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Jaycee Lee Dugard Lived for 18 Years in a “Paedophile Ghetto.”

Philip Garrido and Jaycee Dugard, age 11

Philip Garrido and Jaycee Dugard, age 11

Warning: Read this post only if you have a strong stomach and a burning desire to end violence against women and children.

Jaycee Lee Dugard is a young woman, now 29, who was abducted in 1991 at age 11 by convicted sex offender Philip Garrido and his wife Nancy Dugard. The Garridos kept Dugard in a series of tents and sheds in their back yard in Antioch, California, for 18 years. During that time Philip Garrido repeated sexually abused Dugard and twice impregnated her, fathering two children with her.

Garrido never should have been on the streets in the first place. In 1977, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the kidnap and rape of 25-year-old Katie Callaway Hall in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Hall was interviewed on Larry King Live (video at link–if you can stand King’s offensive questioning). From the San Francisco Chronicle:

In testimony at his federal trial, Garrido described himself as a habitual sexual predator who fueled his urges with the LSD he started taking in 1969. The day of the attack, he took four tabs of acid, he testified.

“I had this fantasy that was driving me to do this,” Garrido testified. “No way to stop it.”

Garrido approached Hall in the parking lot of a South Lake Tahoe grocery store Nov. 22, 1976, told her his car had broken down and persuaded her to give him a ride.

Once in her car, Garrido handcuffed Hall, then used a leather strap to tie her head to her knees. He drove her car across the state line – making the kidnapping a federal case – to what the prosecutor called a makeshift “sex palace,” a storage unit in Reno that Garrido had stocked with pornography, sex devices and a mattress.

“I thought I was dead,” Hall said this week in an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

Over the next five hours, Garrido raped Hall repeatedly. The attack stopped only when a passing police officer became suspicious about the car outside and knocked on the storage unit door.

Garrido was obviously a dangerous sexual predator, yet he was paroled after only 11 years.

“It was a horrendous crime,” said Leland Lufty, the former federal prosecutor in Reno who won the 1977 conviction against Garrido. “We had a tough judge. As far as we were concerned, he was locked up forever.

“How could they do that?” Lufty asked. “Look at the record, look at what the guy did – this case was premeditated as it could be.”

Retired Reno, Nevada police officer Clifford Conrad told the New York Daily News:

“Someone dropped the ball” ….

“I thought he got sentenced to 50 years to life, so how he got out after 10 years, I’ll never know. I guess a lot of people dropped the ball his whole life.”

According to The Independent UK, Garrido actually kept a blog in which he

chronicles the increasing derangement of his last two years. It is a period during which he has convinced himself that his addiction to sexual violence is behind him, and sought to proselytise on the basis of the extraordinary powers he claims he has been granted by God. Media outlets are still replaying the rambling interview he gave with a local television station shortly after his arrest, in which he promises that his story will be “heartwarming” and “a revealing of something that needs to be understood”.

This appears to refer to the voices in his head which, by 2007, he had decided were the voices of angels and which he believed he had the means of revealing to others. His “Voices Revealed” website is studded with testimonials from local residents he claimed could attest to his abilities; it was the voices that gave him the determination to found his own church, and that sent him out proselytising for it.

Now the Independent reveals that Antioch, the small California city in which Dugard was held is a “paedophile ghetto,” the home of 122 registered sex offenders, 102 of whom live in the same zip code as the Garridos. Two laws designed to protect children from sexual predators–Megan’s Law and Jessica’s Law–may actually made it more difficult for police to keep track of them, according to the article. Megan’s law requires sexual offenders to register, but authorities say the criteria for registration is too loose:

“Thanks to political pressure, they made the criteria for including someone on the registry so wide that it has become totally ineffective,” says Michael Risher, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“It doesn’t just carry details of violent rapists but also people who, say, lost their temper during a road rage incident and flashed at someone, or an 18-year-old boy convicted of statutory rape for sleeping with his 17-year-old girlfriend.”

Jessica’s law:

bans paedophiles from residing within 2,000 feet of a school or a park where children regularly play.

