Jaycee Dugard’s First Interview: Watch Video of Best Moments
Jaycee Dugard was held captive and sexually assaulted for 18 years. WATCH VIDEO from her first interview.
The Kidnapping: ‘My World Changed in an Instant’
On June 10, 1991, Jaycee Dugard was just 11 years old. A fifth grader and dressed in all pink, she was headed to school with a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in tow. But the day took a horrible turn when Phillip and Nancy Garrido drove up behind the girl soon after she left her house. “[I] walked up the side of the hill because it was the safe way to go against traffic,” Dugard said. “Halfway up, my world changed in an instant.” The Garridos paralyzed her with a stun gun, forced her into their car, and sped off, hiding her under a blanket. Dugard remembered: “It was like the most horrible moment of your life times 10.”
Phillip Garrido’s Drug-Filled Binges
Dugard was kept handcuffed and locked up in the backyard of the Garridos’ home. She endured emotional and physical abuse as Phillip Garrido raped her repeatedly. At times, fueled by a cocktail of methamphetamines, the assault would last for hours during what he called “runs.” “It didn’t make sense to me at all,” Dugard said. “But that’s what he did.” And when it was all over, Garrido would break down sobbing, begging her for forgiveness.
Having Children in the Backyard Compound
When she was 14, the Garridos told Dugard they thought she was pregnant. She had never seen anyone give birth before, and learned about childbearing by watching TV. On the day she went into labor, Dugard was locked in a shed, alone and unaware that the excruciating pain she felt meant she was having her baby. “It was terrible pain, I didn’t know what was going on, hadn’t seen anybody all day,” she said. The Garridos finally turned up, and more than 12 hours later Dugard’s daughter was born. She teared up when describing the first sight of her newborn: “I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. I had somebody that was mine.” Three years later she had a second daughter, also born in the backyard compound.
How She Survived
So how was Dugard able to persevere and keep her sanity? She said she shut off part of her mind and held onto one thing—hope. “You just do what you have to do to survive,” she said. But there are some memories that stick out in her thoughts—it’s chilling to watch as Dugard recalls moments that still haunt her. “That lock, hearing the lock ... and the bed, it was a squeaky bed,” she said. “It’s weird what sticks in your head.”
Freedom: ‘I’m So Happy, I’m So Happy!’
Finally, it was over. In August 2009, 18 years after the kidnapping, Phillip Garrido was summoned to a parole meeting where he astonishingly confessed. When police asked Dugard to tell them who she was, she was unable to speak her name after years of mental abuse. Instead she wrote it on a piece of paper. “It was like a piece of me came back,” she said. "Now I can walk in the next room and see my mom. Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow. It's unbelievable. Truly."