The story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, a girl who was kidnapped outside a school bus stop and found alive eighteen years later

The story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, a girl who was kidnapped outside a school bus stop and found alive eighteen years later

11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was just another common girl in Meyers, California, enjoying routine work and living her life. The Dugards had moved to Meyers because they knew it to be a better and safe neighborhood than where they had a home previously. She was going to school on her usual way and nothing seemed a miss.

In 1991

Phillip Garrido was a sex offender and he had already committed many crimes. He had a history of kidnapping the girls. He kidnapped Katherine Callaway in 1976, holding her hostage in an abandoned storeroom. When he was searched and captured , police identified him as a "sexually disturbing man and chronic drug abuser". He admitted to masturbating to elementary school teens in his car. He was sentenced to a 50-year prison in 1977.

There, he met his future wife and an evil minded woman Nancy, who would later be his partner in crime. After 4 years in 1981, They married in prison. In 1988, the two were both freed from prison on parole. Phillip was strictly monitored by police , wearing a GPS detector device on his ankle and being often inspected by parole officers but this man couldn't control his lust.

On that fateful morning in June, Jaycee Lee Dugard was walking on the sidewalk when a car pulled up beside her. She trusted the man inside was asking for directions of the road and walked up to the open window. Suddenly, Phillip pulled out a stun gun and shocked her trust. Nancy supported him haul her limp body into the back seat of the car.

After a three-hour drive, she was brought out of the car into an unfamiliar place. Phillip began ordering her to take off her clothes, but she couldn’t understand why this mysterious man would ask her to do that. Before she could do more than utter a few words, however, Phillip was forcefully stripping off her clothes: all of them. He then brought her inside to bathroom with him, grabbing a razor and vigorously shaving her lady parts.

“See this?” Phillip says as he pulls off his clothes “Make it large.”

After this shameful act, Phillip attached a pair of handcuffs on Jaycee’s wrists and brought her into a tiny little shed in the backyard. This was where she was to spend years from now on. Phillip came in a few times a day to bring food and water or empty the chamber pot which she had to use as a toilet, but other than that, there was only Jaycee and the pair of handcuffs in that hot, sweltering shed.

Sometimes, Phillip came into the shed in a more aggressive mood. Jaycee would come to realize that this was when he came for sex. She quickly learned, through Phillip’s advice, that resistance was fruitless and that it would only make things worse.

"He forces me to open my legs and inserts the hard thing between his legs in me. It feels like I am being divided in to two parts. I am just 11 years old and he is so big. Why is he doing this with me? Is this a normal thing?"

For a few months, Jaycee would scream herself to sleep. Phillip became everything she had, for she depended on him for food, water, and human company. But she always afraid of the nights where Phillip came home drunk and wanting sex with little girl.

Over the years, a lot of things changed. Jaycee was impregnated twice. Once at 13 and once at 16, she gave birth to two beautiful baby girls. Both of them would grow up barely knowing or having a conception of a world beyond the tents and rooms in Phillip's backyard.

The complex where Jaycee and her children were held for eighteen years

As Phillip’s psychological influence on Jaycee took its toll. She became very humble, dependent and even sympathetic towards her abductor. When he told his sad stories about how he had a “problem” he couldn’t control and that he needed her to help with it, she felt bad for him and maybe even a feeling that she had to remain there to protect others from Phillip’s “bad side.”

Phillip started a printing business that was fairly successful, and Jaycee was made the graphic designer of the business. She had access to a desktop, emailing, and a business phone to contact with customers and other people regularly. Many clients recall talking to her over the years, but as further proof of the effectiveness of Phillip’s indoctrination, she never once mentioned or even hinted at her true identity or her kidnapping.

Jaycee Lee Dugard.

As Jaycee grew up and converted into an adult woman , she no longer served to satisfy Phillip’s pedophilic lust. For once, showing that he was not entirely a sexually disturbing man, he never once touched or violated his and Jaycee’s baby girls. But he still, with Nancy’s support, frequented the playgrounds and elementary schools from which he could look the children playing. He often asked Nancy to get the little girls to lift their skirts or spread their legs and then took pictures from his car.

During her 18 years of captivity, police had multiple chances to uncover the kidnapping or link Phillip to the disappearance. Most importantly, the kidnapping crime had committed near South Lake Tahoe, just a few miles from where Phillip had kidnapped his first victim, Katherine Callaway in 1976. Several leads were also discovered early in the search, but none led to any conclusion.

Examination of the Garridos’ backyard after the discovery revealed that all that was protecting the tent maze and Jaycee from the world was an 8-foot fence. Not once did the parole officers discover anything unusual about the Garrido property, even as Phillip was brought up on several minor drug charges and other petty crimes.

Nothing, of course, besides the brilliant psychological and criminal manipulation of Phillip Garrido.

In 2009, Phillip’s appetites toward the supernatural finally got the best of him. He was always into ideas of the occult and other possiblity science, but he seems to have gone off the rails with this final plan. He brought Jaycee and their children to a police department at UC Berkeley to discuss his “God’s Desire” program. The officers there naturally found the pale and submissive girls suspicious and ran previous check about Phillip, quickly knowing that Phillip was a registered sex criminal on parole for kidnapping charges.

The police investigated Jaycee and the children, separating them from Phillip. Jaycee, even when asked, still protected the truth about her identity and Phillip’s sexual desires. She made up a whole alibi and maintained her story right up until when Phillip cracked and admitted his kidnapping and rape of Jaycee. Even then, Jaycee, who had not so much as said her own name in over a decade, had to write out her name on a piece of paper.

“I told them that I couldn’t say it. I was not trying to be hard. I told her I haven’t said or write it in eighteen years. I told her I would write it down. And that’s what I did. Writting shakily on that small paper, the letters of my name:”


The Garrido property was raided and endless evidences of the crimes was found. Nancy and Phillip were quickly arrested and Jaycee was brought back to the real world for the first time in eighteen years.

So, She reunited with her family and friends and continued to be a wonderful mother to her kids, who were already fast approaching high school age.

The life of these real characters changed. Here is what happened next:

Nancy Garrido

She was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 36 years to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Phillip Garrido

He was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 431 years to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

In 2011, Jaycee published a book of her experiences in captivity and returning to normalcy, titled "A Stolen Life". If you want to like to know more about her personal experiences in captivity and this case, I highly recommend you get a copy. It is a very good read.