My babies saved my life Jaycee Dugard revealed in a two-hour special last night, July 10, in an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, as she talked about her life as a sexually abused prisoner. Here, are the details.
Jaycee Dugard opened up for the first time tonight, July 10, about her harrowing story with ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer, discussing the moment she was kidnapped by sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy at age 11, the happiness that came after the “painful” delivery of her first daughter and the reunion with her mother, Terry Probyn, that she waited and prayed for for 18 years.
“She said she’d give me a kiss goodbye and she didn’t,” Jaycee, now 31, tells Diane Sawyer of her mother the day she was kidnapped in 1991. “I wasn’t mad I just said I’d catch her when I got home. Tell her ‘you got to give me a kiss next time.’” But Jaycee never got her kiss goodbye.
11-year-old Jaycee was walking her usual route up a hill near her South Lake Tahoe, California home to the school bus when her “world changed in an instant.” Phillip Garrido, 40, and his wife Nancy pulled up alongside her in their car, paralyzed her with a stun gun and took her to their California residence, two hours from her home, where she would remain in captivity for 18 years. The last thing she remembers? The prickly feeling of a pine cone, which she now wears on a necklace: “It’s a symbol of hope, new beginnings and that there is life after something tragic.”
But it’s hard to believe Jaycee is so optimistic about life after living through one of the most terrifying ordeals imaginable. Starting at the age of 11, Jaycee was raped repeatedly, in a sound proof shed in the Garrido’s backyard, where she was handcuffed and locked in night after night.
“I was so lonely, I felt so alone,” she tells Diane, adding that she use to stare at the moonlight because it reminded her of her mom, who was desperately searching for her.
And it wasn’t until she learned she was pregnant at the age of 13 that Jaycee finally felt like she was wanted and needed. The baby growing inside her would be the lifeline she craved for years.
On August 18, 1994, Jaycee gave birth to her first daughter in the backyard after almost 24 hours of “painful” labor, which she faced alone at the age of 14. After watching birthing videos, Phillip delivered the baby, using his hand to unwrap the umbilical cord that was wrapped around her neck. “She came out and then I saw her,” Jaycee recalls. “She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. I had somebody that was mine. I wasn’t alone. And I knew I could never let anything happen to her. And I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but I did.”
Three years later, she “would have a second little person to love and to love me,” all the while convincing herself that her own mother was “better without me.”
Phillip stopped sexually abusing Jaycee after her daughters were born and moved her out of the shed into her own tent outside, where she got to look up at the sky once again. She taught her girls math, social studies, English and history in the yard, thanks to some books and a T.V. set that she was allowed to watch.
And although Phillip began to take the three girls out in public, the cops never found her, neither did the parole officers, who visited the mentally unstable, sex offender 60 times.
So why didn’t she try to escape – take the girls and run?
“It wasn’t something I felt I could do… because the situation felt like it wasn’t an option,” Jaycee explains to Diane Sawyer. “I don’t know how else to explain it there was no leaving. The mind manipulation plus the physical abuse I suffered in the beginning, there was no leaving. Maybe if one of the girls was being hurt… [But] they were safe. I was being told that the outside world was dangerous. I couldn’t protect them out there. The unknown that was out there was terrifying, especially when I was thinking about the girls.”
At this point she was in her 20s, and was still hanging on to the thought of her mother and younger sister Shana at home. On her list of things she wanted most in life that she scribbled down in her journal were “to see my mom, and ride in a hot air balloon.”
And that fateful day when she would finally be reunited with her mother came in August 2009 after two female campus officers spotted a bizarre Garrido with Jaycee’s daughters at the UC Berkeley campus. Noticing how odd it was that these two young girls were with him, looking miserable, they researched him, discovered his past and ended up rescuing Jaycee and her girls after years in captivity.
“For some reason I looked up and the moon was just bright and beautiful,” Jaycee says of the night the police women reacted to Phillip’s behavior. And Jaycee’s mom Terry agrees: “I remember looking up at the moon saying, ‘Ok, ‘Jayce,’ where are you? Where the Hell are you?’”
After she was rescued, a nervous Jaycee was told she could see her mom. “I remember saying ‘No, your joking. Don’t do this to me, you’re joking,’” Terry explains, while sitting with her daughter, now 31-years-old. “I remember telling you I’m coming baby, I’m coming.”
“And I remember telling her I had babies,” Jaycee says of her daughters, who were 15 and 11 when they were released. “I thought, ‘Babies?’ I can deal with that,” Terry adds.
“I don’t feel like I have this rage inside of me that’s building,” Jaycee concludes with. “I refuse to let him [Phillip] have that. He can’t have me. It would mean like he won.”
“I have more hate in my heart for both of us,” a still heartbroken Terry adds. “He stole her from me. He ripped out a piece of my heart. He stole my baby. He stole her childhood. Your adolescence and prom and high school pictures and memories.”
“But he didn’t get all of me,” Jaycee reassures her mother. “No, he didn’t,” Terry agrees.
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