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Father Lawrence Martin Jenco Pt. 2


This episode features discussion of kidnapping and violence that some people may find offensive listener. Discretion is advised in March fifteen nineteen eighty five fifty year. Old Father Lawrence Martin. Janko was taped like a mummy in a car. Trunk thank somewhere in Lebanon. He had been held captive for two months and already has guards. Were moving him to his third prison. The Catholic priest lay the in darkness. His head throbbed from the beating. He'd suffer just hours before he could hear the men joking Arabic outside and one of them open in the trunk through the loose. We'd of his blindfold Father Janko could see. They're unsympathetic faces. The machine guns strapped to their backs. He waited for them to lift his body out of the trunk instead. The guards reached in their palms filled with a strange putty and smeared the goop all over his body. One of the men joked in broken English. How easy it would be to blow him up from the trunk trunk of the car? The potty was explosive but with his limbs taped together other Janko was helpless then. The guards began began to laugh. They said the explosive was adopted. Just a prank Father Jenkins life was a joke to them and his death would surely be the punchline. This is hostage apar- cast original every week. We tell the stories behind the most captivating hostage situations and the people inside them. We'll also cover. The psychological tactics used in kidnapping situations. And what the human brain does when held captive captive. I'm Emma Blanco Corduroy. You can find episodes of hostage and all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to just dream hostage for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type hostage in the search bar at podcast. We are grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do it. We Love Love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter at podcast network. And if you enjoyed today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review. Wherever you're listening it really does help? This is our final episode on Father Lawrence. Martin Janko a Catholic priest taken hostage by a Lebanese terrorist organization. Last week we examined the curious. Mix Up that led to Father Chen Coz capture sure we also followed the trajectory of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah and they're extremist co founder. Imad Mugniyah this week. We'll delve into the wretched. Living conditions and abuse Father Janko experienced in captivity will also follow his family's campaign for his release and the multiple to free Father Janko and other US hostages in Lebanon late January nineteen eighty five. Fifty year-old Father Janko was chained to a radiator in the dirty kitchen of an apartment overlooking overlooking Lebanon's because valley on his lap lay an abridged version of David Copperfield. That one of his guards had given him. He must have read it ten times. Already with the glasses he'd had in his pocket when he was captured reaching beneath his sweater he pulled out a raw potato and nibbled nibbled off a piece he placed it near the small hole where his friends family of ants. Were busy foraging. Father Janko envied their freedom freedom. He had been in this filthy kitchen for nearly a month and he still didn't know why nevertheless he had adapted to a little routine meals. Sales were three times a day. Lebanese bread rice fava beans and the occasional vegetable. He was also given one daily trip to the toilet for a while. This visit to the bathroom included a hot shower. Then the boiler in the basement exploded. It had been weeks since he had felt. It's even remotely clean or warm the radiator. He was chained to didn't work and at night. His guards had pile blankets on top of him to keep him from freezing being the end. He was still experiencing occasional tightness around his heart the day before his capture Father Janko had visited a doctor for tests he tried not to dwell. On what the results might have been especially since his father had died at age fifty three from heart attack his two guards. Guards provided occasional distractions during the long days. They were gentle towards father. Janko calling him a Buna the Arabic word for our father father if he was lucky they would strike up a small conversation in broken English. One Guard told a story of his sister visiting a restaurant in Switzerland island not knowing a common word for chicken she had to act it out. The guard burst into laughter and Father Janko couldn't help but chuckle. To one of the men occasionally brought Father Janko a small bag of cookies from his wife. The other gave him Muslim prayer beads to add to the Catholic Rosary. He'd made out of potato sack strings. These small relationships brought a mild sense of comfort to Father Janko during his seemingly endless days but he was otherwise alone. Most of the long quiet hours were passed by praying with his rosary although he had other more devious ways of passing the time every every so often soldiers would bring fresh food like mutton potatoes and tomatoes to the apartment. Father Janko found chances to sneak pieces of food food off the kitchen counter. He would hide them in his close to snack on between meals or to share with the family of ants. Uh One afternoon. In February