The ICU nurse who killed six people in a horrific fiery crash in when she blew through a red light at an intersection plowing into traffic at 90mph, worked in a strip club and had a history of threatening suicide following bad break-ups, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Her life unraveled after Germaine Mason, the Olympic silver medalist she had planned to marry, was killed in a 2017 motorcycle crash.
‘When I saw what had happened in LA the first thing that went through my mind was that she had argued with her boyfriend and was drunk and trying to commit suicide,’ a source close to Nicole Linton, کلاه کاسکت 37, said in an exclusive interview.
‘She had threatened to do it before.I thought maybe this time she had gone through with it.’
Authorities have found no evidence of alcohol or drugs in Linton’s system, but she had reportedly argued with her boyfriend before getting into her black Mercedes-Benz and tearing through the busy intersection about ten miles south-west of downtown LA.
Nicole Linton posted a picture of herself with Olympic silver medalist Germaine Mason on April 20, 2017, the day he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Jamaica
Linton sobbed through her arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday when she was charged with six counts of murder
Linton’s Mercedes raced past a gas station then smashes into the side of a traffic jam, causing a flaming inferno in the Windsor Hills district of Los Angeles
Germaine Mason won silver medal for Great Britain in the high jump in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Her attorneys have argued that she has a ‘profound history’ of mental illness.
Now DailyMail.com has learned more about Linton’s tumultuous past which includes several years working as a cocktail waitress in a series of New York City strip clubs including the infamous Sin City and Club Eleven both in the Bronx.
Those who knew her then recalled her as a ‘sweet and helpful’ girl, with former Sin City manager Mike Diaz posting on Facebook after news of the devastating crash broke.
He wrote, ‘Wow.This turns out to be OUR Nicole from the Sin City days.
‘Everyone who worked with her knows her as a pretty sweet, nice girl. I’m so sorry for her and especially sorry for everyone involved: this is heartbreaking. I hope the outcome is just and fair as possible for all.’
DailyMail.com has also discovered that Linton told friends she planned to marry British Olympic silver-medalist Mason, a close friend of world record holding sprinter Usain Bolt.
Mason, 34, was killed in a motorcycle crash while visiting Jamaica, the island of his birth, in April,2017.
Nicole Linton, 37, is in custody in California on six murder charges for killing a pregnant woman, her boyfriend, the woman’s one-year-old son, a man and two other women on August 4
Linton appeared to be living a happy and successful life as a traveling nurse until last week’s crash
Nicole L Linton was the driver of the Mercedes which smashed into multiple cars in Los Angeles.She was arrested last week and is now in custody awaiting trial
Former Sin City strip club manager Mike Diaz posted a message to his Facebook page after the accident saying ‘this is heartbreaking’
According to one friend, ‘Nicole was different after that.She really loved that guy. She said they’d spoken about marriage. I don’t think she’s ever got over that.
‘I wondered when I saw what had happened if she was trying to take her life the way her ex lost his.’
It is unclear whether Linton knew that Mason, who won his medal in the high jump at the 2008 games in Beijing, China, was also in a relationship with Shari-Dee Barker, the mother of his two children.
Barker was three months pregnant with Mason’s second at the time of his death.
Linton is currently in custody on six murder charges.Among those she killed was pregnant Asherey Ryan, 23, whose almost-to-term child was ripped from her womb on impact, her one-year-old son Alonzo and the father of her unborn baby, Reynold Leyster. Two female victims remain unidentified.
Linton grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, one of three daughters of a couple who had immigrated from Jamaica.She went to Howard University where she got a BA in Marketing in 2007 and made the Dean’s List.
She was described by several sources as ‘sweet, intelligent’ and ‘a real go getter,’ but the mental health issues of which her lawyers have spoken had, according to one source, been all too apparent for years.
One who has known her for more than a decade said, ‘She was wild.It was a wild cycle of partying and drinking and going out, that whole club world.
Mason also represented Great Britain at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan in 2007 after switching his allegiance.He had represented Jamaica in meets up to 2004
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt partied with Mason celebrate at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, in 2016
Mason was killed while riding with a convoy of athletes including Bolt when he lost control of his bike
Usain Bolt sobbed during the funeral service for his friend Germaine Mason held at aSeventh Day Adventist Church in Kingston, Jamaica
‘Nicole could be very high, and she could be very low and looking back I think a lot of her behaviors were excused because she was nice but I’m pretty sure she was bi-polar.She could be snappy, snappy, snappy and I witnessed her lash out aggressively at guys on occasion.’
