One of the worst experiences that an individual can go through is a kidnapping. Having strangers, or even familiar people take you against your will, lock you up in an uncomfortable place, restrict you from going out or communicating with your family members, and do all kinds of evils against you is what many people would describe as hell. Furthermore, the family members and close friends of the kidnapped individuals go through a period of anxiety, pain, sorrow, and stress, especially where they do not know whether their loved one(s) is/are still alive or not.
No one can give a reasonable excuse for kidnapping someone and treating him or her like a slave, regardless of the circumstances. This is why everyone who has had a loved one go through such an experience would demand a death sentence or life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of such a heinous crime. The worst thing about kidnapping is that in almost all instances, the victims are taken through horrific sexual experiences such as rape, sodomy, or even worse ordeals.
Kidnappers find it easy to go for young defenseless girls and at times boys because the young ones are usually more trusting, easy to trick and are physically weaker than the perpetrators. The following are only a few of the most horrific kidnappings that have taken place, and these should be lessons for us to always protect our loved ones and be cautious wherever we are. We should teach our children, friends, and siblings to never get into a car with a stranger, and to try to walk in groups whenever they are away from home or school.
15. Katie Beers
Katie Beers was only 10 years old back in 1993, when a building contractor called John Esposito kidnapped her. John led Katie to an underground bunker under his home in Long Island, where he kept her in chains and abused her many times over the 16 days that he held her captive. Apparently, Katie’s kidnapping might have been a good thing because throughout her life at home, her ‘father’ Sal Inghilleri treated her like a slave, and raped and abused her many times. After she was freed from the abduction, Katie was sent to a foster home where her foster parents tried their best to take good care of her and provide her with the ideal conditions a child of her age needed to lead a normal life. Sal Inghilleri got 12 years in prison for his abuse, though he died in 2009, while John Esposito got 15 years.
14. Brooke Hart
When it comes to the aftermath of a kidnapping, the Brooke Hart story is one for the history books. Brooke Hart was a 22-year-old man, whose father owned the department store from where the kidnappers John Holmes and Thomas Thurmond forced Brooke into a car and drove off with him. Within a few hours, the two kidnappers killed Brooke and went ahead to ask for a $40,000 ransom from Brooke’s father for his safe return, a situation that made all the citizens of San Jose to want to catch the criminals even more. When the officers finally caught up with the two kidnappers, they confessed of the crimes but they were not going to face the law for justice to take its course. Close to 10,000 citizens broke these two criminals out of prison at night and lynched them. That was a classic example of mob justice.
13. Steven Stayner
Stephen Gregory Stayner is one of the few boys in this list to suffer through a kidnapping, though his ordeal is just as bad as the worst girl/woman kidnappings here. Kenneth Parnell, a convicted child molester, took the seven-year-old Steven in 1972 when he was on his way home from school. Kenneth kept Steven for seven years, a period during which he molested the young boy, introduced him to liquor, taught him to live without rules, gave him a new name, and lied to everyone that the boy was his son. Kenneth molested Steven sexually until the time he reached puberty, which is when he kidnapped Timmy White who was just five years old for him to fulfill his wicked desires. Steven could not imagine such a young boy going through what he went through, which is why he escaped with Timmy one night when Kenneth was working overnight, and went to the police.
12. Wolfgang Přiklopil
Wolfgang Přiklopil was a communications technician in Austria, who people believed to be normal until they discovered that he was a kidnapper. In 1998, Wolfgang kidnapped Natascha Kampusch, a 10-year-old girl who at the time was on her way to school. Wolfgang kept Natascha in captivity for eight years, and he killed himself when she eventually managed to escape. Wolfgang kept Natascha in a cellar under the garage and did not let her leave the small space for years. Natascha was able to escape when Wolfgang left her vacuuming his car to pick a call, she ran to the police, and immediately the police started to pursue him. Not willing to face justice Wolfgang jumped in front of a train, which crushed him to his death.