Father Janko spied a jeep coming over the hill. He grabbed the sweater. He used as a blindfold. A car meant visitors and he was expected to wear a blindfold anytime someone new entered the apartment a few minutes later a strange man strode into the kitchen. Hitchin through the loose. We've his blindfold father. Janko could detect has dark eyebrows a bushy beard and a strong frame. UNBEKNOWNST to him him this was very man who had ordered his kidnapping. The Stranger crouched in front Father Janko and began to speak an interpreter behind him. Said my name is had Rodwin. Conversation was brief had Radwan did not explain y Father Janko had been kidnapped. He simply told him that he would be going home soon. Father Djenka would hear that word. Many times is over. The next eighteen months he would eventually come to mistrust it but for now he clung to this scrap of hope it would be many a years before he or anyone outside of Hezbollah would realize that had Radwan was a pseudonym the man standing before Father Janko was Imad odd move Nia the founder of Hezbollah Hezbollah was Lebanese. Shia extremist group funded by Shia revolutionaries and Iran and the group took root in the months following. Israel's nineteen eighty-two invasion of Lebanon their main goal was to drive Israel and its western Western allies out of Lebanon and to establish a pro Islamic government in the capital city of Beirut at the time of Father Jean Coz kidnapping Hezbollah was still an underground militia who outwardly call themselves Islamic Jihad which means holy war in in December of Nineteen eighty-three. Imad Mughniyah had helped orchestrate the Hezbollah bombing six locations and Kuwait City including the US embassy in the aftermath. Seventeen Shia radicals were captured by the Kuwaiti government. One of them was a mods best friend and brother-in-law Mustafa Body in retaliation for Mustafa's capture Imad had ordered the kidnapping of several. US citizens in Beirut route. He hoped that President Ronald Reagan would pressure the Kuwaiti government to release their seventeen prisoners. But the Reagan administration at least at that point had a staunch policy against negotiating with terrorists to do so would only incite more acts of terrorism in the midst of this impasse. Father Other Janko had been abducted. His was the fifth of eight American kidnappings connected to Hezbollah although one prisoner Jerry. Levin would escape on Valentine's Day February fourteenth nineteen eighty five that morning father Jenkins Guards burst into his his room panicked. They ordered him to put on his blindfold as they unfathomable chains in his haste. Father Janko didn't think to grab his glasses or his rosary. They let him down the hall and into another room of the apartment through his blindfold. He could see a rope. made a bed sheets dangling from a small window high up on the wall. Jerry Levin's exit route. Then to strange men marched into the room and brought Father Janko outside ride an escaped captive could compromise their location. So they would have to move Father Janko quickly. They shoved him into a car trunk and sped off when they arrived at their destination. Father Djenka was brought into a small living room with an oil heater in the center. Tall y regard was pacing about an automatic rifles slung over his shoulder. The guard strode over to Father Janko and asked him to read from a piece of paper. The words in front of him seemed to swim. He realized that he had left his glasses back in the kitchen. He pleaded with regard to have someone retrieve them. The man just stomped off leaving Father Janko alone as the evening wore on one. One of the men placed a drink in Father Jenkins hands obediently. He drank within minutes. A fog began to settle over him. He had been drugged as the world slowly slipped away. Father Janko caught a comforting glimpse of one of his former guards standing in the room could barely keep his head upright as he was led outside and shoved into the back seat of a car. Two men wedged in on either side of him. One of them was his old guard slumping onto his shoulder. Father Janko fell into a deep slumber that lasted until morning when he came came to he was inside his second prison higher in the hills surrounding Beqaa Valley. A strange guard led him to a bedroom which housed a row. Oh of several cardboard cubicles all facing the doorway Father Janko was placed in one of the cubicles and shackled left hand and foot chains stretched into the guards. Jason Living Quarters. It'd be able to see any movement. He made that that first night. Father Janko found himself longing for the crude comforts of his previous prison. At least there he'd had walls and a window then a strange voice to his right whispered. I'm Ben here. Who are you before he could answer another voice? Said I'm William Buckley they were two of the US hostages that had gone missing the year before. Ben Was a sixty one year old. Presbyterian Syrian Reverend and William Buckley had been the CIA chief in Beirut. Father Janko knew that speaking to the other hostages was not allowed. Even whispering in the night was a risk with the guards in the other room other than this quick introduction Father Jenkins days and nights passed in virtual solitary confinement environment. He would prey to keep himself busy or regress to childhood. When this kind of solitary