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These Mistakes Prevented Jaycee Dugard from Being Rescued For Years


When someone is abducted, people expect the law to follow every procedure and do everything possible to find them. But in the case of Jaycee Lee Dugard, it was frightening how many times the police overlooked huge warning signs that could have cracked the case much earlier. Instead, a young girl suffered for years because of it. Read on to see how the police’s failure to follow leads, either purposefully or negligently, contributed to how the heart wrenching kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard unfolded.

A Bright, Summer’s Day

Sporting pink tights and a white shirt with a printed kitty cat, shy 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard made her way to wait for the school bus in the peaceful town of Meyers, California on June 10, 1991. Dugard was feeling a bit edgy about the upcoming school field trip, but her stepfather, Carl Probyn, assured her everything would be alright.

Jaycee Dugard

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Probyn watched from the window of the house to make sure Dugard made it up the hill safely. He wanted to make sure she hopped on the bus, so he could go about his own plans for the day. It was just then that something horrifying occurred; something that would lead to a bizarre series of events.

Disaster Strikes

Under the watchful eye of Probyn, Dugard, left the house and walked up the hill. Suddenly a gray car stopped next to Dugard and Probyn saw what seemed like a man talking to his step-daughter from the rolled-down window.

Jaycee Dugard

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Then, in a flash, Dugard collapsed on the floor. A woman jumped out the car and then lugged the fifth grader into car. While all this was unfolding, Probyn was watching from the window. Would he be able to save his stepdaughter? Read on to find out.

Speed Chase

Just before the incident took place, Probyn noticed the driver of a gray car, which he later described as a Mercury Monarch, making a U-turn by the school and heading towards the bus station. What in fact seemed like a man asking for directions, which Dugard assumed herself, was actually a man pulling out a stun gun on Dugard’s neck in order to knock her out.

Jaycee Dugard

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As soon as Probyn saw his stepdaughter being forced into the car by a mysterious woman, he ran out of the house and gave chase on his bicycle, but to no avail. The car sped away. Dugard was gone! Kidnapped! Some of Dugard’s schoolmates also witnessed the abduction, but no one knew what to do. It all happened so fast.

A Wild Goose Chase

As soon as Probyn collected himself and caught wind of what had just happened, the police were informed and launched a nationwide search effort for Jaycee Dugard. Tens of thousands of fliers and posters with Dugard’s picture were distributed far and wide with extensive local and national media coverage of the abduction. The town of Meyers was also covered in pink to honor Dugard’s favorite color.

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Terry, Dugard’s mother, launched Jaycee’s Hope group to launch fundraising efforts. She printed T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing her daughter’s face and made cassette tapes which played the song “Jaycee Lee.” Everyone was on high alert and helped in the search effort, but there was no trace of Dugard. The police weren’t even sure where to begin looking, so the first logical step pointed at Probyn, the last one to see Dugard.

In Search of a Better Life

Carl Probyn was the loving stepfather of Jaycee. Her biological father was a man named Ken Slayton, who had a filing with Terry Dugard in 1979. It resulted in a pregnancy. Terry never menionted this and Slayton wasn’t aware he even had a daughter. Years later, Terry married Carl Probyn, and in 1990, Jaycee moved with her mother, stepfather, and her half-sister Shayna to Meyers, California.

Jaycee Dugard

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The Dugards left the city of Arcadia, near Los Angeles, for Meyers in search of a peaceful life, free of crime. Dugard was very close to her mother and doted on her infant sister, but she wasn’t too close to her stepfather. Nevertheless, Probyn cared for her like a father. On the morning on June 10, 1991, Terry had to leave early for work, so the kids were left under the care of Probyn. Unfortunately, all the care in the world didn’t stop the absolute worst from happening that morning.

Initial Suspects

Initially, all attention was on two particular men: Dugard’s stepfather, Probyn, and her biological father, Slayton. All suspicions had to be ruled out, so the police had to make sure that the two men didn’t know one another, and that Slayton didn’t know he had a daughter.

