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August 27, 2009 10:25 AM   Subscribe

On June 10th, 1991 Jaycee Lee Dugard, age 11, was kidnapped at a bus stop. Despite eyewitness who called authorities immediately and a massive manhunt she was never found. Today she walked into a police station.
posted by Bonzai (230 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The ABC story has more details.
posted by Bonzai at 10:28 AM on August 27, 2009


glad it seems to have resolved itself... but the ABC story, especially at the end, is pretty tired stuff with some good old fashion "Stranger danger" packed in.
posted by edgeways at 10:35 AM on August 27, 2009


No DNA test has been done to confirm the woman's claims, but Probyn said his wife told him that she remembers her childhood. Plus, he added, the FBI likely wouldn't have upset his wife unnecessarily unless they were pretty sure.

That shows an unreasonable level of trust in the FBI...
posted by Dysk at 10:36 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


.

Wait, what? Oh, it's good news.


posted by Servo5678 at 10:36 AM on August 27, 2009


Nancy Grace is going to crap herself when she hears this.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:36 AM on August 27, 2009 [28 favorites]


This fascinates me and I'm excited to hear more details as they're revealed, or at least as it's reported that they've been revealed. Did the girl's captors just do an ol' catch-and-18-years-later-release?
posted by unwordy at 10:39 AM on August 27, 2009


Wow. I hope for the parents' sake that it's really her. She's exactly my age, and I remember her making the news.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2009


Nancy Grace is going to crap herself when she hears this.

I didn't want to comment in the actual post, but yeah my first thought was this is going to send the 24-news channels into a tizzy.

First thing I did was tune to Fox, but it's still all Ted Kennedy all the time.
posted by Bonzai at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2009


Oh, for the parent's sake, I hope it's her. I can't imagine the heartbreak of your hopes being raised, only to have them dashed by a DNA test. I hope she's healthy, happy, and has been well treated this whole time. (Which I realize seems unlikely.) But, for the sake of the girl and the parents, I hope this story has a happy ending.
posted by dejah420 at 10:48 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not a good sign: the male suspect who is apparently in custody, Phillip Garrido, is listed on this website as a registered sex offender, at the address listed in the ABC News story.
posted by msalt at 10:53 AM on August 27, 2009


See, why bother looking for abducted kids? These things resolve themselves.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:01 AM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think I've found Phillip Garrido's blog, based on this entry, where he names himself in an affidavit (of sorts). It's TimeCube crazy. All of the other blogs he had listed as "his" have no content. (Cleaned or never entered, I haven't discovered yet.)
posted by dejah420 at 11:02 AM on August 27, 2009 [24 favorites]


Not a good sign: the male suspect who is apparently in custody, Phillip Garrido, is listed on this website as a registered sex offender, at the address listed in the ABC News story.

On a similar note (from the article):

Additional court records state that the Garridos are in police custody in Concord, Calif. Both are charged with kidnapping to commit rape and bail was set at $1 million.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:04 AM on August 27, 2009


Wow, and yeah, Nancy "omg tot mom" Grace will be groaning out her annoying spew for untold hours over this. I bet she's just primping and preening right now, giddy. I can't stand her.

The 6pm news conference will be interesting, for sure. I wonder how she realized she was the missing little girl?
posted by cashman at 11:06 AM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


i'm curious as to what she looks like now, in comparison to the age-progressed photo they made.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 11:07 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


cashman: she was eleven when she was abducted. My guess would be she's always known who she was.

Nancy Grace does such a disservice to the criminal justice system, prosecution and defense alike.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:08 AM on August 27, 2009


I find cases like this one, and like Steven Stayner's or Shawn Hornbeck's, simultaneously terrifying and fascinating.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


If true, this is a fascinating yet horrifying story.
posted by ob at 11:13 AM on August 27, 2009


I can't wait for the movie. What's Corin Nemec doing these days?
posted by bondcliff at 11:17 AM on August 27, 2009


According to the SF Gate, Jaycee Dugard didn't pop into the police to report herself missing. What happened was that Phillip Craig Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido, walked into the police station with Jaycee, to ask a question...and for some reason, it set off alarms for the desk sergeant. They don't say how they knew that the woman with the Garridos was Jaycee.
posted by dejah420 at 11:23 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good news. Nancy Grace is a boil on the already stinky ass of cable "punditry." In a just world, she'd be taken captive and forced by her captors to watch, I dunno, C-SPAN night-and-day. Or, better yet, forced to watch her own dreck. 'cept she'd probably love it, the freakin' narcissist that she is.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:24 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


where he names himself in an affidavit (of sorts)

IN AUGUST OF 2008 AT U. C. BERKELEY’S FREE SPEECH PARK I PUBLICLY DISCLOSED NEW INFORMATION CONCERNING THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS AND PROVIDED A LIVE DEMONSTRATION.

...

DECLARATION
OF
AFFIRMATION

This document is to affirm that I Phillip Garrido have clearly demonstrated the ability to control sound with my mind...
I would like to witness his ability to control sound with his mind demonstrated live at the trial.
posted by clearly at 11:25 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I too have an innate ability to control sound with my mind, and my stream of consciousness is telling me that this guy is way off the fucking rails.
posted by clearly at 11:27 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not a good sign: the male suspect who is apparently in custody, Phillip Garrido, is listed on this website as a registered sex offender, at the address listed in the ABC News story.

Apparently the story is being updated in real time, when I read it didn't contain any details about who took her or why. It's a bit hard to have good discussion based on the article when it's changing all the time!

According to the SF Gate, Jaycee Dugard didn't pop into the police to report herself missing. What happened was that Phillip Craig Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido, walked into the police station with Jaycee, to ask a question...and for some reason, it set off alarms for the desk sergeant. They don't say how they knew that the woman with the Garridos was Jaycee.

Weird.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on August 27, 2009


PhoBWanKenobi, you do not want to ever bring up that latter case if you ever visit St. Louis. I have seen parents begin to exhibit nervousness, even signs of panic upon mention of S---- H-------, despite the fact your average molested child is much more likely to have a relative or trusted authority figure as the victimizer. There's something about the stranger factor that strikes up the deep fears, somewhere near the part of the brain which reacts to plane crashes.

I sure hope the media keeps their collective eye on the (hopefully) joyous reunion, rather than the Josef Fritzel "we really need an infographic on how to make a soundproof basement dungeon, stat" approach.
posted by adipocere at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to the SF Gate, Jaycee Dugard didn't pop into the police to report herself missing. What happened was that Phillip Craig Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido, walked into the police station with Jaycee, to ask a question...and for some reason, it set off alarms for the desk sergeant. They don't say how they knew that the woman with the Garridos was Jaycee.

Oh, I hope it comes out that she secretly palmed him a note or something like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:31 AM on August 27, 2009


I'm way more fascinated by the video headline at top left on the ABC page.

WATCH: Bear Climbs Ladder to Escape Hole

Jesus, who needs the Onion any more?
posted by Skot at 11:32 AM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


I sometimes think the whole "stranger danger" panic thing in parents is a modern offshoot of the Old World stories of spirits and elves and such living in the woods who would snatch children out of their houses at night. Research shows that most real danger to children from adults comes from people they know or who are known to the family. But there has to be a reason for the continuing boogeyman stories, and that's the best parallel I can think of.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on August 27, 2009 [15 favorites]


It looks like Phillip Garrido has an California Incorporated Business named God's Desire at the same address as in the police report(records here). The incorporation is currently active. The website is empty. "seekers of god's desire" has content, and also seems kinda TimeCubey, and the IP where it is hosted tracks back to close to Antioch, but I have no firm data on if it is related to Garrido yet. The site is relatively new, and whois has been obscured in the same way that godsdesire.org has been, but everything is circumstantial at this point. Could just be a coincidence.
posted by dejah420 at 11:42 AM on August 27, 2009


I sometimes think the whole "stranger danger" panic thing in parents is a modern offshoot of the Old World stories of spirits and elves and such living in the woods who would snatch children out of their houses at night. Research shows that most real danger to children from adults comes from people they know or who are known to the family. But there has to be a reason for the continuing boogeyman stories, and that's the best parallel I can think of.

Honestly, I think that's exactly what I find interesting about it. It makes me think of the Lost Boys, too--Peter Pan snatched up from his pram. That's not to trivialize what these children actually went through, but to say that there's quite a bit of cultural mythology that's similar, and that we hear about these things as kids and, as children, it all sounds thrilling and dangerous. To children, I'd say the actual horror of having your children disappear is a bit lost. As adults, I think that mythical connotations of these sorts of kidnappings are part of what makes them so fascinating, but also what makes them so scary (we think, we can protect children from people we know--even if that's not true at all--but not from the strangers who lurk in the dark).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:42 AM on August 27, 2009


(Did I mention how oddly OCD I can get when I haven't had enough sleep?)

I'm not finding a lot on Nancy Garrido, because there is a very young woman with the same name, and most stuff out there is for her. Baby Boomers tend to have a smaller presence online than younger adults and teenagers. For example, someone who graduated from high school, with a ton of friends on social sites in the last 5 years is unlikely to be a 55 year old reclusive woman. Just saying...she's been harder to track.

I kinda feel sorry for the young Nancy though. No doubt she should probably change her public phone number.
posted by dejah420 at 11:47 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not normally a proponent of ignorance, but after reading these comments I'm kind of glad I have no fucking idea who Nancy Grace is.
posted by exogenous at 11:49 AM on August 27, 2009 [15 favorites]


I think I've found Phillip Garrido's blog, based on this entry, where he names himself in an affidavit (of sorts). It's TimeCube crazy. All of the other blogs he had listed as "his" have no content. (Cleaned or never entered, I haven't discovered yet.)

Oh my god this is an insane blog
posted by Damn That Television at 11:50 AM on August 27, 2009


It makes me think of the Lost Boys, too--Peter Pan snatched up from his pram.

Just for the record, (in the book at least) Peter Pan ran away from home the day he was born because he heard his parents talking about him growing up to be a man. I think it's probably not the best idea to send a message to children that strangers with candy are more often than not a one-way ticket to pirates and fairies.
posted by pokeydonut at 11:52 AM on August 27, 2009


Via Facebook:
Nancy Grace Tonight: Eighteen years after an 11-yr-old girl is snatched from a bus stop while her stepdad watches, a woman walks into a police station claiming to be the missing girl! Has Jaycee Dugard been found?
"News" teasers via Facebook make me sad for the standards of popular journalism. This is not the future of the internet I had hoped for.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:53 AM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


hippybear, you put out a couple of really solid points about the actual likelihood of something like this happening. The whole boogeyman motif is an especially interesting interpretation. I'm tired of being told we have to be afraid of everything.

