Episode 369:

Blizzard Hotline

1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre


Murder of Nicole van den Hurk


Episode 369: Blizzard Hotline

On today’s episode, Karen covers the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre and Georgia tells the story of the murder of Nicole van den Hurk.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre

1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Yon Montoto on Unsplash

Other Images:

1. Mountain Meadows Massacre site, southern Utah, Len Wilcox / Alamy Stock Photo

2. Brigham Young as photographed by Charles William Carter, Hi-Story / Alamy Stock Photo

3. John D. Lee pre-execution photo, Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo


"The massacre, in 1857, was one of the most explosive episodes in the history of the American West—not only were 120 men, women and children killed, but the United States and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost went to war. The denouement of the so-called Utah War set Utah on the path to statehood and the Mormons on a long and fitful accommodation to secular authority, but the Mountain Meadows Massacre remained a focus of suspicion and resentment for decades. The church issued a statement on the role its members played in the killings in 2007, and opened its archives to three scholars—Richard E. Turley Jr., a Latter-day Saint historian, and Brigham Young University professors Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard—for their book, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, published in 2008. But in the aftermath of the massacre, only one participant was brought to trial, and that was John D. Lee..."


Source: “The Aftermath of Mountain Meadows” by Gilbert King (Smithsonian Magazine) 2012

Murder of Nicole van den Hurk

Murder of Nicole van den Hurk Notes:

Other Images:

1. Nicole van den Hurk

2. Andy van den Hurk - from Andy's Twitter


"[Nicole van den Hurk was born] on July 4th, 1980 to her mother Angelika Tegtmeier and an unknown man in Germany, Nicole would never grow up with her birth father. Actually, at the time that she was born, her mother wasn’t completely sure who had fathered her. She decided to have a blood test done when Nicole was one year old, which identified a married man that lived in the same community. While his name would be added to her birth certificate, he wasn’t really involved in any capacity in Nicole’s life.

Angelika would raise Nicole as a single mother for the first few years until she met a Dutchman name Ad Van Den Hurk. The couple would get married and move to the Netherlands, where he would raise Nicole like his own child. Unfortunately, the marriage was very short-lived, and when Nicole was 9 years old, her mother and stepfather divorced. It’s unclear to me exactly what Angelika’s living situation was, but for some reason, this man was awarded custody of Nicole. It is rare for a judge to award custody to a non-biological male who is divorcing the child’s biological mother.

Now living with her stepfather in the Netherlands, a new stepmother named Jolanda would eventually come along, as well as some new stepsiblings. I couldn’t find any indication that her life growing up was anything other than typical.

That is until 1995. For Nicole, it was the worst kind of year a person could experience. In April of 1995, her mother, who she had become somewhat estranged from, had taken her own life. This would have been really difficult for Nicole, who was now 15 years old and could have really used her mother’s presence in her life.

And then, later that fall, Nicole would vanish. The date was October 6th, 1995 and Nicole went to visit her grandmother earlier in the day before heading over to work her part-time shift at a bakery. She took off on her bicycle from her grandmother’s home, but she would never make it to work. Her boss tried to call her at home, but she wasn’t there. When her parents learned that Nicole had never made it to work, they phone the police immediately. At around 6 pm, the local police force launched a small search of the neighborhood. It didn’t take them too long to make a shocking discovery - Nicole’s bicycle was partially submerged in the river. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Nicole nearby, and no other clues were found that might point to what happened to her..."

Source: “Her Brother Falsely Confessed to Have DNA Tested: The Murder of Nicole van den Hurk” by Nik (NewsBreak)