Jaycee Dugard

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Police confirmed that there was no connection between Probyn and Slayton. Probyn also passed a few polygraph tests, so these two suspects seemed very unlikely at this point in the investigation. However, there was one tiny but crucial clue the police overlooked that could have cracked the case, making this the first of many police investigation lapses in the kidnapping case of Jaycee Dugard.

The Writing’s On the Wall

The man driving the car that fateful day was Phillip Greg Garrido, a convicted criminal who kidnapped and raped a woman named Katherine Callaway Hall in 1976. In that incident, he also kidnapped Hall in South Lake Tahoe and under very similar circumstances to Dugard’s.

Jaycee Dugard

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Garrido was on parole for Hall’s kidnapping and this small clue could have helped police crack the case that very same day. This was the first of many lapses in the police investigation which lead to one of the worst child kidnapping stories of the 20th century.

So What Actually Happened to Dugard?

Nancy, Garrido’s wife, acted as his accomplice and scouted Dugard as a prize for her sex-crazed husband. When Garrido proceeded to shock Dugard with the stun gun, she felt a tingling sensation run through her body and collapsed.

Jaycee Dugard

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The ride to the Garrido’s home in Antioch, California took a grueling three hours. Nancy held Dugard while she slipped in and out of consciousness. During one of her more lucid moments she heard them laughing when Nancy said “I can’t believe we got away with this!” Dugard could definitely sense she was in grave danger, but she had no idea she was headed for hell on earth.

The Loss of Innocence

After arriving at the house, the pair stripped Dugard naked, except for a butterfly ring, which she hid from her captors for many years. The Garridos blindfolded the innocent girl and led her to a soundproof shed in the backyard where he raped her for the first time.

Jaycee Dugard

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For the first week, Dugard was kept handcuffed in the isolated shed. Garrido explained he had chosen fuzzy handcuffs so it wouldn’t hurt, but the fifth grader knew exactly was she was in for. When he brought her chocolate milk for the first time, she knew it symbolized the taste of evil. All she could do was stare at a trail of ants marching towards the cup while being mercilessly raped. Things, however, would only get much worse for the innocent captive.

Hell on Earth

A few weeks in, Garrido brought Dugard a TV, but she wasn’t allowed to watch the news because he didn’t want her to see all the media frenzy surrounding her kidnapping. She was only allowed to watch shows about people selling jewelry, but at least she could fall asleep to the sound of calming voices. Garrido was her only form of human contact. He forced Dugard to shower with him and would tell her disturbing stories while they cut pornographic images out of magazines.

Jaycee Dugard

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Her only companion was a spider on the wall, which she named Bianca. During the night, Garrido covered the shed window with a towel, but Dugard would rip it down with her teeth so she could see the moon. It reminded her of the song she used to sing with her mother. Unlike many other abductors, Garrido would tell Dugard why he took her away.

“Demon Angels Made Me Do It”

About a month and a half after the kidnapping, Garrido moved Dugard into a larger shed. He would dress her up in tight clothes and makeup. The once-innocent Dugard would stare into the mirror with mascara-stained tears streaming down her face, but she didn’t want him to see she was crying. She pretended it was because she felt ugly, but he told her she was beautiful.

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Garrido would go on 24 hours methamphetamine binges which resulted in rape marathons. He would start sobbing and apologize, but then bark threats at Dugard saying he’d put her into a cage or sell her to people if she tried to escape. He also said there were dangerous dogs outside the shed. He proceeded to tell her that demon angels told him to kidnap her, so she could save other girls from his sexual addictions. Garrido believed Dugard could stop him from masturbating outside schools where he watched young girls.

Nancy – Motherly Concern or Cold Hearted Witch?

Only after several months into the kidnapping did Garrido allow Nancy to come into the shed. She brought Dugard chocolate milk and a stuffed animal, but then counteracted any kind of motherly affection with scheming behavior.

Jaycee Dugard

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Out of jealousy, Nancy would blame Dugard for ruining her marriage. She brought kittens to the shed, which mysteriously disappeared soon after. The torture didn’t stop, but this didn’t mean Dugard was about to give up just yet.