However, when I was a little kid, I lost my mom in a department store. A lady tried to help me and I screamed "You're a stranger! Get away from me! I'm not supposed to talk to you!" She got the fuck away from me as fast as she could. The most likely scenario is that she was a nice lady who wanted to help the crying little girl find her mommy. But there's a slight chance that wasn't the case and I'm glad my parents taught me that's it's okay to scream bloody murder if you have to.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:56 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I find myself unreasonably worried about all the other parents of missing kids out there, for whom this will be a new, probably unjustifiable, reason to hope that their child will suddenly reappear one day.
posted by elfgirl at 11:57 AM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


Just for the record, (in the book at least) Peter Pan ran away from home the day he was born because he heard his parents talking about him growing up to be a man. I think it's probably not the best idea to send a message to children that strangers with candy are more often than not a one-way ticket to pirates and fairies.

Sorry, I mixed up the origin stories; apparently, I was thinking of the lost boys other than Pan: "They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland."

And, yeah, I agree that it's a message of dubious value, but it's already there, in the mythology of childhood (how many of us dreamed about escaping to other lands or even other families? even when our own situations were fine?), which is part of why I think these stories are so fascinating.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:59 AM on August 27, 2009


some good old fashion "Stranger danger"

Actually the article seems to have the opposite:

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, told ABCNews.com today that while remarkable, the possible discovery of Jaycee reinforces data that shows kidnappers who are not related to the child typically aren't child killers.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:59 AM on August 27, 2009


However, when I was a little kid, I lost my mom in a department store. A lady tried to help me and I screamed "You're a stranger! Get away from me! I'm not supposed to talk to you!" She got the fuck away from me as fast as she could.

I got hit by a car when I was very young. It wasn't going very fast and I wasn't hurt, but I was a little dazed. The female driver wanted to take me home, if not to the hospital. Stranger danger! I kicked her in the shin and limped off as fast as I could.
posted by vbfg at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2009 [22 favorites]


futureisunwritten: I once had my mother actually leave me behind at K-Mart when I was, oh, probably not more than 10 or 11. I wandered around the store looking for her for what seemed like close to an hour, scouring every aisle. I asked a lady to go into the bathroom to look for her, even. I finally went up to the customer service counter and asked if I could borrow a phone. If I'd been younger, it would have been a terrifying experience.
posted by hippybear at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2009


CNN's current front page tagline is rather awkward: "1991 kidnap victim found alive, police say" - are her vital signs in question? I imagine two skeptical cops:

Cop 1: "Well, she says she's this Jaycee character."
Cop 2: "Could be."
Cop 1: "And she says she's alive and well."
Cop 2: "Let's not jump to conclusions. Has the Doc seen her yet?"
Cop 1: "He's on his lunch break. She looks pretty spry. I always figured the dead to be more, you know, stiff. Maybe inanimate."
Cop 2: "The dead are getting trickier these days. Have you seen that Land of the Dead show? Those guys weren't just laying around."
Cop 1: "Well, you have a point there. Let's wait for the Doc to check her out. The news would have a field day if we got this one wrong."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


> But there has to be a reason for the continuing boogeyman stories, and that's the best parallel I can think of.

It's called The Media. Every time a child is abducted out of thin air, by a stranger, etc., it makes headlines all over the world, and (many) parents everywhere think the danger of their children being snatched off street corners is much higher than it actually is. And who can blame them?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2009


I got hit by a car when I was very young. It wasn't going very fast and I wasn't hurt, but I was a little dazed. The female driver wanted to take me home, if not to the hospital. Stranger danger! I kicked her in the shin and limped off as fast as I could.

Well, she'd already hit you with a car.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:03 PM on August 27, 2009 [16 favorites]


Wow, you don't know who Nancy Grace is? I will be sure to envy you the next time I'm clicking through channels and the sound waves from her annoying voice hit my ears.

As for stranger danger, I've experienced it a little as a child. Me and my mom lived in this rundown hotel for a while, on the 7th floor. The 8th floor was closed due to rain damage, and a hole had rotted through our ceiling, and PIGEONS would fly down into our closet. Rancid place. Well, I was left alone after school and until my mom would get home from work and one day I went to get a candybar from the vending machine and on the way back to our room, this older black dude wearing only a white hotel towel was standing in the hallway. He dropped the towel (first time I ever saw gray pubes) and motioned me to go into his room. Like I was gonna do that. I booked back to our room and locked the door. And then the candy bar turned out to be hosting a hive of little insects scuttling through tiny tunnels riddling the candy bar.

But that was totally the exception. Every single time I needed help and asked an adult stranger, I got helped. My mom was in the nut house for a couple of weeks, and I was sent off to some two-week camping adventure. When it was over, apparently nobody remembered me, so I asked a middle-aged lady if she could help me, and we figured out where I lived, and she got me home. My mom forgot me at a grocery store once too, and again I turned to a kindly-looking woman, and she got me home too. When my mom died, I crawled out of the car wreckage and a woman teacher passing by stopped and helped me get to the hospital, notify the police, contact my siblings, etc.

So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN. If I had children, that's what I'd teach them. I'm sure there are some very evil women too, but in my experience, over and over again, if you're a kid and you ask a woman for help, you're likely to get helped. I love women.
posted by jamstigator at 12:04 PM on August 27, 2009 [44 favorites]


... and the ever reputable UK rag The Sun says "Woman found after she was kidnapped 18 years ago aged just 11." Wow, kidnapped 18 years ago and she has only matured to age 11? What did those monsters to do her?

Every time a child is abducted out of thin air, by a stranger, etc., it makes headlines all over the world, and (many) parents everywhere think the danger of their children being snatched off street corners is much higher than it actually is. And who can blame them?

Does anything change when a family member abducts the kid? The story is spun as "how can you trust your family now?" News shows plucking heartstrings to make theme music, and all that.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:07 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


this older black dude
Black dudes are especially scary.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:10 PM on August 27, 2009


So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN. If I had children, that's what I'd teach them.

I think it's in Protecting the Gift that Gavin de Becker recommends exactly this. He says the usual "ask a police officer" thing is dicey because it's actually hard for kids to tell who is a police officer, versus, say, a security guard, who you would think would be helpful but are apparently the person in the room statistically most likely to have a criminal record (again, according to the book).

He recommends telling your kids to talk to a mom with young kids if they need help. That's what I've talked to my kids about.
posted by not that girl at 12:10 PM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


But, surely, he's reasonable... His blog even says that the US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE SOURCE OF MIND CONTROL

And he even has a study to back it up.

James Randi would be so proud of his empirical rationalism.
posted by symbioid at 12:11 PM on August 27, 2009


Wow, what a story. I have to stifle the urge to go turn on Nancy 'totmom' Grace right now. If it is her, at least she's alive but I shudder to think of what she's gone through. And her poor family!
You know, jamstigator, I have told my young children that if they get lost to find another mommy with kids and ask her for help. I don't remember where I read that but it sounds like a good rule of thumb to me.
posted by phogirl at 12:12 PM on August 27, 2009


futureisunwritten > I was brought up on a steady diet of stranger-danger, and found in my new role of "mom" that I am suddenly "safe" for strange kids to talk to. This really threw me for a loop the first time a kid I did not know approached me for help (a seven year old boy as it were), he came up to me in the supermarket and asked for help. I told him to speak to the people who worked in the store "for I am a stranger and you shouldn't talk to strangers" and then I realized how rude that sounded. Kid just needed to find something, sheesh.

As for Jaycee Lee Dugard, I hope it's her, I hope she is as OK as one can be living with that crazy guy and I hope so hard for a happy ending for her parents sake.
posted by dabitch at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2009


When I was little I actually wanted to be kidnapped. The Disney movies always made it look like so much fun.
posted by orange swan at 12:17 PM on August 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


> So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN.

The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know, unless of course you enjoy conversations with the police. A few years ago I was at Cedar Point (an amusement park), and as I was coming out of a washroom I almost tripped over a young (probably 3-4) girl, who was crying at the top of her lungs and had a skinned elbow. "WHERE'S MY MOMMY, MISTER?" she kept shrieking. I didn't have a cellphone, and there were no park employees I could see, so all I could think to do was yell for help over and over again, because there was no way I was going to so much as lay a finger on this kid. After about twenty seconds of this the mother showed up on the run, looking absolutely panicked, and instead of thanking me or anything like that she dragged the girl away and shot me a look like I'd been chewing on the kid's arm when she arrived.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:22 PM on August 27, 2009 [33 favorites]


So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN.

Unless it is Nancy Grace, in which case you kick her in the shins, and then look for an older black dude.
posted by cashman at 12:23 PM on August 27, 2009 [47 favorites]


Continuing the 'maybe proofread and edit your text hey newspeople?' trend, the ABC caption to the age-progressed photo is as follows:

The family of Jaycee Lee Dugard -- left, at 11 years old, and right, in an age-progressed photo-- has been found alive 18 years after her abduction.

So Jaycee's entire family looks a lot like one little 11 year old girl, which kind of makes them a hive of weird, inhuman, transformer freaks. But I'm glad they're still alive.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:23 PM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Too much stress on "stranger danger" has caused some lost children to hide from rescuers. (Wear a whistle in the wilds!)
posted by Carol Anne at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2009


The Card Cheat: The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know, unless of course you enjoy conversations with the police.

This is a very real problem, and a disturbing trend within our society. Couple this with most teachers being female, you potentially end up with a bunch of kids (and then adults) who are very distrustful of half the population, based on nothing more than their chromosones. My mother's a teacher, and sees it to some extent with children of single mothers who were victims of domestic violence.
posted by Dysk at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN.

Wow.

Uh, thanks.
posted by Avenger at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2009


You know who I kinda feel bad for?

Steve.

Steve, of Steve's Paint Shop.

Steve, of Steve's Paint Shop, who in June of 2008 signed an affidavit confirming Phillip Garrido's ability to control sound with his mind.

I mean, the poor dude is probably just trying to run his business, humour the nut to get him off his case so he can get back to painting cars, and now he's on the Web site of the person most likely to be America's Most Famous Kidnapper in about... well, right about now, actually.

Not only on the Web site, but on the Web site with address, signature and business card, signing off on this:
This document is to affirm that I Phillip Garrido have clearly demonstrated the ability to control sound with my mind and have developed a device for others to witness this phenomena. by using a sound generator to provide the sound, and a headphone amplification system, ( a device to focuc your hearing so as to increase the sensitivity of what one is listening to) I have produced a set of voices by effectively controlling the sound to pronounce words through my own mental powers. (...) in the month of June 2006, I witnessed Phillip provide a demonstration at my place of business, controlling a voice or set of voices that are unearthly in nature. I have signed this affirmation to confirm my witnessing of this event.

