Jaycee Dugard: A Story of Strength and Survival

Jaycee during interview
Jaycee during interview

keeping faith, hope & love alive

This is a mere synopsis of the dark and horrifying story of a 31 year old woman from California. Encompassing 18 years of her life, this tale sparked public interest and outrage as a media explosion reported the factual events with all their dreadful atrocities.

In the end however, it is a powerful example of study into the human condition, into the intricacies of the human mind. Sadly, it is also a morbid and blaring example of our System’s inadequacies and the misery too often a result of its failures. The story of this woman may force us to extend our reach into a world we have never allowed ourselves to imagine. Truly, here is a place of the incredible grotesqueness that healthy, stable minds dare not tread.

1991, South Lake Tahoe, California, Jacycee Lee Dugard, an 11 year old girl, awaited the school bus, just up the road from her home. Approached by a male stranger and shocked to the ground by a stun gun. Jacycee was shoved into the back of a vehicle and whisked away

Her abductor was one, Philip Garrido, convicted sex offender and chronic drug addict. His wife and partner in crime, Nancy, an unattractive and subservient woman was complicit in this evil deed.

Jaycee's destination was to be Garrido's home in Antioch, CA. where for 18 years of her life, he would keep her hidden & imprisoned in a make-shift “camp” filled with canvas shelters, high fences and squalor. There, a terrorized and frightened 11 year old child was Philip Garrido's helpless captive. Jaycee suffered daily threats, beatings and unspeakable forms of mental and sexual abuse, unable to escape, invisible to the outside world.

Despite massive searches, countless interviews and hundreds of volunteers assisting law enforcement, their only lead, a vague description of a vehicle, the case reached a dead end. Her devastated family however as well as friends and neighbors kept Jaycee’s story alive and exposed to the world.

As time passed, one painful year after horrifying year, Garrido's Hell was Jaycee’s existence. Even as this imprisoned teenager gave birth to two of Garrido’s children, one at the age of 14 and a second at the age of 17, her captivity remained a dark secret from the authorities.

Jaycee and her babies remained undiscovered by not one but three agencies, local, State and Federal. Their duties per court order, to supervise parolee Philip Garrido and document his activities, never resulted in discovery of his prisoners who through it all, were right under their noses. Our minds reel, our hearts break and we are sickened at the mere thought of the atrocities this child endured for 18 years, at the hands of a sick, deranged monster.

At long last, on August 25th, 2009, due to the alertness of a female parole officer while observing Jacee’s daughters, then ages 11 and 15, in the company of Garrido, an alarm went off.

Instantly, a thorough investigation ensued. Garrido, along with his wife Nancy, Jaycee and her daughters were brought to the local parole office, separated and questioned by law enforcement for hours. What resulted was the long overdue uncovering of the kidnapping, imprisonment, torture and rape of Jaycee Dugard by Philip Garrido over a period of 18 years.

Immediately placed under arrest and charged with these unspeakable crimes, Philip and Nancy Garrido ultimately plead guilty, were sentenced and locked away from society. Garrido’s sentence is 431 years, Nancy Garrido will serve 36 years to life.

This brave and amazing survivor, Jaycee Dugard, her daughters at her side, was reunited with her family, to begin their lives anew. Jaycee embraced all opportunities to empower herself to heal and go forward. With the grace and dignity she had protected and nurtured, she began re-entry into the world of comfort and love. The world she’d never forgotten but trusted would be hers again one day.

Jaycee was recently seen in her first televised interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC World News. This amazing woman has written a memoir, “A Stolen Life,” now available to the public. This story is beyond inspirational. Jaycee Dugard survived daily degradation, physical, mental and emotional pain for nearly two decades. She accomplished this through the sheer power of her unbreakable spirit and the inner strength that drove her to cling to a pure belief in the freedom and joy that she would one day reclaim.

