Updated: May 22
An in depth look
This is an overview of Jenkins' life in regard to medical treatment, schooling, home life and incarceration, leading up to the events that occurred in 2013 which resulted in Jenkins murdering 4 people.
Jenkins had a troubled life early on and was witness and victim to many traumatic events before the age of 8. He was in and out of juvenile, state care and mental treatment facilities from a young age.
He suffered with bed wetting, anxiety and nightmares/terrors due to the things he was experiencing at home and was subsequently removed and put into foster care.
Leading up to adulthood he spent the majority of time locked up for various charges and incidents or due to mental health complications.
The time Nikko did get to spend as a free adolescent/man, he got involved with gangs and began committing crimes. These varied from assault and robbery to things like arson, and they ultimately led to him being incarcerated for long periods of time.
While incarcerated, Nikko spent a significant amount of that time in restrictive housing, in isolation based conditions. He also underwent many mental health assessments and evaluations, from a variety of health professionals, and received many different diagnoses. He was found competent to stand trial for the 4 murders he committed in 2013.
Nikko Allen Jenkins
Classification - Spree Killer
Date of birth - 16 September 1986
Place of birth - Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Status - Incarcerated (Life)
Traumatic childhood - Yes
Location of crimes - Home town
Education - Some education
Diagnoses (Previous and current)
Anti social and borderline personality disorder
Op-positional defiant disorder
Functional enuresis Nocturnal
Schizoaffective versus Bipolar disorder
Anti social personality disorder: mixed features - antisocial, narcissistic and borderline
Malingering - secondary gain.
Polysubstance dependence (by history)
PTSD (by history)
Nature of crimes
Use of a deadly weapon
Grand theft auto
Possession of firearms
Total charges from 1993 to April 2020: - 4 counts of murder, - 4 counts of felon in possession, - 4 counts use of a fire arm, - 1 charge terroristic threats, - 5 theft related charges, - 1 arson charge, - 1 weapon charge (adolescent crime), and - 2 charges of criminal mischief, unlawful absence.
Please click the links to read more about these cases.
Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, 29, and Juan Uribe-Pena, 26, were both found in the early hours of August 11th 2013 in a white Ford pick-up truck, parked near a city swimming pool at 18th and F Street, in Spring Lake Park. Both men had been shot in the head and their pockets had been emptied.
Curtis Bradford, 22 - is the only victim that Jenkins knew, as they had both served time together. They saw each other on the off chance at a party on August 18th 2013. Curtis was later found dead by a neighbour of the local area in the early hours of August 19th 2013. As he was returning home from a night shift he, noticed the body outside a detached garage on 18th and Clark Street, and contacted the authorities. Curtis had been shot in the back twice and died at the scene.
Erica Jenkins (sister of Nikko Jenkins) M.O. Revenge for previous shooting.
Andrea L. Kruger, 33, Nikko's final victim, was found lying in the road at 168th and Fort Street, with multiple bullet wounds on the 21st of August 2013.
Andrea had been returning home from work after a shift near 178th and Pacific Street when Nikko and accomplices pulled up in a car behind hers. Nikko got out, walked up to the driver door, opened it, pulled Andrea out and shot her multiple times. He then got into her SUV and drove off, his accomplices following on behind.
Andrea's body was found around 2.15am by a deputy sheriff. Her car was missing.
At 6:30 that evening Andrea's 2012 Chevrolet Traverse SUV was found abandoned 12 miles away from the crime scene in an alley, at 43rd and Charles Street. A poor attempt at setting the car on fire had been made, so it remained mostly intact.
Medical History - Focusing specifically on mental and behavioural health
The first available mental health treatment records for Nikko Jenkins were at age 8, in the form of an inpatient psychiatric evaluation. This was carried out at the Methodist Richard Young Hospital and included details of trauma within the home, exposure to substance abuse, conduct abuse, anti social personality disorders and violence/sexual violence.
Methodist Richard Young Hospital records indicated that such events did occur and that the mother of the patient, Lori Jenkins, had acknowledged some of these instances.
