Whitney Heichel’s alleged killer Jonathan Holt went to same Jehovah’s Witness church, Families knew one another

October 22, 2012

The murder of Whitney Heichel, allegedly at the hands of Jonathan Holt, just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Not only did they attend the same church, but in an interview Whitney Heichel’s husband gave ABC, he states he helped Holt jump start his motorcycle a couple of weeks ago and they looked after the Holt’s pets when they were away.

Holt, who is also married, is being arraigned today. Below via NWCN.com Washington – Oregon – Idaho.

Both Jonathan Holt, the accused killer, and victim Whitney Heichel, attended the same Jehovah’s Witness church, the woman’s family confirmed Monday. “We were completely shocked to find out that Jonathan Holt, an irregular attendee of our meetings, was arrested and would be in any way tied to this case as a suspect,” the family said in a prepared statement.

The family’s statement underlined and applied bold face to the word “irregular.” The statement said there was no suggestion through any church activity of a motive to Heichel’s murder.


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  1. Tom says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed the craziest people on planet Earth. For more information about this cult, watch AnonDude2 channel on Youtube.

    You will be forever enlightened.

    • Jeniffer says:

      There are many who jump to conclusions about Jehovah’s Witnesses based on what they read or hear through others. Remember, when Jesus was here on earth, he was treated badly and ultimately murdered even though he was God’s son. If you wouuld like to know more about our beliefs and teachings, visit our official website, jw.org

    • Tonya says:

      Within all religions there is mental illness. Remember, just because the killer attended the congregation that doesn’t mean that he was an actual member of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. It is very ignorant to call something CRAZY that you haven’t researched!

      • Trase says:

        I was a JW for over twenty years and a regular pioneer at one point. What has struck me so hard about this story is knowing how Jehovah’s Witnesses are led to believe that they can trust one another as brothers and sisters, and because they believe they are part of god’s chosen organization on earth, there is something inherently special and protective within it. I grew up with the stories – for instance, the regular pioneer woman who was working door to door and went to a door where a serial killer answered, and had a victim inside, but he did not try to victimize the pioneer. When asked later why not, he said there were two large burly men on either side of her. It was implied that those were angels protecting her in the door-to-door work. (How it was discovered that a JW had called on the door of a house concurrent with a murder taking place inside, and why the police would have been aware of a JW calling so that they knew to inquire about it was, of course, never explained, like all urban legends.) But the point is, being brought up with those stories, and rousing talks at conventions that cite “experiences” like that, it creates a false sense of trust for other members of the organization. THAT is the problem. It’s the same driving force behind the pedophile problem within the JW’s. Demanding the two witness rule of a child who has been sexually assaulted? Really? How many pedophiles do you suppose wait for a witness to their crime? Too many families who have come forward regarding their child’s sexual assault have been quieted by local bodies of elders. That’s all part and parcel of the overall problem. The JW’s need to reform that policy and they need to reconsider creating a delusion of automatic safety with other JW’s – they are just as vulnerable to criminals and people with hidden evil intent as ANY OTHER religion, and they need to make sure their members are aware of that. Perhaps Whitney would still be alive today if she had been taught how to exercise some skepticism.

        • Tonya says:

          Wow! Really, we all have an accounting with God! So, you have a right to choose who you want to worship or not to worship. As for me and my household we will Serve Jehovah!

          • Winternatt says:

            There are many ones whose family are witnesses and take the children to the meetings who never make the truth for themselves.

            This case sounds like the two women were witnesses or one Holts wife was a study and the men went with them to the meetings.

            A real brother wouldn’t look at anothers mate like this man did which proves he was not baptized.

        • luz says:

          PROVERBIOS 11:20 los torcidos de corazon son cosa detstable a JEHOVA JESUS advirtio que dentro de la congregacion se levantarian personas que no soportarian las ensenanzas buenas mas bien irian tras sus propios deceos y buscarian personas que les endulsaran los oidos muchas personas hablan de lo mamlo que tiene una familia pero nunca de todo lo bueno pero como bien le dijo JEHOVA a SAMUEL en 1 SAMUEL 8:7 note an rechasado a ti si no a mi JEHOVA de ser su REY.ASI TODOS LOS APOSTATAS NO HABLAN MAL DEL PUEBLO DE JEHOVA SINO DE JEHOVA MISMO AMI EN LO PERSONAL TODAS LAS COSAS QUE JEHOVA A HECHO POR MI Y MI FAMILIA SON UNA BENDICION Y GRACIAS A EL SOY UNA MEJOR PERSONA Y GRACIAS A LA AYUDA QUE E RECIBIDO DE SUS SIERVOS

        • Carmen says:

          I feel sorry for you…You sound confuse. This is just one of many tragic stories that confirms the fullfilling of the prophecy 2Timothy 3:1-5. Far from discourging us these disgusting real stories should impel us to draw close to our Creator Jehovah God. James 4:7,8 zeph 2:2,3

        • Carmen says:

