Don Nichols, convicted killer and kidnapper, granted parole

Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 15:41:26-04

Don Nichols, who was convicted of kidnapping athlete Kari Swenson and killing Alan Goldstein in 1984, has been granted parole.

Nichols, 86 years, was serving an 85-year sentence in the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

Nichols was convicted in Madison County on charges of deliberate homicide, kidnapping, and aggravated felony assault.

Nichols and his son, Dan, kidnapped Swenson, a world-class biathlete, while she was jogging in the Big Sky area.

The Nichols’ held Swenson captive in the woods for two days and chained her to a tree; Don had wanted to find a wife for his son.

Goldstein, a friend of Swenson’s who was helping with the search, was shot and killed by Nichols when he stumbled across the camp site where she was being held captive. 

Swenson was also shot, but recovered from her injury.

Parole Board members Sandy Heaton and Mary Kay Puckett granted Nichols parole. It was the fourth time Nichols had been up for parole.

The younger Nichols was granted parole in 1991. He ran into trouble with the law in 2011 when he was arrested on drug charges at the Rockin The Rivers Festival in Three Forks.

Swenson is now a veterinarian in Bozeman.