This has driven sex offenders out of major cities and conurbations, where they have access to rehabilitation and treatment facilities, and into suburbs and secluded rural areas, where they don’t. In some smaller cities, they have now become concentrated in such large numbers that parole and law enforcement officers are unable to properly vet them.

I don’t know whether I completely buy this explanation. In 2006, a neighbor reported to police that children were living in the Garrido’s back yard, yet nothing was done.

Since 1999, when he was placed under California parole supervision for a 1976 rape in Nevada, Phillip Garrido, 58, was subject to drug testing, required to wear a GPS device and subject to twice-monthly visits by his state parole officer. In 2006, a neighbor called 911 to report that children were living in Garrido’s backyard in squalor, but the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department failed to search the registered sex offender’s premises.

Last month, UC Berkeley police Officer Allison Jacobs became suspicious of Garrido, figured out that he was a registered sex offender who was accompanied by two adolescent girls, and contacted Garrido’s parole officer. Jacobs told reporters that when she mentioned the girls, who Garrido said were his daughters, the parole officer responded, ” ‘Garrido doesn’t have any daughters.’ “

It’s a tale of Keystone cops and oblivious parole officers. But should dangerous sexual predators like Philip Garrido ever be released from prison? Isn’t kidnapping a woman, holding her prisoner, and brutally raping her for hours enough to warrant a life sentence, especially when there is little evidence that sexual predators and pedophiles can be rehabilitated? What will it take for Americans to actually deal with the rampant violence against women that is perpetrated on a daily basis in this country?

46 Responses

  1. I hope no one is offended by this post. I’m so angry about this story, and I needed to share my rage and disgust.

    • I am really sad that you felt you had to ‘apologize’ for this post. Violence against women is a major problem in our society and we need to face it. Your post is wonderful, thank you for doing it.

      • I wasn’t apologizing–it’s just the crime descriptions were very graphic and some people find that kind of thing very difficult to read.

        I agree that violence against women (and children) is a huge problem that our country needs to deal with. Thanks for your kind words!

  2. Sex offenders of this nature should never be released from prison. The problem is that too many of them never even get arrested and convicted. Women and girls should at least feel safe once these monsters are incarcerated.

    • It’s amazing to me that Garrido’s first wife, whom he horribly abused and his 1976 victim never knew he had been released from prison until his recent arrest.

  3. You know what I enjoy? How, whenever this subject comes up, you have all these people who want to proclaim what a great step forward it is for women that rape is treated so lightly in the legal system, because when it was treated seriously, that indicated it was viewed as a property crime. Let us celebrate our transition from property to merely subhuman, you betcha.

    • Well, to be fair, the laws now are a lot stricter than in the 1970s when Garrido was first sent to prison. Apparently in those days, kidnapping, imprisoning, and raping a woman meant you’d automatically be out in about 10 years with good behavior.


  4. This is a horrific story BostonBoomer. I saw an extended interview with the woman he raped in 1976. She said that one of the first things he did when he was released from prison was visit the casino where she worked and tell her that he’d “be seeing a lot more of her”….

  5. We need to bring back the sentence of life plus 1 day.
    Then they can never get out.
    Also members of the parole board should have to have these criminals live near them.
    Three lives are ruined and can never be fixed because some dumb ass es let this thing out of jail.
    That parole board should be responsible for his victims and be held personally responsible for all expenses for treatment.
    The cop who did not really check out the complaint should have to personally explain to the victims why he did not do his duty
    Everyone failed these victims and they will need lifetime help.



    • Great idea! Members of the parole board should be held responsible when they let monsters out of jail.

    • Oh HELL YES what Helen said.

      I wish we had the Phantom Zone in real life for characters like this. 😡

  6. From the NYT The Lede blog:

    When Phillip Garrido was arrested, neighbors did not line up to tell reporters that he seemed like a nice guy. No one, it seems, had a hard time imagining that this convicted sex offender on parole for rape and kidnapping, who wrote rambling blog posts about the importance of “controlling a voice or set of voices that are unearthly in nature,” had something to hide.

    As my colleagues Jesse McKinley and Carol Pogash reported, Mr. Garrido “had long been known as an odd and sometimes frightening character to neighbors, business associates and even the few people who called him a friend.”

