My Daughter's Killer
Among the memorable people you'll meet on this Thursday's show:
Jonathan Wayne Nobles: a 37-year-old convict who is on Texas' death row for two murders he committed 13 years ago. In 1986, Nobles, an ex-con with a history of drug abuse and mental illness, broke into a house in Austin, Texas, and stabbed to death two young women, Kelly Farquhar and Mitzi Kurland. Caught soon after, Nobles was convicted and sentenced to death.
For more about programs devoted to reconciliation between victims and offenders, see our catalog of web sites.
- Paula Kurland, Mitzi's mother, who is still grieving over her daughter's untimely death. Paula believes that a face-to-face meeting with her daughter's killer might help her put the past behind her. She wants to go to death row and have a conversation with Nobles, telling him exactly how he's ruined her life. Says Kurland: "We've been sentenced to prison for 12 years and it's time for us to be free . . .It's going to help me close a chapter and hopefully get on with my life."
The problem: Nobles refuses to meet with her. Now though, a few weeks before he is due to be executed, the situation changes. With the help of a state program called the Victim/Offender Mediation Dialogue, Kurland and Nobles are set to meet. The goal of the program: help victims get on with their lives by meeting with the men and women who committed the crime.
When, after some frustrating delays, the two finally do meet, their conversation is awkward and emotional. Nobles apologizes. Paula talks to him about how his actions have destroyed her life. He tries to explain what could have led him to commit such a terrible act. In the end, they talk for five hours, about everything. In the end Paula feels she can begin to understand. "I feel compassion for you, Jonathan," she says.
"I don't know if I deserve it," he responds.
"No you don't, but you have it," she says.
After his execution a few weeks later, Paula says she feels much more at peace than she had before the meeting.
Produced by David Kohn