play was common in this way and against all odds Father Janko was able to stay Sane Longtime Harvard psychiatrist Dr Stewart Grassy Notes notes that people with mature healthy personalities and an average high IQ have a higher tolerance for the neurological stress of solitary terry confinement at the bottom end of the spectrum individuals whose interior lives were more tumultuous than fearful had a greater chance of succumbing to long long term psychological damage? Although Father Janko had never lived in complete isolation before his interior life was equipped to combat. It stressful is full of facts. He already had a daily spiritual routine a comprehensive worldview and profound positive beliefs about his individual identity not with these important anchors. He was better equipped to endure the long on. Certain days ahead on February very seventeen had Radwan paid a visit. He directed Father Janko and Ben Weird to write two letters each one to an important important religious leader and one to family. Father Janko wrote his first letter to Cardinal. Joseph Bernardine the Archbishop of Chicago following Radwan's directions. He told Cardinal Joseph that he was being held as ransom. For Seventeen Shia prisoners jailed in Kuwait. This this was the first time he had heard a reason for his kidnapping and it wasn't good news. He was well aware that the Reagan administration did not doc barter with terrorists and has next letter deepened his despair in the note to his family. Radwan instructed him to write that he would the Hong if a rescue attempt was made. He shuddered as he scrawled the words. Were they really go. So far as to execute him. In spite of Father Jenkins Mistreatment Radwan himself had been surprisingly gentle even kind when he came to the apartment he usually checked. Don Father. Janko laying a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. He even brought him the pair of glasses he had left behind this small act of concern learn amidst degrading circumstances. Felt nothing short of touching. Now this same man was dictating very real. Threats Shaken Farther Janko placed the letters in an envelope and addressed it to sister May Mahela in Joliet Illinois he prayed would would arrive before had rat ones. Patience ran out in a moment. Father Jenkins captors grow frustrated and abusive Carter here. 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Investigators Beirut immediately linked his disappearance to Hezbollah Bolla who had claimed responsibility for four other kidnappings the year before that was how the Janko family learned of their brothers kidnapping the January very eighth morning news immediately. They met at the home of father. Janko sister May Mahela to organize a plan of action and await the report from Washington. The News that trickled down from Capitol Hill was discouraging. The Reagan administration had reiterated their stance on foreign hostages hostages. They refuse to make deals with terrorists. The Janko family worried that this standstill could go on for months to the US US captives had already been held for nearly a year and besides having no idea how father Janko was being treated a press report disclosed that he was in poor health. The test results from his recent doctor's appointment confirmed that he had high blood pressure and needed medication distraught. The Janko family continued to reach out to the White House. They were met with silence but behind closed doors. The Reagan administration knew time was pressing in as with any presidency swift and effective problem solving was crucial to Reagan's public perception and ultimately his legacy but with hostage negotiations off the table. Little could be done. Even a rain was impossible. Without knowing precisely where in Lebanon the hostages were being held in the meantime the administration sought to manage public perception by minimizing the attention. They gave the hostages to grant a meeting to their families would create a publicity buzz adding stress to already heroin dilemma. The only course course of action was to continue putting pressure on investigators in Beirut and they hope to at least find a lead on Hezbollah's whereabouts When Father Jenkins letters arrived in May's mailbox on March? I almost two months after the family. I heard the news. They were already forming a more sophisticated response reaching out to the White House had gotten them nowhere. They'd have to take matters into their own own hands. There were fifty five Janko relatives around their hometown of Joliet Illinois each Monday night. They met as house to strategize. They divided the fifty states between the family members and began the enormous task of making their voice heard on the news and reaching every member member of Congress. Over the eighteen months of their brother's captivity. They would schedule press interviews in almost every state overtime time they would secure the support of various congressman. Especially George O'Brien of Will County Illinois and Robert Dornan of Orange County California. Every day these two men would enter the hostage names on the congressional record as a reminder of the unsolved problem in Lebanon. Eventually Ben Weir's wife went public with a letter. She received in March so the Junko family did the same. They didn't realize this was exactly glee. What had read one had wanted a