Whitney Heichel's Jehovah's Witnesses Link Deepens Mystery of Her Murder

Jonathan Holt

Now that the body of Whitney Heichel has been found and a suspect arrested, lots of new details are emerging at rapid-fire pace. One in particular is sure to titillate: Whitney Heichel was apparently a Jehovah's Witness, and so was her accused killer, 24-year-old neighbor Jonathan Holt.

Thoughts like lightning through the brain: Was this a religiously motivated crime? A love affair gone wrong? Police have not given any indication of either so far, but based on what we do know, this wasn't completely random. There had to be some sort of relationship going between Heichel and Holt that went seriously, fatally wrong.

Holt, who was charged with aggravated murder, is due to be arraigned today. Here's what we know so far: They both knew each other and each were married (to other people). They lived in the same apartment building in Oregon and attended the same Kingdom Hall -- the equivalent of a "church" or "synagogue" for Jehovah's Witnesses. Heichel's husband helped Holt start his motorcycle a few weeks ago, and the Holts took care of the Heichels' pets when they went away.

All sounds pretty normal neighborly. Except Holt may have been shirking the responsbilities of his faith since he's been labeled an "irregular" member, meaning he's been blowing off "meetings" or services, or hasn't been meeting his quota for door-to-door preaching. What this means, if anything, is yet to be seen.

One thing is certain: Jehovah's Witnesses fascinate non-members as much as they annoy with those uninvited solicitations and "Awake" pamphlets. It's the same for any religion with super-specific or literal beliefs. As far as mainstream opinions go, Jehovah's (which is God's human name) Witnesses are not too far behind the Scientologists on the "literal" scale.

For instance, they believe that only 144,000 Christians will go to heaven to be alongside God and Jesus. They believe it's only a matter of time before Armageddon destroys us all, so their mission is to get as many converts as possible to be prepared for this end of days.

They don't celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter or other holidays because of their pagan roots. The morals of a Jehovah's Witness are very much like those of conservative Christians (they consider themselves Christian), wholly opposing homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion and so on. They don't give blood because they believe the Bible prohibits humans from "ingesting blood." And they keep pretty much separate from people who aren't members of their community, which explains why Holt and Heichel lived so close to each other and might have had some type of relationship, just friends or otherwise.

A witness says he spotted Heichel sitting in her SUV at a gas station while a man who was acting rushed and nervous paid for gas, making it seem that Heichel was with Holt voluntarily, at least for a short time. Perhaps they had been planning to run away and Heichel changed her mind?

Jehovah's Witnesses and people of any other strict religious faith have the same temptations and failings of people with no religious faith at all, so in all likelihood there's a much deeper plot to this story. Something was going on and it's probably only a matter of time before police find out what it is and share it with the rest of us.

What is your theory behind the murder of Whitney Heichel?

Image via Multnomah County Sheriff



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nonmember avatar guest

This is a sickening article which you should be ashamed of writing. A young woman who was obviously madly on love with her husband lost her life. You clearly have no compassion or decency as a human being. Shame on you. Just plain sick.

MadHa... MadHatter01

Really? "titillate"?? God, this world has gotten so gossip obsessed, everything has to be turned into a soap opera for our own amusement. Let those poor people be. Like anyone, I am interested in why this man did what he did, because we fear the random crimes. But I could care less about their religion, or this supposed "affair". I just hope the family has some peace and I hope this man, ultimately is punished for his crime.  

crysjuls crysjuls

Aaand what does JW have to do with it? They could have been ANY other religion and the same thing could have happened. Smdh

AG Pennypacker

Disgusting - sick - disturbing. Yes, that describes this horrific crime, but....it also describes this particular article, which couldn't make more obvious the author's bigotry (and ignorance of) Jehovah's Witnesses and her obvious desires for there to be more of a sordid and disgusting twist on why it happened. Clearly there's no compassion at all on the author's part for either the victim (by trashing her religious faith) or her husband and family. FYI, Ms Ignorant Author....Jehovah's Witneses do not have a "quota for door-to-door preaching". And considering the message they preach is based on Jesus and in imitation of his own ministry, yes, they would properly consider themselves Christians. Out of common courtesy and human decency, why not leave your sick speculation of an affair (which is completely baseless) out of it and focus on writing something that may show you have any kind of human feeling about you?

nonmember avatar Tigresa24

This is a very twisted article. No one knows any details of what happened but if you look at Whitney's FB page you will see her own comments about all the love that she had for her husband...not once she looked like she was faking the happiness that she was living in her marriage. Get your facts straight before writing something so hateful and without any real fact. BTW...this morning a real expert, FBI profiler, expressed in an interview that he didnt think there was an affair...he thinks that because of the way things were done was a fatal attraction.

nonmember avatar westcoastgal

wow, what an insensitive and disturbing article. what proof is any of this based on? did you even think about how hurtful this would be if any of the family or friends were to read it? wow...just wow.

Ashley Lovette

I agree with everyone else, this is a horrible article, with so many blind accusations and inaccuracies it needs to be retracted. Apparently there are no requirements to be a "writer" anymore. I could have written a better, more accurate story myself.

curly... curlygirl31

Her murder has nothing to do with what religion she is. The author just used the religion so she could have an excuse to talk about jehovahs witnesses and what ever she has against them.

nonmember avatar hhhh

Using the word titillate in this article has got to be the most distasteful thing I've seen yet on this website. Seriously, does cafe mom have any job requirements for their bloggers?? Because they might want to let you go for your disturbing approach to this sad sad news piece.

nonmember avatar unimpressed

I understand that this blog is called "The Stir" and no doubt intended to "stir up" nonsense, drivel, and gossip, about a variety of topics, however, you should at least try to have your facts straight. It is so wrong to speculate about this sad situation. Nobody knows what she went through that day.

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