11. Ariel Castro
Ariel Castro was one very disturbed man, who resulted into kidnapping three women between 2002 and 2004. The women in question here are the then 21-year-old Michelle Knight, the 16-year-old Amanda Marie Berry, and the 14-year-old Gina DeJesus. In addition to holding them as prisoners in his own home, Castro would abuse them sexually to the extent that Amanda got pregnant and in 2006 gave birth to a daughter. Whenever any of the women would get pregnant Castro would induce miscarriages by beating them up and starving them. On May 6, 2013, Castro left one of the doors open, and Amanda got the courage to shout for help such that the neighbors heard her and helped her and her daughter to escape. The neighbors went ahead to call the police who rescued Mitchell and Gina, and the more than 10 years of imprisonment and sexual abuse were over.
10. Jaycee Dugard
When Jaycee Dugard was 11 years old in 1991, Phillip Craig Garrido kidnapped her. Phillip was a convicted sex offender who shot her with a stun gun when she was on her way to school, and his wife Nancy Garrido picked her up and put her in the car. The couple took Jaycee and locked her up in a soundproofed shed. Phillip would rape Jaycee countless times, to the point of getting pregnant and giving birth to two children in August 1994 and in November 1997. Phillip and Nancy started to set her free and even let her work in the couple’s printing shop, where Jaycee worked and did not attempt to escape. It was not until when Phillip tried to get permission to hold an event in the University of California that suspicions over his being there with two frail looking girls led to the investigation, interrogation, and finally discovery of what he had done 18 years back. Jaycee Dugard and her children were reunited with her parents.
9. Pope Pius XI
If you think that Pope Pius XI is on this list because he helped in the search and eventually freeing of an individual who was kidnapped, you could not be further from the truth. This pope who had one of the longest and most difficult reigns as Pope was guilty of what we would call today ‘kidnapping’, because he took a 6-year-old Italian boy from his parents and refused to return him. The young boy’s name was Edgardo Levi Mortara who, after receiving an emergency baptism owing to an illness, was taken from his parents by the police with orders from the Vatican. Apparently, the law of the land at that time stipulated that a non-Catholic family was not supposed to raise a catholic child. The boy’s parents were required to convert to Catholicism if they wanted custody of the boy back.
8. Tanya Nicole Kach
Tanya was a 13-year-old girl who was always on the wrong side of her parents, the school administration, and to some extent the law. Tanya had run away from home and school numerous times leading to the filing of four separate police reports about this, and the police knew that she was a troubled teen. Her character might have made her kidnapping easier because she apparently fell in love with the school’s security guard called Thomas Hose, who invited her to live with her. Thomas kept her hidden and locked up for four years in the house that he was living with his parents, because he did not want them to see her. After the four years, he introduced her to his parents as his girlfriend, a role that she played for another six years. After a total of 10 years, she approached a neighbor and asked him to call the police; the police came and arrested Thomas for holding Tanya captive all those years.
7. Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby
Shawn Hornbeck was 11 years old in October 2002 when Michael Devlin kidnapped him at gunpoint, while the boy was on his bike going to a friend’s house. Michael tied Shawn to his mattress, from where he would torture, terrorize, and even abuse him sexually for a very long time. At one point, Michael took Shawn to the woods and started strangling him until Shawn promised to never reveal his identity or try to escape. In 2007, Michael abducted Ben Ownby at gunpoint, a 13-year-old boy who was going home after school. Michael would molest Ben at least four times every day and take him through the despicable ordeal that he had taken Shawn through. It was not until police discovered a white truck that a witness described seeing during Ben Ownby’s abduction parked where Michael was living, that they searched Michael’s apartment and found the two boys.
6. John Thomas Jamelske
John Jamelske is a very disturbed man, who resulted to kidnapping different women and raping them countless times. He held all his women in a bunker under his yard, and he would release one woman before going for another one. He kidnapped his first victim in 1988, a 14-year-old girl for two years and he then kidnapped another 14-year-old in 1995 for a brief period before letting her go. He later kidnapped a 53-year-old Vietnamese woman for a period of nine months, he kidnapped a 26-year-old Caucasian woman in 2001 who he raped daily and later let her go, and he finally kidnapped an African-American girl who was 16 years old in 2002 until 2003. Jamelske was caught in 2003, after the police tracked him down.
