Anatomy of a Kidnapping: A Doctor's Story

"Anatomy of a Kidnapping: A Doctor's Story," will be released by Texas Tech University Press on Sept. 15.

When School of Medicine Dean, Provost and Executive Vice President Steven L. Berk, M.D., was kidnapped at gunpoint from his Amarillo home in March 2005 by an escaped criminal and forced into an extended ride in the perpetrator’s SUV, one detail led to the kidnapper’s eventual capture and arrest outside of Kingman, Ariz.: Berk observed and memorized the vehicle's registration number.

Observation, concentration, composure under pressure, clear decision making and compassion are among the aspects of his medical training Berk credits with saving his life, preserving his family’s safety and bringing his kidnapper, Jack Lindsey Jordan, to justice.

"Being calm is what we do," Berk said in a 2005 interview with the Amarillo-Globe News.

Berk combines such reflections with a revealing account of the crime and trial in his new memoir, Anatomy of a Kidnapping: A Doctor’s Story, to be released by Texas Tech University Press on Sept. 15.

At the time of the kidnapping, Berk was regional dean of the School of Medicine at Amarillo.

Jordan abducted Berk on March 6, 2005, and forced him to drive around for about two hours, trying to get Berk to buy him drugs and withdraw money from several ATMs.

Arizona State Troopers arrested Jordan three days later after he and a suspected accomplice abducted a Canadian couple in New Mexico, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Jordan, 47, has a history of violence. In 2004, he was released from a Texas prison after serving more than nine years on a 25-year sentence for burglary of habitation. At the time of his arrest in connection with Berk's kidnapping, he was also wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Terry County and an aggravated assault in Lubbock.

He was sentenced to life in prison and remains behind bars at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville.

Related Stories

Remembering Dr. Tom McGovern

TTUHSC Celebration of Life Service was held March 25th in remembrance of Tom McGovern, Ed.D.

TTUHSC Ranks Fourth Nationally Among Graduate Institutions as a Military Friendly® School

TTUHSC has been named as a Military Friendly® School for 2022-2023. Among graduate schools, TTUHSC ranked fourth in the nation, achieving Gold award status.

TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy Students Celebrate Residency Assignments on Match Day

On March 16, fourth-year TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy students interested in completing a residency after they graduate in May, learned where they would spend the next stage of their training during the Pharmacy Residency Match Day.

Recent Stories


TTUHSC Receives CPRIT Grant to Begin New Outreach Effort

CPRIT recently awarded a $1 million prevention grant to Rakhshanda Rahman, M.D., Rebeccah Baucom, M.D., and John Kidwell, M.D., from the TTUHSC School of Medicine.


Startups Begin Here! Four Startups Awarded $50,000 from TTUHSC President

The Innovation Hub at Research Park today (September 26, 2022) announced the winners of its annual Presidents' Innovative Startup Awards. The award recognizes startups that have a high potential for growth and an economic impact in West Texas.


Fifth Graders Become Doctors for a Day

Fifth graders from Bean Elementary School became doctors for a day. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Student National Medical Association (SNMA) hosted the Doctors for a Day Minicamp on Sept. 23.