Dear Diary

In order to deal with the pain, Dugard kept a journal. She spoke about all the things she wanted to do, like the simple pleasure of seeing her mom. She would then sign every entry off with a heart by her name. When Nancy saw the journal, she forced Dugard to tear out the pages with her name. This was the last time she was ever allowed to say or write her name again.

Jaycee Dugard

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The Garridos stripped Dugard of her identity; they even denied her any medical treatment. While all this was happening, no one back home had given up on Dugard. There was a continuous push by child safety groups to find her. Candlelight vigils and fundraising campaigns created a lot of noise in the public; maybe enough to create the next lead to save Dugard. Would the next tip off to the police save her? Read on to find out.

A Chance at Life

It was almost a year since Dugard’s kidnapping, when the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call from a man. He didn’t identify himself, but he said he saw a young girl at a gas station staring at a poster of a missing child that looked like her.

Jaycee Dugard

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The caller didn’t give the details of the number plate or a description of the girl; all he mentioned was a yellow van, the girl, and the poster. By the time the sheriff arrived at the gas station, the van and the girl were gone. Only years later, would we learn how devastating overlooking this incident would be.

Constant Tears

The Garridos had their claws in Dugard for almost three years. She was given slightly more freedom and finally given her first home-cooked meal on Easter Sunday, but she would cry every single day – tears that would ensue for years to come. She studied Garrido’s rages and fits in order to understand him and promised to do more for him so that he’d stop hurting her.

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Dugard began to feel strange and the Garridos knew why. She was four and half months pregnant at the age of 13. Only through TV did she learn about the connection between sex and pregnancy. She thought sex was just Barbie and Ken lying next to one another. In order to prepare for the birth, Dugard watched TV shows on childbirth. She wanted to protect this child at all costs. Was this even possible with a psychopath captor?

A Blessing Out of a Nightmare

On August 18, 1994, Dugard went into labor while alone in the shed. When the Garridos entered the shed, they brought codeine to help with the pain, but otherwise Dugard had to deliver the baby on her own. Dugard gave birth to a baby girl, whom she named Angel. For the first time in three years, she didn’t feel alone anymore. Meanwhile, Dugard’s mother never gave up on her daughter.

Jaycee Dugard

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She took the search to the next level by hiring private investigators, whom she paid by holding rummage sales in her garage. She also printed fliers with a sketched image of what Dugard would possibly look like as a teenager. Terry pleaded with the police and kept her daughter’s room untouched, frozen in time. Unfortunately, no amount of police investigators could save Dugard from what would happen next.

Endless Torture

Another three long years had gone by, and Dugard was still nowhere to be found. The rape didn’t stop, and she fell pregnant again with her second daughter, Starlit. She gave birth to her on November 13, 1997. Dugard planted flowers and built a little school with chairs outside the shed in order to homeschool her girls with the fifth grade knowledge she still had. It was her way of dealing with the stress. She also kept a bucket list of all the things she wanted to fulfill, but which seemed only possible in dreams.

Jaycee Dugard

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What made things worse was that Dugard had to pretend to be the girls’ older sister. Garrido ordered the girls to call Nancy their mother in order to placate her jealous rages. With two young girls playing in the backyard now and then, surely someone would notice or hear them?

A Neighborly Chat

Patrick McQuaid lived next door to the Garridos when he was a child. One day he saw Dugard through the fence and sensed something was wrong. He asked her if she lived there or was just visiting, to which Dugard replied that she was living there. She also mentioned her name.

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When Garrido saw her peeping through the fence, he took her away and built a fence, eight feet tall. Thereafter, Dugard and her daughters lived in two tents outside in the backyard with a camping-style toilet and shower. This wasn’t the last time someone would notice something fishy was going on in the Garrido household, but would it be enough to save Dugard and her daughters?

A Red Flag

In 2002, there was another very significant lapse in police efforts. Everyone knew Garrido from when he was convicted for Hall’s kidnapping and rape in 1976. It wasn’t a secret that he was released on parole in 1988 and went to live in Antioch with his mother, who suffered from dementia. He was joined by his wife Nancy whom he met while she was visiting an uncle at the same jail in 1981.