It is also noted on the same records that Nikko suffered night terrors/nightmares due to the trauma and suspected abuse which was happening in the home.
According to records, Nikko was removed from the home at age 7 and put into foster care at age 8, after it was discovered that he had brought a handgun into school with him.
Nikko was expelled from school numerous times for fighting, breaking windows and being absent without authorisation. He had completely stopped attending school by 7th grade, and later got his GED whilst incarcerated.
While a patient at Methodist Richard Young Hospital, Nikko's IQ was tested. His score indicated that he had a low average range for his age group (age 8).
3rd February 1995 is the first recorded incidence of Nikko Jenkins indicating his intentions of self harming behaviours, related to stress and anxiety.
9th February 1995 - records pertaining to Jenkins' initial admission to Methodist Richard Young Hospital indicate he reported hearing voices telling him to steal. It was later determined that these voices were from people he knew (real life) and were only present when the people were with him (in real life). This was put down to a misunderstanding as to what auditory hallucinations were, on the part of Nikko Jenkins.
Dr. Jane Dahlke diagnosed Nikko with Oppositional Defiant Disorder; ADHD, and functional Enuresis, Nocturnal (i.e. 02/27/1995 Discharge Summary) pp: 3. Jenkins evaluation letter DHHS Nebraska: case CR13-2768, CR13-2769
Jenkins became involved in gang related activity age 11, and also started to regularly carry weapons at around the same time.
NDCS records show that before the age of 12, Nikko already had multiple charges against him: 5 theft related charges, 1 arson, 1 weapon charge, and 2 charges of criminal mischief.
NDCS records show that Jenkins was put in a few detention centres and group homes from the ages 11 to 17. During this time he also received 7 charges including, arson, assault, theft, unlawful absence, habitual missing/runaway
At the age of 13 he was receiving treatment for substance misuse. He did not complete his juvenile probation, mainly due to persistent running away. During this period he spent time at the Youth and Rehabilitation Treatment Center - Kearney.
By age 17, Jenkins had been convicted and sentenced as an adult after forcing people from their cars at gunpoint on two separate occasions. On the 17th November 2003, Jenkins was convicted of robbery and use of a deadly weapon. He began his 10 year sentence in Juvenile and then transferred to an adult prison at a later date.
During his time at the juvenile facility Jenkins received 13 misconduct reports, two of which pertained to violence offences. One of those involved a riot situation on the 07/04/2005 where he injured other inmates and evaded prison officers.
During the period 11/17/2003 to 02/25/2006 Jenkins denied experiencing any major mental health issues whilst at the youth facility.
The month leading up to Nikko's transfer to the adult prison, he reported feeling stressed and having had difficulty sleeping on a couple of occasions. He also denied any previous mental health concerns, before being transferred to the adult facility in February 2006.
During the initial psychological evaluation carried out by the NDCS, Jenkins attempted to present himself in a much better light than the reality, so that the results of the evaluation were inconclusive, making them invalid.
February 2006 Jenkins began serving the rest of his sentence in an adult facility. Upon transfer, he denied mental health concerns.
During August 2006 additional time was added to his sentence for a previous assault he committed whilst in juvenile detention.
Early January 2007 Jenkins was moved to restrictive housing, following a report that he had been fighting. This report was later dismissed. However, during the time in restrictive housing, Jenkins claimed to experience "deep stages of depression", having "angry and sad thoughts", a "sickness inside" [of him], issues with his "sanity" (i.e. 01/08/2007,01/21/2007, and 01/24/2007 Inmate Interview requests).
Upon leaving restrictive housing, Jenkins had the opportunity to talk to a mental health professional and claimed to feel much better after they had spoken.
During February 2007, Jenkins was involved in two gang related fights, and was returned to restrictive housing until 12/04/2008. From February to October 2007 there were no reports from Jenkins regarding mental health concerns. However after October 2007 he reported that upon release he was intending to "attack innocent people" (11/02/2007 NDCS Mental Health Contact Note)
Jenkins spoke of hearing the voices of gods and that this started to increase around 2007. Records however indicate that this was closer to 2009.
