Posts tagged ‘Escaped Kidnapper’

A Kidnapping Survivor’s Story

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Photo of Sarah Maynard

Interview occurred in February 2011. Less than 4 months after the abduction of Sarah Maynard and the murders of her mother, brother and family friend. — Source: Today

Lying there on a makeshift bed of leaves in a murderer’s basement, Sarah Maynard, then 13, had seen and endured an unimaginable horror. A stranger had burst into her home in November 2010 and stabbed to death Sarah’s mother, her 11-year-old brother and a family friend, then kidnapped Maynard and kept her for four days as his prisoner and the victim of his sexual assaults. And yet, through it all, the courageous young girl never gave up hope that she would be rescued.

In an exclusive interview Maynard told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira that she’s speaking out now because she “wanted to let people know how I could survive what he did to me.” Despite everything, she still is “making my life go on, and not thinking about the past.”

Sarah Maynard’s father, Larry, appeared in the studio along with his daughter. “It’s still a nightmare every day,” he told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira.

Maynard’s father, Larry, also appeared in the studio with his daughter. “It’s still a nightmare every day knowing that part of our family is not with us,” he said.

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Photo of Larry Maynard and his daughter Sarah on the Today’s Show which aired in Feb 2011.

The horrific chain of events that led to the murders and Maynard’s kidnapping began on the night of November 9, 2010 when 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman, a tree trimmer by trade who had recently lost his job, began staking out the house where Sarah, her young brother Kody, and her mother Tina Hermann lived. He spent the night in a sleeping bag across the street from the family home. And though Hoffman would later claim that he intended only to rob the house, he carried with him a knife that he had recently purchased online.

Larry Maynard told Vieira that he does not believe this was just a burglary gone bad. “A thief steals, and a murderer kills,” he said. “If he was there to burglarize the home, why did he stake it out the way he did, why did he purchase a knife online a week prior?”

Gruesome home invasion
It was a little after dawn on the morning of Nov. 10, 2010 when he burst into the Maynard family home. He stayed for about an hour, basking in what he later told authorities was the “excitement” of breaking into someone’s home, when Hermann returned home. He attacked her, knocking her unconscious, he told authorities. After family friend Stephanie Sprang, a 41-year-old mother of three, entered the house, he stabbed both women to death. Hoffman then turned on the family dog, killing it as well. He was loading the bodies into the back of a car when Sarah and Kody came home. “I stabbed the boy in the chest a couple of times,” the killer later told authorities. “I ran into the bedroom after the girl to make sure she was not on the phone for help … I saw the girl was not on the phone, and I could not bring myself to kill her.”

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Far left; Sarah Maynard (Survivor) – Center Left; Sarah’s brother, Kody Maynard (Victim) – Center Right; Mother, Tina Herrmann (Victim) Far Right; Stephanie Sprang (Victim)

He had something else in mind for her. He dragged her to his home — a bizarre lair filled with hundreds of bags of leaves, marked with weird, childish scrawling on the door, dead squirrels stashed away in his freezer — and kept her captive in his basement.

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Sarah was forced to sleep in a makeshift bed of leaves (pictured) in Hoffman’s filthy basement. “He said he wanted to make my bed comfortable so he just put leaves there,” Maynard recalled.

Hoffman tied her up on a bed of leaves and sexually assaulted her, repeatedly. He never let her up, even to shower, Maynard told Vieira. “I just listened to everything he told me to do … just hoping that someone would find me so I wouldn’t have to live with him again.”
It took four days before authorities got a break. A witness told them about a strange man who had purchased a tarp at a local hardware store, and authorities traced him to his basement in Mount Vernon, Ohio, where they found Maynard bound and gagged.

Coping with grief
It was only after she was rescued that the full scope of the horror the family had suffered became clear. At first, Hoffman refused to talk, but when prosecutors promised that he would not face the death penalty, he admitting to killing the two women and the boy, and then he led the investigators to a hollow tree in a remote area where he had stuffed their dismembered bodies.

