BOSTON – After enduring three months as a hostage, journalist Jill Carroll was told that she would be released the next day.
Her captors said they would pay her for her computer and bring her a gift. The 28-year-old freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor was also given new clothes.
But the next morning, seated in the back of a car, one of her captors told her that the Americans had not complied with any of the group's demands since she had been kidnapped in Baghdad.
"Now," Abu Rasha said, "we're going to kill you."
In the tenth part of a series in the Monitor, Carroll recalled the end of her ordeal on March 30. Click here to read the Monitor series.
Carroll said that she didn't get her hopes up when her chief captor, Abu Nour, said he was going to release her.
"I'd heard all this a million times," she wrote.
Then her captors said she would have to make a video recapping her experience, using just the information Abu Nour gave her. She could not say anything about the size of the group she was held by, nor that there were women and children involved. And she had to tell the camera that her captives treated her well.
Carroll was taken from the house where she was held and rushed into a car, without the money for her computer or her gift.
"I figured that if they didn't give me those things," she wrote, "then the end might truly be at hand."
In the car, Abu Rasha said loudly, "Jill, we asked the Americans for the women prisoners and there were none."
Carroll responded, simply, "Oh."
"And then we asked the government for money, and they gave us none," he went on.
"Oh yes, I know," Carroll replied.
It was then that he threatened again to kill her.
Carroll said she forced a laugh.
"No, Abu Rasha, you're my brother, you wouldn't do that," she told him.
He laughed and then she was dropped off at the Iraqi Islamic Party's headquarters and given a gold necklace with a pendent and $800 for her computer and her trouble.
Carroll said her body was free, but her mind was not, and her release is one of the hardest memories of her captivity because she found herself suddenly all alone.
Then the now-vice president of Iraq, Tariq al-Hashemi, sent his personal security detail and Carroll was whisked away in a flurry of flashing lights and bulletproof SUVs.
She said a soldier, sitting behind her in an armored car told her, "We've been looking for you for a long time."