Concerning the state of Phillips' mindfulness and his freedom to conduct himself appropriately: I will confirm that out of the many years I have interacted with him, business or otherwise, he has always acted mature and intelligent. He has had a steady personality throughout the many years I have known him and is fully capable of handling himself respectfully regardless of the possible out come of any given event. He has never displayed an unsuitable, incoherent or improper cognitive behavior all the years I have known him, nor has he ever mentioned the subject of him hearing voices to my staff or me.
I don't know Steve from Adam, but I'm reasonably sure that he's just a guy that paints cars. Just running his business and living his life, and some nut wants him to sign off on his power to use his mind to control noises with his mind, and he just won't leave and eventually Steve says "fuck it, give it here" just to get the guy out of his damn shop. I've been there, more or less, working in community media. Sometimes you just want to make the crazy go away, and testifying to their amazing mind powers may seem like the shortest route to goal.

And then the nut turns up on the news, and you find out he's not just some nut, but King Nut Supreme; Lord Mayor and Grandmaster of the John Fowles Fan Club.

And there you are, on the Internet, signing off on Frederick Clegg's ability to control ghost noises with his face.

Oh, Steve. You poor, poor bastard.
posted by Shepherd at 12:33 PM on August 27, 2009 [83 favorites]


The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know

I hate that. I was in a Barnes and Nobel once and some little kid was frantically looking around for his dad. I asked him if he was lost and he said "yes." I said, loud enough for others to hear, "follow me." When I got close enough to the customer service desk I pointed to the desk and said, again loudly, "Go up to that desk and ask for help."

It sucked. I felt like any moment his dad would turn the corner, see me talking to his kid, and kick my ass.

I'm a dad too and I've given my son the "don't talk to strangers" talk too but if he were lost he should know that 99.999% of the people around him would safely help him.
posted by bondcliff at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


People are a lot more mobile than they were 150 years ago, I think that has a lot to do with stranger danger fears and with actual kidnappings. If you seldom left your small town or saw strangers, you didn't worry much about being snatched and your parents didn't worry about it much either.

But now, kids meet a much wider variety of people growing up, people that their parents don't know. Have you met every staff member at your kid's school, or even every teacher? And kids walk past lots of strangers on the street, or at the bus stop, the store, the doctor's office, every day. The risks may not actually be that much higher since stranger kidnappings are still pretty unusual and most people aren't kidnappers, but your ability to reassure yourself it will never happen to your kid is a lot lower.

I think the fascination for a lot of us has to do with trying to feel safer; if we know how this kidnapping happened, maybe we'll figure out how to keep it from happening to our kids. How many parents started walking their kids to the bus stop or driving them in when this girl's kidnapping happened, I wonder?
posted by emjaybee at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a dad too and I've given my son the "don't talk to strangers" talk too but if he were lost he should know that 99.999% of the people around him would safely help him.

Have you explained that to him?

I'm not a parent, but I've read a lot of material that says "don't talk to strangers" is a terrible thing to put into a child's mind, because when they're in danger they won't approach anyone -- rather, they'll either try to get out of danger themselves (which often does not end well), or they'll end up in a position where they have to accept the help of whoever offers it, and the motives of someone who approaches a child in distress might be questionable.

The conclusion was that it's wiser to advise your child on the types of strangers that are more likely to be safe than others, and explain what to do if it looks like they're not safe, so that they can find help if they need it.
posted by Jairus at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2009


The story gets weirder and weirder.

From SFGate:

Neighbors of the Garridos on Walnut Avenue considered Phillip Garrido an oddball, saying he believed he could talk to God and kept girls in the house.

With its security bars on the windows and doors, the Garridos' gray, one-story home stands out from the others in the semi-rural neighborhood.

Haydee Perry, 35, who lives next door, said that when Phillip Garrido helped her jump-start her car a month ago, he had a pre-adolescent girl clinging to him in a manner that struck her as strange.

The girl told Perry that Garrido was her father and that she had older sisters, including one who was 28 - which is one year younger than Jaycee Dugard is believed to be now.

"She stayed close to him at all times," Perry said of the girl. "It wasn't normal behavior. She had a blank stare on her face. Now it seems like a cry out for help."

Perry said Garrido told her he homeschooled girls in his house and that they didn't cuss or watch TV.

"I just thought he was weird," Perry said. "You have children and they're never outside, and you have bars on your windows."

A Web site containing statements apparently from Garrido and others indicates that he gave a demonstration in Pittsburg last month to prove "the Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake-up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world."



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/27/BA4N19EJ35.DTL#ixzz0PPlwaQSv
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:50 PM on August 27, 2009


That blog is amazing. Great find, Detective Dejah.
posted by rokusan at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2009


Have you explained that to him?

I'm not a parent, but...


Yes, I too was much better at it before I actually became one.

Yes, I have explained it to him, in that way parents attempt to explain things that they themselves know don't entirely make sense. We've explained that people are generally good and he shouldn't be afraid of people, but that there are Bad people out there and sometimes it's tough to tell who is who.

In other words, we've told him just enough to confuse the hell out of him. I think I'll just tell him to avoid guys with mustaches and anyone with a t-shirt that says "Special Snowflake."
posted by bondcliff at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Actually the article seems to have the opposite:

The article seems to be updating sporadically, that wasn't in the original ABC piece.


After teaching and letting her kid take the subway home in NY and subsequently being called the world's worst mom, Lenore Skenazy started the freerangekids website. I had thought about doing a FPP about it, but this seems as good a place as any to drop it in.

I agree a lot with what she says.
posted by edgeways at 1:07 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh, and as a guy I fucking hate the level of suspicion and paranoia directed at me regarding kids. Airlines have taken to intentionally not seating unaccompanied minors next to men, we shouldn't talk to, and barely look at kids.

Plenty of anecdotal stories about women snatching young children, but women are still less scary than men I guess.
posted by edgeways at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a parent of two young children, and when I read about this sort of thing, my liberal leanings slip away and I find myself seriously thinking that the minimum sentence for kidnapping, rape, or any sort of sexual offense against a child should be life without parole. Or maybe the death penalty, which the liberal part of me is against. The liberal part then pops back in and reminds me that we also need to reform the violent, over-sexualized society that creates these people, but I just can't bring myself to give a s*** about giving sexual predators a second chance. That includes Catholic priests too.

It's amazing the way the protective instinct you have towards your kids can change you.

Sigh.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


edgways, her blog was posted here already.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2009


I looked up this guy's house on Street View. Pure curiosity, given how the neighbors describe the place.

Anyway, this is kind of creepy. His van vollows the street view vehicle from his driveway, down the street, around the corner, and to the next major intersection.

Start here and look in the reverse direction.
posted by setanor at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2009 [36 favorites]


You should try being a gay man. It matters not one whit that all the men who have turned my head over the years have been at least 35 and tend to have full beards and furry chests, the unspoken bullshit lie is that "queers molest little boys". It's gotten to the point where I find it easier to just try to avoid contact with children altogether, because I've actually had people who have known me for all my adult life ask me point blank if I can be trusted coming to dinner with them and their kids.
posted by hippybear at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2009 [20 favorites]


That is really weird, setanor. Good catch. It may be just a coincidence but I can't imagine that the guy was thrilled about car with a strange device on top of it whizzing by. On the other hand, it's likely to be just a coincidence.
posted by Kattullus at 1:24 PM on August 27, 2009


I think I'll just tell him to avoid guys with mustaches and anyone with a t-shirt that says "Special Snowflake."

But I'm a nice guy, really.
posted by medium format at 1:25 PM on August 27, 2009


God...that's sad, hippybear.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2009


oneirodynia - Well, good I didn't get around to it then eh? thanks for the catch.

hippybear, yeeesh. As a counter to that and mildly funny in a way. The members of Low (the band) had a fellow who is gay as their primary care giver for their little daughter years back when they toured. The mildly funny part is the parents are (at least in principal) Mormon.
posted by edgeways at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2009


so there i was in the produce department of my local grocery store, wondering which watermelon to buy. a cute little girl walks by, and i said hey dear, pick out a watermelon for me. she ran directly to her melon of choice and said get this one, this one! well i bought it and after a day in the fridge cut into it and you know what? it was an absolutely shitty watermelon. kids. go figure.
posted by kitchenrat at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2009 [18 favorites]


Um. kitchenrat. What?
posted by SkylitDrawl at 1:36 PM on August 27, 2009


So what I learned is this: if you need to ask for help, ask WOMEN.
Sometimes I wonder whether this is why I get asked for directions so much when I'm out on my own. It's either that or I give off a nice "probably not a mugger" vibe.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2009


FWIW, I pick better friends now. :)
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on August 27, 2009


Sorry hippybear! I don't suppose that stats showing that kids are much more likely to be molested by a heterosexual than homosexual do any good, do they?

I don't have kids, but frankly my gay friends would be much better babysitters if I did - simply because they seem to like kids more than straight guys do.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:51 PM on August 27, 2009


setanor, that completely gave me cold chills.
posted by HopperFan at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, hippybear is gay? How'd I miss that?
posted by logicpunk at 2:02 PM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


hippybear, I know someone who was 'concerned' because one of the teachers at her daughter's school was 'rumored to be a homosexual'. She made some comment about how she didn't want the guy fired, exactly, but she wouldn't want her kids in his class, because, "You hear things about molesters..." and I just stared at her, dumbfounded. Normally, I would have thought this was a bright, reasonable woman and a good Mom, but...wow.

This was years ago, and I was young then and this is someone close to my husband's family, so I didn't make waves.

Nowadays, of course, I'd tell her how crazy that mindset is.
posted by misha at 2:07 PM on August 27, 2009


It sucked. I felt like any moment his dad would turn the corner, see me talking to his kid, and kick my ass.
Could've been worse. if you'd grown up in a fundamentalist family, you'd have been told all the way through puberty that if you are alone with a girl without witnesses, she will accuse you of rape and your life will be over.
posted by verb at 2:11 PM on August 27, 2009


I don't suppose that stats showing that kids are much more likely to be molested by a heterosexual than homosexual do any good, do they?

I tell my kids to stay away from metrosexuals. So. Much. Hair Product.
posted by mattbucher at 2:24 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It sucked. I felt like any moment his dad would turn the corner, see me talking to his kid, and kick my ass.

I was playing Fable 2 (god, it sounds awful that I'm starting a sentence like that), and when you're in certain towns, the children will run up to you and ask for an autograph card. Normally not a problem, so long as I had one in my inventory. Once, though, I navigated through my inventory and handed a little girl her autograph card, and her father appeared out of NOWHERE and got really upset at me. He said something along the lines of "Hey, what do you think you're doing, giving things to my daughter?"

I appreciate the interesting AI in Fable 2, but that was more than a little unnerving.
posted by specialagentwebb at 2:28 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


setanor- jesus, where do crazies* buy their vans? Is there a rusty depot that they all go to?

*it's too bad that on the internet I don't pay attention to that whole innocent until proven guilty thing
posted by Think_Long at 2:29 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Phillip Garrido, is listed on this website as a registered sex offender...

