Long before Jihadi John ever slit the throats of a series of hostages in the desert outside Raqqa, he told them exactly what it would be like. He whispered in their ears, touched their jugulars with his sword, and told them how they would die. "He caressed my neck with the blade but kept on talking: 'Feel it? Cold, isn’t it? Can you imagine the pain you’ll feel when it cuts? Unimaginable pain.' " So goes the first-person telling of one of the men who escaped a gruesome death at the hands of ISIS' most notorious executioner, Javier Espinosa, a Spanish journalist who was freed about a year ago after 194 days in captivity.
"The first hit will sever your veins," Jihadi John told him, he writes in the Sunday Times, per the AP. "The blood mixes with your saliva." Espinosa writes that of the three British militants the captives dubbed "the Beatles," Mohammed Emwazi, or "John" after Lennon, was the most bloodthirsty, employing an antique sword with which to carry out his mock executions and pointing his Glock at their heads before pulling the trigger three times. The AP notes that another former hostage, Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, is also telling his tale today, in the Periodico de Catalunya."'You entered Syria twice and it worked out well for you, but now we'll kill you,'" a captor told him.