key? Goal of terrorists is to captivate the attention of foreign press. First and foremost press. Generates a public response usually emotional that forces leaders into quicker action. This improves the terrorists. Chances of having their demands met but Dr Thomas strengths a professional hostage negotiator notes. That while most hostage-takers want good press in order to guarantee their safety terrorists hostage takers have a different concern. Their primary motive is to bring attention to their cause. Sometimes sometimes it's their only motive. In addition to his official demand. The release of the ship captains in Kuwait had Radwan wanted to bring international awareness. Ms To Hezbollah's list of grievances giving press to the terrorists was a form of meeting their demands. However while the release of Father Jiang goes letter caused a small press sensation it wasn't merely as much as either Hezbollah or the Janko family would have desired? which could have been why on March fifteenth? Father Jenga was escorted from his cardboard cubicle into an adjacent room through his blindfold mindful. He could see one of the guards holding a reel of tape. His mind raised as he remembered the last time they had taped him from head to toe pro like a mummy he had hardly been able to breathe then. One of the guards took a cloth and held it underneath the blindfold clearly wanting getting father Janko to open his mouth self-preservation overwhelmed him. He said I cannot breathe when you do that before. He could see what what was happening. A fist pound against his left temple sending him staggering than another hand punch the other side of his head. Father Janko held his hands and obediently opened his mouth. The guard stuffed in the cloth and proceeded to tape him from his ankles to his neck. The carried him him outside placed him in the trunk of a car and slammed it shopped a few minutes past and the trunk opened again. When a hand reached under Father Jenkins Blindfold and pulled the cloth out of his mouth? He was sure it was one of his original guards from the kitchen. Prison isn't showing him one. Final shred of mercy after another bumpy hot car ride. The strange men opened the trunk but instead of lifting them out they reached in through his sweater blindfold he could see their hands. Were filled the strange potty laughing. The men began to smear the putty all over Father Jenkins Body. Then he heard one of them joke about how easy it would be to blow him up if he made any trouble. Father Jenkins heart pounded the potty was an explosive was this how his ordeal was going to end end but the nausea quickly gave way to rage. As one of the guards laughed that it was a dud. They had just done this to get a rise is out of him. Powerless but seething Father Janko was carried up flights of stairs to an apartment. His third prison in as many months from the sounds of nearby planes he could tell he was in south Beirut near the airport he didn't know though that the worst part of his captivity liberty had just begun this third prison where he would stay from March until the end of April nineteen eighty. Five was a three by six foot closet. His guards dressed him from head to toe in a warm jogging suit. Making the already stuffy closets unbearably terribly hot every day he would lay alone in the closet. Utterly miserable and pouring sweat body odor became a problem mm-hmm and at irritated his guards to no end from time to time they would open the closet door and spray Father Djenka with a can of deodorizer he was still experiencing intermittent chest pain and over the rest of his captivity. His hands and feet would grow more and more numb. He was also forced I to wear his blindfold day and night. He developed an eye infection which used continually in these long hours. He could often over here. His guards playing their favourite audio cassette over and over again. It's hateful propaganda called for the death of all Westerners still father Janko preferred this dismal solitude to attention. The guards in this prison were increasingly paranoid. That Father Janko had seen their faces in spite of his blindfold. In one instance. A guard woke up Father Jingo to give him a drink as he sat up. Startled darnold a clean tissue had placed over his. I fell out of the blindfold in the darkness. The guard thought he had taken off his blindfold to look get him. He brutally kicked Father Janko as he lay on the closet floor. Another time father. Janko was on his way to the bathroom when he recognized the same plastic expression he was given at mealtimes lying pile of trash not wanting it to be thrown out he picked it up and brought it back to his closet later later. The guards found the spoon. They were convinced that Father Janko had hidden it to use it as a weapon and as punishment they hit him they they pounded his head so hard that he permanently lost twenty percent of his hearing the guards could even be cruel for no reason at all one of their favourite games to sit further Janko in the middle of the room and placed their guns on his lap. They would ask him to read. The inscriptions wins on the guns which always said either made in Israel or the. US The men thought. The irony of this was hilarious. Other games were more brutal on long afternoons the guards would stand Father Janko in the middle of the room and spinning in circles until