Rand wrote great stretches of praise for him, saying he represented "the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. … Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should."
She called him "a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy," shimmering with "immense, explicit egotism." Rand had only one regret: "A strong man can eventually trample society under its feet. That boy [Hickman] was not strong enough."
Rand scholars Chris Matthew Sciabarra and Jennifer Burns both interpret Rand's interest in Hickman as a sign of her early admiration of the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche.
From "The Murder of Marion Parker"
The kidnapper and father met at the corner of 5th Avenue and South Manhattan Street in Los Angeles about 7:30 p.m. on the 17th.
“He pointed a gun at me and said ‘You know what I’m here for. No monkey business,’” Parker recalled later. “I said ‘Can I see my little girl?’”
Hickman pointed to a tightly tied package in the car that revealed only Marion’s head.
“He said she was sleeping,” Parker said. “I assumed she had been chloroformed.”
Parker handed over the 75 $20 gold certificates and as they agreed, Hickman drove a block down the road and pushed Marion out of the car.
Witnesses said Parker ran down to where his little girl was lying and picked her up in his arms. Then he let out a soul-shattering anguished cry of grief.
Marion was dead. The package contained just her head and torso. Her arms and legs had been chopped off where they joined her body. A wire had been wrapped around her head just above her eyes. It cut so deeply into her flesh that it left a gaping wound. Her body had been disemboweled and her entrails replaced with rags. She had also apparently been flogged to such an extent that the flesh on her back was flayed.