Karen's Episode Sources

  1. “Blood of the Prophets” by Will Bagley
  2. “Massacre at Mountain Meadows” by Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr, and Glen M. Leonard
  3. Various pages (Mountain Meadows Association)
  4. “An Account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre as Described by John D. Lee” (Mormon Research Ministry)
  5. “The Great Utah Mystery” by David Haward Bain (New York Times) 2003
  6. “The Aftermath of Mountain Meadows” by Gilbert King (Smithsonian Magazine) 2012
  7. “A Utah Massacre and Mormon Memory” by Sally Denton (New York Times) 2003
  8. “Reopening a Mormon Murder Mystery; New Accusations That Brigham Young Himself Ordered an 1857 Massacre of Pioneers” by Emily Eakin (New York Times) 2002
  9. “Blood Atonement and the Early Mormon Church” by Douglas O. Linder (Famous Trials)
  10. “Mountain Meadows Massacre (1875-1876)” by Douglas O. Linder (Famous Trials)
  11. “The Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Richard E. Turley Jr. (Mountain Meadows Massacre)
  12. “The Bloody History Of Mormonism In Jackson County” by Cody Newill (KCUR/NPR) 2015
  13. “LDS Church apologizes for Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Jessica Ravitz (Salt Lake Tribune) 2007
  14. “Anti-Mormon Violence” by PBS/American Experience
  15. “Fact-checking Mormon History: Did Brigham Young order the Mountain Meadows Massacre?” by Jonathan Ellis (2015)
  16. “Mormon Historians Shed Light On Sept. 11, 1857” by Howard Berkes (NPR) 2008
  17. “He Led His People Into the Desert” by Emily Arendt (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) 2012
  18. “253: Mountain Meadows Massacre, It Could Happen To You” (Mormon Experience podcast) 2014
  19. “History of the Mountain Meadows Massacre” (Faithful Answers, Informed Response)
  20. “History: The Paiutes” (Utah American Indian)
  21. “Romney Has Big Early Edge On Huntsman For Utah Hearts, Minds, Money” by Howard Berkes (NPR)
  22. “Inflation Calculator” (OfficialData.org)
  23. “Zealotry” (Merriam-Webster)

Georgia's Episode Sources

  1. “Action for a dignified farewell Andy, stepbrother of Nicole van den Hurk” by Hans Janssen (Omroep Brabant)
  2. “Andy van den Hurk on his sister's 1995 murder” (NL Times)
  3. “April 5, 2011 - Andy van den Hurk free” by Carin Beenen (NL Times)
  4. “Arrest made in teenage girl's 1995 murder” (NL Times)
  5. “Chronological overview of the Nicole van den Hurk murder case” (ED)
  6. “Forensic mistakes did not influence 1995 rape and murder case, lawyer says” (NL Times)
  7. “Her Brother Falsely Confessed to Have DNA Tested: The Murder of Nicole van den Hurk” by Nik (NewsBreak)
  8. “"I flipped out": Step-mother on acquittal in teen's murder” (NL Times)
  9. “Jos de G. gets 12 years for raping, killing Nicole van den Hurk” (NL Times)
  10. “Jos de G. guilty of rape, not murder in '95 death of Nicole van den Hurk” (NL Times)
  11. “June 13, 1996 - Ad van den Hurk free” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  12. “Killing of Nicole van den Hurk” (Wikipedia)
  13. “Loyal Brother Falsely Confesses To Killing Sister To Prove Their Dad Was The Perpetrator” by NyRee Ausler (Your Tango)
  14. “Man jailed for 12 years for rape and murder of girl in 1995” (DutchNews.NL)
  15. “March 8, 2011 - Stepbrother Nicole van den Hurk arrested” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  16. “March 30, 2011 - Andy van den Hurk in Eindhoven” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  17. “Maximum sentence for manslaughter will be increased” (Government of the Netherlands)
  18. “May 23, 1996 - Half-brother Nicole van den Hurk arrested” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  19. “Murder in Dutch law” (Wikipedia)
  20. “Nicole van den Hurk’s Murder Case Went Cold – So Her Stepbrother Falsely Confessed” by Aimee Lamoureux (All That’s Interesting)
  21. “October 1, 2005 - Nicole's murder still a mystery after ten years” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  22. “PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS IN DUTCH FAMILY LAW: DO SOCIAL AND LEGAL REALITY COINCIDE? By Machteld Vonk (Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
  23. “Prosecutor appeals sentence in 1995 rape, murder” (NL Times)
  24. “September 9, 2011 - Body of Nicole van den Hurk exhumed” by Carin Beenen (ED)
  25. “The Murder of Nicole Van Den Hurk: How Her Loyal Brother Got Justice” by Verity Partington (Medium)
  26. “To Catch His Step-Sister's Killer, He Confessed To Her Murder” by Meagan (Shared)
  27. “Twelve years for killing and raping Nicole van den Hurk” (NOS News)