Rocky relationships played their part, one former friend said, in what seemed to be a process of unraveling that Linton was never able to stem despite repeated efforts to get her life on track.Her unhealthy relationship with alcohol didn’t help.
They explained, ‘She was the “bad” one in her family, and she felt the pressure to prove herself to her parents who were very nice and scholarly.
‘She didn’t come from poverty she had a supportive family and one of her sisters was a nurse.
‘I think that’s where that came into the picture for Nicole.
‘She never spoke about that back in the day, but she was frustrated she couldn’t get a job where she could use her degree in marketing.’
Linton worked as a sales manager for General Motors in New York’s Westchester County supplying franchises with vehicles but lost that job due to company restructuring in 2009.
It was then when she started working at strip clubs across New York City.
One source said, ‘I don’t remember her ever being mean or malicious, but I did see some type of mental health issues.
The mangled wreck of the Mercedes that Linton was speeding in iafter the crash.Linton survived the crash but six others died, including Asherey Ryan and her one-year-old son, Alonzo
Linton sat on the curb after the accident.Tabla Jonson, a witness took this picture of her, saying she only appeared to suffer minor injuries in the horrible crash
Linton made the Dean’s List at Howard University and was a sales manager for General Motors but took to working in strip clubs after she lost that job due to company restructuring
‘She would be hot and cold, high and low.And she spoke about killing herself more than once when she had been in some sort of argument with a guy.
‘I think guys can be very triggering for some people and Nicole was one of those people.’
According to a friend, ‘She dated a lot of athletes, she had access to that sort of world through the [strip] clubs.
‘It was a wild time, everyone was wild, not just Nicole.But it’s like she was unstable, she couldn’t handle it.’
Former Sin City manager Diaz, 57, recalled Linton as, ‘just an extremely nice girl,’ who worked as a waitress for him for about two years and never gave him a day of trouble.
He said that when he first saw pictures of Linton in the dock, ‘this disturbed woman with crazy hair’ he didn’t recognize her as the girl he knew as, ‘our Nicole.’
He said, ‘This whole thing just seems extremely out of character.She was hard working and cordial and kind.
‘Strip clubs can be a kind of catty environment, but Nicole always got on with the girls – they were a real group of nice girls at that time and kind of moved together.
Nicole Mason worked as a cocktail waitress at the Sin City strip club in the Bronx, New York.Former manager Mike Diaz remembered her as ‘just an extremely nice girl’
Nicole also worked as a waitress at Club Eleven in the Bronx in the early 2010s before she left New York and moved first to North Carolina and then to Texas where she became a nurse
‘Strip clubs can be a kind of catty environment, but Nicole always got on with the girls – they were a real group of nice girls at that time and kind of moved together,’ former Sin City manager Mike Diaz told DailyMail.com
‘She always had a smile on her face but now I see this, and I wonder, was it disguising a world of pain?’
Diaz described the whole situation as a ‘Shakespearian tragedy.’
He said, ‘I’ve watched the video and what is so disturbing to me is that there’s no effort to slow down at all.
‘It seems to me a deliberate and failed attempt to destroy herself and instead she somehow survives and destroys so much else.’
In 2010 Linton began working as an ‘extern’ at NYU but did not complete her nursing degree until 2015.
Another source told DailyMail.com that after her parents returned to Jamaica, Linton went to North Carolina to live with her sister.
‘She wanted to get away from that scene I think and kind of get back on more steady ground.’
She then moved to Texas.According to her LinkedIn page she worked first in Laredo then at various hospitals in Houston.
She then became a traveling ICU registered nurse in 2020, licensed to work in California, Texas and Hawaii.
She was in Los Angeles working as a contractor at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Hospital.She was doing so under the umbrella of nursing contracting group AMN Healthcare whom she joined in 2020.
Kaiser Permanent has bounced all questions regarding the vetting procedures of contract nurses back to AMN Healthcare after it emerged that Linton’s ‘profound history’ of mental illness included 13 prior road accidents including one in 2020 in which two cars were totaled.