          I feel sorry for You it seems to me that you are totally lost!! This is just one of many disgusting real life stories that are the fulfilling the prophecy 2Timothy 3:1-5 and that far from discouraging all of us should impel us to draw close to our Creator Jehovah God. James 4:7,8 Zeph 2:2,3

    • keri toodle says:

      I happen to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      I understand if you feel that way you do.
      Do you know what the word CULT means?
      According to Mr. Webster, it means a
      system of religious beliefs and ritual, a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement or work. We as Jehovah’s Witnesses are DEDICATED to the only true God whose name is Jehovah, so says Psalms 83:18. We FOLLOW Jesus Christ as our Leader and
      greatest example as said in God’s Word,
      which we STRICTLY adhere to. Our worship
      of Jehovah is a way of life, NOT
      ritualistic devotion. We live and work among everyday people, we don’t isolate
      I suggest before you start name-calling,
      know who you are talking about.

    • Marsha W. says:

      I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and as the mother of a murdered child I find it sad that this family has experiences a loss(because the loss of a child stings like no other) and others that know nothing about our faith take stabs at it.Truly 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “critical times hard to deal with” I pray that this family has, “the peace of God, (Jehovah) that excels all thought” and look forward to a time when we no longer have to shed tears of pain and loss.

  2. Thomas says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are We? Official site.

  3. Jan says:

    My parents are Jehovah’s Witness’s, and this story has nothing to do with them being JWs. I don’t think Holt was a real JW. My observation is Jehovah’s Witness people are not crazy at all, they are very kind. They know the bible, and are very loving. Get to know one yourself before you pass judgment.

    • annemarie says:

      he was a jw..there are pics of his wedding in the Kingdom hall…what does it matter though..she was a victim of a horrible crime.. people who commit these crimes can be your neighbour, your fellow church goer, a family member..a tragedy

  4. angie says:

    This is a tragedy for the families and for the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses everywhere. Collectively, we are in every aspect a spiritual family modeled after the 1st Century Christians. Our biblebased work as evangelizers makes us visible in our communities. Our Kingdom Halls are open to anyone who has a desire to learn God’s Word and fellowship with those who are like minded. We are as affected by the problems experienced living in these difficult times. Life ‘happens’ and you live it to the best of your ability.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses present themselves as the most moral people on Earth. They are trying to distance themselves from this murderer to promote this illusion of being better than the outside world. The reality is that the killer was married in a Kingdom Hall and only Witnesses in good standing are allowed to do that.

    • Tonya says:

      NO-ONE is prefect, and on a whole Jehovah’s Witnesses try to live a peaceful life. They work hard to be different,but sometime the strain of the crazy world affects people. Let’s think of the family and their lose.

      • Sharon says:

        Most people are trying to live a peaceful life and understand that there are truly evil people amongst us (as humans in the HUMAN family).

        How different do Jehovah’s witnesses try to be? I think a great many of them are unaware of the goodness all around them because they do not associate with those they refer to as ‘the world’. They also cut off family members (i.e. parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren) who have left the faith not saying a word to them and this at the direction of their governing body. I think this sorrowful event is a tragic wake up call to a Jehovah’s witnesses everywhere.

        • Tonya says:

          We are already awake! This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Anyone who has studied and who has become a witness knew what they were getting into, and what not to do. We love our family members that leave Jehovah, and want them to come back. We can’t condone their actions! Jehovah is who who follow! The governing body gives us our spiritual food, but even they aren’t perfect. Yes, there is goodness around that’s we go from door to door to find those who want to live in peace.

    • Winternatt says:

      The one who became Satan was holy at one time and in good standing with God,so it doesn’t matter what Holt was or was not.One thing we do know is he was not devote.

  6. Whirney says:

    I disagree about the outcome changing if she had of exercised some skepticism. If she had of said no to him giving her a ride.. he just might of shot her right then and there in front of her apartment complex. You can’t stop a crazy person from doing what they want to do. Nothing she could have done would have changes things if he truly wanted to do what he did. To the person saying he got married in the kingdom hall.. that is true BUT it was almost 3like years ago and

  7. Whitney* says:

    Sorry got cut off… it was almost 3 years ago and we all know alot can change in 3 years. He did not live by bible principles if he could do such a horrible thing.

    • Tonya says:

      Well said!

    • Appalled says:

      @Whitney – no, you dolt, it was little more than 2 years ago, not 3. And your screenname? You should be ashamed. He used his status as an approved member of the congregation to gain her trust. Stop blindly sticking up for something you know nothing about.

    • Geoffrey says:

      This is the same tired argument JWs have used for years. If someone does something bad then “they weren’t a real JW”. I call baloney! The people of this religion are no better than anyone else, they just want their members to believe that fantasy. And you have obviously bought into it. Wake up!