Even then, Hoffman tried to excuse his savagery, telling authorities that he had made hamburgers for the sole surviving victim of his bloodlust. “I think he was just trying to say that … to make people think that he felt good about himself,” Sarah Maynard said, “to say that he fed me, and he didn’t.”

Hoffman has been sentenced to life without parole.

In the months since, Maynard has been seeing a grief counselor, and with her father, she has established a nonprofit organization, Healing Hearts, to help other victims of violent crimes. She chokes up when she speaks of her mother and brother. “She took really good care of us, made sure we had food, heat and clothes,” she said, her voice trembling slightly. “And Kody, he was just a really good brother, even though we fought a lot.”

But despite her ordeal, she still found the strength to pen a letter that was read aloud at Hoffman’s sentencing. “I wanted to tell him that I was not scared of him. I just wanted to live my life,” she told Vieira.

And that courage and devotion to life is what makes Sarah a heroine, her father said. “She’s even an inspiration to me,” he said. “As her father I’m supposed to be the teacher … I think she’s taught me far more than I could probably ever teach her about life.”

For more information about the Healing Hearts Memorial fund, which aims to provide grants and assistance to survivors and victims of violent crimes, click here.

The Girl in The Box

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Photo of Colleen Stan also known as “The Girl in The Box”

Colleen Stan was a 20-year-old female who was abducted and forced as a sex-slave by a couple on May 19, 1977 while hitchhiking from her hometown of Eugene, Oregon to Red Bluff, California to visit a good friend who lived in Westwood. She had wanted to surprise her friend for her birthday, which was coming up soon and she was willing to travel the 400 miles to do so.

Of course Colleen knew that walking the 400 miles would be crazy. She figured she’d hitchhike down Interstate 5, which was very popular to do in the 70’s despite the obvious dangers.

She made good time, catching rides that took her pretty far along her way. By the afternoon, she had gotten 350 miles towards her destination to the town of Red Bluff and with less than 60 miles to go, she was actually going to be earlier then she initially anticipated.

She evaluated each person who stopped to offer rides to make sure they “appeared safe”, and had even turned down two potential rides when she did not feel right about them, so when a blue Dodge Colt stopped on the road with a man, woman and baby inside, Colleen was relieved and did not hesitate to get in the vehicle.

The couple introduced themselves as Cameron and Janice Hooker. They were young, clean-cut and friendly and Colleen remembered hoping into the backseat overjoyed.

“I was thanking my lucky stars,” she would later say in an interview.

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Cameron Hooker (left) and Janice Hooker (right)

The Hookers were making friendly conversation, asking where she was heading, and Colleen was very comfortable until she noticed Cameron looking at her through the rare-view mirror, which gave her a bad gut feeling. But, despite her instincts and an opportunity to run while at a gas station restroom, she stayed and rationalized that man wouldn’t do anything to her in front of his wife and child and got back into the vehicle and they drove off.

They drove for another mile or so until Cameron appeared to make up his mind about something.

The Hookers mentioned that they were very close to some spectacular ice caves and they wanted to make a quick stop. A passive Colleen would have rather forgo the trip to see ice caves and gone straight to her friend’s home but she didn’t object and figured a quick stop wouldn’t hurt. She was already making good time, right?

Cameron drove down a dirt road that seemed to take them to the middle of nowhere and then stopped the car, turning the key to shut off the engine. His wife got out of the car holding the baby. Suddenly Colleen found a knife pointed against her throat. Cameron ordered her to put her hands above her head and asked her if she was going to do whatever he said. She froze in fear. She didn’t know what else to say except, “Yes.” He then handcuffed, blindfolded, bound, and gagged her.

He placed a large, metal-hinged box made out of plywood over Colleen’s head. It was heavy and had dense insulation in between its double walls, and a neck hole that near choked her.  The interior was carpeted, which impeded her ability to breathe. Wearing this, she could not eat, drink, hear, or see.

Cameron then covered her with something heavy which to Colleen, felt like her sleeping bag she brought with her.

She heard the car start back up again and sobbed to herself, wondering what was going to happen. After feeling the car stop for a few minutes, it started back up only to stop again a short time later.

The Hooker’s had taken their new victim to their home.

