PLEASE NOTE: while not unduly graphic in description, this is the story of the murder of a young girl. Do not read this if the subject matter is disturbing to you.
Throughout the confession, Young remained true to his personal pledge to do everything in his power to remain professional. He remained calm and spoke only when necessary. He directed the conversation and helped the suspect along where necessary, but he wanted the suspect, not the interviewer, to do the talking. Twelve years later, Eric Nenno himself remembered how calmly Mark Young got to the truth.
I found Special Agent Young to be exceptionally adept at his interrogation techniques. He was both insightful and thorough in his approach to gaining truthful responses. Instead of dwelling on a specific detail for a lengthy time, he would change the topic and revisit the question later on, often from a slightly different angle or line of reasoning.
Young’s professionalism in these situations was crucial, it was the mask he put on when dealing with the worst of society. He wore it to protect his own psyche and also because he found that getting people to open up, particularly when they were faced with their own evil deeds, started when they began to trust him. And Young knew from experience that trust came quicker when he treated his suspect decently. He didn’t shout, browbeat, or threaten them. As Nenno remembered:
After taking a polygraph test, I returned to the interview room and gave Special Agent Young and Detective Johnson a verbal confession. Detective Johnson entered the information into a laptop computer as Special Agent Young assisted me with collecting and organizing my thoughts and words into a coherent statement. Even at this point, knowing that I was confessing to a particularly horrendous crime, Special Agent Young maintained an unbiased, professional attitude toward me. He did not raise his voice nor make any disrespectful comments during the process of getting my confession uploaded, and later printed out for me to sign and initial.
Testimony was presented at my capital murder trial in JAN 96 by various HCSD [Harris County Sheriff’s Department] personnel in their respective capacities and involvement with the case. Unlike several other witnesses, Special Agent Young did not rely on a printed file for his responses to the prosecutor’s inquiries or cross-examination by defense counsel. He replied in an articulate, astute, and concise manner, revealing his confidence and depth of knowledge of every aspect encompassing the investigation.
On October 28, 2008, thirteen years after killing Nicole Benton, and less than one month after writing in glowing terms about the man who had helped seal his fate, Eric Charles Nenno was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas.