August 31, 2009
Posted: 05:00 PM ET
Katie Callaway Hall was abducted and raped by Phillip Garrido in 1976. He was convicted and served time for that crime. This is the same man who allegedly kidnapped Jaycee Dugard and held her captive for 18 years. Katie will be our exclusive guest on Larry King Live tonight. Below, she shares some of her terrifying experience, and how she is still working to overcome it.
In many ways, the capture of Phillip Garrido has closed a chapter in my life. I don't have to hide anymore. I don't have to live every day of my life wondering if he is looking for me. I am finally free from the fear I have lived with since the day I learned he was paroled.
With all the joy I should feel, I want to scream from the depths of my soul. Scream because my fears turned out to be justified - he struck again.
I trembled for about four hours after I heard the news. I always knew he was capable of this, but he should not have been able to do it. Phillip Garrido was not scheduled to be released from prison for abducting and assaulting me until 2006, but he was free long before that.
By 1988 he was out on parole. I did not come by that information easily. Despite being told I would be notified upon his release, I wasn't. I had to find out myself, calling from prison to prison, before I finally got in touch with his parole officer.
Soon after I learned of his release, a man came to my table. I was working in a Tahoe casino. He said he wanted a drink, and started asking me about myself. I suspected right away it was Phillip Garrido, but I couldn't be sure. I had blocked out so much about that cold night in November 1976.
November 1976. I was sitting in my car in a supermarket parking lot. A man tapped on my window and asked for a ride. I agreed. Soon after, I was cuffed, bound, gagged, and taken to a warehouse. I remember there were large carpets hanging from the ceiling. Most of the details about what happened to me after I entered that warehouse have been repressed.
My recollections begin around 3 a.m. Someone banged on the door. I remember thinking, "oh my God, his friends are coming." Garrido said, "Do I have to tie you up or are you going to be good." I told him I would be good, but thought to myself "if that's the police, I have to try something."
I barrelled my way out of the warehouse completely naked. I could see the officer and Garrido standing there. They both looked at me like I was crazy. I couldn't see the officer's car. I thought "oh God, he's not a real cop." My state of mind was such that I couldn't fully embrace what I was seeing. Finally, I saw his police car.
Garrido said I was his girlfriend. I screamed, "no I'm not - help me, help me." The officer told me to back in and put my clothes on. When I went inside, Garrido must have convinced the officer we were both on drugs, because he let Garrido go back into the building alone. I had already put some of my clothes on. Garrido came back in and begged me not to turn him in.
I managed to maneuver past him, half dressed, and told the police to keep him away. By then other officers had arrived. I was in shock. They told me to go sit in the back of a police car. They asked whose car was abandoned outside the warehouse. "It's mine." They asked if I was brought there against my will. I told them I was, that he had handcuffed and bound me. An officer shined a light on my wrists, saw the sores from the handcuffs, and arrested Garrido.
12 years later - at my table in the casino I was working in - I was pretty certain I was looking at the man who changed my life. He was the right height and had the same hair color. He put some money down on my wheel. He tried to engage in small talk, but I was guarded. After he got his drink, he cashed out, leaned towards me, and said "I'll see you again Katie."
I will never know if that man was Phillip Garrido, but I think of what he did to me every day. It's become a part of me. When you're victimized like that, your personality changes. For years, I walked around like a zombie. I had to tell everyone I met what had happened to me - because I didn't feel like myself. It was as if I had to explain why I wasn't "normal."
That's what I hate most about what Garrido did to me. I was a good person. I lived right, and treated others well. He changed my life in an instant. I don't feel like I can ever be that person again. Being victimized is something that only a victim can understand. I hate that he did this to me, and I doubt I'll ever get over it.
My heart goes out to Jaycee and her family. The only thing I can think of worse than what happened to me, is it happening to my child. I can't imagine what Jaycee is going through. He had me for 8 hours. He had her for 18 years. I was an adult, with instincts that helped me deal with the situation. She was a child. This is going to be with her for the rest of her life. I can only wish her the best.
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