I think I've found Phillip Garrido's blog, based on this entry, where he names himself in an affidavit (of sorts). It's TimeCube crazy.

It looks like Phillip Garrido has an California Incorporated Business named God's Desire at the same address as in the police report(records here). The incorporation is currently active. The website is empty. "seekers of god's desire" has content, and the IP where it is hosted tracks back to close to Antioch,

I looked up this guy's house on Street View. Pure curiosity, given how the neighbors describe the place.


Did I miss the "Hey, dox on this guy pl0x" post upthread?
posted by Avelwood at 2:30 PM on August 27, 2009


The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know.

I think there is an exception if you happen to be in the company of a female. It sucks that this standard exists, but people worry much less about their kids interacting with a "nice couple" than a "strange man."
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2009


Did I miss the "Hey, dox on this guy pl0x" post upthread?

With its security bars on the windows and doors, the Garridos' gray, one-story home stands out from the others in the semi-rural neighborhood

Pictures are better.
posted by setanor at 2:33 PM on August 27, 2009


Is there a rusty depot that they all go to?

Rusty Gray Dodge Style Extended Cab Low Mileage Blacked Out Window Van Dealership!
Rusty Gray Dodge Style Extended Cab Low Mileage Blacked Out Window Van Dealership!
posted by setanor at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


More:

State parole officials said Garrido came to their attention after someone reported suspicious activity because he was seen near UC-Berekley with two small children.

On Wednesday, parole agents and Concord police brought Garrido in for questioning, along with the two children and an adult female. During questioning, authorities said, Garrido confesse that he had abducted Dugard and the adult woman in his company revealed that she was Dugard.

posted by Big_B at 2:40 PM on August 27, 2009


Aha. Thanks Big_B. I guess the news conference has little chance of competing with the Ted Kennedy coverage.
posted by cashman at 2:57 PM on August 27, 2009


http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/livenow?id=6986548 The news conference. Unsure if this is pre or post coverage, but they're interviewing a police officer who has been involved since the beginning.
posted by cashman at 3:08 PM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not gonna find links, but now they're saying that because of his Megan's Law registration, when he was seen with two small children (his, but with which woman not specified), he was asked to come in to talk with his parole officer.

It is fascinating. They are saying she may have been kept in a shed in the backyard, which would make it a bit like The Perfect Victim. In that case a woman was kept as a sex slave for a man and forced to sleep in a coffin-sized drawer under the bed the man shared with his wife, and occasionally locked up on a dog chain outside. There were children who just got used to the situation, which went on for at least a couple of years.
posted by dhartung at 3:11 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the parents out there, here's what my dad taught me, when I was about three years old:

-Always walk down the middle of the sidewalk, giving you the maximum amount of time to react when someone jumps out from a doorway or from between parked cars. Be aware of your surroundings, but keep your eyes focused on the pavement about ten feet in front of you.

-Know where you are. If you don't know where you are, look like you do.

-When riding the subway, it's safest to ride in the conductor's car, which will stop in front of the zebra-striped sign in the center of the platform. Bonus: If you twitch and scratch yourself with great fervor, people will move away from you. This has less to do with safety, and more to do with getting a seat.

-Limp slightly. It looks cool.

-Never hesitate to scream bloody murder, particularly if you can surprise a family member turning around a bend in the hallway, or are arm wrestling. "Screaming bloody murder" extends to any action that would be useful in fending off a mountain lion.

-The construction workers with clean boots are cops.

And finally, if incongruously:

-Never plead guilty. We can always get you off on the appeal.

So far, so good.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2009 [30 favorites]




On time, I was playing basketball alone in my driveway and this 8 year old girl comes up and starts talking to me. I don't remember anything she said, and I wasn't even sure which house she came from (there are a lot of grandmas around) but after a little bit she started messing with her hair, got frustrated, handed me a hair clip and said "Fix my hair." I did the best I could, and she took off, but I was totally paranoid that somebody would see me messing with this little girl.

Another time, I was in Chicago and this lady wanted her 4 year old to ride on her back and she asked me to pick the kid up, and then turned her back on me. On the same trip, a lady asked me to watch her shopping bags while she went to the bathroom, but now I'm getting off topic. Point is - people trust me, and I'm still afraid of being mistaken for a child molester.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:15 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


bondcliff: I think I'll just tell him [my son] to avoid guys with mustaches and anyone with a t-shirt that says "Special Snowflake."

As a man with hair on his lip, I find that a rather less than helpful attitude.
posted by Dysk at 3:31 PM on August 27, 2009


Based on the facts revealed in the news conference that just took place, and also on the address of the suspect found in California's sex offender registry, the victim appears to have been kept in this backyard
posted by jaimev at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2009


>> But there has to be a reason for the continuing boogeyman stories, and that's the best parallel I can think of.
>
> It's called The Media. Every time a child is abducted out of thin air, by a stranger, etc., it makes headlines all over
> the world, and (many) parents everywhere think the danger of their children being snatched off street corners
> is much higher than it actually is. And who can blame them?

I have to think some of the boogeyman anxiety is left over from the time when things out there where the campfire light doesn't reach really were Very Bad News for yummy, succulent little primate babies.
posted by jfuller at 3:57 PM on August 27, 2009


I see that reports have now caught on to his website. But I wonder if MF got there first.
posted by A189Nut at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2009


Sources: Kidnap suspect fathered victim's kids

Ugh.
posted by Big_B at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Double Ugh. That is the house that the van pulled out of on streetview.
posted by Big_B at 4:26 PM on August 27, 2009


What a strange story. Wow. this guy was a registered sex offender, was obviously being monitored by the cops, etc. yet, he was able to keep this woman imprisoned for 18 years.
posted by delmoi at 4:30 PM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


The aerial shot of Garrido's house on Street View is just chilling - you can see that blue tarps in the back yard.

You know what? I think I've had about enough of the evil human beings are capable of for one day. I'm going to bed. I can't process this shit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


She bore two daughters to Garrido, who are now ages 11 and 15. None of the children have ever been to school or a doctor, he added.

Since Dugard is now 29 years old, she apparently had her first child at 14 years of age.


I feel like vomiting.
posted by anniecat at 4:56 PM on August 27, 2009


I think it sucks that guys feel nervous talking to kids they don't know, for fear of overzealous parents. I thought about the other day at the CNE (Toronto's version of a county fair, basically), when my female friend and I spent a lot of time joking around with and talking to the kids we met on rides, in the fun houses, etc. I thought, if I were a guy I would probably not have been able to randomly chat with all these strange children without someone giving me the stink eye.

That said, I don't think there are a lot of cases of lone women kidnapping and molesting kids, are there? Sometimes it's some weird baby snatching thing, or a custody-type kidnapping. But when it's a 'stranger danger' situation, the woman is usually aiding and abetting some sick fuck like this guy Garrido, right?

I know that there were a few times when I was a child where male strangers made me actively uncomfortable, and I can't say it ever happened with a woman. Maybe it's because I was trained to trust women - my mother always told us if we were lost we should find someone who "looked like a mom, or a grandma". Maybe that's discriminatory. Then I remember the time I went to the water park and got separated from my brothers and was terrified of the creep who proceeded to follow me around for the better part of an hour. Or flying unescorted as a kid and having some guy try to "take me shopping" during a flight delay. Then I think, you know what? Fuck that. I feel sorry that normal, innocent guys get the suspicious glare from overprotective moms, but if it keeps creeps in check, so be it.
posted by SassHat at 5:40 PM on August 27, 2009


SassHat: Then I think, you know what? Fuck that. I feel sorry that normal, innocent guys get the suspicious glare from overprotective moms, but if it keeps creeps in check, so be it.

Then I think, you know what? Fuck that. I feel sorry that normal, innocent blacks get the suspicious glare from overprotective moms, but if it keeps creeps in check, so be it.

What is it about the top sentence that makes it any more acceptable than the one that follows it, again?
posted by Dysk at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2009


That said, I don't think there are a lot of cases of lone women kidnapping and molesting kids, are there?

There's not a lot of cases of lone men kidnapping and molesting kids, either, from an aggregate view. That's the problem: "the creeps" being theoretically kept in check aren't some big portion of the population prowling around for the first insufficiently-fearful family unit to wander by.

There are creeps out there. There are terrible, terrible people. But there's not very many of them, and it does indeed well and truly suck that the attitude in the US at least is that if you're male you're sufficiently likely to be be one of those extremely rare terrible stranger-danger people that you're best off keeping your distance from children whether in distress or not.

I'm not a big kid person, it's not a major imposition on my life, but it's a pretty fucked dynamic. And you see cases of bonafide creep motherfuckers like this who grab a kid through a tactical strike in view of the parents and, sheeit, stranger danger didn't help a goddam bit because it was a purposeful act by a terrible, crazy person.
posted by cortex at 5:51 PM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


What is it about the top sentence that makes it any more acceptable than the one that follows it, again?

One word...history.

Back to the actual topic.

We live in a society where fear has way more currency than it should. Fear can keep your kids safe, but so can bravery. Fear leads to suspicious stares directed at any stranger, Bravery allows us to actually interact with people, stranger or otherwise, and gauge their intents and motivations.

I don't know what led Erica Pratt to chew through her ropes and find her way home, but whatever it is, more of that, please.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2009


Wow, you don't know who Nancy Grace is? I will be sure to envy you the next time I'm clicking through channels...

I'd never heard of her either and I'm glad for it. I've had Tivo since 2002. Before that I taped everything I wanted to watch. I haven't touched a channel change button in 25 years. Therefore, I'm a better person than any of you.
posted by neuron at 6:13 PM on August 27, 2009


For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture? We need to putting so much responsibility on the victims of rape/molestation/abduction and focus on the perpetrators. Change the culture so that it's not perceived as risky for a little girl or boy to be outside unsupervised. Seriously.

"Then I think, you know what? Fuck that. I feel sorry that normal, innocent blacks get the suspicious glare from overprotective moms, but if it keeps creeps in check, so be it."

False equivalence much?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2009


Why? You're villifying a whole group based on the actions of a disappearingly small minority of its members? Why does it matter which particular bias it is you use? I can't do anything about my being male, and it's just as unfair for me to be judged so harshly and unfairly for that as for any other feature of mine I have no control over.
posted by Dysk at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


NYT article. The whole story is surreal. But I wonder how 3(!!!) people living in tarps and shanties in a backyard weren't detected by neighbors? I'm so glad that Jaycee and those 2 girls are out of that...I would give them so many hugs if I saw them.
posted by shinyshiny at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2009


For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture?

What little I can, starting with not abducting people's children, and then trying to be nice and unthreatening when children are around, and trying for God's sake not to do anything that looks suspicious.