During September 2008 it was suspected that Jenkins was suffering "gang related paranoia" (09/15/08 NDCS Special Needs Contact Note) after he complained that he may be a paranoid schizophrenic. He was found to have no major mental disorder at that time by the mental illness review team.
In November 2008, Jenkins received a diagnosis of anti-social personality disorder, and was prescribed Depakote. Treatment ceased after only 4 days, due to Jenkins refusing the medication.
By December 2008 it was reported that he was settling into general population well and with no indication of psychosis. Jenkins' thoughts were noted to be well organised.
On multiple occasions Jenkins reported the desire to kill people upon release.
Jenkins returned to restrictive housing after only being in general population for just over a month. He was found to be concealing a sharpened toilet brush.
During May 2009, the first records appeared of Jenkins discussing hearing the voice of Egyptian God Apophis, telling him to kill children. The mental illness review team described Jenkins as "more manipulative and criminal than mentally ill". (i.e., 08/18/2009 NDCS Special Needs Contact)
For the rest of 2009 Jenkins reported hearing Apophis. Dr Natalie Baker noted after an evaluation that his paranoia about being poisoned and the auditory hallucinations were indicative of a psychotic disorder. Her diagnostic impressions were "psychosis NOS, Possible SAD - bipolar type" (SAD assumed Schizoaffective disorder - bipolar type) "probable" "PTSD, and adjustment disorder" also noting a polysubstance dependence.
In September / October 2009 Jenkins was prescribed Risperdal and Depakote, which he routinely took most of the time, for about 3 months. By December 2009 he was completely refusing both medications and the prescription was ceased, despite him confirming his auditory hallucinations had reduced since he had been taking them.
During December 2009 Jenkins attempted to escape while on furlough to attend his grandmothers funeral. He threatened and assaulted a correctional officer and while being questioned about this, Jenkins made claim that it was the voices making him do it, and that they had control. After a re-evaluation, Dr Natalie Baker revised her initial diagnostic impressions and noted that Jenkins seemed to be using symptoms for secondary gain, to avoid legal conviction; and that his behaviour was inconsistent with her previous diagnostics. She no longer thought anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers were a suitable treatment.
Jenkins was transferred to DCC to face charges for the attempted escape and assault on the 02/13/2010 until 07/19/2011 during his time at DCC he saw Dr Eugene Oliveto, Psychiatrist who diagnosed him with "Schizoaffective versus Bipolar disorder, Grandiose persecutory, delusions, PTSD severe with dissociative episodes and possible DID, Antisocial/Impulsive/Dangerously obsessive" (i.e. 03/03/2010 DCC Psychiatric Provider Initial Evaluation note)
Therapist Denise Gaines LIMHP saw Jenkins regularly while he was at DCC and described Jenkins thought process as delusional or paranoid.
When Jenkins returned to NDCS on 07/19/2011 he was placed into restrictive housing until 07/30/2013 totalling 2 years in the isolation based conditions. During this time he repeatedly requested to be transferred to a place where he could receive the appropriate mental health treatment. He reported to NDCS correctional staff that he had "violent ideation (e.g. sacrificing children, cannibalism)" claimed that he was drinking and snorting his semen and was having difficulty sleeping.
He was also recorded to be self harming indicated in NDCS records to have begun 04/28/2012
In the month leading up to his release Jenkins did not mention or report that he felt like harming others in such drastic ways, he had also ceased in talking about hearing Apophis. It was noted in a mental health contact note on the 07/02/2103 that Jenkins had "no current mental health issues or concerns"
Previous to his release it is important to note that Jenkins girlfriend sent a request to the Johnson County Attorney in 2013 asking for Jenkins to be committed, he also gave his mother power of attorney to file paperwork to request that he be committed under mental health concerns.
When given the opportunity to get mental health assistance once released Jenkins refused stating incarceration was his "last chance to get help" and that "no animal goes back to captivity after they are released"
Jenkins was released July 30th 2013 he committed his first two murders on the 11th August 2013 shooting dead Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz & Juan Uribe-Pena. He then went on to kill ex cellmate Curtis Bradford in the early hours on 19th August 2013 followed by Andrea Kruger on the 21st of August 2013.
