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Jaycee Dugard: I was too scared to try to escape

A California woman who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years says she was so afraid of her abductors that she never tried to escape.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

A California woman who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years says she was so afraid of her abductors that she never tried to escape.

In portions of a grand jury transcript released Thursday, Jaycee Dugard said she was zapped with a stun gun while being taken from a South Lake Tahoe street near where her family lived on the morning of June 10, 1991. She said she was kept under a blanket in a car as she was whisked away to the home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

As the car drove away, Dugard said, "I heard voices in the front, and the man said, 'I can't believe we got away with it.' And he started laughing."

At her abductors' home, Phillip Garrido threatened to use the stun gun on her again and said he had vicious dogs that would attack her if she left the property.

Dugard says she was later locked inside a backyard studio without being allowed to leave for an entire year. During later years, she felt helpless because she didn't know where she would go if she escaped.

The document was released after the Garridos were sentenced.

The Garridos pleaded guilty in late April to kidnapping and rape. Phillip Garrido also pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts captured on video.

On Thursday, Phillip Garrido, 60, was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison; his 55-year-old wife was sentenced to 36 years to life.

Dugard, now 31, was 11 when she was abducted. She bore two daughters in captivity after Phillip Garrido repeatedly raped her.

The transcripts released released Thursday afternoon total about 100 pages, but do not include descriptions of Phillip Garrido's sexual attacks upon her.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido are shown in this combination of April 7, 2011 file photos during a hearing in their case Placerville, California. The couple, charged with abducting 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 and holding her captive for 18 years, pleaded guilty on April 28, 2011 to kidnapping and sexual assault charges for the crime that carry life prison sentences. REUTERS/Max Whittaker/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)Max Whittaker / X02214

Dugard's family and lawyers on both sides had objected to a request from media organizations to release the transcripts. But El Dorado Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister ruled some portions could be made public, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The judge kept sealed some portions that he characterized as "just plain pornographic and disgusting," The Bee reported.

The following are excerpts from the 135 pages of Dugard's grand jury testimony unsealed by Phimister:

Dugard: And all of a sudden, his hand shoots out of the car window, and I feel this shock. And I stumble back into the, into the bushes. And...I'm sorry.

Q: That's all right. Take your time.

Dugard: He gets out and I stumble back into the bushes. I'm sitting now in the bushes, trying to get away, but I feel like my whole body is — wouldn't work. It was tingly and I can't — nothing works. All of a sudden, I'm in the car, and there's something on top of me, and I feel like there's pressure on me. ... I was put on the floorboard and then something thrown on top of me, and then legs, pressure, face down. I don't know what happened after that because I think I — because I don't remember the car pulling away, or I felt like I blacked out or something.


Q: Did you ever, do you recall, during the time while you were in the car, seeing a second person in the car?

Dugard: No. But then I could hear a voice sometime later. I don't know when. The man in the front, all of a sudden, the pressure was off, like I woke up, and I could hear the car door slam like someone was getting into the front seat, the passenger side. And the person that took me was like, handing me something to — said, 'Do you want something to drink?' And then I heard voices in the front, and the man said, 'I can't believe we got away with it,' and he started laughing.


Dugard: (the car stops) "And then he's telling me — well, he put the blanket back over me, and he said I had to be really quiet and there was dogs patrolling the area. He said — he said he had Dobermans and that if I was to run or, you know, try to do anything, that they would come after me."


Q: Were you afraid of him from the moment this all started?

Dugard: I was very scared. I didn't know who he was. I didn't know why he was doing this. I just wanted to go home. I think in the bathroom I kept telling him that, you know, 'I don't why you're doing this. If you're holding me for ransom, my family doesn't have a lot of money. I didn't know. I didn't know his purpose.


Dugard: He didn't say much in the beginning. I remember very quiet, just telling me what to do. About the dogs.

Q: To stay away from the dogs?

Dugard: Yeah.

Q: Were you afraid of the dogs, also?

Dugard: I didn't know where they were. So I was afraid to do anything. I didn't know what he would do, either.

Q: But he told you to be — that you should be afraid of the dogs?

Dugard: Yes.

Q: Just specifically, what do you recall him saying about the dogs?

Dugard: That they were very territorial, and if they found anybody on their property that they did not know they would attack.


Q: So just so we're clear, so for approximately the first year, or period of time that you can associate with being the first year, you were largely kept alone and staying in — and it was interrupted with food or some limited contact with Phil and then the runs that you described and the sexual assaults?

Dugard: Yeah.

Q: And no other contact with anyone else?

Dugard: No. He did bring me a cat.

Q: You had a cat inside. When did he bring the cat? About how long after you were taken?

Dugard: I was still in the studio room, and you know, I would tell him how lonely I was and stuff like that. And so he gave me a cat. It was a very — it wasn't happy in that room, I guess, because it would pee everywhere. And so he started smelling it, and he took it away.

Q: He took the cat away?

Dugard: Yeah.


Q: In this period of time when things started to change in that regard, that was about the time that (Dugard's first daughter) was born?

Dugard: Um, yeah. Um-hum. It seemed like everything changed when she was born.

Q: And so she's born inside this backyard area where you're describing?

Dugard: Um-hum.

Q: And then she lives with you?

Dugard: For — yeah. Three years we lived next door. He started — he made a fence in the back, just a small portion, and I could go out there with the baby. It was like he bought a little, like, swing set and stuff.

Q: Did you continue — in this period of time, were you still being locked up at night the way you described before?

Dugard: We were all sleeping in the same room, so I don't know if they locked the door.

Q: Did you feel as though Phil was still — I'm talking about beyond the three years after (your daughter) was born. And so he was controlling you and your life?

Dugard: Yeah, I didn't have — I didn't feel like — you know, I didn't know where to go. ... Then I had a baby, and I just wanted it to be OK.

Q: And were you still afraid of Phil?

Dugard: Um, I don't know if I was afraid that he would, like, kill me or something, but just — I mean, he would get mad sometimes. But I don't think I was afraid for my life. I just felt like there was no other place for me.


Dugard: Phillip always said, you know, in the beginning he said that I was helping him and that, you know, he had a sex problem and that, you know, he got me so that he wouldn't have to do this to anybody else. So I was helping him.

Q: And you were helping by preventing it from happening to anybody else?

Dugard: I guess that's how I felt, yeah. That's what he told me.