    See his home on Google…

  7. I’m glad you wrote about this, boomer. It is a horrific story. My sister lived in Tahoe when she was abducted and the police blew the case from the very beginning. I just read today that a UC policewoman saw him and the two young girls and just knew that something was suspicious. She spoke to him and he told her his name and that the two girls were his daughters. She looked him up and called his parole officer who said “he doesn’t have two daughters”. Now, there was a letter to the editor calling for more women in law enforcement because they are able to recognize things that men may not. I hope that comment doesn’t cause a fire storm but I think the commenter was correct.

    • PS. They are also giving create to the female neighbor who also called it in.

      • That reminds me of this Oprah about this guy who kidnapped and imprisoned all these women in his basement, one at a time. Oprah totally guilt tripped this one woman who didn’t go to the police because the guy told her he’d kill her family, and she was scared. Oprah basically told her she was responsible for all subsequent women who were kidnapped and raped because she failed to report it. However, turns out that at least one other victim did go to the police, and they didn’t take her seriously at all and concluded she’d made the whole thing up.

        • It is so disgusting. Women just aren’t taken seriously. If the woman at UC wasn’t a cop and just a regular citizen unable to look into it herself I’m sure her report would have gone nowhere at all. Screw, Oprah and let’s stop blaming the victim.

  8. I know there are more sex offenders living in Pierce County Washington (Tacoma) than anywhere else in Washington state. I was at a meeting a couple of years ago where a sheriff’s deputy said that all the sex offenders who do time on McNeil Island (the maximum security prison) are brought across on the ferry to Tacoma and simply “let loose”. They aren’t sent back to their home cities because the state doesn’t want to pay the transportation costs to send them back where they came from.

    The following is copied from the website of the Pierce County Sheriff’s office: “Pierce County has over 2,500 registered sex/kidnapping offenders residing within the incorporated and unincorporated portions of its boundaries…The ages of registered offenders presently living in our area range from age 13 to age 96…Pierce County has registered about 16% of the total convicted sex/kidnapping offenders in the state, even though the county contains about 12% of the total state population.”

    If your county has a sex offender search capability on its website – USE IT. It’s there for your information and to help keep you and your kids safe.

  9. Difficult but needed topic. I’ve heard too many idiots on the idiotbox wondering aloud how the victim must have had many opportunities to escape, but since she didn’t, maybe she wasn’t really a victim. I wanted to reach in their and slap them. OK, I wanted to do worse, but you get the idea. What is wrong with people.

    • When I was a kid a pedophile named Kenneth Parnell kidnapped 7 year-old Steven Stayner in my hometown (just a few blocks from my grandmother’s where I stayed during the day and went to school from)

      Parnell took Stayner up to Ukiah and kept him for 7 years – he even had him enrolled in school under a fake name.

      • Wasn’t that the case in which the victim’s brother grew up to commit 3 horrific murders himself? The women at Yosemite?

        • Cary Stayner committed four murders that they know of.

          Steven was killed in a car accident.

          Kenneth Parnell got out (the law at the time only allowed him to be sentenced to 7 years and he served 5 before being paroled) and was later convicted and given life for trying to buy a 4 year-old boy. He died last year (still in prison)

  10. From TGW:

    Taco Bell is coughing up $350,000 to two girls who were raped by their boss at Taco Bell.

    One of the 16-year-olds was raped on her first day at work. The Taco Bell supervisor, serial child rapist Terence E. Davis, 38, got only eight years!

    As part of the settlement, Taco Bell agreed to provide training to discourage sexual harassment (rape!) at eight Taco Bell sites in Memphis. Somebody at Taco Bell is also in need of some serious training on how to avoid hiring serial rapists.

  11. I think chemical castration is the way to go as part of the punishment for child molestation, personally, and as a non-negotiable part of any release deal for anyone who’s served time in jail for rape. The light sentencing for these crimes makes me sick and spitting mad. The fact that men (I know, women abuse men too, but at much lesser rates) not only get away with such crimes frequently, but sometimes don’t even find that it hampers their careers much if at all is yet another indication of the sicknesses in our society. ugh.