he fell all over one day. He slammed into a wall so hard that his head began to bleed. Strangely the site of his injury seem mm to disturb the guards and they never spun him again all the while Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyah or had Radwan refuse to rest until the seventeen prisoners in Kuwait were freed and on March sixteenth. Two months after Father Jenkins capture. They upped the ante thirty seven year. Old Terry Anderson Chief of people societas press in Beirut was kidnapped following a morning game of tennis. Miss Father Janko watched as the new prisoner was chained to a bed in the room outside his closet but they were not allowed to talk. Father Janko Akao felt utterly alone towards the end of April. The prisoners were transferred to a different apartment in the same building before this would be father Janko fourth the prison. He was chained to a wall a hallway where he would remain until July through his blindfold could observe the other captives as they passed. I his old cubicle mate. CIA station chief. William Buckley would sometimes walk past on his way to the bathroom. He looked haggard haggard and mentally unwell he would exclaim nonsense to no one in particular at one point. Father Janko hurt him asked for poached eggs. The weeks passed and Buckley seemed to grow worse. Other Janko could tell he was dying. Buckley had been a prisoner for fourteen months one way or another. He wouldn't stay captive much longer and father Janko feared he may be the next to go coming up. The Reagan administration makes a desperate bid to free the hostages in Lebanon. Now back to the story it was may nineteen eighty five and father Lawrence Martin Jingo was still chained in the hallway of an apartment in south. Beirut he he was one of several captives being held ransom in exchange for seventeen Shia prisoners in Kuwait meanwhile his captor has Radwan plotting. His next move on May twenty fifth a suicide driver from Hezbollah attempted to Ram into the car of Kuwait. Head of state shake jobber although jobber emerged from the accident with minor scratches and bruises the insurgents took credit for the attack and sent a message demanding ending the release of their seventeen cohorts. Three days later on May Twenty Eighth David Jacobson the director of the American University Hospital in Beirut was captured on his way to work less than two weeks later on June ninth Hezbollah kidnapped Thomas Sutherland. The Dean of Agriculture at the American University in Beirut with seven citizens now in captivity the White House was growing desperate. Meanwhile Father Janko fellow hostage. CIA Chief William. Buckley was growing worse every week then in one day in early June father Janko spied a pair of lifeless feet being dragged past him. He knew it was Buckley. Following Buckley's death had Rodwin ordered the kidnapping of Lebanese Jewish physician to examine and treat the surviving captives. The doctor prescribed diet. Zaid for father. Jank does blood pressure and gave him an appointment for his eye infection and in spite of their callousness listeners. The guards would occasionally surprise Father Janko with other small thoughtful gestures one night guard was eating pizza and offered him a slice. He's another guard offered him lemons whenever he had a stomach ache. But the best gift of all was completely unexpected. One evening the the guards led him blindfolded up a flight of stairs he walked through a doorway and realized he was on a rooftop a refreshing seabreeze fan his face. Then one of the men removed his blindfold the Panorama was breathtaking. The city of Beirut route stretched out beneath them glistening in the moonlight it was one of the most beautiful experiences he had in his entire life. And and because his blindfold had been removed he was certain it would be his last Ben. One of the guards spoke. He explained simply because the moon is so beautiful this evening. We wanted you to see it. Meanwhile in spite of their no negotiations association's policy the White House was eventually forced to deal with a hostage situation in Lebanon on June fourteenth. One thousand nine hundred five Hezbollah Bolla insurgents including had Radwan hijack TWA flight eight forty seven following. Its takeoff from Athens. Greece thirty nine Americans would be held captive aboard the plane for the next seventeen days in exchange for their lives. The hijackers demanded ended freedom for seven hundred. Thirty five Shia prisoners in Israel as well as the seventeen jailed in Kuwait. Four days later president. Reagan then held a press meeting. He stressed that the US was doing everything possible to secure the release of the thirty nine passengers while reaffirming that that they would not make concessions to terrorists demands although media focused their attention on the individual passengers publishing biographies on each of the captives in interviewing. They're anxious families the GEN COZ were enraged Father Janko and the other six captives in Lebanon had never ever received this sort of attention and they had been hostages for months. The Janko storm the press and overnight the forgotten seven Kevin became major players in the national drama. What followed was what Dr Breguet L.? Nakos of Columbia University called called a perfect case of individual versus national interest exacerbated by the media