Kidnapping Victims Found Alive
Jaycee Lee Dugard: Some Kidnapping Victims are Found Alive, Even Years Later.
A kidnapping victim, Jaycee Lee Dugard, has just been found alive after many years in captivity. The reaction of most people is astonishment, as the general public assumes that if a kidnapping victim is not released quickly, then the victim is most likely dead. However, as strange as it may seem, besides Dugard, there have been victims who are found alive, even years later.
One of the most famous cases was that of Steven Stayner, abducted when he was 8 in Merced, CA. Six years later, he walked into a police station and announced his real identity. He explained he did it because his kidnapper had recently kidnapped another boy, and Stayner wanted the boy to be returned to his parents. Sadly, members of Stayner’s family have also been affected by other crimes, either as victims or criminals. Stayner had an uncle who was murdered, and his older brother, Carl, was convicted of being a serial killer and is currently on death row in California.
Jeremiah Treanor was 7 when he was kidnapped in Britain. Three years later, Scotland Yard found him alive when they broke up a child prostitution ring. His ordeal led to a major change in battling crimes in England, as Scotland Yard then instituted a child crimes unit.
Kidnappings happen all over the world, including in less crime-ridden countries, like Japan. In 1970, 9-year old Fusako Sano was kidnapped by a mentally ill man, who kept her in his apartment. Nine years later, the police came to his house, having been notified of some disturbance, and she confided to them who she was. Reunited with her family, she had suffered physically while in captivity, and still suffers emotionally; she lacks many social skills, has few friends, and has to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another foreign kidnapping occurred in 1999, when leftist guerrillas hijacked a plane travelling from Columbia. They forced it to land in an obscure part of a jungle, where they kept all the passengers hostage. They released them after one year, and one of the victims, Lesli Kalli who endured the ordeal along with her father, wrote a book, Kidnapped: A Diary of My 373 days in Captivity. Unfortunately, she now has to live under the auspices of a U.N. witness protection program.
Even tiny babies who are kidnapped are sometimes discovered alive. Delimar Vera Cuevas was barely 10 days old when kidnapped. Her mother had always prayed for her return, and 6 years later, in 2003, her mother found her when both were attending a birthday party. DNA evidence later confirmed that the child was indeed the kidnapping victim.
An Austrian, Natascha Kampusch, was just 10 when she was abducted, and was confined to her captor’s basement. An unusual kidnapper, he brought her books so she could continue her education. She escaped 8 years later in 2006, and since then has led an unusually open public life. After she was hounded by the media, she became host of her own talk show in Vienna, In Conversation with . . . Natascha Kampusch. In addition, many observers have expressed that she exhibits characteristics of having Stockholm Syndrome, a pathology where a victim identifies with the feelings of her oppressor. Once she escaped, the kidnapper jumped in front of a train to his death. Kampusch’s reaction was to light a candle, expressing sadness for him, and spending countless hours crying over his death. Even more astonishing, when the captor’s house was being sold, she purchased it, explaining that she wanted to “protect” it from vagrants, and also didn’t want it torn down. She sometimes even goes to the house, the “prison” where she was once forced to live.