  12. FLYING H. SPAGHETTI MONSTER I F**KING HATE THE PATRIARCHY, and I say that as a guy. I don’t understand how a rapist or a wife-beater or a child-beater can look in the f**king mirror and call himself a man.

  13. Good Gawd, there is so much blame to go around here it is ludicrous. How are these three supposed to ever live a normal life?

    Saw John Walsh last night on something and he was talking about how it is so hard to change the laws regarding this kind of crime. The reporter asked why he thought that was and he said wryly, “Well there is not a big enough lobby for this kind of thing.”

    It is a f*cking disgrace.

    Thanks for posting bb, this should be posted.

  14. I’m glad you posted about it.
    This is like every parent’s nightmare. I read somewhere that Ed Smart (Elizabeth Smart’s dad) has an organization that advocates, as one of it’s goals, comprehensive education for kids about the threat of predators.


  15. Of those 2,500 predators, only a small minority probably committed a serious crime. These stupid registry laws just fuel more panic among parents, and are hugely problematic in civil liberties terms as are those “gotcha” shows like “To Catch a Predator.”

    Yes, what happened to Jaycee Dugard and many others is a horrendous, astoundingly horrible crime, and yes, Garrido should have been locked up or kept under harder observation or forced to undergo chemical castration. But these cases are exceptions–they are not the rule. They are not the

    “he said wryly, “Well there is not a big enough lobby for this kind of thing.””

    Is John Walsh on Planet Frackincrazy?? Because it seems the only freakin’ laws that ordinary citizens push for have to do with protecting children. Scream about children–pass a law. These sex-offender registries and myriad laws named after children–come off it, John Walsh. You have your own TV show, for Christ’s sake.

    If only single-payer health care had as big a lobby.

  16. “It’s time to stop pretending that child kidnapping and sexual abuse doesn’t happen and teach all children skills to ward off threats from others, says Smart.”

    Children are at MUCH much much greater threats from within their own families than from “others,” Mr. Smart.

    • It is very true that girls are much more at risk of abuse by their families than by strangers. For boys, it’s a little different. They are more likely to be abused by someone outside the home, such as a coach or scout leader.

      My post addresses the issues of the “stupid laws named after children.” What I am arguing for is a greater recognition of the pervasiveness of violence against women and children in our society. I disagree with you that we are overall a society that wants to protect children (I guess you agree with me that women are seen as disposable).

      Despite the focus on parenting, etc. in the media, our culture is far from child-friendly. When budget cuts are needed they are taken from programs that affect children most–health care, education, teachers, day care, homelessness and hunger funds.

      We need a very big change of attitude about violence and abuse against women and children in this country!

    • That’s pretty much the same problem, from my pov.
      Whether the abuser is the creepy stranger felon or the friendly neighborhood pastor or one’s own parent, kids need to learn to protect themselves.

  17. I think there should be more emphasis on would-be-abductees Fighting For Their Lives BEFORE they’re shoved in the car — Don’t wait a moment.

    I always remember the little girl who was the 5th (or so) child abducted by a serial-child-abuser but her mother had been grilling her on how to escape if she was grabbed. The girl (as I remember it) slipped away and ran like hell when the guy grabbed her backpack.

    I don’t think you have to scare kids (and not just kids: adults get abducted too) over this — just get the idea in peoples minds that there is a better chance of saving yourself at the point of abduction (when there might be witnesses & help nearby) than you will later (when you are isolated and alone)

    • In my martial arts class we have a lot of kids and we periodically do some instruction about how to act if someone threatens them or tries to snatch them or anything like that. Its a scary and sad thing to have to do because really you want children to be able to trust adults for the most part, but because of this kind of stuff we have to do it. I pray to G-d none of them will ever need to put what we teach them to the test.

  18. I agree, something needs to be done about violence against women and children

  19. What a sick bastard! He deserves to be buried alive..

  20. He needs to be injected daily with estrogen laced with viagra and be placed in prison with some of the horniest manly inmates.

  21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8235075.stm

    His wife is just as much of a twist as he is.
    She married him while he was in prison. She had to know what he was. She was married to him when he abducted the girl and aided and abetted him for years.



  22. California kidnap case: Coping with freedom

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