Google map showing the house that the Hooker’s lived and kept Colleen as a sex slave

Inside a house, Cameron removed the box that he’d placed over her head.  He then led Colleen down some steps into a dark cellar. He indicated that she was to stand on a Coleman ice chest and then told her to lift her hands over her head. Then he used a leather strap to tie her wrists to pipes. As he removed each item of her clothing, she felt him trembling.  She was still blindfolded, but she could sense that he was building up to something.  Uncomfortable as all of this was, it was nothing compared to what came next.

He removed the chest that was supporting her weight, and she hung there, suspended in the air.  Colleen kicked and screamed to be let down.  He then told her, in a sarcastic tone, to “go ahead and scream,” And told her that if she continued screaming that he will cut her vocal chords, like he did with past victims, leading her to believe she wasn’t the first. He then left her hanging in the downstairs cellar by herself.

 He started to hit her with something that hurt, both front and back. Colleen shrieked out for help, but that only made him hit her more.  She realized he was using a whip.  He then left her hanging, with her tiptoes just barely brushing something.  She could see beneath the blindfold that a pornographic magazine lay on the floor, featuring a naked woman hung up just as she was.

Shortly after being tortured, His wife came downstairs and the both of them had sex right in front of Colleen, as some sort of ‘celebration’ for their new ‘sex-slave.’

After that, he made her sit inside another locking box, and when he closed it, she discovered that she could not move.  Then he placed the head box back on her head.  She was now completely immobilized and barely able to breathe.  She began to scream, drawing her captor back.  He placed a strap over her chest that constricted her breathing even more, forcing her to stop making noise.  Then he left her like that for a very long and frightening night. She thought she was going to die. Her simple wish that morning to surprise her friend and wish her happy birthday, had turned into the worst experience of her life, and it had only just begun.

She would spend the next seven years, until she was 27, kept against her will. Raped, tortured, abused, starved and kept in a box, humiliated and degraded to the point that she was considered brainwashed, and was too fearful to ask for help. She was made to wear the head-gear and gag daily and slept in “the box”, which kept her from seeing, hearing, eating, and reduced her capacity to breath.

The box, shown re-constructed as evidence during the trail of the Hookers

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A sketch of what Colleen would have appeared like in the box

She was referred to as ”K” and had been so malnourished, her hair started falling out and she started losing a large amount of weight.

Click CRIME LIBRARY for the full story and read more on Colleen Stan and how she managed to finally escape her abductors and alert authorities.

Photo of Colleen Stan which was taken at Cameron Hookers trail

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Birthday photo of Colleen Stan

Photo of Colleen Stan, taken decades after her kidnapping ordeal. Colleen had her own words of wisdom for another kidnapped survivor, Jaycee Lee Dugard, the child kidnapped at age 11 and who was discovered 18 years later as a mother of two, still being held captive by her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido. – CBS Exclusive: Woman Imprisoned in Coffin for 7 Years Has Special Message for Jaycee Dugard

A Survivors Story – The Tamara Brooks Foundation

Sharon Brooks

→ On July 31, 2002 Tamara Brooks, then sixteen years old, and Jaci Maris, were kidnapped from Quartz Hill, California. The local Sheriff’s Department issued California’s first Amber Alert which mobilized and united 13 government agencies in an intense effort to locate the girls. The alert was successful. The girls returned to the safety of their families but the story did not end there.

On October 2, 2002 the President hosted the first White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. Experts and surviving families from across America convened to share and rally around best practices for making America safer for all children. Sharon Brooks emerged as a vocal advocate for children and the passage of the federal Amber Alert law.

As a mother of four children and an educator Sharon has always been keenly aware of the need to keep children safe. But the kidnapping and assault of her daughter in 2002 made her cognizant of the fact that our nation needs far more than child safety education. Both Sharon and Tamara have become renowned speakers on the importance and effectiveness of the Amber Alert program. Each, in their own right, speak at conferences of law enforcement personnel sharing their experiences so that officers will be more conscientious about the experiences of victims and their families. Sharon is a passionate advocate for victim and surviving family counseling so that they can begin the healing process. She is an equally passionate advocate for legislation that will bring criminals who commit crimes against children to justice and keep them off the streets. Sharon shares her story, time and efforts in this arena in the hope that one day our nation will not need to issue any Amber Alerts and that children will be safe.