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Comments 28 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

IMO....it is wonderful when the public can see raw injustice and rise up against it!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 14 months ago from The Beautiful South

I see today I wasn't the only one watching this documentary and getting mad, seems so many were and mad as me. I am reading all the comments now at yahoo and that is about as good as another show! lol

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

First off...you are not bothering me.. I could discuss this "stuff" all day. I probably won't get into this story until I return home from visiting my son & family....but will definitely keep you posted on my experience. Thanks Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 14 months ago from The Beautiful South

I cannot believe that given the interest I developed in things like this that happen that if I had it to do over again I may well have gotten into forensic science! So yes it is in my blood. lol

There are several segments to this story and one I just watched has my heart in my throat! You will love it! Now I won't bother you anymore but if you do get to see it let me know what you think!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I'm ready for a LONG story.....no problem. I'm not really surprised so many people "have never heard of this" Jackie.....just imagine. When an entire group of sickos want something "hidden" or kept from the public eyes.....they do all that is possible to achieve that secrecy. They don't count on real life Sherlock Holmes like US to sniff them out!! LOL....First thing I'm doing this afternoon is checking out Netflix!

Face it Jackie.....it's "in our blood" we can't STAY AWAY. Thank God for the SNOOPERS in this world! LOL!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 14 months ago from The Beautiful South

Like you, I try my best to stay away from things like this anymore having been so consumed with it for so many years but this one is worth looking at and makes me wonder how everyone has not heard about it! Not many are into these though so when I had no one I knew would be interested I thought of you! lol Warning though, it looks like a long story!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Jackie.....I can clearly see that you & I have a similar penchant in this particular area of interest....(Darlie, etc.) My excuse is a life in behavior analysis....nothing more fascinating. Now you have pulled me into researching the Steven Avery story! Sounds like one of those stories that's going to get my blood pressure up and cause me to put on my Investigator's hat!!! Thanks, Jackie. Wishing you & yours a peaceful & prosperous New Year filled with blessings & sharing. Paula

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 14 months ago from The Beautiful South

I am watching the Steven Avery story Making a Murderer on Netflix and just wondered if you knew about it? It is so interesting! I can't believe all that is in this and have much yet to learn! They falsely imprisoned him 18 years and then DNA got him out proving his innocence and now it looks as if they (the law) in this town possibly murdered someone to set him up and get him back in jail! Just wondered if you had heard of it. Can't wait to see the rest and looks as if there is so much more to the story!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

This was only the 2nd hub I ever wrote, nearly 4 years ago now........and it's QUITE obvious!! Ewwww.......terrible......too short......amongst other terrible criticisms! I should write the whole damned thing over again!! Thanks for letting me see this nasty hub again GF!.....God.....what a difference a few years makes!!

This reminds me of looking at old pictures of our teased up bouffant hair dos in the '60's that we thought were so damned cool.......and now we LAUGH at those pictures!!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I still haven't found the book at a yard sale yet! :)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

There are so many books I want to read....just like the movies I want to see!....You wait for the books to show up at a yard sale...I wait for the movies to be aired on TV!! LOL...Thanks for stopping by, gf!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Jaycee's story still amazes me. One day I'm going to read her book! I haven't found it at a yard sale yet!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Coge.....I'm sure you did have to dig into the archives for this one. That tells me I need to snap out of my writer's semi-coma! You're the smart one who has a "Specialty".......you always know what you'll write about!

Yes, Jaycee's story is an amazing one. Her ability to endure the nightmare, yet emerge with courage and hope is something that most average people are in awe of. Thanks, Coge

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

It took me awhile to find a hub of yours that I had not already read and commented on...but boy was the wait worth it. The story of Jaycee Dugard is amazing and horribly sad but even more impressive is her ability to move on with her life. I hope the last 10 months have been happy for her. Thanks for sharing this story....voted up and interesting.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Rastamermaid....I was so pleased to hear of Jaycee's intent to be compensated. To say she deserves it is an understatement. Her maturity level & inner strength at such a young age does not cease to amaze me. Thank you for commenting. Please stop by anytime.

