Italian Murder Confession Reaction

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Italian police are now saying 24-year-old Johnathan Hindenach is psychologically disturbed, and was drinking and on drugs when he murdered 62-year-old Riccardo Nistri in Florence, Italy, this week.

Hindenach's apparent confession is a hard fact to face for his neighbors back home in Charlotte.

"No, not here. Not about two doors away. It's really scary," says the Hindenachs' neighbor Debbie Peters.

Peters and her friend Karen Thompson say as parents, this is a nightmare.

Ii'd be praying for him. I'd definitely be praying for him," Peters says.

"It's surprising. This peaceful little area? Hopefully they'll check things out further," Thompson says.

Neighbor Linda Greisinger is just as bewildered.

"Shocking. Very shocking," she says. "Everyone wishes it didn't happen, but you can't control those things."

Olivet College President Don Tuski tells us Hindenach had left for Italy on Saturday with seven other students and a professor to study art around the country until May 18.

Tuski says Hindenach's an award-winning art student who'd just transferred to Olivet this year. Before that, he'd spent one semester at Grand Valley State University.

Lansing Community College tells us he'd also been a student off-and-on there from 2003 until 2008. And Hindenach was a 2003 graduate of Charlotte High School.

People have been coming into the Hindenach household Friday, though neighbors say the parents will be leaving for Italy. On Thursday when we showed up for comment, they asked us to leave. Parents in the neighborhood say they just can't imagine what they're going through.

"Just your child to take someone's life maybe-- it's devastating. Just devastating," Peters says.

Italian police say Hindenach had left his hotel Wednesday night, screaming that his colleagues wanted to kill him. Nistri was found with stab wounds in his neck from a broken mirror, and Hindenach was found about 200 yards away covered in blood, police say.

Tuski says the remainder of the students will be coming home to Michigan from Italy on Saturday.

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  • by michelle Location: lansing on Jul 17, 2009 at 05:29 PM
    I agree with the other comments that people very rarely just go off murdering people they do not know out of no where. He would of exhibited some strange behaviors/symptoms people close to him missed or chose to, or are too close to admit. Being "nice" isn't a defense, many serial killers and/or mentally ill violent people have been known to hide their true nature or be very charming or quiet,nice kind of guy'. i do feel for his parents though, that is a nightmare i wouldn't wish on anyone. praying for all concerned and justice and the help he needs.
  • by nonya Location: charlotte, mi on May 25, 2009 at 03:22 PM
    nice guy?? are you kidding?! he was a weirdo! not to be mean, but im not surprised. i rode the bus with him and he was always quiet and angry looking. his 2 siblings are the same way. very introverted and shy. i knew there was something up with him when we were young but i would not have suspected murder. too bad his parents didnt realize he was different in time to get him some mental help. they should look into that for his brother and sister.
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2009 at 08:14 AM
    There had to be some sort of sign about this man..that many missed. Nice guy, b.s. he had to have some odd behavior somewhere that would have tipped off someone..perhaps they choose to just ignore it, and accept it as a trait.
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