Memoir, Non-Fiction, True strange Happenings

#473 A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life by Jaycee DugardA Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

I’m trying out Scribd to see if it’s worth it and this is the first book I read with my trial. I really enjoy reading memoirs. I like seeing into other people’s lives.

Jaycee Dugard writes of a very difficult time in her life. She was kidnapped and held captive for eighteen years. Jaycee’s story hit the news several years ago. Everyone was amazed that she and her daughters had been contained in a single backyard for so long.

Jaycee doesn’t have a great life to start out with, it’s not absolutely terrible, but it’s not great either. Her new step-father is a jerk. His punishments are too severe and he won’t let Jaycee be the kid she is. One morning Jaycee’s mother forgets to kiss her goodbye for school, this is the last time Jaycee has contact with her family for eighteen years. On the way to school a van pulls up beside her, stuns her with a stun gun, and takes her away.

She is held in a small room. Soon she is raped. The man who has taken her is named Phillip Garrido. Phillip has past sex convictions and says he kidnapped Jaycee so she could help him with his problem so he wouldn’t do things to other people. He has a wife named Nancy who helped him kidnap Jaycee.

Nobody ever finds Jaycee. She hopes and hopes that someone will find her, but they never do. Phillip doesn’t seem like such a bad guy when he’s not doing drugs or raping Jaycee, but his mentality degrades as the years go on. By fourteen Jaycee is pregnant and has her first child pretty much unassisted in the rooms she is held in. She begins the job of motherhood at a very young age. Before the age of seventeen she has another child. The sexual abuse from Phillip seems to level-out after a time. Jaycee is allowed to go out places with one person or the other, but she’s scared and never has the courage to tell anyone who she is.

Eighteen years pass by and a parole officer of Phillip’s eventually finds that things are strange. Jaycee is ordered to tell the police who she really is, not the made up name of Alissa. She writes her name out for the police and this sets in motion an entire series of events for Jaycee. She has to learn how to come back into the world and how to associate with her mother and younger sister again. She has to bring her daughters into a world they have never known.

Jaycee has remained out of the public eye for the most part and has worked hard to create a foundation for families and people in need called JAYC.

What I liked

I liked learning about what Jaycee went through. It wasn’t pleasant, but sometimes we need to know the severity of something like this so we can be more vigilant about similar situations in our lives. If none of us ever knew about anything like this happening, we would never be on the watch out for something like this.

Jaycee is strong in many ways. She managed to stand up to this deranged man and manage a half-way decent life for her daughter’s despite the fact that she was confined to a small space and lacked resources.

What I didn’t like

Jaycee’s growing up time was stolen from her. Not that those years are particularly great, but a person does learn some things from being a teenager and a young person in the world. She doesn’t have those experiences. Her education was stolen from her. Do you have any idea how hard it’s going to be for Jaycee to get a normal education? Her children’s younger years were stolen from them too. They don’t get to know what’s it’s like to be young and have sleepovers and the things that normal little girls do.

Phillips is one whacked up guy. He’s evil and he’s mentally screwed over. What he did to Jaycee is very, very wrong. The thing is, I expect this type of behavior out of someone as deranged as Phillip. What I didn’t expect was the complacency that Nancy held. She went along with this. She helped kidnap this little girl. She was party to a girl being raped. She was party to drug usage. She was party to the severe treatment of other human beings including her elderly mother-in-law.

This woman has no excuse. She’s not the same type of mentally unstable as Phillip is. She knew better. She was a former nurse assistant at a nursing home. I worked at a nursing home for three years. As a nurse aide, you grow to love the people you take care, wish the best for them, and cringe at the very idea of anyone abusing them. How could Nancy put up with what was being done to Jaycee? How could she go through with this? How could she allow such severe treatment of a young woman when she spent her days taking care of people? She deserves every single hour in prison. She fell from a higher place than Phillip did. Remember, when you have more and you are more, you’re expected to do more. She had the moral high ground and she should have maintained it rather than falling into a pit of moral decay. Phillip was already there to start out with.

I don’t understand how a person could do this to another person. How can you willingly and knowingly take away someone’s life? It’s one thing if you kill a person. They’re dead. They’re not in bodily or mental pain anymore. Being dead sucks for them and their families, but their Earthly woes are over and their families know what happened. Imprisoning an innocent person and abusing them is a whole different thing. I think it’s probably worse, because you’ve taken away the life they were living and you gave them this new horrible life full of seclusion, torture, and mental weakness. You’ve made their life a living Hell. Then of course if you bring kids into it, you’re just multiplying how many lives you’ve taken away. It’s wrong to enslave a person and take away their will without cause. If this person has committed a crime, so be it, the justice system can take away their freedom, but if they’ve done nothing wrong and you just imprisoned them, then you’re just about the worse kind of person to walk the Earth.


I hope Jaycee moves on with her life. I hope she gets the GED she was hoping for. I hope she can go to college. I hope she has all those experiences she missed in life. I hope her daughters can go to college and live as normal of a life as possible. I hope that Jaycee’s foundation helps many people and people support her efforts.

a stolen life, A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard, being kidnapped, held captive, held captive for eighteen years, jayc, jaycee, jaycee dugard, kidnapped, nancy, phillip gurrido, two girls
Dugard-Jaycee, Memoir, Non-Fiction, True strange Happenings


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