Centennial Olympic Park Drive (and across the street, CNN Center), and Marietta St. It's catty-corner from Centennial Olympic Park, and less than a block from the Omni/Dome MARTA station.

At 9:30 yesterday morning, Nichols' photo had not been circulated yet. He literally could have gone anywhere. He could have entered CNN Center, he could have grabbed a cab on the street, he could have hopped a MARTA train, he could have even walked away!

This garage is about a block from my wife's office, and the two of us literally drove past it within minutes of Nichols' passage. Prior to this, he drove the wrong way up a one lane wide one-way street - one I had driven down about three to five minutes earlier.

The larger question that this entire situation begs is regarding the investigative capabilities (or lack of capabilities) of the Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County Police Department! Centennial Garage is less than five blocks from the courthouse! Mind you a private citizen found the car, not the police!

UPDATE - 10A - A US Customs agent has been found shot to death on Lenox Road in Northeast Atlanta. The agent's badge, gun and pickup truck are missing. The truck is a blue 1994 Chevrolet pickup, with Georgia tags ATG 6121

- 11:15A - Hostage situation in Duluth (Gwinnett Co.) just northeast of Atlanta. Apparently the truck is there. This is on Satellite Blvd. in Gwinnett Co.

Per Geraldo Rivera on FNC, Nichols is definitely holed up in this apartment complex in Duluth.

UPDATE - ATF is reporting that Nichols IS IN CUSTODY!

UPDATE - 11:40A

Nichols is in the white shirt after having been taken into custody in Gwinnett County this morning.

(More coverage from Backcountry Conservative & others)
Posted by mhking at March 12, 2005 07:55 AM

Great job on the coverage.... Outstanding work.

Very scary situation as this man has no fear. I am sure he is thinking that there is no chance of being taken alive, so will do anything to stay out of custody.

Posted by: Tom at March 12, 2005 10:58 AM

Hi - great blog! Some thoughts:

* If the "FBI" and "ATF" were involved since daytime yesterday, why didn't they think to check the garage either? AFAIK the FBI has an office in Atlanta. If they were involved as the press claims, ought they not be criticized as well (or does all the blame fall to the local "keystone cops")?

* I can't ignore the failure of the press's "investigative" journalism as much as that of the police. The driver of the Green Honda was an AJC employee for heaven's sake. The AJC and CNN offices are right next door. AFAIK the parking garage was open to traffic the entire day. Didn't anyone think to cross the street and take a look, if only to second-guess the police work they are so willing to criticize?

I'll be interested to see if the media - the AJC and CNN in particular - point any fingers at themselves. I'm not holding my breath.

* The person guarding Nichols (when he was unshackled to change clothes!) was a 5-foot tall woman. We've all been hearing on the news how Fulton County should have had "more" guards, but any time gender (and presumably height as well) are brought up they are immeidately shot down as "not relevant" issues. Why is everyone afraid to admit the truth - that the problem was not "too few guards", but too few men on the scene? The fact this can't even be mentioned (apparently) says a lot about the taboos in our society today. For the sake of comparison: What do you think would have happened if, instead of one 5-foot woman, they had used two 5-foot women to guard Nichols? Or three? I'm not reassured that the outcome would have been any different (except for more dead guards).

It's revealing that one of the news clips from yesterday showed a woman trying, but failing, to lift one of the bodies into an ambulance. After fidgeting in front of the cameras for way too long, and bossing everyone around in the process, she simply gave up and stood aside while a man did the work. Why are we afraid to identify this metaphor for exactly what it is: that, simply put, some jobs are just not for women?

Posted by: RD at March 12, 2005 11:51 AM

(Oh, and Glad they caught the bastard. Hope they don't let him escape again!)

Posted by: RD at March 12, 2005 11:53 AM

He's at the FBI field office in Decatur, per CNN and local radio in ATL.

Posted by: Jeff at March 12, 2005 12:16 PM

Fox News says he will be taken to the federal holding facility downtown next.

Posted by: Jeff at March 12, 2005 12:19 PM

I thought he'd pick suicide by cop after what he did yesterday.

Posted by: Retread at March 12, 2005 12:59 PM

For anyone who lives in the area: The "Decatur" FBI office was actually over near Chamblee, at Century Center on Clairmont between I-85 and Buford Hwy.

Acquaintances of mine apparently saw the TV coverage showing the convoy getting off I-85 at Clairmont Rd. & turning north. With a little luck they managed to meet the tail of the convoy (just after it turned onto Century Center Blvd). They managed to beat the media by a good 10-15 min. No good close-up pics, but apparently they had a nice conversation w/one of the other bystanders, someone who was later interviewed on CNN.

Posted by: RD at March 12, 2005 11:52 PM

I am not a well educated person but have a little comman sence. Why do we transport any body from the jail to a court room ? With the magic of live video feed all you need is a room set up at the jail with a table for the inmate and attorney and a video moniter. The judge would have the same. This would save money, and in this case lives. But as I said I am just a average H.S. grad. It makes sence to me.

Posted by: DAVID PLANT at March 19, 2005 09:41 AM
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