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About Tamara Brooks Foundation:

Tamara is a vibrant and outspoken young woman who, after being abducted in 2002, continued with her life as a high school student in California to become Valedictorian of her graduating class. Tamara is not just another violent crime “survivor” – Tamara excels in life – she helps empower others by presenting at various events around the country. Her goal is to help other victims of childhood violence, not just to survive – but to excel in life.

Click here to view the Tamara Brooks Foundation

German Girl Escapes Kidnapper And Alleged Rape After 3 Days In Rostock

German Girls Escapes Kidnapper

Photo above taken Tuesday, October 16, 2012 police work infront of an apartment building in Rostock, located in Northern Germany, where a German girl was held hostaged and raped for three-days until she managed to escape her kidnappers.

10/17/12, BERLIN — Police say a 17-year-old girl who was kidnapped after she left a club in northern Germany and allegedly raped while in captivity has escaped.

Officials said Wednesday they have arrested a 28-year-old suspect with a previous rape conviction. He is alleged to have kidnapped her at knifepoint in Rostock on Friday night and taken her to his apartment, where he beat her up and tied her up.

The girl was reported missing after she left a disco in the city on foot and failed to appear at an arranged meeting with a friend.

City police chief Thomas Laum said that, when the suspect was out of the apartment Tuesday afternoon, the girl managed to free herself and escape through a first-floor window.

The suspect was arrested later Tuesday.

Source: Huffingtonpost

The Kidnapping Of Jaycee Lee Dugard – Before And After

Photo Of Jaycee Taken Same Year She Was Kidnapped.

Jaycee Dugard was 11-years-old and a fifth grader who was excited about an upcoming field trip that she was supposed to attend. She woke up early in the morning and remembers dressing in her favorite ‘all pink outfit.  There was one particularly embarrassing question she wanted to ask her mother that morning, If she could start shaving her legs. She remembers vividly that her mother was in a rush to get to work and forgot to give her a kiss, something she regularly did. Jaycee didn’t think much of it and knew she would get her kiss later that day when she returned home from school.

Sadly she never made it to school.

She left her Lake Tahoe home to head for the bus stop but not before waving goodbye to her Stepfather, Carl Probyn. As she made her way up the street a vehicle suddenly sped up and swerved, cutting her off. An unidentified man quickly rolled down the window and hit Jaycee with a stun-gun, causing her to fall over in the bushes. He then quickly opened the door, grab Jaycee and sped off.

Mugshots Of Phillip & Nancy Garrido

The only thing Jaycee could do was scream which alerted her stepfather who near the garage at the time. He didn’t have his car keys so he jumped on his mountain bike and chased the car but lost sight of it and had to turn around and rush back home where he contacted authorities.

Carl has told of his anguish at  helplessly seeing his stepdaughter being kidnapped as she made her way to the bus stop that Morning. He remembers being outside that morning, just meters away from Jaycee.

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Carl Probyn holding a framed photo of 11-year-old Jaycee

By the time police arrived Jaycee was on a frightening three-hour journey to the Garridos Antioch, CA home. When they arrived, she was led to his secluded backyard and tied in one of his sound proof sheds where she was continually abused sexually,  mentally, emotionally and physically for the next 18 years. Garrido threatened her and her family if she ever attempted to run away. Nancy played the “good cop” and pretended to care about the girls feelings. She would also pretend to ‘sneak in’ sandwiches to gain the little girl’s trust.

For years some suspected Probyn of being involved with Jaycee’s disappearance. A couple of years after the abduction, Jaycee’s mother, Tracy Probyn filed for divorce four years after Jaycee was abducted. According to Carl Probyn, the stress of Jaycee’s abduction was too much and he tells how she could never  forgive him for not doing more on that fateful day.

 “I feel very happy that Jaycee is living her life… But I have  to say that right now, I don’t think the odds are very good that I will ever see  her again,” He added: “Looking back, maybe I regret I did not give her more hugs. Terry’s family thought I was mean to her. I think they thought I was the  reason Jaycee did not run away from the Garridos. But I can tell you now, I  really cared for that girl.” Carl said.

Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, was frantic and distraught as most mothers would be. She did everything possible to get Jaycee’s name out there, including making a song called ”Jaycee Lee”

Click here to listen to “Jaycee Lee”

Terry Probyn Pictured, Singing ‘Jaycee Lee’ in a studio

The community came together very quickly and helped Terry and her family. Pink balloons, Jaycee’s favorite color, were tied everywhere. Jaycee’s face was on every pole in Lake Tahoe, California. . Soon her face was on major news channels around the US,  and every year on the anniversary of the kidnapping the community came together to march for justice and answers. Her mother never gave up hope.

Jaycee’ would later state during an interview that during the first few days of her captivity, she seen the news casting her story as she layed helplessly tied in a sound-proof shed in the back of the Garrido home.

Over  the 18 years she remained missing, Jaycee suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her captor and two pregnancies. She was in pain as she laid in labor alone in the shed until Philip came home and gave her codeine to ease the pregnancy pains. The two daughters she had were aged 11 and 15 at the time of her reappearance. (Jaycee’s youngest daughter starlit was 11-years-old at the time Jaycee was found, the same age Jaycee was when she was kidnapped. Her eldest daughter, Angel, was 15-years-old in 2009, the same age Jaycee was when she gave birth too her.)

Angel and starlit were made to believe by Garrido that Jaycee was their older sister, they found out the truth in 2009, when Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arrested and Jaycee was reunited with her family. From the beginning Jaycee is very protective of the two young girls, and wants them to live a happy-normal life. She also didn’t want media to snap any photos of them but new curiosity of the public would make this really hard so she allowed one photo of the two girls, neither of their faces are shown, just there backside and hair, their side view is blurred.

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Photo Of Jaycee’s Daughters, starlit and Angel

When Jaycee was rescued her case became headlines around the world. Paparazzi tried endlessly looking for Jaycee and her daughters, whose photos were not yet released. FBI placed the family in an undisclosed location and guarded them from the public eye.

Since then, photos have been released and Jaycee has even done an interview with Ann Curry. This was done to keep paparazzi away.

Terry, Jaycee, along with her two daughters have been in away from media trying to live there new-life as normal as possible. Jaycee has does interviews and had been on the cover of people magazine numerous times, she stated she did this to keep paparazzi’ at bay, and to fill in the publics curiosity and let them know how she and her family are doing. Jaycee and her mother Terry have been catching up, they been horseback-riding, cooking, relaxing, going on secluded vacations, etc.

Mother And Daughter: Jaycee And Terry Smiling Together.

Phillip was on parole in 1992 as a high level re-offender and Jaycee wasn’t the first person he kidnapped and raped.  In 1976 when Garrido was a young man in his 20’s, he kidnapped a woman who now goes by her married name, Katherine Hall.  She said she was 25 years old when Garrido attacked her in South Lake Tahoe (The same town from which Dugard was abducted) when she went to buy food. He tapped on her car window saying he needed a lift as his car was broken down. He overpowered her, bound, gagged and handcuffed her. (For more information on the Katherine Hall Abduction in 1976, please click link provided.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/02/phillip-garrido-katie-hall-jaycee

Photo Of Katherine Hall in 2009

As for Phillip and Nancy, well, they won’t be ruining anyones family or life ever again.

Phillip Craig Garrido, 58, and his wife Nancy Garrido, 54, were sentenced for kidnapping and other charges on June 2, 2011. Philip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years’ imprisonment; his wife received 36 years to life. Nancy would be lucky if she was still living by the time her parole comes up and if she is, she most likely will get denied.

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Jaycee Lee Dugard Now

Links To Related Articles Below:

Jaycee Dugard Story: Lawsuit Filed Against US Government for Allowing Kidnap

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Jaycee Lee Interview & Other Articles Regarding The Case

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Jaycee Dugard Marks Her First Year of Freedom: Article Published in 2010

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Photos & Additional Articles – The Kidnapping Of Jaycee Lee Dugard