The first two are reasonable to expect of everyone in society. The third ought not to be necessary.
posted by Dysk at 6:26 PM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't know what led Erica Pratt to chew through her ropes and find her way home, but whatever it is, more of that, please.

i'm pretty sure that would be fear.
posted by msconduct at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2009


i really hate that being male and being helpful to or interested in children automatically trips the "OMG HE'S GONNA RAPE ALL THE BABBIES!" switch in some people. it's wrong and uninformed on who rapists generally are (people known to the victim).

having said that - interesting that in this specific case it's exactly the thing that got this gal saved. strange old man with two young kids shows up to hand out leaflets, female security guard gets suspicious, does a background check, and low and behold he had kidnapped a girl 18 years ago and had kids with her.

---

on another part of this, isn't it interesting that we're focused about 90% on him and very little on his wife who was part of this from the very beginning...this isn't like fritzl's wife who could claim she just didn't know (which i think is utter bullshit), this is someone who helped him kidnap the girl.
posted by nadawi at 6:30 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture?

Being not creepy? Refraining from abducting children? What, precisely, do you have in mind that the vast, vast majority of males who are not creepy molestors should be doing that they're not?

I'm not sure if you're asking this in a "do you have ideas for solving this problem" way or in a "well I don't see you doing anything about it" way, but I'm presuming it's more in the spirit of the former. But elaboration either way would be helpful.

This is a situation where slow-burn moral panic has essentially created something out of nothing; the existing response to the problem so far outpaces the actual problem that it's hard to know how to conceive of a solution that involves doing something differently from what we do right now, which is (a) not kidnap children and (b) talk about how fucked up it is when the subject arises.
posted by cortex at 6:34 PM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture? We need to putting so much responsibility on the victims of rape/molestation/abduction and focus on the perpetrators.

as a former victim of sexual abuse - this is a completely fucked up idea. you know what kind of people i'm more cautious around due to my history? those that share my DNA, since i, like most former victims, was abused by a family member. if you can't separate the person who diddled you from the millions of men who have never so much as thought about getting in your panties or the pants of children, you need more therapy.

just because you were a victim once is no reason to spend the rest of your life expecting to be victimized again. you have the responsibility to learn how to live and heal. that is not too much responsibility to put on the victims. it's the exact right amount.
posted by nadawi at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


i'm pretty sure that would be fear.

Well yeah, but that's a given. But also a standard response to fear is shutting down. Action in the face of fear is what turns it into bravery.

I'm truly fascinated by what makes one kid sit there hoping to be rescued, and the other turn into Baby Jason Bourne and say "fuck it, i'm gonna chew through these ropes and smash out that window".
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


That said, I don't think there are a lot of cases of lone women kidnapping and molesting kids, are there?

As far as we know, there are not. But that may mean that such cases are overlooked by law enforcement because of our preconceptions about the issue, not that it never happens.

Also, children's relative trust of strange women is what enabled Karla Homolka and Myra Hindley to abduct children for the abuses and murders they committed with their male accomplices.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2009


Re: women grabbing kids, there was an incident here in L.A. in 2002 in which a little girl was kidnapped from Echo Park Lake by a woman who apparently wanted a kid. She wound up getting home unharmed a few days later. It does seem more common that women who steal kids tend to grab infants, though, and are doing it from some skewed desire for motherhood than for sexual reasons.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Antioch: It is no "semi-rural" town. It is a shit stain from Satan of pre-fab over sized houses (homes) that is ground zero for the foreclosure meltdown in California.

Home to meth-mothers, supersized drinks, one big box stink hole after another pulling up stakes and getting the hell out as cheap credit dries up. No more big screens, sundance spas, What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas baby, my Yukon's bigger than yours.

A housing development called Confetti for Christ's sake. "I'm Bob have I got a deal for you.'

Okay the neighbors weird and sometimes strange noises come from their backyard, but hey I'm just a simple repo man, tow truck driver, process server, hostess of skin care products in your home, I don't want to get involved.

Jesus loves you.

This is where all that is bad about America and us takes place.
posted by pianomover at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Okay the neighbors weird and sometimes strange noises come from their backyard, but hey I'm just a simple repo man, tow truck driver, process server, hostess of skin care products in your home, I don't want to get involved.

I have no love for Antioch, but that is a pretty dickish generalization, particularly in light of the fact that two years ago one of his neighbors had called the cops because of the tent city in his backyard. The cops told the neighbor they couldn't search it without a warrant.

BTW, the walls of the shack were sound proofed, according to the link I posted.

Don't let that stop your hate-on for a whole bunch of people you've never met.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:09 PM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Garrido called KCRA TV anchor Walt Gray today, and KCRA has posted audio of their conversation.

In it, Garrido says that he's left "documents that will blow your mind" with agents on the 15th floor of the FBI building. He says that once you read the documents that this will all be "a heartwarming story that will be world news".

Those poor little girls; Jaycee and her daughters. I just...I'm...I can't even... I wish there was something I could do to make this better for them.
posted by dejah420 at 8:17 PM on August 27, 2009


I'm sorry that we live in a fear-ridden society, and that ordinary helpful men are afraid of the hyper-vigilant parents that the culture of fear breeds to the point that they are apprehensive about helping an obviously lost and distressed child. And yes, stranger abductions are rare, but they do happen and they scare the shit out of parents. Our whole culture of child-raising has been changed by that fear, and it sucks. But teaching girls to be wary of strange men once they are older is only sensible as once they hit around 12 years old the creep onslaught begins (we've all got stories). Also, yet again, we have a thread about a woman who has been raped and abused, and it's garnering numbers of posts saying, essentially, What about the mens and their feelings? I sympathize, especially for hippybear who has had to deal with a specially offensive aspect of homophobia, but I'm not sure that a well-meaning man's transitory embarassment or resentment is the worst aspect of the fact that though there may be a very small number of predators out there-- and that the most dangerous place for any child is in their own home-- they do exist. Case in point is this one.
posted by jokeefe at 9:09 PM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


jokeefe: Also, yet again, we have a thread about a woman who has been raped and abused, and it's garnering numbers of posts saying, essentially, What about the mens and their feelings?

No, yet again we have a thread about a woman who has been raped and abused, and it garnered a lot of responses that essentially ran to the effect of "this is why I don't trust men" or "this is why I teach my kids not to trust men". This, naturally enough, provoked a response from a bunch of men who haven't raped or abused anyone, who are annoyed at comments villifying us as a group like that. If the response to the Virginia Tech thread, for example, had been "see this is why I don't trust asians", then that might justifiably elicit responses of "hey don't hate on us asians, wtf?".
posted by Dysk at 9:23 PM on August 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


>That said, I don't think there are a lot of cases of lone women kidnapping and molesting kids, are there?

As far as we know, there are not. But that may mean that such cases are overlooked by law enforcement because of our preconceptions about the issue, not that it never happens.


I think that the answer might be that women abuse their own children, not those of strangers. (Not so much molestation as physical and emotional abuse.)
posted by desuetude at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2009


Antioch: It is no "semi-rural" town. It is a shit stain from Satan of pre-fab over sized houses (homes) that is ground zero for the foreclosure meltdown in California.
Home to meth-mothers, supersized drinks, one big box stink hole after another pulling up stakes and getting the hell out as cheap credit dries up.


Also, it has some nice wetlands. Good for birding.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:23 PM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Brother Dysk, first you bought up Blacks, and then Asians in your quest to explan how "annoyed you are at being vilified as part of a group"

Most minorities are not "annoyed" at being vilified as a group. They're mostly rightfully upset when that vilification keeps them from something they have the same rights to as everyone else, and the spreading of those ideas in an environment where they're already not getting a fair shake.

So unless you feel like you have some right to interact with a stranger's kids that's being trampled upon, or can prove that this lack of trust is somehow turning into a history of systemic oppression, your analogy is not holding up. Men as a whole still hold a wide variety of positions of trust where children are involved. From doctors to teachers, coaches to birthday clowns*, your rights as a man to innocently interact with somebody else's kid have not been eroded.


*keeping my eye on those balloon twisting weirdos.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:37 PM on August 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


But teaching girls to be wary of strange men once they are older is only sensible as once they hit around 12 years old the creep onslaught begins (we've all got stories).

As much as I believe that we've let fear overtake common sense in general, and that kids are being shortchanged due to hypersafety concerns, I do have to say that many bad things can and do happen to kids under the age of 12, and common safety tricks, rationales, and safety awareness (If you don't feel safe, yell. Don't let yourself get isolated. Find a Safe Adult. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't go with strangers. If you think you are in danger, it's OK to break the rules.) in younger kids is vital and can save the child from some of those bad things.

Those tips don't infringed on an unfettered childhood, but can be valuable guides for a child who finds him- or herself in trouble. They may not remember them all, but they will remember and (try to) use some of them.
posted by julen at 11:17 PM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


But I wonder how 3(!!!) people living in tarps and shanties in a backyard weren't detected by neighbors? ....this isn't like fritzl's wife who could claim she just didn't know (which i think is utter bullshit), this is someone who helped him kidnap the girl.

Both cases dumbfound me.

I agree that Fritzl's wife not knowing is likely bullshit.

However, in the Fritzl case, I am intrigued as to how some renters and neighbors discounted any clues to the horror of the captive daughter and her offspring (fathered by her own father).

Some later claim to have known of the abuse, but did nothing to report it.
posted by ericb at 11:22 PM on August 27, 2009


billyfleetwood, I'm not saying my position is in any way equivalent, just that statements such as this:

"Then I think, you know what? Fuck that. I feel sorry that normal, innocent guys get the suspicious glare from overprotective moms, but if it keeps creeps in check, so be it."

Are as idiotically misguided and unfounded as similar statements made about other groups. No, men aren't disadvantaged in society as a group in the way that people of colour are, or even women, but that doesn't make discriminating against men any more acceptable than discriminating against any other group.
posted by Dysk at 11:28 PM on August 27, 2009


Statistically speaking, wouldn't it be more prudent to teach children to run towards strangers, and avoid the family members they know?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:46 PM on August 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Plenty of anecdotal stories about women snatching young children, but women are still less scary than men I guess.

I hate it too (because, yes moms, you can trust me around your children), but I also know that it's statistically valid enough to do in a pinch.

Statistically speaking, wouldn't it be more prudent to teach children to run towards strangers.

There was an article (here?) last year about this that showed that seeking strangers was actually one of the most probable routes to safety. In many places that gets better results than even "a policeman", since there's no shortage of sleazy mall-security uniforms.

Tiny wards I influence are always told that if lost, they should seek out a mommish-looking woman who is working somewhere (uniform, name-tag) for help, or if necessary, on the street. Working is better, though.
posted by rokusan at 12:14 AM on August 28, 2009


I sympathize, especially for hippybear who has had to deal with a specially offensive aspect of homophobia, but I'm not sure that a well-meaning man's transitory embarassment or resentment is the worst aspect of the fact that though there may be a very small number of predators out there-- and that the most dangerous place for any child is in their own home-- they do exist.