He was arrested on the 30th of August 2013 on May 30th 2017 Jenkins was Sentenced to death for all 4 murders and has remained incarcerated ever since.
On the surface to someone briefly reading about this case it may seem as though Nikko Jenkins was showing all the warning signs that he would do something drastic upon release, but when you look deeper into his life, his time incarcerated, his patterns of behaviour, his unpredictability, his time in restrictive housing, the area becomes less black and white and more of a grey area.
With a person like Jenkins it can be difficult to decipher what is bravado and attention seeking vs a legitimate health concern or threat. Therefore it is harder to predict the types of crimes he may commit and the likelihood of him committing them.
This was due to him spending much of his time using psychosis and mental health as a way to try and gain. He was also experiencing genuine episodes of psychosis and anxiety in between his malingering behaviours. This can become quite confusing for professionals to know when to take him seriously and when to recognise when hes doing it superficially for personal gain.
This seemingly meant that when he had genuine health concerns and a genuine need for appropriate treatment much of his pleading went unheard or it was down played. So when it counted he didn't get the help he needed to the full extent.
When considering how much time Jenkins spent in restrictive housing as a young developing adult (roughly 3.5 years in total) and also taking into account that research shows the detrimental effect it can have on a person psychologically. To suggest restrictive housing didn't have a prolonged negative impact on his mental health would make no sense based on evidence we have from studies into the impacts of prolonged isolation on inmates.
"this environment can be psychologically destructive for anyone who enters and endures it for significant periods of time, particularly those with preexisting psychiatric disorders. Inmates risk profound and chronic alienation and asociality" - C Haney (1993)
This is a man who has come from a traumatic background who showed symptoms of anxiety and PTSD from a very young age, there would of been no way of him faking bed wetting for gain age 8 for example. It is on record multiple times that he had paranoid thoughts that have been continually present throughout his life.
So in this regard it is already established that he was suffering mental health issues as a child leading into his adulthood, that were affecting him consciously and subconsciously. Meaning in some cases he wasn't always using his illness for gain.
One of the key things in Jenkins behaviour that cannot be dismissed is his awareness of manipulation.
This is one of the things that showed his thinking is somewhat structured and premeditated despite some of his ideas and beliefs seeming delusional. It showed that he was able to identify what types of behaviours got him the results he desired from others for example using or exaggerating a psychotic episode for personal gain.
This suggests during these periods of time he is aware of his actions and the impacts/responses that they can have; and also shows he understands what behaviours are deemed as socially acceptable and sane vs what ones are deemed as insane or unacceptable. This is clear manipulative behaviour indicative of someone with a personality disorder rather than a condition like Schizophrenia.
The murders he committed were all shootings, they were quick, there was no attempt to clear up the crime scene and seemingly random with no real care for covering his crimes.
They all occurred outside in public areas and Jenkins had accomplices all of whom were relatives of his.
His murders were opportunistic in nature rather than thoroughly planned, he seemed to have some idea of the things he wanted to achieve in regards to his crimes but no real structured way of achieving them for example his 4th victim Andrea Kruger was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, he had no grudges against her, he didn't know of her, he just chose her as the target because she was there, easily accessible and happened to have something he needed(her vehicle).
In conclusion although Jenkins does present as someone suffering with severe mental health issues theses are not issues that impair his decision making completely, they are not problems that mean he is not aware of his actions, nor do they affected his understanding of his crimes as being wrong, he acknowledges what he has done is wrong. In that regard he was fit to stand trial for the things that he did. But that's not to say that he doesn't have mental health issues that still need addressing and correctly treating and managing, something that unfortunately he is unlikely to get while incarcerated.
An interview with Nikko Jenkins
Recently Nikko Jenkins carried out an interview for The Unforbidden Truth Podcast, hosted by Andrew Dodge. Andrew hosts a weekly podcast that features exclusive interviews with convicted criminals, survivors of violent crime, and professionals in Law Enforcement & the mental health field.
