The Kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard
In the town of South Lake Tahoe, children played safely outside, the sun always seemed to be shining, and laughter was a common sound. Everyone knew one another and crime ratings were close to zero. Due to the town’s “child-friendly” nature, the Dugard family called this place home (Hawkins). However, on June 10, 1991, a fiery nightmare exploded into reality for eleven year-old Jaycee Dugard. Walking towards the bus stop, Jaycee was dragged into a grey sedan (Hawkins). Jaycee’s stepfather Carl Probyn witnessed this gut-wrenching act from down the street and tried unsuccessfully to trail the car on a bike. (Tresniowski). Jaycee’s mother, Terry, lost control of her emotions after her daughter’s kidnapping (Tresniowski). The ordeal also eventually caused Terry and Carl to split (Hawkins). Before the divorce, they put forth tremendous efforts to find their missing daughter, such as producing more than 500,000 posters (Tresniowski). Thankfully, Miss Dugard was found alive in 2009 in the Bay Area (Hawkins); however, Jaycee’s abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, can only be described as severely disturbed. During Jaycee’s captivity, she lived in the trash-infested, “hell-warren” backyard compound of the Garrido’s (Tresniowski). As well as a horrendous living environment, Jaycee gave birth to two daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido during her eighteen years of hell on Earth (Hawkins). The basic facts of this story are famous nation-wide; however, most individuals are clueless as to why Jaycee wasn’t rescued for so long and how she survived. Because of mistakes made by police and other officials and Garrido’s master criminal mind, Jaycee was not rescued for eighteen years, during which her methods of survival kept her alive. To start off, among the many mistakes exist the ones made by the police. For instance, police officials failed to notice Garrido’s multiple parole violations as well as the massive amount of time he spent in the backyard, which could have easily been signaled by his GPS ankle-monitoring device (Wollan). Amazingly, the mistakes did not end with this. After a neighbor of Garrido’s reported the inhabitants of a young woman and her daughters living in Garrido’s backyard, a police officer merely interviewed Garrido without running a background check or investigating the backyard (Hawkins). The fact that these errors took place is astonishing and quite frightening; it questions the ability of local police officials. Furthermore, in 2008, Garrido’s backyard caught fire which sent police and firefighters to the scene, but the fact that Jaycee was held captive there was not uncovered (Hawkins). These human errors that could have easily been avoided suggest that police officers may need more training on simple tasks. Together with the mistakes performed by the police are those made by other officials. The paramedics are perfect examples of “other officials.” Emergency calls pertaining to Garrido’s sick mother caused paramedics to visit the home on numerous occasions; however, they did not notice any suspicious behavior (Hawkins). One visit could easily be brushed off, but numerous? How did Jaycee and her two daughters go unnoticed every time? Similar to this, is the fact that Garrido had scheduled and surprise visits with his parole officer regularly, yet none of these events revealed Jaycee (Hawkins). These check-ups were routine and every single time they failed to notice the captive even though she was hidden in “plain sight” (Hawkins). State sanctioned parole officers should be well trained at their professions as it is, but federal parole officers have superiority and should have their job tasks perfected. However, from 1988 to 1999, Jaycee was abducted and gave birth to her daughters, even though Garrido was under both state and federal parole supervision the whole time (Wollan). Matthew L. Cate, a representative for the California Department of Corrections,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document