I think this, right here, is the essence of it. Your rights are not being curtailed by parents keeping an eye on you around their child, and it's a huge exxaggeration to call such caution "discrimination", or at least a level of discrimination on par with racism. Men, as a gender, do not live under a shadow of centuries of persecution just for being men. They haven't had to struggle and sometimes die to get the same rights as everyone else. Your freedom of thought, movement, and employment is not curtailed because some parents are going to be a little skittish if you're friendly with their child. Is it a misjudgement of your character? Yes, if you're not a creep, and it might be uncomfortable and embarrassing for you that parents don't accept at face value that you're actually a nice guy. It sucks to be judged like that. But "discrimination"? Like jokeefe said: your feeling slighted and misjudged isn't really the worst aspect of what founds this trepidation in parents.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:51 AM on August 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


having worked in a female dominated industry that deals with children and their parents, i can state that men do get their employment disrupted by the mere fact that they are male. some parents instill such an enormous fear of "strange men" in their children that the kids burst into tears at the site of a guy they've never met before. this means that if you can avoid it, you don't schedule a man by himself because it damages sales (as either the parents or the children will refuse to work with him). because he can't be scheduled by himself, he gets less hours.

maybe they haven't had to march to vote and die just for being men, but it doesn't mean that they haven't been affected by the judgment made of them that is due to something they have no control over.

i think this comment is a great way to deal with this. instead of telling the children who to be afraid of, you tell the child how to react if they are afraid. all strangers aren't bad and all friends and family are good. teaching them to deal with both of those situations is harder than saying "don't talk to strangers!" but in the long run it's far more useful.
posted by nadawi at 3:11 AM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


maybe they haven't had to march to vote and die just for being men, but it doesn't mean that they haven't been affected by the judgment made of them that is due to something they have no control over.

I didn't say they haven't been affected by it; I said the opposite, in fact. But I do think comparing parents being skittish around you being friendly with their child to "discrimination" is a bit overblown. It sucks to be misjudged, but it's hardly a civil rights issue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:16 AM on August 28, 2009


Also:

Instead of telling the children who to be afraid of, you tell the child how to react if they are afraid.

I do agree with this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:18 AM on August 28, 2009


and i'm saying instilling a fear of all strange men extends much further than parents being skittish. it gives the kids a deep seated fear of men, that even when they're introduced in a trusting environment, the child breaks down into tears out of actual fear.

your argument about "discrimination" is with someone else. i think it's a semantics thing. if i had anything to say about it, it would be that i fall on the side of teach children to treat humans as humans no matter race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. again, if you teach them how to react to fear and how to figure out if they're in a dangerous situation instead of just setting up a scary monster, you'll get better results.
posted by nadawi at 3:24 AM on August 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


specifically i was responding to this part of your statement (but also just responding to the other mefites who's sentiments you echo)

"Your freedom of thought, movement, and employment is not curtailed because some parents are going to be a little skittish if you're friendly with their child."

i was pointing out that in female dominated careers that deal with children, employment is curtailed or at the very least it's a harder row to hoe if you're a man.
posted by nadawi at 3:27 AM on August 28, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, I may be wrong here, but I think you may attribute a stronger meaning to the word 'discriminate' than it actually carries. Here are a few definitions pulled from a google search:

unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrimination

Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/discrimination

These all seem relevant to me...
posted by Dysk at 3:30 AM on August 28, 2009


When I was about ten, a new youth pastor came to our church and everyone loved him because he was so enthusiastic and the kids thought he was cool and he had parties for kids at his house, etc. I really didn't like hanging around him and declined going to any of his events when given the choice. It turned out he was molesting boys, and my parents liked to point out to everyone that their son could sense that he was up to no good, but really, I just thought he was a big lame phony.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:53 AM on August 28, 2009


The mantrust issue is worth discussing but it needs its own MeTa thread.
posted by Kattullus at 5:31 AM on August 28, 2009


The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know.

That's bullshit and a lame excuse and I'm saying that as big, black guy with a naturally intense look who sometimes scares other big, black guys.

This is not rocket science here. If you trying to help an unknown kid, then solicit the help of those around you. Be politely loud and let everyone know what you're doing and why and ask them to assist you in helping the child. If you don't have time for that and someone challenges you on that, then tell them your name and invite them to come along with you or hand'em your cell phone or business card as proof of ID.

I'm a goddamn adult and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave some child in trouble 'cause of some boogey man fear. Fuck that, be honest and straight up in your desire to help, acknowledge that people being concerned about a child going off with a stranger is a good thing and concentrate on helping the kid. People want to help and they especially want to help a kid. By working with others in these situations, you get the kid help and everything is public and above board.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM on August 28, 2009 [46 favorites]


When I was about ten, a new youth pastor came to our church and everyone loved him because he was so enthusiastic and the kids thought he was cool and he had parties for kids at his house, etc.

As a pastor, I know about six stories that start that way and all end in varying levels of bad. I don't have any idea why so many churches have decided that the only people who can mentor their teens are 23 year old child-men who haven't finished growing up themselves, but the trend drives me crazy. We used to think that maturity and insight were more important. But now the main criterion on most youth pastor search committees seems to be "is he cool?"

That's problematic, to say the least.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:35 AM on August 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know.

I was standing at a crowded bus stop in Anaheim, CA, and a six year old kid walked right up to me and took my hand. His father appeared just a few minutes later, and retrieved his kid. It was a strange feeling, wondering if I should push him away, and also whether this kid's trust makes me a good or a bad person.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:51 AM on August 28, 2009


It turned out he was molesting boys, and my parents liked to point out to everyone that their son could sense that he was up to no good, but really, I just thought he was a big lame phony.

Our labrador retriever, like most labrador retrievers was overweight, lazy, and gentle. She was basically a big ole pile of fur who spent long hours lying in the sun. She would let us kids poke her, ride her, sit on her, squirt her with the hose, you name it without so much as a grunt. She knew everyone in the neighborhood and everyone knew her. Occasionally we'd find her curled up on a neighbor's floor. One day, a priest colleague of my father came for a visit and she went nuts. She barked and groweled. She even snapped at him. We had to drag her kicking and growling back into the yard and chain her up. The whole time he was in the house she barked and groweled and strained on her chain. She was going to kill that guy. When he left she went right back to her regular demenor and we never saw that side of her again. A year later the priest was arrested for raping a young boy. My father gave her a steak the night he found out.

i'm saying instilling a fear of all strange men extends much further than parents being skittish

This whole talk of "strange men fear" is funny to me. For some reason I seem to be endowed with a magical power. I've never understood it. Small children, pets, and old women love me at first sight. I do nothing to encourage or attract the attention, but it comes maybe the hive mind can explain it? Pheromones? Also if you could tell me how to convert this to attracting 20-something attractive women I'd appreciate, though maybe not my wife so much). I can simply walk into a room and a baby or pet will hop in my lap. Kids stare at me, talk to me, and hug me. I've even had autistic children who won't show affection to their own parents crawl into my lap and snuggle, the same with mean pets. Old ladies too love me. I used to get little gifts all the time from them as a kid. A group of them decided to "train me" in southern manners. Just the other day met a friend's mom who is a very strict muslim, is deaf, and dosen't speak English. She told me that her mom said afterwards that she should try to meet a guy like me and that I was so kind and hansome (Brad Pitt I ain't) so clearly this is something non-verbal going on.

Occasionally this has been VERY uncomfortable. I'm allergic to cats, yet I always have to deal with Fluffy sticking her ass in my face. When take my daughter to the playground, I inevitably have someone's stinky kid sit on my lap and I have to back away - I am not trying to molest your kid. Gramma, you can let go of my hand now. I have never had the opposite effect on kids, the burst into tears strange man! sensation, but rather the opposite.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:52 AM on August 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Are there any updates on the case with pictures of Jaycee?
posted by cashman at 6:57 AM on August 28, 2009


The problem with that approach is that if you're a guy you're more or less taught to never, ever help a child you don't know.

Who is teaching that? I was never taught that.

For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture?

Helping kids when they need help. Interacting with kids when they come up to me instead of being fearful. No one has tried to have me arrested yet.
posted by mikepop at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's funny how seriously everyone takes men's self reported experiences of being suspected or accorded less confidence in these situations, because they're men. Not that I assume it's untrue.

But I wish people took equally seriously women's self reported experiences of being suspected and accorded less confidence in their ideas, work, strength of character, etc, because they're women. And there, we even have studies backing up, that CVs with a man's name get picked more often, papers with a man's name get marked higher, etc. Yet somehow, it's too often considered over-sensitivity and paranoia.

And yes, I think it's ironic too that you can't have a thread about crimes against children (apparently regardless of the gender of the perpetrator), without having this conversation about men's feelings about their interactions with children and perceptions of it, over and over again.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:17 AM on August 28, 2009 [14 favorites]


Pollomacho, you're pretty lucky then. I almost universally get the opposite reactions to you (though 20-something attractive women aren't throwing themselves at me, either). Western society has pretty narrowly defined conceptions of what an 'acceptable' or 'safe' appearance is for a bloke. It's not like I make an effort to, but I do not match it at all. I'm not sure what it is about the way I look that makes me look a 'threat' - I'm not some bulging biker type or anything like that.

I haven't stopped to help a child (other than family or friends) for quite a few years now, just for the looks I get when parents walk past me with their kids.
posted by Dysk at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2009


A bunch of people have found Garrido's crazyblog. Every third comment from visitors is something gleeful about how he's going to be raped in prison and how just that will be. E.g. "You and your wife will eat a COCK MEAT SANDWITCH in jail. I want to kick your fucking ass so bad".
posted by Nelson at 7:28 AM on August 28, 2009


And yes, I think it's ironic too that you can't have a thread about crimes against children (apparently regardless of the gender of the perpetrator), without having this conversation about men's feelings about their interactions with children and perceptions of it, over and over again.

It's a frustrating dynamic, but it's a two way street, and it's hard to curtail a divisive argument when folks on both sides feel dissatisfied with the argumentation basically by default.

That said, we can in theory start having that longed-for sort of thread (and I'd be totally down with that, I'd rather see this focused on the Garrido situation than be an endless sidebar) if folks will elect to port further comment about the stranger danger stuff to the Metatalk thread that Kattullus started.