Moments such as this can be a fantastic insight into how an offender thinks and feels. An offender being interviewed by a Professional, a Doctor or a Researcher does give us an insight into offenders thoughts and feelings in some capacity. However, things can also be learned via non formal relaxed interviewing, done in a none judgemental way, carried out by a member of the public like Andrew who has a genuine interest in the reasons people offend. These interactions can also have brilliant results, allowing for in depth conversations and insights into thoughts of a person such as Nikko Jenkins. I asked Andrew if I could link his interview to this article as Nikko discusses much of what I covered on him and goes into detail. I also asked Andrew for a small paragraph on the other work he does related to true crime so my readers could get some idea of his content and its value to research.
A bit about Andrew and who he is in his own words . . .
"I collect murderabilia to preserve dark parts of history, from letters to artwork to prison ID’s, which I have accumulated over the years from various offenders, as well as purchasing items for my collection. Although murderabilia is a taboo subject, it does provide insight to the psyche and world of the criminal.
As far as selling pieces from my collection, I do not generally have any sentimental attachment to these items. My interest now lies in working with the offender." - Andrew Dodge 2022
In this interview Nikko discusses his childhood experiences, the family history in regards to mental health, he talks about his arrest and current incarceration, among other things. If you would like to hear Nikko's point of view and thoughts the interview gives a nice insight into those.
The interview itself is carried out in two parts and is linked below in order.
Interview with Nikko Jenkins Part 1
Interview with Nikko Jenkins Part 2
To see more from The Unforbidden Truth Podcast click the link provided below
NDCS (Nebraska Department of correctional services)
M.O. (Modus Operandi)
DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services)
DCC (Douglas County Corrections)
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
DID (Dissociative Identity disorder)
Timeline of crime associated behaviour & incarceration
1993 - Age 7 - bought 25 calibre handgun to school
1997 - age 11 - charges against him of theft x3
1998 - sent to a group home then onto a juvenile detention centre for whipping a minor with a clothes hanger
Released to mothers home - returned to the detention centre for assaulting a minor with a knife
Aug 2001 probation revoked
2003 convicted of robbery incarcerated - served 10 years
July 30th 2013 - Released directly from solitary confinement
Aug 11th 2013 - Springlake park 18th & F - Nikko shoots Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, 29 & Juan Uribe-Pena, 26
Aug 18th 2013 - Nikko runs into ex cellmate Curtis Bradford at a party.
Aug 19th 2013 - 18th and Clark, Curtis homicide - Curtis Bradford, 22 murdered shot twice - Curtis found shot in head by a neighbour behind a garage.
Aug 21st 2013 - 168th and Fort, Andrea Kruger Homicide - shot by Nikko on her way home from work during car jacking.
Arrested Aug 30th 2013 - in initial interview he accuses family members of being responsible for the shootings.
November 3rd, 2013 - Nikko writes a letter to the Omaha World-Herald confessing and pleading guilty to all charges.
February 19, 2014, Jenkins files federal lawsuit seeking $24.5 million from the State of Nebraska for wrongful release - Claims he is not fit to stand trial.
April 16th 2014 - Nikko pleads guilty to all charges - Judge Peter Bataillon found Nikko Allen Jenkins guilty of all four murders
July 29th 2014 - Jenkins is court ordered to receive psychiatric assessment - a psychiatric evaluation concluded he was competent to stand trial.
August 11, 2014 - sentencing due but was postponed to determine Jenkins full state of mind.
Sentencing phase - Nov 2016 - Trial delayed over queries on Jenkins sanity & IQ
May 30th 2017 - Sentenced to death for all 4 murders and also receives 450 years for weapons charges.
8th March 2019 - Nikko attempts suicide whist incarcerated at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution - Recovers
Infamous Punishment: The Psychological Consequences of isolation. National Prison Project Journal.Vol:8 Issue:2(1993)Pp:3-7,21
Morris, R.G. Exploring the Effect of Exposure to Short-Term Solitary Confinement Among Violent Prison Inmates.J Quant Criminol32,1–22 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10940-015-9250-0