Army medic Nicholas Walker returned home from Iraq after 250 combat missions, traumatized and broken. His friends and family couldn’t help him. Therapy couldn’t help him. Heroin couldn’t help him. Pulling bank heists helped him.
By Scott Johnson at Buzzfeed:
"Nicholas Walker, Nico to his friends and family, is a U.S. Army veteran with an exemplary record of service as a medic during the very worst years, and in the very worst areas, of the war in Iraq. He is also a convicted bank robber — and not just the garden variety; in only four months, Walker managed to rob nearly 10 banks (an 11th attempt was aborted), making him one of the most prolific individual bank robbers in Ohio. “It’s definitely in my top two, in terms of robberies by one individual,” said Art Hernandez, a federal prosecutor who helped send Walker to prison for 11 years in 2012. “It’s one of the most unusual [cases] I’ve ever prosecuted.”'
"Despite its ubiquity, every case of PTSD is different. Nick Walker, instead of retreating quietly into a life of physical or emotional abuse, or simply killing himself, chose to cope by lashing out in a unique and mystifying way. It was a decision that baffled his family and friends, and even, eventually, Walker himself. It was no less confounding for the experts brought in to examine him afterward. Pablo Stewart, a forensic psychiatrist who testified on Walker’s behalf, said his was “one of the worst cases of PTSD I’ve ever seen.”'
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