Jayce Dugard

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The girls were growing up and 11 years had passed from the day Dugard was ripped away from her family. However, the name and face of Dugard haunted the media throughout the years. One day in 2002, the fire department received a call about a juvenile who had suffered a shoulder injury at the Garrido’s swimming pool. No one bothered to report this to the parole officer. A light bulb didn’t turn on in anyone’s head! Read on to find out how the parole offices proved to be even more negligent a few years later.

Yet Another Missed Opportunity

In 2006, one of Garrido’s neighbors called 911 to report random tents set up in Garrido’s backyard. He was concerned that he could hear the sound with children playing in the notorious psychopath’s house. He insisted that no children should be around a man with sick sexual addictions. In response to the call, a parole officer went to check on Garrido, but he remained at the door having a chat with Garrido for 30 minutes. The officer didn’t even think to search the backyard.

Jaycee Dugard

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The complete negligence of the parole officer seemed to be a consistent occurrence with very few officers coming to check up on the Garridos and none of them going into the backyard. He wore a GPS tracker, but no ever noticed his strange movements. Nancy also used to distract the officers by trying to annoy them with random questions. What would happen when Dugard was given the opportunity to come into contact with the outside world? Would she speak out?

An Opportune Moment

Garrido decided to open a print shop and instructed Dugard to pose as the graphic artist who ran the shop. A customer by the name of Ben Daughdrill was impressed with Dugard’s excellent service and told her on the phone. She had access to the phone and work email address, but Dugard seemed to keep up the facade.

Jaycee Dugard

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Dugard was allowed lots more freedom as time went by. She answered the front door, but she never tried to leave. She never peeped so much of a hint to the customers who called on a daily basis. It seemed like she wanted to keep her daughters safe from harm so decided to keep quiet. One day, however, an opportunity would arise that Dugard just couldn’t miss.

“God’s Desire Church”

Garrido started a blog called “God’s Desire Church.” He would play his guitar to strange music in the shed, while Nancy videoed him but focused the camera on the girls playing on the swings. He sang and created lectures about how he can control sound with his mind.

Jaycee Dugard

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Garrido got his print shop customers to sign testimonials proving he could control sound with his mind with a device he created. He wanted to share his knowledge with the world, so on August 24, 2009, Garrido paid a visit to the San Francisco office of the FBI, where he left the four-page essay he compiled on his perspective on sexuality and religion, and how he had found the solution to sexually deviant behavior. That same day, Garrido’s actions became even more bizarre. It was as if he wanted to be caught.

A Field Trip

After visiting the FBI office, Garrido made his way to the University of California Berkley police office with Angel and Starlit in tow. He wanted to get permission to lead a special event on the campus as part of his “God’s Desire Church” program.

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Lisa Campbell, the special events manager was a little suspicious when she noticed Garrido’s strange and erratic behavior. However, what concerned her most was what she called the “sullen and submissive” look in the girls’ eyes. She told him to return the next day, so Garrido left his name on a form and left the campus.

Connecting the Dots

Campbell informed an officer, Ally Jacobs, about the weird incident she just witnessed. Jacobs immediately did a background check on Garrido and discovered that that he was a registered sex offender on federal parole for kidnap and rape.

Jaycee Dugard

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Jacobs decided to sit in on the meeting the following day. She noticed how the girls looked very pale and behaved rather strangely, so she decided to call Garrido’s parole officer, but could only reach voicemail. Would this be just another lapse by police forces?

You’ve Got Mail

As soon as the parole officer listened to the voicemail, he headed straight for Garrido’s house. The officer handcuffed Garrido, but only found his elderly mother and Nancy at the house. With no solid lead, the officer took Garrido back to the parole office.

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Garrido insisted that the girls were his relative’s daughters and that he had permission from both parents to take them to the campus. This was in violation of his parole conditions for two reasons: Garrido wasn’t allowed to be around minors and he was in excess of the 40-mile travel limit. After Garrido’s file was reviewed, the officer drove him back home and instructed him to report to the office the next day.

A Mysterious Companion

On August 26, 2009, 18 years since the kidnapping, Garrido reported to the station, but he took Nancy, Dugard, and her daughters along with him to sell the police a story. She was introduced as Allissa, an abused woman from Minnesota who fled from her husband with her daughters.

