Richard Shenkman Gets 70 Years for Kidnapping Ex-Wife
Richard Shenkman, a former advertising executive, has been sentenced to 70 years in prison for kidnapping his ex-wife at gunpoint and holding her hostage for hours before burning down their Connecticut home during a dramatic police standoff in 2009.
During the sentencing hearing in Hartford Superior Court on Wednesday, Shenkman, 62, told Judge Julia Dewey that there is nothing the state can do to prevent the murder of his ex-wife, Nancy Tyler, and revealed that he hired a trained assassin to kill her.
“Nancy’s assassin is experienced and he has killed in the past,” Shenkman said. “Ending Nancy’s life when I am in prison makes my sentence worthwhile. When [her] lifeless body is lying in the morgue… I will have made my point”
According to ABC News, Nancy Tyler had urged judge Dewey to impose the maximum prison sentence, saying Shenkman has terrorized her, her family and her friends for years.
During her testimony, Tyler described in detail her kidnapping on July 7, 2009, claiming that her ex-husband threatened to kill her, fired a gun near her head and threatened to blow up the house.
Watch an earlier clip of Nancy Tyler’s testimony below:
She escaped unharmed during a standoff with police, and Shenkman was arrested after running out of the burning house.
“What should have been a simple divorce turned into a five year nightmare,” Tyler said, pleading with the judge that she was just looking for “some peace.”
MSNBC.com points out that the Nancy Tyler kidnapping case drew national coverage in 2009 “both because of its unusual nature and because Richard Shenkman’s advertising firm, Primedia, produced Gayle King’s talk show in the late 90s.”
King, widely known as Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, is now co-host of “CBS This Morning.”