Slaffery I would imagine with your background that this story is far more than impressive. Your comments about secure attachments are profound and I appreciate your comments very much.....

slaffery profile image

slaffery 5 years ago from Kansas, USA

You have written this so delicately and gracefully. Coming from an early childhood/social work background this also shows me how important those early years are in child's life. From the day we are born we are building secure attachments. Every time our needs are met. It's so important to build a secure attachment because those attachments will follow every aspect of a person's life. It will mean the difference between doing well in school to holding down a job to being able to have stable relationships to being able to survive traumatic events in our lives.

Jaycee already had the secure attachment in place and strong sense of who she was and is at a very early age. She is strong and very couragious and an inspiration to all who hear her story. I wish her nothing but the best for her future. Voted up and beautiful, interesting, useful.

Rastamermaid profile image

Rastamermaid 5 years ago from Universe

I recently read that she's suing the correction system that was suppose to monitor him. I don't think there is an amount with enough 0's in it to compensate her for her ordeal.

But it's amazing how well grounded she is,how she never gave up hope and that she and her mom always knew in their hearts they would be back together.

All I can say is God is good,and if you have faith,keep it!

Awesome hub!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Barbara...I feel honored to hear from someone so literally CLOSE to this horror. There SHOULD be an enormous investigation COUNTRY-wide of our entire system, Barb. Alas, human beings make errors and overlook....but with each mistake, hard lessons must be learned and CORRECTED. Isn't this what we all do?

Barbara Turpin profile image

Barbara Turpin 5 years ago from N. California

I live about 50 miles from S. Lake Tahoe, and can tell you it was an exhaustive search for her. Between there and here is complete forest, creeks and rivers. Took months to search that 50 miles. I couldn't finish the book, it so hard to know how close it was to us.

I CAN tell you there is a JUGE investigation and overhaul of our parole/probation system

Police officers being investigated. BUT sad knowing it took this incident to make changes. Sickening. Just PISSES me off. Now I wonder about the lacking in my state.

Informed HUB

Thank you

amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

Jaycee was interviewed on tv recently. I was so inspired by her. She's shockingly well adjusted, so positive and grateful. I enjoyed this hub very much! It's so well written and I voted it up.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

J.W. and Ethel....You've said it so well for so many of us. Thank you.

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

How someone moves on from this I dont know. Jaycee is one remarkable woman and has not let her captors win in the long run. Good luck to her and her loved ones

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Jaycee Dugard's resilience is truly amazing! I wish her unceasing happiness for the remainder of her life. She's earned it.

Everything about her ordeal is horrendous, but the fact that three different times she could have been discovered and rescued by various agency personnel who visited Garrido's home, but wasn't, makes my blood run cold. After seeing photographs of the primitive outdoor tents where Jaycee and her two daughters were forced to live in squalor for years, it's unbelievable that they could have been overlooked with even the most cursory of "supervision."

Yes, the very systems that are supposed to protect people can harm them grievously due to carelessness and failure. I wonder if the people who overlooked these three victims and now realize it are able to sleep at night? In their place, I'd never know another moment's peace.


fpherj48 5 years ago

Yes, Jean....and there seem to be more and more. Grant us Peace and Safety. Thanks for stopping by.

jean2011 profile image

jean2011 5 years ago from Canada

This is really a touching story! It is indeed sad to know that there are still living in the world with wicked hearts.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks for visiting Sunshine and Cowtowngirl77....I know we would all love to meet Jaycee and be able to talk with her. It is interesting to me that her daughters had some difficulties with separation anxiety from the man they knew as their father. By the time they had grown a bit, I understand Garrido had ceased his abusive behaviors (although he is still a very sick man). Also, I'm sure they were young enough that he hadn't chosen to molest them as yet. Thank God for that.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I still haven't read her book BUT I did see her TV Special. Jaycee is an amazing inspiration to us all. Her strength should be bottled and sold, she could make a fortune! You wrote a wonderful tribute to the girl who captured our hearts. Thank you :)

cowtowngirl77 profile image

cowtowngirl77 5 years ago

Thies is such a devastating story. I am totally amazed that she seems so together. Whatever therapy she is getting is wonderful. I pray that the rest of her life is totally peaceful and happy.

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