5 Most Horrifying And Terrible Kidnapping Stories In History

Date November 5, 2018

Kidnapping has always been an extremely important topic. And even nowadays, with the development of safety devices, abductions do happen from time to time. Media often highlights the most shocking kidnapping stories, either to scare people or simply for entertaining purposes. We believe that both of these motives aren’t good. We have gathered five famous kidnapping cases that hopefully will not only entertain, but also teach you a good lesson and help you prevent any similar stories from happening.

5 Most Horrifying And Terrible Kidnapping Stories In HistoryMIA Studio /

READ ALSO: Luck Wasn't A Lady That Night: The Intriguing Case Of Frank Sinatra Jr.'s Kidnapping

Kidnapping stories: 5 most shocking abductions

1. Frank Sinatra’s son was worth 2 million dollars

One of the most infamous kidnappings for ransom happened back in 1963, on December 8. Two young men, Barry Keenan and Joe Amsler, pretended to be delivery men, entered the dressing room at Harrah’s Club Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where they tied up a witness and kidnapped the son of one of the greatest singers of that time. The two were expecting a pretty solid ransom for the Franky Jr. Due to the importance of the figures, the FBI was quickly brought in on the case. The bureau advised Sinatra to pay $240,000 in ransom, which is worth around 2 million dollars today.

The third perpetrator, John Irwin, was the ransom contact. The captors’ instructions were clear: drop the money between two school buses in Sepulveda, California three days after the abduction. When the kidnappers got the money, they freed Frank Sinatra, Jr. The FBI found the place where he was held and then traced down Keenan, Amsler, and Irwin. All three were convicted.

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2. Elizabeth Smart – 9 months in hell

This horrible child kidnapping story happened on June 5, 2002. 14-year-old Elizabeth was asleep in her bedroom, which she shared with her sister Mary Katherine, when suddenly she was awakened by a man who had a knife to the girl’s neck. He took the girl out of her own house and marched her through the woods to some camp. Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee performed a strange wedding ritual and then the man raped his new wife, Smart. He would then rape her every day and deprive of food to the brink of starvation. Elizabeth was held captive for more than nine months.

Brian David Mitchell believed he was a prophet named Immanuel and tried to recruit Smart in his religion. Luckily, the younger sister, Mary, was only pretending to be asleep in the day of the kidnapping. After long investigations, police identified the captor and aired his photo on TV. On March 12, 2003, he and Smart was spotted. The girl was wearing a wig and sunglasses. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison, whereas his wife Barzee received 15 years in prison. Miraculously, Elizabeth managed to overcome the horrors of the past and now enjoys her life.

5 Most Horrifying And Terrible Kidnapping Stories In HistoryReal Stories / YouTube

3. Steven Stayner – the abandoned hero

Steven was only 7-year-old when Kenneth Parnell kidnapped the boy on his way back from school. The middle-aged pedophile introduced by handing out religious brochures and asking for charity donations. He offered the boy a ride home, but within a few hours, Steven was already brainwashed. Parnell convinced the boy that he was his legal guardian and that his birth parents gave up on him. Steven would live seven years as Parnell’s son and sex toy. But when the boy grew up, Parnell wanted to find a new victim, who happened to be 7-year-old Timothy White.

Although Steven never tried to escape, he couldn’t tolerate the fact that another boy would go through the same horrors. Striving to find Timothy’s birth parents, Stayner organized a brave escape in the middle of the night and luckily, he succeeded. But despite the fact that Steven was proclaimed a hero, things at school and family weren’t that good. Stayner was bullied at school and later was kicked off his own home by the father. Can you imagine? This sad kidnapping story gets even worse. Kenneth Parnell, the man who kidnapped and sexually abused two children, got only 7 years of imprisonment. He even was out earlier for good behavior. Steven Stayner died in a horrible hit and run accident at the age of 24 on his motorcycle.

5 Most Horrifying And Terrible Kidnapping Stories In HistoryCNN / YouTube

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4. Patty Hearst: Stockholm Syndrome story

A granddaughter of a then-famous journalist, Patty Hearst, was kidnapped by a radical group of terrorists known as Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) back in 1974. This case still remains one of the most controversial kidnapping stories in history. Donald DeFreeze, the leader of SLA, wanted to destroy the “capitalist state.” He hoped that Patty’s connections would help to draw the public’s attention. The girl was held blindfolded for two months. Then the group began releasing the tapes with demands for food donations worth of millions of dollars in exchange for Patty’s freedom.

However, the story had a sudden twist, when Patty claimed she had joined SLA and took the new name “Tania.” She was later spotted in different criminal operations, including a bank robbery, where she clearly helped SLA. Less than half a year since the abduction, on May 16, the group’s headquarter was finally discovered. And though Patty and many other members ran away, she was late found by the FBI. Hearst was sentenced to 7 years in prison, but was later pardoned. Up until this day, many experts believe Patty was brainwashed and developed Stockholm Syndrome, which means she developed strong empathy and respect to her captors.

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5. Ariel Castro: Insane or monster?

Three young women, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina DeJesus, were successively kidnapped between 2002 and 2004. One of the most shocking kidnapping stories has continued for around 10 years. Arial Castro kidnapped his first victim on August 23, 2002, when Knight was leaving her cousin’s house. The woman was 21 years old and had to appear in court to fight for custody over her son. Police didn’t spend lots of resources on the investigation, partially due to the fact that she was adult.

Amanda Berry was kidnapped the day before her 17th birthday, on April 21, 2003. She was presumably going home from work. She was considered a runaway. Berry’s parents never stopped searching for their daughter, despite a claim from so-called psychic Sylvia Browne that Berry was dead and lying in water. Gina DeJesus was only 14 years old. She was also on her way home. All three girls were kidnapped when accepted a ride from Castro. He lured them inside his home, where he restrained and held them captive.

The women were finally able to escape on May 6, 2013, when Castro left home and failed to lock the door to their room properly. Berry made contact with the neighbors, which rescued the woman and her 6-year-old daughter and called 9-1-1. Soon, police officers arrived at the scene and saved all the captives. Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years of imprisonment. The man committed suicide a month after his sentence.

5 Most Horrifying And Terrible Kidnapping Stories In HistoryChannel 5 / YouTube

These horrible kidnapping cases are a representation of humanity’s worst diseases: greed, insanity, and power. Some people kidnap for money, some people do it for power, and some are monsters, who simply couldn’t be saved. Everybody needs to know these stories to be able to learn on the victims’ mistakes and prevent any similar cases from happening.

READ ALSO: Is There Any Way To Cure The Effects Of Kidnapping On Your Child? Experts Suggest Some Useful Tips For Parents

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