John Nickel was one of the wealthiest and most corrupt real estate developers in Starling City. He owned many of the residences in the Glades, which were poorly constructed and unsanitary. At some point, his name ended up on The List.
Since 2010, a total seven people froze to death in Nickel's buildings due to inadequate heating. In March 2013, one of his buildings burnt down due to faulty wiring, killing many tenants. Charges were filed, but the district attorney failed to indict Nickel.
The next night, Nickel was watching a football game in his penthouse when he heard someone break in. Nickel headed downstairs and grabbed a kitchen knife, but was quickly subdued and kidnapped by The Savior. The Savior brought Nickel to a train in the abandoned Starling City Subway and gave him 30 seconds to "state [his] case" on why he should live in spite of his crimes. Stammering, Nickel tried to defend himself by claiming that without him, the residents of The Glades would be homeless, angering The Savior. Finding him "guilty", The Savior shot Nickel twice in the chest, killing him. The interrogation and Nickel's subsequent murder was broadcast to a website titled Glades Betrayed.