      • Reagan says:

        I know someone close to the family and was
        told that Holt moved into the apt once he
        knew the couple (and she) was there.
        I do think it is interesting that some on
        this blog are expound their bias against
        the witness group when that really is not
        a relevant piece of information.
        Who knows what stalking went on with this lunatic? That is what stalkers do!
        This crazy guy had a thing for this poor
        girl for how long…who knows…& then
        vented his frustration on her.
        I do think the more savvy public realizes this is not an issue about any group but
        about being wary of strangers that appear
        to coincidentally start popping into the
        places of persons they’re stalking.
        I do think it’s pitiful to make the death
        of this poor girl, her dear husband and
        family anything more than that. Have a bit
        more respect, people. This is not a
        religious issue. This is a crime. Learn
        about the behaviors of stalkers.

  8. Edward says:

    JW’s are imperfect as well. Show me a Muslims, Chatholic, or Any other religion, thats being served in this society,that has perfect people in it. And i will join! ASAP!

    • Marsha W. says:

      Everyone was created with free will, no one is forced to serve Jehovah if reading the bible and realizing it’s truths isn’t enough then really there is nothing left the choice is yours. The fact remains, this young woman was murdered compassion for her family is all that is necessary. All the negativity it wasteful.

  9. Kurt says:

    What is a real Jehovah’s Witness? Certainly if someone attends, professes the faith, gets baptized and does enough service to be trusted with being an elder in the congregation, they would be a real Jehovah’s Witness. Even real Jehovah’s Witnesses have the same problems and do bad things just like people of any other religion. No worse, and no better.


  10. scummydross says:

    I would think it was unusual for a persons first offense to be kidnapping, sexual assault and murder. I have heard that the elders in a Jehovahs witness kingdom hall keep records on an individual when they have had “issues” in the past. Would the detectives working this case legally be privy to any of the records on Holt? I know that they keep them in a sealed envelope for later review if other similar things happen. How could the detectives be notified to look into this as most will not know about any information that has been kept on file by the elders.

    • Tonya says:

      While it is unusual having those first time offense, the records that the Elders keep are of all the offenses a witness commits. Once a person goes beyond the law it is turned over to the justice system. Whether that be rape, molestation,or murder etc. This is to keep the organization clean, and not liable. So, YES they (detectives) are privy to the information. Or this would make the elders guilty also. Elders aren’t the same as priest. GREAT QUESTION by the way! It may seems strange, but they keep record of minor sins to help them spiritually, but serious ones so that they won’t become elders over the congregation,or abuse others the congregation.

  11. uh-huh says:

    Was king david ‘weak’ or nota real servant of God when he raped sired a child with the wife of his servant and then killed that man?

  12. cecelia tidd (cc35) says:

    Precious Whitney will be avenged by the SOVEREIGN LORD JEHOVAH during the war of Armageddon. At that time he will bring an end to all wickedness forever. Proverbs 2:21,22: For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it…In the near future Whitney will be resurrected to the paradise earth. At that time she will be reunited with her family and friends and will enjoy a very happy future shown at Psalms 37:29: The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.

  13. Jay says:

    I dont understand why people expect perfection from JWs… They are imperfect like the rest of us but it doesn’t change that they try to live their lives as morally right as they can. This girl’s murder is in NO way her churchs fault. There are crazy people everywhere… lets focus on the fact that this young girls family is going through a horrible situation!

  14. Laurie says:

    I find it very sad that people would use a tragedy to express prejudice against any victim’s religion. It would be good for such people to see how Whitney’s congregation and other congregations sprung into action to help find her. Love was at work, even by those who did not know her personally. The love of hundreds. Also, the police showed great respect and kindness to the family and friends of the victim. Love is greater than cynical prejudice. Love brings peace. Peace to ones’ own self and peace in relationships with others. And peace with God.

  15. jackie says:

    Well put Teagan, Laurie and Tonya. I have been a JW for thirty years. We are not perfect, but we become witnesses because we want to live unselfishly and demonstrate love to fellow humans. We are dedicated to God. We are not perfect. This was not a crime committed because of religion. Holt happen to attend meetings – whether he attended for right reasons or not, he had mental illness. This is not the fault of the elders or the kingdom hall. He did what he did because he was a disturbed, mentally ill person. What I do know, is within the first hour of Whitney’s disappearance, her loving husband sought out help from the elders who immediately formed a task force from within all surrounding congregations. They cancelled the meetings and worked all night trying to find clues…they uncovered clues..her license plate, her jacket…all before the police even considered her a missing person. The police and fbi respected the organization and consideration the JW community displayed and the assistance they provided. There was no lashing out by whitney’s family or the congregation. Instead of dwelling on Hilt and this heinous crime, they have been loving, supportive and faithful. They have demonstrated the fruitages of the spirit…which is what one would expect if they were backed by Jehovah’s spirit. Please haters – dont judge these peacable people. I am so proud of my spiritual family. I feel sorry for anyone who has never enjoyed the freedom, peace and happiness that comes from being a part of a large united group who serve God together and who work hard at being moral and not part of the debased element of this world. Please go to http://www.watchtower.org to learn the truth about these people.