Ad Exec Kidnaps Wife, Urges Cops Kill Him (and Demands Skype!); Hostage Blames the Media

Last Updated Jul 8, 2009 12:22 PM EDT

Richard Shenkman, a Connecticut ad executive whose company produced a TV show for Oprah friend Gayle King, was arrested and hospitalized Tuesday after he took his wife hostage at gunpoint, demanded the police shoot him and get a priest to adminster the last rites, before he finally burned down his house. His wife, Nancy Tyler, left the house unharmed after a 9 ½ hour kidnapping.

Gunshots and explosions were heard at the home, which went up in flames before Shenkman was pulled out.

The best part, though, was when Shenkman called a reporter at the New London Day, and she taped the whole thing. Here are some highlights. (Note how resourceful the reporter is on the call -- good job! -- and how calm the wife seems to be. She even blames the media coverage for worsening their divorce case):

Shenkman: No, no. The police would never allow that. I would never allow that. The only ones I want to die are cops. That's it. I don't want anyone else to die. Just cops. And the more you print that, the more they are going to want to kill me.

To me a success, this would be the ultimate success: I get my 12 demands and Nancy walks out of here. The cops challenge me, they try to shoot me, then 68 cops lose their life, plus I die. That would be the ultimate success.

Florin: Richard, they don't have to kill you. They don't want to kill you, Richard.

Shenkman: They don't have a choice. They enter the property, they're dead, we're all dead.

Florin: What made you call me?

Shenkman: I trust you.

(Phone rings in the background.)

Florin: Get your line, I'll hold on.

Shenkman (talking to police negotiator): Hello. Hey. No, marriage license. Wait a minute, wait a minute. How are you doing with the news media? ... You have a command center set up near here? Can you find out where it is for me? All they did was send me the policy manual. ... Judge is on his way, all right. How are we doing getting Skype set up?

Shenkman (to his hostage wife): Is there anything about the divorce that you want to say?

Nancy: There were things that I thought were unfair and that Richard thought he had been treated unfairly, so it seemed like it was a wash to me.

Um, and it seems like a lot of this is stemming from all the different media coverage. Things that were misunderstandings were repeated.

Video and sound file of the call here.