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The investigating officers separated Dugard and the girls from Nancy and Garrido in order to gain some answers. She maintained that she was an abused woman, and that Garrido was a changed man, despite being a convicted sex offender. She insisted that he was so good to her daughters and offered her refuge from her abusive husband. The girls confirmed the story, but the police officers weren’t buying it.

Cracking the Mystery

The officers egged on about the so-called “Allissa” identity. Eventually, Dugard became defensive and wanted to know why the she was being interrogated like a criminal. She was just too afraid to say the truth out loud.

Jaycee Dugard

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Eventually Dugard’s terror subsided and she wrote her name on a piece of paper: “Jaycee Lee Dugard.” The officers immediately asked Dugard if she wanted to call her mother to which she replied in disbelief, “Can I call my mom?” When she picked up the receiver, all Dugard could mutter to her mother was “Come quick!” Garrido finally admitted to kidnapping and raping Dugard for 18 years. But it wasn’t over just yet.

A Heartwarming Reunion

Terry Probyn’s heart became full again as soon as she saw her beloved daughter. She brushed Dugard’s hair like she had done 18 years before. She also spoke about her regret of not kissing her daughter goodbye before she rushed to work that fateful morning.

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Dugard’s aunt, Tina, commented on how healthy and well-behaved Angel and Starlit were. Dugard’s stepfather, Carl Probyn was also thrilled to have his stepdaughter back, but he felt she had developed a strong bond with Garrido. It was comments like these that pushed Dugard over the edge.

“I do not have Stockholm Syndrome.”

When the girls found out Garrido was arrested, they cried. Dugard insisted that none of them had Stockholm syndrome, and since she was rescued, she makes it her mission to educate the public on the importance of how people talk about victims as well as getting rid of this phrase. “It’s so far from the truth,” she proclaimed in an interview.

Jaycee Dugard

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She said her only way of surviving was to act a certain way. She emphasized that the thought of people saying she formed a bond with her captor is degrading and makes her want to throw up. She studied Garrido’s behavior and learned to be like an animal in the wild who acts like its predator. What made the recovery process challenging for Dugard was when people made assumptions that she had been in love with Garrido and wanted to stay with him.

Coping with the Return

Dugard and her daughters slowly but surely reintegrated into a previously-unknown society. Three weeks after her return home, she requested that her pets from the Garrido house be brought to her, seeing that she raised them.

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After her release, Dugard’s biological father, Ken Slayton, wanted to meet his daughter and take a paternity test, but she refused. She had gone through enough in her life and didn’t need any more upheavals. Read on to learn more about the recovery process and where everyone is today, including the Garridos.

Comments from the Public

The public celebrated the return of Dugard and felt it was a significant event for all families out there who have missing children. It was proof that there is always hope of finding a missing person, even after 18 years.

Jaycee Dugard

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Several abduction survivors spoke out when they heard about Dugard’s return and highlighted the importance of moving forward with a positive attitude, which helps victims accept what happened. One survivor, Shawn Hornbeck, commented, “Coming out of what she’s had to endure is like entering a new world.” He went on to say that she had been brainwashed, so she would feel angry but then move on. The most notable survivor who had something to say, was none other than Katie Callaway Hall, the very woman who was kidnapped and raped by Garrido years before.

“He had me for 8 hours. He had her for 18 years.”

When Hall heard the news about Dugard, she literally screamed, “Oh my god. Oh my god, it’s him.” She explained that the capture of Garrido concluded a chapter in her life because she doesn’t need to hide away anymore or wonder if he is searching for her. The fear she felt since the day he was paroled disappeared when he was arrested for Dugard’s kidnapping.

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“With all the joy I should feel, I want to scream from the depths of my soul…Scream because my fears turned out to be justified – he struck again,” lamented Hall on CNN’s Larry King Live. Hall went on to say that she walked around like a zombie for years, but she couldn’t even being to imagine how painful it must be for Dugard because she was a child. Hall explained that she was abducted as an adult and had some instincts to deal with Garrido. She cannot believe Dugard was so young when she was stolen away and wished her all the best.