in these cases the press response to a terrorist crisis by highlighting the human aspects of the ordeal but gives little focused to government rationale in doing so the general public his influence to care more about the individuals at stake than the larger national interests. This is what happened in the case the TWA victims and the US hostages in Lebanon as the press linked. Both predicament together. President Reagan had no choice but to follow suit to separate the two would be perceived as cowardly and would damage his approval ratings. Although his administration was not convinced that the hijackers and kidnappers napper's were one and the same at least their demands were unified if the hijackers could somehow be appeased perhaps both groups of hostages. Could it'd be released still. Reagan didn't want to appear to be conceding to terrorist demands over the next two weeks of the TWA crisis. The Reagan Administration Administration placed subtle pressure on their allies in Israel to release the seven hundred and thirty. Five Shia prisoners on delicate persuasion was attempted in Kuwait as well but the Kuwaiti government wasn't about to free seventeen Hezbollah cohorts after the recent assassination attempt on their leader in in the meantime president. Reagan assured Americans that measures were being taken to release all forty six prisoners. It was a grandiose statement but he hoped it would prove true as the days dragged on. Reagan traveled to Chicago where he not only met with families of TWA passengers But for the first time granted an audience to Father Janko family. It gave the Janko hope that their brother would be released. But this optimism would be short lived. On June thirtieth the last passenger were released from TWA flight. Eight forty seven four days later Israel freed three hundred Shia prisoners though. They insisted that the incidents were not connected the forgotten seven however however remained in captivity to the Public President Reagan had partially succeeded and freeing the hostages in Lebanon was now at at the top of his agenda as the Reagan administration prepared to switch tactics. Father Jingo was experiencing a welcome change of his own. It was early. July nineteen eighty five seven months into his captivity when his captors brought him to his fifth prison an apartment on top of a school building in Beirut and for the first time he had roommates at first it was just Ben. We're ear but two weeks later. Tom Sutherland join them and on August fourteenth. All three men were moved into the basement beneath the school. Were they were joined by the remaining. US Hostages Terry Anderson and David Jacobson another American hostage sixty two year old librarian. Peter Peter Kilburn had been executed in April with Peter and William Buckley's deaths the forgotten seven. Were actually the forgotten five. This new living arrangement was a vast improvement for Father Janko. The five men kept each other company and invented ways to pass the time. They made a deck of cards and Chessboard Magazine Scraps and Played Word Games like twenty questions. Father Janko and Ben. We're led Bible Studies. They call themselves the Church of the locked door although they had initially instructed the captives not to talk to each other the guards. It didn't seem to mind this camaraderie at all. In fact they're conditions generally seemed to improve dramatically in this prison. One Guard hard father. Janko had an affinity for was named Fato he had a persistent kind streak and whenever he was on morning duty he brought Turkish coffee to the captives. As Father Janko received his cup. He purposely looked garden. The eye and said thank you. I really appreciate this. Dr Jeff Thomson of New York University and Lipscomb University calls this stroking crisis negotiators employ employ this technique by complimenting their subject on a positive action the key to stroking is to frame the positive action as an individual choice. The person made not something they were told to do. Father Janko knowingly employed stroking when he thanked bottle by name each morning it was a form warm of positive reinforcement that made his captivity bearable. The remaining eleven months of Father Jenkins confinement were spent in this slightly better routine eighteen with five men in one room. He was cramped but far less lonely than before back in America the the White House was enmeshed in a secret plan to release the forgotten. Captives refusing to negotiate hadn't gotten anywhere in the Kuwait. Government was no help either either. In the summer of nineteen eighty five. The Reagan administration would begin a new strategy the second phase of a top secret foreign policy. See subterfuge it would come to be known as the Iran Contra affair. The contrast were a group of rebels in Nicaragua. Who are fighting to Overthrow their new communist government. The group had been organized and funded by the CIA. Not Wanting to be entangled in the mess any longer. Congress had issued a directive to stop all military aid to Nicaragua but rather than obey. Orders Reagan's administration secretly. We collaborated with the C.. I. A. to find new ways to keep funding the contras. US intelligence knew that Iran held significant influence. Over Shia. Militant oughtn't factions in Lebanon. Iran was also engaged in war against Iraq and they desperately