This actual story is horrid and fascinating.
posted by cortex at 7:33 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brother Dysk, don't quote the dictionary at me. I'm aware of what the word means in the strictest sense. But since you're invoking racial reactions, and putting these parental reactions on the same plane as civil rights issues, that's what I'm addressing. I don't think they're equivalent. At all. Beyond that, I agree with Kattullus that this whole discussion is best left to Metatalk.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:36 AM on August 28, 2009


And the blog comments include this bit of damage control:

Statement from Tim Allen- East County Glass:

I did not authorize the use of my business card, nor is the signature on the affidavit mine, this material was put on this website without my permission or support. Phillip obtained my business card through printing services he provided to the company. In no way am I affiliated with Phillip and/or his beliefs or actions, my only dealings with him were occasional printing needs. Upon hearing about this situation and discovering my name affiliated on his website, I feel I should come forward and let everyone know I have already been contacted by the authorities and am more than willing to cooperate and help in any way possible.

posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:38 AM on August 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, I'm not saying that I'm oppressed, or that I belong to a group that's been othered by society, or that I'm not priveldged. I am just saying that it makes as little sense to discriminate based on sex as it does to discriminate based on hair colour, skin colour, height, or any other physical feature.
posted by Dysk at 7:43 AM on August 28, 2009


For some reason I seem to be endowed with a magical power. I've never understood it. Small children, pets, and old women love me at first sight. I do nothing to encourage or attract the attention, but it comes maybe the hive mind can explain it?

Pollomacho, I get the same thing. Especially with babies. But dogs too. I've always attributed it to being a very naturally calm person. Once my roommate had friends over with their kid, who was maybe 3 or 4 years old. I had never met the kid before. I walk in the living room and the kid just lights up. gets super excited does a few laps around the coffee table and runs over and hugs my leg. His mom was surprised "He's normally really shy with strangers" and asks the kid, "do you know him?" and the kid points right at me, smiles real big and says "Doraemon!"

So maybe that explains it.

A bit off topic, I apologize. but mostly I'm not getting glared at by suspicious parents. I actually fall more into the "hey come get your kid, babysitting ain't free" camp. Parents may be overly skeptical, but if they do trust you, they will take the opportunity to pawn their kid off on you.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:35 AM on August 28, 2009


She was going to kill that guy. When he left she went right back to her regular demenor and we never saw that side of her again. A year later the priest was arrested for raping a young boy. My father gave her a steak the night he found out.

GOOD DOGGIE!
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:40 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


"For those of you dudes who are frustrated with this perception--what are you doing to change the culture?

Every child I lure into my home, I release back into their natural habitat with a radio tag.
posted by klangklangston at 8:41 AM on August 28, 2009 [12 favorites]


The whole story is surreal. But I wonder how 3(!!!) people living in tarps and shanties in a backyard weren't detected by neighbors?

I'm interested in hearing a LOT more about this. The local news here in Sacramento - KCRA, who got the phone interview with Garrido - has been talking to the neighbors and they are saying they DID report it, more than once. I think it's time that we hear from this guys parole officer. Lifetime parolee, with reports of children in shacks and tents in the backyard and you never check it out? WTF?
posted by Big_B at 8:49 AM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm curious about how the tent compound was overlooked, too. I mean it's right there, plain as day on Google Maps. But of course we have the benefit of hindsight now. A SF Chronicle article paraphrases an Antioch police as saying "The team looked in the back, but saw only a screened-in porch and a back fence".

I'm guessing "look at overhead photographs for evidence of a secret second household" is not on the parole officer checklist. Although it would have been nice for them to look after neighbours called to say "he has a secret second household".

It's also a bit weird that you can see something on Google Maps that otherwise a police officer would need a warrant to find.
posted by Nelson at 9:07 AM on August 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nelson, I'm sure they wouldn't need a warrant to do an overflight with a helicopter, which would give them a better view than Google Maps does. It just tends to be the case that running helicopters is expensive.
posted by Dysk at 9:08 AM on August 28, 2009


I thought parolees forfeited a lot of their rights as a condition of parole. Anyone know?
posted by electroboy at 9:13 AM on August 28, 2009


They also wouldn't need a warrant to ask the neighbor who called to show them in his/her yard what he/she called in about.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:22 AM on August 28, 2009


The registered sex offender accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl almost two decades ago and fathering two children with her is urging the public to wait to hear his side of the story before passing judgment.
Um, yeah.
posted by mazola at 9:25 AM on August 28, 2009


it makes as little sense to discriminate based on sex as it does to discriminate based on hair colour, skin colour, height, or any other physical feature.

It depends on why you are discriminating. If I am selecting people for my basketball team, height sure as hell matters.

And if I'm selecting people for my non-evil team, gender sure as hell matters. Men are far more responsible for evil deeds than women are. Sorry.

You can argue the root causes (perhaps evil men have an evolutionary advantage) all you want; the facts of history are too damning. You could also argue it's an inevitable byproduct of the traditional male-female power structure, but who created that structure?

I wonder how 3(!!!) people living in tarps and shanties in a backyard weren't detected by neighbors?

"I asked my husband, 'Why is he living in tents?"' she said. "And he said, 'Maybe that is how they like to live."'

Blaming the neighbors is tough, depending on what they really saw/heard. If I started living in a tent, I'd like my neighbors to leave me alone as well.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:28 AM on August 28, 2009


Blaming the neighbors isn't really fair, it could've been something as innocuous as a meth lab.

Seriously though, as someone who's lived in their fair share of shitty neighborhoods, multiple outbuildings, large objects covered with tarps, people coming and going at all hours is frequently unremarkable.
posted by electroboy at 9:34 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


mazola, um yes. Innocent until proven guilty is still something we believe in, right?
posted by Dysk at 9:36 AM on August 28, 2009


Yes, for the record, innocent until proven guilty is something I believe in.

Still:
"You're going to be really surprised with what happened," Garrido said in a telephone interview from the El Dorado County jail where he is being held. "It's a powerful, heartwarming story."
seems hard to digest right now.
posted by mazola at 9:41 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting till I see what it is, because I frankly have neither a clue nor the imagination to even begin to think what he's referring to.
posted by Dysk at 9:49 AM on August 28, 2009


Psst. I think he's crazy.

Now excuse me, I've tainted enough juries for today, now onto the lynch mobs!
posted by mazola at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2009


Crazy != guilty.
posted by Dysk at 9:54 AM on August 28, 2009


Yeah, that "powerful, heartwarming story" has got to be pretty damn good.

"Yeah, it's funny see, this loveable little scamp just happened to be at the bus stop when she fell into my windowless van and then accidentally and hillariously ended up getting impregnated twice by me and living in a tent in my back yard. Really, it's like a sit-com!"
posted by Pollomacho at 9:59 AM on August 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Crazy != guilty.

Who is saying crazy means guilty? He appears to be both. We'll see what the courts decide.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:01 AM on August 28, 2009


true. crazy != guilty. but if you read the news reports, he says he kidnapped the girl. Police say Garrido confessed to abducting Jaycee Lee Dugard at age 11 and fathering two children with her.

that sounds pretty guilty to me.

i'm appalled that this all seems to have come about so he can impress the world with his conversion to jesus & amazing abilities of sound control.

"You are going to be completely impressed," he said. "It's a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning. But I turned my life completely around and to be able to understand that, you have to start there." emphasis added. and ... "the Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake-up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world."
posted by msconduct at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2009


msconduct, fair enough, I hadn't seen that he'd confessed (I only read the links in the OP). Given this new evidence with which I have been presented, I'd say the next thing is to wait for an evaluation of his mental and psychological fitness to stand trial. Whether or not he does, I'd guess that prison isn't a good solution here - it seems he really needs some form of psychiatric care.
posted by Dysk at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2009


From my back deck - in very urban San Francisco - I can see a neighbor's yard, which has over the last few months been growing a series of tarp "walls," as if they were making...rooms back there, or trying to keep the next door neighbors (I'm half a block away) from seeing what's behind the "walls." It's weird. I wonder about it pretty much every time I go out back.

As for why this guy, as a parolee, wasn't on a shorter leash: Because California puts everybody on parole. Not kidding. If you do a stint in state prison, when you're released you're on parole for three years. Released murderer? Parole. Car thief? Parole. Other random non-violent offense? Parole. Which means that each parole officer has umpteen zillion parolees to keep an eye on and violate back to prison if they miss a meeting or fail a drug test or report a new address in four days instead of three. They're so busy keeping an eye on the vast majority of parolees who don't have violent convictions that the scary ones can skate unseen as long as they turn up for meetings when they're supposed to.

Now, as to why the cops didn't take a harder look at him when they got reports of weirdness, I can't say. Cops don't need a warrant to go into a parolees residence, as far as I know.
posted by rtha at 10:12 AM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


and i am reminded of tom waits from mule variations. apologies for that first link, which i can't check because i'm at work, but which i *think* goes to a video of the song.
posted by msconduct at 10:17 AM on August 28, 2009


rtha, your neighbors are growing pot.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:21 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brother Dysk: i'd say that for a majority of prisoners, prison isn't necessarily the thing that can help them the most. for better or worse, though, because society waits until it gets to that point, it's often the solution that will help me most. and will help future jaycees/allisas the most.
posted by msconduct at 10:25 AM on August 28, 2009


msconduct, I'm not sure a secure psychiatric facility wouldn't be better in this case. He'd still be denied his liberty, so he'd still be being punished (for those who think that is important) and it would have a much higher likelihood of actually reforming the bloke.
posted by Dysk at 10:28 AM on August 28, 2009


Insanity defense in 3...2....1....
posted by Big_B at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2009


msconduct, funny thing about that though. Tom talks about that songs as a poke against overly nosy neighbors, not a dark evil loner song.
posted by edgeways at 11:15 AM on August 28, 2009


rtha, your neighbors are growing pot

This has been my thought, yes. Although how the tarp walls are going to control the smell, I have no idea.

The thing is, the weird tarp walls are much, much more likely to get the cops (or building inspectors) called on them than a few pot plants would have. They're seriously ugly and make hideous noises when it's windy (pretty much every day at sunset), and if I lived right next door or directly across from them, I'd be more annoyed by the tarps than the weed.
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on August 28, 2009


I haven't been following this story, just caught up this afternoon via this thread and some of links. Of course I share everybody's horror about this, and I hope those girls can have some kind of regular life someday.

I just looked at ABC News website to see the latest. I'm horrified in a different way at the prose in the opening paragraph of the news story [emphasis mine]: As Jaycee Dugard gets to know her family again after 18 years in depraved captivity, new information is raising questions of how her ordeal went undetected for so long, despite at least two visits to the house of horror by law enforcement authorities in recent years.

That is just shit news writing, it sounds like some pulp pot-boiler or a 60's exploitation movie poster.
posted by marxchivist at 11:34 AM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yellow journalism, I believe that is called.

I'm endlessly weary of news reporters telling me how I should think / react to the story they are reporting. 30 years ago, it would have gotten them all fired or relegated to the Podunk Examiner. It seems to be nearly the ONLY form of reporting we find these days on most television news. I've gotten to where, when I'm out someplace where I'm being forced to partake of some 24-hour news program, I will say repeatedly "stop telling me what I should think about this story". Most don't even seem to notice the subtle brainwashing taking place day after day after day.
posted by hippybear at 11:43 AM on August 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


May I point out that there is a woman under arrest for this crime as well?
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:15 PM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac, there's much less about her in the news stories, and it's less fun to speculate when you don't have as much spurious information/conjecture to go on...
posted by Dysk at 12:27 PM on August 28, 2009


May I point out that there is a woman under arrest for this crime as well?