The Lapses in Police Investigation

On November 4, 2009, an official apology was released by the California Office of the Inspector General for all the lapses by the California police force and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that contributed to Garrido’s capturing of Dugard.

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The crux of the matter was that Garrido was not monitored like he should have been during his parole, and the apology explained that this led to so many lapses in the investigation. The police officer who visited the house in 2006 and only spoke to Garrido at the door released an official apology in a news conference to all the victims. Furthermore, the yellow Dodge van spotted at the gas station in 1992 was also found at the house. However, Dugard denied this, saying she never left the house from the moment she arrived there in 1991. This wasn’t the end; more crucial details would soon emerge.

Garrido’s Statement

Garrido was interviewed on August 27, 2009 in his jail cell. He stated, “In the end, this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story.” He believed people would be impressed with how he treated his daughters. He admitted that what he initially did was deplorable, but said that he made up for it.

Jaycee Dugard

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The convicted sex offender insisted that the essay he gave to the FBI would change the world. Garrido also emphasized that the birth of his daughters changed him forever. He promised that he never harmed them. “They slept in my arms every single night since birth,” he stated. This certainly wouldn’t get him off the hook though.

The Legal Proceedings

The legal proceedings over Dugard’s case stretched over two years. In 2009, Garrido and his wife, Nancy, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. There were several initial hearings in October and December of that year dealing with bail, psychological examinations, and evidence. Hall, Garrido’s first victim attended these hearings too. During one of the hearings, Garrido was seen mouthing “I love you” to Nancy.

Jaycee Dugard

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After two years of back and forth motions, on April 28, 2011, the Garridos pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and rape by force of Dugard. Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life imprisonment at California State Prison, Corcoran, while Nancy received 36 years to life imprisonment at Central Californian Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. Dugard was not present at the sentencing of her captors, but her mother read a message to the court written by her.

Garrido’s Background

Garrido’s criminal background definitely points to a troubled soul. During the court proceedings in 2009, Garrido’s father, Manuel, commented on how his son was a “good boy” growing up. He said that Garrido changed after he was involved in a serious motorbike accident which led to his addiction to LSD and crystal meth.

Jaycee Dugard

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Garrido first married in 1973 to Christine Murphy, a high school classmate. She alleged that he tried to kidnap her when she tried to leave him. In 1976, he kidnapped Katherine Callaway Hall. It was this event that led to a web of kidnapping and rape by this unstoppable sex offender.

Kidnapping of Katherine Callaway Hall

In 1976, a man tapped on the car window of 25-year-old Hall to ask for a ride in the area of South Lake Tahoe. She conceded to give him a lift, but when she wanted to drop him off, he took the keys out of the ignition in order to blindfold, cuff, and gag his first victim.

Jaycee Dugard

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Garrido drove Hall to a warehouse in Reno, Nevada where he raped her for five and a half hours. Around 3 a.m., someone knocked on the door of the warehouse and Hall promised Garrido she’d behave because she thought it was his friends. To her luck, it was the police. Once Hall noticed the officer, she ran out naked screaming for help. Garrido said she was his girlfriend and that they were on drugs, but she screamed, “No I’m not – help me, help me.” The officer told her to get dressed and Garrido begged her not to turn him in. When the officer noticed the sores on her hands from the handcuffs, he arrested Garrido.

Charged!

After his arrest, Garrido was examined by a psychiatrist to see if he was under the influence of drugs, but his neurological examination came back normal. The rapist was then sentenced to a 50-year federal sentence on June 30, 1977 at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas.

Jaycee Dugard

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This is where Garrido met and married Nancy Bocanegra in 1981, who was visiting her uncle at the jail. In 1988, he was released to Nevada State Prison, where he served only seven months of a five-years-to-life sentence. He was released under federal parole and went to live with Nancy at his elderly and sick mother’s house in Antioch. A GPS ankle bracelet was attached to his ankle, but clearly that didn’t stop Garrido from kidnapping Dugard. It was for this very violation that Dugard received monetary compensation. Read on to find out if that was enough for her.

