Heartbreaking excerpts from kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard's diary were quoted in court papers filed recently in response to what prosecutors say is an attempt by her kidnapper Phillip Garrido to continue controlling her from jail.
According to the AP, Garrido's defense filed papers last week to force the prosecution to reveal where Dugard and her daughters live, and whether Dugard has a lawyer. Garrido's lawyer Susan Gellman says that contacting a witness is simply a routine part of her job, but prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard counters that Garrido is "a master manipulator" and that he's "attempting to use the media and his own attorneys to continue to control" Dugard. Her diary entries are part of a motion scheduled to be heard on February 26, that Clinchard hopes will "once and for all put an end to (Garrido's) manipulation."
An entry Dugard wrote when she was 13 is chilling for its expression of gratitude:
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.
And ten years later, she reveals both caring for her captor and a profound desire to escape:
I don't want to hurt him ... sometimes I think my very presence hurts him. So how can I ever tell him how I want to be free. Free to come and go as I please ... Free to say I have a family. I will never cause him pain if it's in my power to prevent it. FREE.
A 2004 entry is even clearer in expressing Dugard's trapped feelings:
It feels like I'm sinking. I'm afraid I want control of my life ... this is supposed to be my life to do with what I like ... but once again he has taken it away. How many times is he allowed to take it away from me? I'm afraid he doesn't see how the things he says makes me a prisoner.
According to the prosecution, the journal isn't the only evidence of Garrido's ongoing desire to control Dugard. The AP's Lisa Leff reports that Garrido may have had a plan to stay in touch with her if he was ever arrested, asking her to select an attorney who could communicate with his. Gellman wrote Dugard in January, saying, "Mr. Garrido has asked me to convey that he does not harbor any ill will toward (Ms. Doe) or the children and loves them very much" — the prosecution alleges that this message was a form of manipulation, and that the "ill will" comment was a way of saying that Dugard wasn't adhering to the plan.
Gellman says the idea that Garrido is using her to get to Dugard is ridiculous — she protests, "I am not the 'tool' of any man." She is, however, presenting Garrido, his wife Nancy, Dugard, and the two children Garrido fathered with her when she was 14 and 17, as a "family," which is in itself disturbing. She has asked not just for Dugard's whereabouts but for photos of the girls and even videos of interviews, citing examples of "familial" togetherness:
They took vacations together; they went to the library together; they ran a family business together," the defense motion said. "The children home schooled. They kept pets and had a garden. They took care of ailing family members together. They had special names for each other.
It's Gellman's responsibility to defend her client, and the "family" arguments may well be part of a larger defense strategy, but it's troubling to see an attorney try to help someone maintain close contact with people he so brutally abused. One psychologist says Dugard's diaries reveal "learned helplessness while in captivity" rather than Stockholm syndrome, but whatever the case, it's clear that Garrido exerted a psychological control over Dugard that makes any "familial" feelings she may have had moot. And the fact that he held her captive in his backyard for 18 years while repeatedly raping her negates any library trips they may have taken. Dugard faces enormous challenges in building a life for herself and her daughters — a church in Danville, CA is currently helping support her, but the money she's received for interviews won't be enough to cover the counseling she and her daughters need — and the continued efforts by Garrido and his lawyers just add insult to injury. Garrido can never repay Jaycee Dugard for the years he stole from her — the least he can do is leave her the hell alone.
Jaycee Dugard's Journal: Mental Anguish [AP, via CBS]
Jaycee Dugard's Emotional Diary Entries From Captivity [People]
Dugard Diary Shows Conflicted Emotion On Captivity [ABC]
Jaycee Dugard And Family Relocated To East Bay Safe House [Contra Costa Times]
Jaycee Dugard Diary: ‘I Want To Be Free' [MSNBC]