needed weapons. Taking all of these factors into consideration consideration White House officials devised a plan to kill two birds with one stone. They would sell arms to Iran. Take the money and funded directly to the CONTRAS. As part of the bargain they asked Iran to pressure Hezbollah into releasing their American hostages on September fourteenth nineteen eighty five four hundred eight U. S. missiles were delivered to Iran the very next day Reverend Ben. We're was released in Beirut. It was a start but it was only a start. January January seventh nineteen eighty-six marked one year of captivity for Father. Janko the Reagan administration was still actively selling arms to Iran but by the time spring arrived. No more progress had been made. Fortunately another country in the Middle East was becoming involved hoping being to improve their relations with the. US Syria turned a sympathetic ear to the hostage situation. Over the next few months they would use their alliance alliance with Iran to gain more information about the whereabouts of Shia militant groups in Lebanon by early June. Nineteen eighty-six Syrian Syrian leaders had deduced that the remaining captives were being held in Beirut and by the end of the month they were deploying troops intercity to find them. They hope this military presence would squeeze Hezbollah into releasing more hostages and in a sense they were right. Eight on July Twenty Sixth Nineteen eighty-six had Radwan visited the four remaining captives. He told them that they were being moved. wbt One by one each captive was led out of the room. They shared until only Father Janko was left when Radwan told him to sit down. Father Janko feared the worst. He asked if he was going to be killed. Radwan said no bona. You are going going home. Overcome by relief. Father Janko Begin to cry. Radwan silently brought a letter out of his pocket and began under read. It bothered Janko recognized the words. He had written them himself in a letter to his family. On Christmas in the letter he had written a Bible Verse About Forgiveness and told his family not to hate his captors. Had Radwan had never sent the letter and now he was using it to ask Father Janko to forgive him as the guards came into the room to retrieve him. One of them pressed is too small cross into his hands. His old crucifix had been taken away from him on the day he was captured. It was like they were giving it back along with his life. Father Janko was still stunned as the guards brought him blindfolded into the elevator one of them rubbed his shoulders compassion as they led him to a car after several hours the car came to a stop at the edge of an empty road. The guards handed Father Janko Five. Lebanese pounds pointed him to the left before driving into the night he would later learned that he had been dropped on the outskirts of eastern Lebanon. Father Janko began to walk and gradually a town and Lake appeared in the distance when he reached the village. Father Janko made his way to the police station within minutes. A group of Syrian soldiers came aim to retrieve him. They brought him to Damascus where he was held in a government building until the American Ambassador to Syria arrived. He was US finally going home. The hostage situation in Lebanon continued for years following Father Jenkins release the last of the forgotten. Seven then Terry. Anderson wasn't released until nineteen ninety. One had Rodman's cousin. Mustafa would escape his captivity in Kuwait. In one thousand nine hundred ninety together the two would continue on as top officials in Hezbollah for the next two decades had radwan was assassinated by a car bomb in two thousand eight. He died before most people ever learned that his real name was Imad Mughniyah following his release Father Janko spent time with his extended family in Joliet Illinois he would later become a campus minister at the University of Southern California and then an associate pastor at Saint Dummy Tillis Church in Hillside Illinois. He passed away in nineteen ninety. Be Six one week before the tenth anniversary of his release. He is still remembered by the family and friends who never once once forgot him. Thanks again for tuning into hostage for more information on Father Lawrence Martin Janko amongst many sources we used. We found his biography eh band to forgive extremely helpful to our research. We will be back next Thursday with new episode. You can find more episodes of hostage and all other podcast. Our cast originals for free on spotify. Not only to spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite par- cast originals channels like hostage for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream hostage on spotify. Just open the APP and type hostage in the search fire and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram. At podcast. In twitter at Park cast network. See next time in the meantime. Don't take your freedom. Freedom for granted hostage was created by Max Cutler is a podcast studios original executive producers. Include Max and Ron Cutler sound design by one Boorda with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carleen Madden Freddie Beckley. This episode of hostage was written by Allee wicker with writing assistance by Kate Gallagher and stars Irma Blanco and Carter Roy. 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