5. Fusako Sano
Fusako Sano was a 9-year-old girl from Japan who was kidnapped by a mentally disturbed Japanese man called Nobuyuki Satō, who forced her to get into his car when she was coming home from a baseball game at school. Nobuyuki confined Fusako in his upstairs rooms in an apartment building he was living in with his elderly mother. Fusako remained in captivity where she was tied up, shaved, punished with a stun gun, threatened, and beaten on a regular basis. The sad thing is that the police station was only two hundred meters away from where Fusako was being held, and the police did not find her for well over nine years. Prior to Fusako’s discovery, Nobuyuki’s mother complained to the police about her son’s violence numerous times, complaints that made the police come to the house to investigate. On reaching the house, the police were received by Fusako Sano, a day that marked the end of the kidnapping.
4. Colleen Stan
A couple by the names Cameron and Janice Hooker kidnapped Coleen Stan in May 1997 in California, when she was trying to hitchhike to her friend’s birthday party. Colleen accepted to get into Cameron’s car because he had his wife and child in the car at the time, and this made her feel safe. The couple took Colleen and forced her into a heavily insulated box, in which they took her to their house, hung her by her wrists, and began to whip her. The couple tortured and used Colleen as a sex slave for a period of seven years, until Janice finally called the police to report her husband because she started getting jealous. Cameron was sentenced to 104 years in prison, but his wife was set free because she became a witness and testified against her husband.
3. Sabine Dardenne
Sabine Dardenne was 12 years old in 1996 when Marc Dutroux kidnapped her. Sabine was riding her bicycle to school when Marc grabbed her, took her to his house, and chained her in his cellar, which was like a dungeon, starved her, and regularly raped her. Marc tried convincing Sabine that he was saving her from killers, but Sabine would continue to complain that she was lonely and was bored. The above complaints led to Marc deciding to kidnap Laetitia Delhez, a 14-year-old girl to keep her company. During his second kidnapping, people saw him and he was taken to the police, from where he led the police to the girls and confessed everything. It was later revealed that Marc had earlier on killed two girls who were eight years old, and claimed to be part of a pedophile ring that consisted of very powerful citizens.
2. Elisabeth Fritzl
Elizabeth Fritzl, who is supposed to be 49 years old this year, is one of the women with the worst kidnapping experiences of all time. Josef Fritzl, who is Elisabeth’s father, locked her in the wine cellar under the house that he was living in with his family when she was just 18-years-old. Elisabeth was locked down there for 24 years, all the time her father lying to his wife that Elisabeth had joined a cult. During her 24-year stay in the cellar, Josef would rape her countless times. As a result, she gave birth to seven children, three of whom were living with Josef and his wife on the surface, one died resulting from a miscarriage, and the other three had never seen the light of day until they were broken out of there. When one boy living in the cellar got extremely sick and had to be taken to hospital, the whereabouts of his mother forced investigations down to the cellar. Josef was imprisoned for life and Elisabeth and her children were given new identities and sent to live in a different part of Austria.
1. The Boko Haram
The Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist group in Northern Nigeria and different parts of West Africa that is causing a lot of panic, pain, and suffering to the whole continent. One of the worst terrorist acts that this group has engaged in was the kidnapping of 276 high school girls from their school in the night of 14-15th April, 2014. Although a few girls have managed to escape, no one knows the whereabouts of over 200 students. The worst thing is that the government or any other military organization has no clue where these girls are being kept and whether they are even alive. It is believed that the Boko Haram will likely sell many of the girls to slavery, force some into marriages, force some to learn how to fight and work for the Boko Haram, and sadly kill others. 15 months into their kidnapping, little progress has been made, but the whole world hopes that this nightmare will end one day.