In April 2005, Ashley Smith made headlines when she miraculously talked her way out of the hands escapee, Brian Nichols after he took her hostage for seven hours in her suburban Atlanta apartment. According to 11 Alive News, Brian Gene Nichols was originally in court to be retried on a rape charge; his first trial ended with a hung jury. The incident began when Nichols overpowered Deputy Cynthia Hall inside the courthouse and stole her gun. Nichols beat Hall and a deadly rampage followed. Nichols used to the gun to fatally shoot Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and his court reporter Julie Ann Brandau. When he fled the courthouse, Nichols shot and killed another deputy, Hoyt Teasley. Nichols spent all day at large. That evening, he shot and killed David Wilhelm at his house in Buckhead. Wilhelm was a federal agent and Nichols took his gun and pickup truck and fled to Duluth. That’s where he pushed his way into the apartment of a woman he’d never met named Ashley Smith. Smith talked Nichols into surrendering the following day. After the incident, Ashley was known as an angel which is how her book Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero was born.
Recently, Women With Gifts had the opportunity to see Captive.a faith-based movie that details the mishaps or should we say miracle of Ashley Smith starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo. When the movie started I was quickly reminded of recent movie, No Good Deed because of the scene with the escape criminal. However Captive is very different from other movies because it is a faith-based movie based on a true story. At the start of the movie we saw actress Kate Mara portray a widowed, single mother of a child that lived with her aunt due to her recent drug addiction. This movie kept us on the edge of our seats because we didn’t know what to expect. Although we knew about the Fulton County escapee story, we had no idea as to how the movie would flow.With every movie you always wonder how much is fubbery and how much is true.
Towards the middle of watching Captive, we had the opportunity to actually see how God transform in both the lives of Ashley and Brian. In one scene of the movie, Brian(played by David) attempted to force Ashley (played by Kate) who was a recovering addict to do Meth with him- she refused. As we continued to watch Captive, we saw Brian’s character began to change as he requested for Ashley to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. After seeing this movie it’s obvious that God can change anyone. We left the pre-screening of Captive both enlighten and inspired. With every movie we feel it’s an opportunity to learn from what we’ve seen. With Captive we learned that regardless of the situation, we are able to inspire and teach others.
Take a moment to listen to our recent interview with Ashley Smith about her experience and what she suggest for others who have had similar experiences.