Jaycee Dugard, 11, set out to walk to her school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California on the morning of June 10, 1991. It was 18 years before her family would ever see her again. So, what happened to Jaycee Dugard?
That morning, convicted rapist Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, kidnapped Jaycee. What occurred over the course of those terrifying 18 years, and what has Dugard been up to since? This is her story.
Who Is Jaycee Dugard?
Jaycee Lee Dugard was born on May 3, 1980, She was raised by her mother, Terry Probyn, and stepfather, Carl Probyn.
In 1979, Terry had an affair with Dugard’s biological father, Ken Slayton. Terry always admitted that Slayton was Jaycee’s father, and claimed that he repeatedly refused to be part of her life. Slayton, meanwhile, said later he never knew Jaycee was his biological daughter.
Only after Jaycee was rescued in 2009 did Slayton petition the courts to establish his paternity. At that point, however, Jaycee had no interest in meeting Slayton. While she could always change her mind, she said in a statement, “DNA does not make a family.”
In September 1990, Jaycee Dugard and her family moved from Arcadia, California to Meyers, a rural town outside of South Lake Tahoe, California. The family made the move because they thought it was a safer community.
June 10, 1991: Jaycee Dugard Kidnapped
On Monday, June 10, Terry Dugard was running late for work and didn’t kiss her daughter goodbye.
Later, Jaycee, 11, got ready for school. She put on her favorite pink shirt and a ring in the shape of a butterfly that her mother gave her.
She yelled “bye” to her stepfather, who was in the garage, and walked up the hill from her house to catch the school bus.
A car crept up behind her when she was about halfway up the hill. A voice asked her for directions.
The driver then shot Jaycee with a stun gun. She felt “tingly” and “numb,” and stumbled back into the bushes. The last thing she remembers was touching something “sticky.”
Jaycee’s stepfather saw the kidnapping through the garage window. He jumped on his bicycle and tried to chase the kidnappers down, but he couldn’t catch up.
The next thing Jaycee remembers is being in the back of a car, handcuffed, under a blanket, and someone sitting on top of her.
She recalls hearing Phillip Garrido, the driver, telling his wife Nancy, “I can’t believe we got away with it.”
For the next three hours, Jaycee drifted in and out of consciousness while Garrido drove to his home 170 miles away, at 1554 Walnut Avenue, in Antioch, California.
Once in Antioch, he took Jaycee into his backyard where he had a compound of tents and sheds. He locked her inside a tiny, soundproof room.
Garrido raped her; the young girl was still wearing her handcuffs.
When he was finished, he warned the naked and terrified Dugard that there were dogs outside trained to attack her if she tried to escape.
Jaycee Dugard Faces Life in Captivity
Over the ensuing weeks, Phillip Garrido visited Jaycee in the structure, bringing her food and milkshakes.
He also raped the 11-year-old on a regular basis. He would dress her up, sometimes get high on methamphetamine, and abuse her for a full day.
Jaycee later said that Garrido told her she was saving the lives of other girls by remaining in captivity.
When Garrido and his wife kidnapped Jaycee, he was a convicted sex offender on parole for a previous abduction and rape. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison, but released after serving 11 years.
Why? Because apparently he was the shining example of a reformed criminal. He had not, according to the state of California, committed a crime since his rape conviction in 1976. Garrido performed so well in federal prison that he was paroled almost 40 years early from a Nevada state prison.
Garrido was so reformed that no one suspected him in the 1991 kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard.
Once in captivity, he took to controlling the rest of Jaycee’s life. That included brainwashing and emotionally abusing her. He barred her from saying her own name, and made her change it. She chose “Alyssa.”
Kidnapped, alone, with a new name, the only thing she had from her previous life was the butterfly ring she managed to hide.
During her captivity, Jaycee kept a diary in which she would pine for freedom, feeling physically and emotionally trapped, and longed to be reunited with her mother.
Still, she was emotionally conflicted, and protective of the couple.
In a diary entry written two years after her kidnapping, Jaycee wrote, “I got a cat for my birthday from Phil and Nancy … they did something for me that no one else would do for me, they paid 200 dollars just so I could have my own kitten.”
Jaycee could not understand, though, that the kitten was a way to manipulate the then 13-year-old. The kitten gave her comfort, but Phillip Garrido still raped her on a regular basis.
Jaycee counted a number of cats as her close companions, chronicling their likes and dislikes in her diary. But they all met the same fate: Garrido took them away from her.
In the early months, Jaycee lived alternately in the tiny music studio and a slightly larger structure.
Initially handcuffed, she was given small rewards: the handcuffs were taken off; she was given a TV (but not allowed to watch the news), a Nintendo video game, and crayons.
Jaycee and Nancy
Phillip kept Jaycee Dugard to himself for the first seven months. Only then did he introduce Jaycee to his wife, Nancy.
Like Phillip, though, she was a master manipulator. Nancy brought Jaycee stuffed animals, junk food, and chocolate milk.
At the same time, she’d give the girl tearful apologies about her predicament.
Not surprisingly, Jaycee was confused. She also craved Nancy’s attention and approval, which at times could be motherly or cruel.
Both Phillip and Nancy spent time with Jaycee, watching movies together and sleeping in the shelter with her. Jaycee slept on the floor, while the Garridos slept on her bed.
At one point, probably a year into her captivity, when Jaycee was 12, Nancy informed her that Phillip would be away for a month.
“Wow! A WHOLE MONTH WITH NO SEX! I am so excited inside,” she wrote in her memoir, A Stolen Life. “But she [Nancy] looks so sad I just say, ‘Fine.’”
But there was more going on than meets the eye. On more than one occasion, when Phillip was away, Nancy served as Jaycee’s jailer.
Fast forward to April 1993: Phillip Garrido was sent back to prison for failing a drug test, which was a parole violation.
After spending 38 days in jail, he was released under home confinement supervision.
During those 38 days, Nancy, the crying apologist, again served as Jaycee’s jailer.
Jaycee Dugard Had 2 Daughters in Captivity
Three years into her captivity, Jaycee Dugard gave birth to her first child, fathered by her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido. She was just 14 years old.
Jaycee knew nothing about sex before she was kidnapped at 11 years of age. She only knew she was pregnant because her captors told her she was. Jaycee knew she was gaining weight, but had no idea why.
She knew there would be no doctors on hand to help her deliver the baby, so she watched videos about giving birth.
Jaycee was locked in one of the rooms in the backyard compound when she started having pains.
Jaycee said it was the most physically painful experience of her young life.
“I didn’t know I was in labor,” she said. “Then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. [I] had somebody that was mine … And I knew I could never let anything happen to her.”
She named her first daughter Angel.
Three years later, in 1997, when she was 17, Jaycee gave birth to her second daughter, Starlit.
While in captivity, Angel and Starlit were told by Garrido that Jaycee was their older sister, and that he and Nancy were their parents. The girl never told her daughters that they were actually being held captive in the dilapidated backyard compound.
During this time, Jaycee made every effort to educate her two daughters, going so far as to create a school in the compound. She taught them everything she could, even though she herself only had a grade five education.
A young Jaycee Dugard worked hard to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the backyard prison, but yearned to be reunited with her mother Terry. Throughout the ordeal, she held onto the butterfly ring given to her by her mother and saw it as a symbol of hope.
“I wanted to see her more than anything,” she said about her mother. “I would cry e