Her role in this is actually what has me most curious. Was it a case of folie a deux? Has he somehow convinced her that his religious beliefs aren't delusional after all? Did she start out by trying to keep things under wraps to protect him and somehow let things get too far?
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:28 PM on August 28, 2009


Brother Dysk, I'll bet a thousand simoleons right now that, while the wife is complicit, she is in no way the driving force behind this horrific story. Garrido believes in a particularly weird brand of fundamentalism; he believes he can speak in the tongues of angels; he's made regular appearances on the UC Berkley campus; he kept a young woman for 18 years and fathered two children with her -- these all point in varying degrees of intensity to a male-dominated environment. I won't call the wife a victim just yet, but I think that putting money on her being any sort of initiator in this tragedy would be a losing bet.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2009


May I point out that there is a woman under arrest for this crime as well?

You think she might have impregnated Jaycee? 'Cause I don't think this story could get much more fucked up.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2009


Sorry, when I referenced UC Berkley, I should've been more clear -- he was on the Berkley campus looking to proselytize and hand out religious literature. Dude wasn't a professor or a student or anything.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:39 PM on August 28, 2009


You think she might have impregnated Jaycee?

Mrs. Kidnapper could have impregnated her with Mr. Kidnapper's semen. And that would indeed be more fucked up.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2009


shiu mai baby, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that I have any beliefs about the wife's involvement one way or another from. I just said that I haven't talked about her because I haven't seen much information to base any comments on. Yeah, I did this in a joking way, referencing the fact that what we're all doing in this thread is primarily rampant speculation, but I don't think I expressed anything about the wife, other than that I don't know much about her.
posted by Dysk at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2009


You think she might have impregnated Jaycee? 'Cause I don't think this story could get much more fucked up.

What if it turns out she is someone he kidnapped much earlier in his life? Does she happen to be 10 or 15 years younger than him?
posted by mikepop at 12:43 PM on August 28, 2009


Ah, ok. When you said, "it's less fun to speculate when you don't have as much spurious information/conjecture to go on," I interpreted it as your saying that we're being too quick to assume full guilt for Garrido; an interpretation that was (unfairly) colored by my disagreement with your position in other parts of this thread and the related MeTa.

I was merely pointing out that, as more details are brought to light, the likelihood of the wife being the ringleader was becoming ridiculously small.

Regardless: my apologies for misconstruing your meaning.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:46 PM on August 28, 2009


What if she kidnapped him in order to brainwash him and use his semen to impregnate little blonde girls?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


his brother stated that he and the wife met while he was in prison for rape. she was the niece of another prisoner.

also, she was in the car when jaycee was kidnapped, so i don't care what role she continued to have in it, she should be charged with kidnapping.
posted by nadawi at 12:50 PM on August 28, 2009


shiu mai baby, no apologoies necessary, I was confused rather than offended or anything like that. I also have been an inflammatory arse, so no need to apologise for that colouring your interpretation, either.

(On a side note, I don't doubt that Garrido is guilty of the crime - it's just a question of his psychological fitness to stand trial, now. Whether he does or not, I think he should be held at a secure psychiatric facility, as that would imprison him (appeasing notions of punitive justice) and potentially turn a less dangerous man out into society if he were ever to be released.)
posted by Dysk at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2009


Nancy Grace is going to crap herself when she hears this.

Well, considering how full of crap she is to begin with, I don't think that will surprise anyone.
posted by chillmost at 1:02 PM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would just like to say that I am not the deja that is appearing in the comments on Garrido's blog. I can spell and form a complete sentence.
posted by dejah420 at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2009


nadawi: I couldn't agree more.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:15 PM on August 28, 2009






So I'm still waiting for the heartwarming part.
posted by mazola at 1:41 PM on August 28, 2009


when I referenced UC Berkley, I should've been more clear -- he was on the Berkley campus looking to proselytize and hand out religious literature. Dude wasn't a professor or a student or anything.

yeah, they save tenure for war criminals, not perverts.
posted by nomisxid at 2:15 PM on August 28, 2009


"... I think he [garrido] should be held at a secure psychiatric facility ..."

brother dysk, you just. don't. get. it. in the u.s., without private funds, about the only place you can find a secure psychiatric facility is wait for it! in a prison. a gander through this thread will highlight some of the stellar mental health services available to the general populace in america today.
posted by msconduct at 2:30 PM on August 28, 2009


Cops: Kidnap suspect eyed for murder links
"The twisted kidnapping case of a woman reportedly held captive for 18 years in a secluded backyard compound took another disturbing turn Friday as authorities searched the home of her alleged captor for evidence in the murders of several prostitutes.

Officers executed a search warrant at Phillip Garrido's Antioch home for clues in the unsolved slayings, Contra Costa sheriff's Capt. Daniel Terry said.

Several of the murdered women's bodies were dumped near an industrial park where Garrido, a sex offender, worked during the 1990s."
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on August 28, 2009


I'm confused about the timeline.
The kids are 11 and 15, which means they were born in, say, 1997 and 1994, so conceived in those years or the preceding year.

1976 Garrido convicted of rape in NV
1988 Garrido paroled from that conviction
1991 Jaycee Dugard kidnapped
1993/4 kid 1 conceived
1996/7 kid 2 conceived
1999 Garrido paroled from CA on rape conviction

So, how long was Garrido in prison on that last rape conviction? When was that from? What was going on while he was in prison?

Also, in all the accounts I've read, there's no explanation of why he brought the three girls to his parole officer's office this time. If he hadn't done that, it sounds like they would still have no clue about any of this. I assume it's tied into the delusion that now he's "straightened his life out" with religion and he brought them to say "look what a nice family I have now, it started off bad, but it only took me eighteen years or so to turn it around", thinking the parole officer would be impressed?
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:53 PM on August 28, 2009


msconduct, brother dysk, you just. don't. get. it. in the u.s., without private funds, about the only place you can find a secure psychiatric facility is wait for it! in a prison. a gander through this thread will highlight some of the stellar mental health services available to the general populace in america today.

To me, the term "secure psychiatric facility" means somewhere a person is incarcerated (i.e. imprisoned) but that is still a psychiatric facility, rather than just a big building full of rooms with bars. It is somewhere like Broadmoor. I don't know how better to explain it.
posted by Dysk at 2:59 PM on August 28, 2009


To me, the term "secure psychiatric facility" means somewhere a person is incarcerated (i.e. imprisoned) but that is still a psychiatric facility, rather than just a big building full of rooms with bars

I see you're from the UK. That explains the disconnect. Our "secure psychiatric facilities" are basically big buildings full of rooms with bars. With a handful of doctors for hundreds of "patients." No one really gets rehabilitated this way, they just get drugged up so they don't get too difficult to handle.
posted by desjardins at 3:07 PM on August 28, 2009


LobsterMitten - i think the 99 parole is a typo. i think (after comparing a bunch of different stories) that he was paroled in 88 or 89, not 99 like some sources have. i'm eager for monday when hopefully a full concise story about his known whereabouts will be drawn up.

and he brought the girls to the station with him because he had taken the 2 young girls to UC berkley with him and the parole officer was wanting to question him about that directly. i wonder if he thought with all his delusions about mind control that he would have been able to convince the officer that this was his consensual partner and their kids. i don't think he went in planning to admit to kidnapping and rape.
posted by nadawi at 3:22 PM on August 28, 2009


Brother Dysk: Ronald Reagan shut down nearly all the state and federal mental care facilities in the 80s. The ramifications of this are still being felt in our country, but suffice it to say, they have not been positive.
posted by hippybear at 3:25 PM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel for Jaycee. But wow, I feel for her father. Imagine watching your daughter get kidnapped, and then (predictably, almost inexorably) becoming the prime suspect for that kidnapping.

Damn. Damn.
posted by effugas at 3:25 PM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


in oddly related local news, a man attempts to kidnap 3 children with a fake court order.
posted by nomisxid at 3:29 PM on August 28, 2009


effugas - not only the prime suspect, but he and jaycee's mother divorced and she moved a few hours away with his one year old child. (he was jaycee's stepfather, not that it really matters)
posted by nadawi at 3:32 PM on August 28, 2009


Secure psychiatric facilities still exist in the US. I should know; I know someone who works at one in another state. California has several, including Coalinga State Hospital, specifically built for sex offenders.
posted by zsazsa at 4:10 PM on August 28, 2009


hippybear: Ronald Reagan shut down nearly all the state and federal mental care facilities in the 80s. The ramifications of this are still being felt in our country, but suffice it to say, they have not been positive.

The more I learn about ol' Ronnie, the worse it looks.
posted by Dysk at 4:14 PM on August 28, 2009


zsazsa: Yes, but it opened in 2005. I didn't mean to imply there were none left. There is one not even 10 miles from where I live. But there are much, much fewer than there were 30 years ago, and many of those who truly need psychiatric care find themselves in the general prison population or wandering the streets of our cities.
posted by hippybear at 4:21 PM on August 28, 2009


It looks like they might suspect Garrido for more than just kidnapping. This story just keeps getting worse.
posted by SassHat at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2009


The Sacramento Bee's The Frame photo blog has pictures of the "tents, tarps and wooden structures" behind the home of Phillip Garrido where Jaycee Lee Dugard lived for 18 years.
posted by nbergus at 2:44 PM on August 30, 2009


Boing Boing notices what setanor saw three days earlier. Naturally, there is Xeni-drama.
posted by dhartung at 7:37 PM on August 31, 2009


Neighbors, prompted by reporters, embarce pay-me-for-info approach to interviews.

Very weird.
posted by cortex at 2:26 PM on September 1, 2009


Manuel Garrido, who lives in nearby Brentwood in Northern California, at first spoke freely with reporters about his son’s past. But now he says he wants to be paid. "No more free information," said Garrido, 88. "Other people are getting paid.”

The elder Garrido said he had received $2,000 from one news outlet for an exclusive interview. "From now on, it’s going to be more than $2,000," he said. "You’re making big stories, and you are getting paid for it. Here I am suffering, so I should get some money out of it."


First I wtfed but then I read that. I guess I can't really disagree. Still waiting to get the story on Jaycee and see what she looks like.
posted by cashman at 6:57 PM on September 1, 2009


What's it worth to ya?
posted by msalt at 7:50 PM on September 1, 2009


$20, same as in town.
posted by cashman at 6:28 AM on September 2, 2009


How did I not see THAT coming?
posted by msalt at 9:50 AM on September 2, 2009


No one expects the Spanish inquisition!!! Also, injokes.
posted by cashman at 2:15 PM on September 3, 2009


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