Photos: Captive’s tale

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  1. After being held against her will for 18 years, Jaycee Dugard told 'People' magazine that she's "so happy to be back with my family." In addition to the interview, the magazine featured on Oct. 14 the first photo of Dugard as a 29-year-old. She now lives in seclusion with her mom, Terry Probyn, 50, and the two daughters – Angel, 15, and Starlit, 11 – fathered by her alleged kidnapper, Phillip Garrido. (People) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. In this 1991 photo, an El Dorado County sheriff's deputy holds a photograph of Jaycee Lee Dugard, shortly after her kidnapping, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Authorities say Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido confessed to snatching Dugard from a South Lake Tahoe bus stop in 1991; both were arrested. Dugard was reunited with her mother, sister and another relative on Aug. 27. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. In this June 10, 1991, photo, Terry Probyn, mother of Jaycee Dugard, fights back tears before cutting a cake on Jaycee Lee's birthday just a few days after Jaycee was kidnapped in front of her stepfather, Carl Probyn, near their home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. In this 1991 photo, FBI agents speak to passing motorists while investigating the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. These undated handout photos show Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11 from near her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. On Aug. 28, her stepfather described her as a "mellow" kid. (Child Quest via Reuters, AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Nancy Garrido, second from left, and her husband Phillip, far right, are with their court-appointed attorneys, Gilbert Maines, left, and Susan Gellman, right, during their Aug. 28 arraignment on 29 felony counts stemming from the 1991 abduction of Jaycee Dugard, in the El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville, Calif. The couple pleaded not guilty to charges including forcible abduction, rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Mugshot photos of Phillip and Nancy Garrido, who were arrested Aug. 27 in the case of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Phillip Garrido is a registered sex offender who has served prison time for kidnapping and rape. (Dorado County Sheriff's Office via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Makeshift tents and other structures fill the backyard where authorities say kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard spent 18 years in Antioch, Calif. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. An FBI agent carries a bag of evidence from the Garrido home in Antioch, Calif., on Aug. 27. (Paul Sakuma / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. An FBI agent inspects the car that was reportedly used in the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard as it is being impounded from the home of Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, in Antioch, Calif. (Monica M. Davey / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Jaycee Dugard was waiting for a school bus on June 10, 1991, on this road in South Lake Tahoe when she was abducted by a couple driving a gray sedan. (David B. Parker / Reno Gazette-Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Carl Probyn, 60, stepfather of Jaycee Dugard, holds a photo of his stepdaughter at his home in Orange, Calif. (Nick Ut / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 9/1/2009 8:06:20 PM ET 2009-09-02T00:06:20

In March of 1977, Phillip Garrido was 25 and in federal prison pleading with a judge to reduce his 50-year prison sentence for kidnapping a stranger.

In neat handwriting and misspelled words, Garrido wrote in a letter that drugs had caused a "downfall" that led to his conviction a month earlier.

Garrido, now charged with the 1991 kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Dugard, told U.S. District Court Judge Bruce R. Thompson he was "ashamed" for what he had done and had later admitted on the witness stand.

He said he had finished his high school education during his time behind bars, was seeing a psychiatrist and learning the carpentry trade.

He was contrite and pleading.

"When living at home and going to school, my life was free from the influences of drugs," his letter began after he misspelled the judge's first name as "Bruse."

"I was the baby of the family and spoiled in the long run," he said.

The letter contained in court records provides new insight into the man accused of keeping Dugard locked away in his backyard for 18 years and fathering two children with her.

Under influence of LSD
There was no hint of the sexually obsessed kidnapper and rapist who testified a month earlier to prowling through neighborhoods as a Peeping Tom and exposing himself to girls as young as 7.

Garrido told Thompson that by 1969, marijuana had found its way to his rural neighborhood east of San Francisco. He also began using copious amounts of LSD.

"Slowly it began to take me to another style of living and thinking, in the long run I lost much of my reasoning powers," he wrote. "Seven years of using made me fall from reality."

He assured the judge, however, that he had rediscovered the right path after seeing a psychiatrist.

"Of course that is because I wanted to, knowing this is my chance to get my life in line," he wrote. "Drugs have been my downfall. I am so ashamed of my past. But my future is now in controle (sic)."

Garrido failed to persuade the judge to order his early release. His appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also was unsuccessful.

Still, he was freed on parole in 1988 because federal sentences meted out in the 1970s allowed prisoners given 30 years or more to apply for release after serving 10 years.

Rape fantasies
Garrido testified during his three-day trial and hurt his cause. He freely told the jury that he abducted his victim and raped her at a storage shed he rented in Reno. He discussed at length his rape fantasies and discussed exposing himself to little girls.

"I had this fantasy that was driving me to do this, inside of me; something that was making me want to do it without — no way to stop it," he said.

The victim testified that Garrido had discussed his sexual fantasies while driving her to the storage area, where he assaulted her for more than five hours until a police officer knocked on the door after becoming suspicious of the victim's car parked nearby.

More than three decades later, Garrido and his wife Nancy are being held in El Dorado County on charges of kidnapping and raping Dugard then holding her at an Antioch home, even as parole officers and police occasionally turned up to check on him. They have pleaded not guilty.

Hayward police are investigating any possible links between Garrido and the unsolved 1988 abduction of Michaela Garecht. She was snatched from a parking lot after the 9-year-old and a friend rode their scooters to a market.

"We immediately just from news reports heard there were enough similarities in the case that it was worth looking," police Lt. Chris Orrey said. "So far nothing has eliminated him as a suspect."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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