In what started as one of those lazy Sunday mornings that every busy man or woman longs for — clear blue skies and no schedule to adhere to — in one of America's safest communities, the town of Amarillo, Texas, on March 6, 2005, the tranquility of personal freedom was shockingly transformed into two hours of terror for a prominent doctor and the dean of the medical school, Steven Berk.
After seeing his wife off to church that morning, while his teenage son was practicing guitar and waiting for his ride from a friend, Dr. Berk was settling into a day of rest and a planned phone call with his elder son who had asked Berk to review one of his papers before turning it into his professor at Brandeis University, when a parolee from the Texas prison system, Jack Lindsey Jordan, entered Berk's home through an open garage door and held a shotgun to Berk's back from inside the home's utility room while he bade his son goodbye, having no idea if it might be his last. Thus began the two-hour ordeal where Berk's medical training empowered him to gain the abductor's trust and avoid a violent death.
Jordan, a confessed methamphetamine user with a violent past, held Dr. Berk at gunpoint while driving the empty streets of Amarillo, typical of Sunday mornings in this community of many churches, large and small. Searching for an ATM machine so cash could be withdrawn for Jordan to move on down the road to his next victim, Jordan confided in Berk about such things as his drug use and the loneliness he lived with after the accidental death of his wife, caused by Jordan's own driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.