Courtesy Nancy Tyler
  • Nancy Tyler

    Richard Shenkman seemed like the answer to Nancy Tyler's prayers. Tyler, a lawyer, met Shenkman on a blind date and married almost two years later in 1993. They lived in South Windsor, a prosperous suburb of Hartford, Conn. and bought a beach house on the shore. Shenkman, a successful television producer, even adopted Victoria and Peter, Tyler's two children from a previous marriage.
    Courtesy Nancy Tyler
  • Nancy Tyler

    It wasn't long, though, before Tyler began to detect a darker side of her husband's personality. Tyler said Shenkman just snapped. He was verbally abusive and kept her isolated from family and friends.
    Courtesy Nancy Tyler
  • Nancy Tyler

    "The term we used was walking on eggshells because any misstep could set off the mine field," said Tyler's son, Peter. The last straw for Tyler was a dramatic argument between Shenkman and her son Peter, during which an enraged Shenkman ripped the license plate off Peter's car. Tyler filed for divorce in 2006, hoping that her troubles would be over.
    Courtesy Nancy Tyler
  • Nancy Tyler

    But her troubles had just begun. Shenkman stalked Tyler and allegedly burned down their beach home, pictured here, in 2007.
    Courtesy Nancy Tyler
  • Nancy Tyler

    Shenkman was arrested for arson in 2007. He has not faced trial on that charge.
    Courtesy Connecticut Dept. of Correction
  • Nancy Tyler

    On the morning of July 7, 2009, Shenkman and Tyler were due in court for a divorce-related hearing, but they never made it. Shenkman abducted Tyler and held her hostage at the South Windsor home they once shared. Tyler was on the phone with a friend at the time and managed to tell her friend to call police before Shenkman wrested the phone away.
    Bob Stewart
  • Nancy Tyler

    Shenkman handcuffed Tyler, pictured above, to an eyebolt in the basement wall while he continued to rant and rave with negotiators. Distracted by a police robot on the property, Shenkman left Tyler alone for the very first time during the harrowing standoff. "I thought, 'This is it. I just got a chance, and I'm going to take it,'" Tyler said. Watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
    Courtesy The Day
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