The Cost of Grief

The State of California granted a $20 million dollar settlement to Dugard as compensation for all the lapses in her case that led to her prolonged captivity and the continual mental, physical, and sexual abuse she endured at the hands of the Garridos.

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While the compensation was a gesture Dugard appreciated, it wasn’t enough for her. She wanted a more solid sense of justice for her stolen life of 18 years. Nothing could justify how she had to suffer for almost two decades isolated from the world.

“I Hereby Sue the United States of America”

Dugard filed a lawsuit against the United States on September 22, 2011 for the country’s failure to conduct the measures of Garrido while he was on federal parole. She insisted that the Garrido should have been arrested each time he violated his parole conditions before and during her abduction.

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Unfortunately, on August 26, 2016, the court granted sovereign immunity to the federal government. The reasoning Dugard was not captured at the time Garrido was placed under parole supervision and that no one could have anticipated Garrido’s actions. However, the failure of the justice system didn’t deter Dugard’s tenacity to overcome her fears and trauma.

Media Attention

Dugard appeared in many documentary and crime shows to discuss her ordeal. She penned her first book A Stolen Life: A Memoir in July, 2011 as part of her therapy with Dr. Rebecca Bailey, who believes it’s essential to talk about traumatic experiences. She also wrote the book to help other survivors of sexual abuse deal with the trauma. After this, Dugard was invited for her first TV interview with Diane Sawyer.

Jaycee Dugard

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In 2012, Dugard was awarded the Lifetime Leadership honor for her courage and her JAYC Foundation that supports many families that have fallen victim to abduction. Her second book Freedom: My Book of Firsts was released in July, 2016. Her second book focuses on how she has re-integrated into the world. She was interviewed by Diane Sawyer a few days before it was released to the public. The time between both the interviews really highlighted the progress she had made.

The Power of the Soul

Dugard has spoken about the importance to fight the rage and stare at fear in the face so that it doesn’t hurt or control you. Her mother, Terry, still find it difficult to fight back the rage she feels toward the Garridos and for the police’s negligence. She is always terrified that her daughter will be ripped away from her again.

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Dr. Bailey, Dugard’s therapist, has conducted what she coins “joining up” therapy sessions with her. It involves horseback riding and has taught Dugard that she can exercise authority and physical control over an animal much larger than herself. Dugard told Sawyer that the image of the fences and the backyard never disappear, but the therapy sessions have helped her make enormous strides in her recovery process. But that’s not all.

Where Are Dugard and her Daughters Today?

The last thing Dugard saw before she was shocked by the stunt gun was a pine cone on the floor. In order to face her fears of another abduction happening again, she wears a necklace with a pine cone pendant every day of her life.

Jaycee Dugard

dailymail.co.uk

As for her daughters, she is tremendously proud of who they are. Angel and Starlit are beautiful, intelligent girls attending college. She protects their identity, so not everyone knows about their past. On the other hand, they talk openly about what happened. During the interview with Sawyer, she asked Dugard if she would ever allow her daughters to see their father if they wanted to. Dugard’s response was she would prefer if they didn’t, but that it’s their decision and she would never stop them. None of them refer to him as father anymore; they call him Phillip. Despite the pain, Dugard continues to make huge strides, as you’ll see on the next page.

Dugard’s Bucket List

During her captivity, Dugard kept a list of all the dreams she had for herself. She hid the lists on small scrap of paper so the Garrido’s wouldn’t tear them up like they did with her journal. She titled the list “My Dreams for the Future.”

Jaycee Dugard

abcnews.go.com

“See mom,” was the first item on the list she started on March 28, 2006, just three years before her rescue. The list went on to include: “See pyramids,” “Ride in a hot-air balloon,” “Learn to drive,” “Swim with dolphins,” Touch a whale,” “Take a train ride,” “Learn to sail an old-fashioned sailing ship,” “Write a best-seller,” and “Horseback ride on the beach every day.” The brave survivor has checked off almost every single thing on her list. With regards to the pyramids, she hasn’t seen the Egyptian ones but saw some during a trip she won to Belize, and she is still waiting to touch a whale.

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Sources: People, CNN, ABCnews

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