Times are scary. Kids can’t walk to school themselves or ride their bikes home from a friend’s house after dark like in the old days. When a white van drives by, everybody walks a little faster. And there’s no shame in that, better safe than sorry right? Parents have a hard time letting their kids, especially the younger ones, out alone. Going in pairs or a group always seems like a better idea, because who knows what might be lurking out there in the dark? Though to the kids, it just seems like we’re being controlling or overprotective. It’s better to be the bad guy than have an actual bad guy let something happen to the children.
It just seems so unfair, however, that even when kids are safe in their own home, they’re still not 100% safe. Countless children have been snatched from their backyards and sometimes even from right out of their houses. Though it’s a less common occurrence, it happens surprisingly often. Parents are usually devastated, and blame themselves for not keeping an intruder out of their place of residence. These things happen, though, and nobody except the kidnapper is at fault. It’s not a safe world we live in. Here are 14 chilling times kids were snatched from their own homes. Please note- many names are withheld due to confidentiality reasons.
14 Kidnappers Who Were… Nice?
Okay so obviously they weren’t nice, considering they kidnapped a boy, but he was treated much much nicer than any other kidnapping victim I've read about. A Pakistani child whose parents were very rich was snatched from his own backyard one summer afternoon. There were two kidnappers in a van who lured him in by offering some traditional Pakistani snacks. When the boy reached out to grab the food, he was pulled up into the van.
While in captivity, he was treated in an unexpectedly nice manner (thankfully). They kept him well fed and provided adequate water, as well as clothing, bedding, and access to a toilet. They also had conversations with him and made sure he was entertained. He was released for a ransom of $20,000, which his parents quickly paid. Though the kidnappers were never caught, let’s just be glad no physical harm was done to the child.
13 Buried Alive
One summer day, a young girl was taken from her home in Virginia. It is estimated that she was kept in captivity for around 3 months. Her parents and the police were frantically searching for her all the while. The girl’s captor horrendously abused her, both physically and emotionally.
While he had her, she was hit with large chains used in place of an actual whip, sexually assaulted, and deprived of adequate food or water. After he was done with her, he buried her alive. When her body was found, her lungs and mouth were full of dirt, as was under her fingernails, showing she tried to claw her way out. Though she had many life threatening injuries, the cause of death was determined to be suffocation.
12 My Father Kidnapped My Mother
Michael Anthony Hughes had a very strange family. Though he didn’t know this at the time, his mother was actually kidnapped by his father, and she ended up falling in love with him for unknown reasons. This actually is an example of stockholm syndrome. Michael up and went missing one day, and he has never been found. Many believed that he was kidnapped, as he was last seen playing in his backyard.
Michael’s parents were obviously distraught, but his father said he must’ve found out about their history and run away. He was much more calm, and didn’t seem as emotionally damaged as the mother, so he was put on the police suspect list. Though no evidence against him ever turned up, it was still widely believed that he knew what happened to his son.
11 Bound And Gagged
A very famous pilot, who wishes to remain anonymous, had his son kidnapped right out of his bed one night. The kidnappers managed to get the boy’s bedroom window open and sneak in without making a sound or waking the boy. They quickly bound and gagged him before taking him back out the window.
A ransom for the boy's safe return of $50,000 was put out. Unfortunately, even though he was once a famous pilot, the boy’s father couldn’t come up with the money in time. Though he frantically tried to get it together, he didn’t have enough by the kidnappers “deadline”. The boy’s body was found in the woods just behind the family’s home. He wasn’t even buried, just lying out in the open for any passerby to see.
10 Can’t Even Trust The Police
Police are supposed to be a beacon of safety that we turn to when we’re scared or need help. Unfortunately for one little girl, this was not the case. At around 2:00 in the afternoon, two officers in uniform knocked on one family’s door. These “police” were actually kidnappers, who must’ve known nobody else was home beside the small girl.
She willingly went with them, believing they were the police and having no reason to suspect otherwise. Sadly, though, she was thrown in a cage and tortured for weeks by her captors. One day, she managed to escape, and ran door to door to the kidnapper’s’ neighbors, until one lady answered and called the police. Luckily, the kidnappers were arrested and sentenced. Though the girl was kept for some time, she claimed not to remember much of her time spent in the cage.
9 Um… Taxi?
A 12 year old boy was nearly kidnapped in a Taxi in his own neighborhood. Though the reason remains unknown, this boy’s parents decided to call a taxi cab for their son, apparently needing him to be somewhere with no other option than public transportation. The taxi picked him up at his front door.
Thankfully this boy was pretty clever, because when he noticed that the Taxi had missed several turns to their destination without a response when asked why, he jumped right out and booked it away from the driver. He ran a whole two miles before he found a convenient store to call the police and his parents from. Unsurprisingly, his parents were very upset, and probably learned a lesson about letting their son in a vehicle alone with a stranger.
8 Parent Of The Year
Estranged parents kidnapping their children is, regrettably, very common. Luckily, in these cases, parents won’t harm their children, and the children involved aren’t as scared as they could be considering it’s their own parent taking them away. Still, though, it’s pretty awful. This nightmare happened to a 13 year old girl when her estranged father came to visit.
Now, this girl’s family had outcasted her father for his violent behaviour and constant drinking. But he came to the door claiming to have changed and wanting to visit his mother, who was living with them at the time. He was turned away, but not without causing a little trouble. He saw his daughter sitting in the front yard, and attempted to snatch her. Their neighbors dog saw this and attacked him, causing him to run away.
7 Take Out The Laundry
One small girl who lived in India with a very wealthy family was taken right off her front steps. It’s not uncommon for wealthy people to have maids and caretakers, so it’s not at all this girls’ fault for opening the door to a stranger. The man claimed that he was one of the family’s launderers and was taking in a clean load of clothes. Though it’s a little suspicious he would be coming from the outside, and didn’t have a backdoor key, keep in mind that the girl was very young.
She welcomed him in but was immediately chloroformed and taken to his van. Unfortunately, she wasn’t found until some severe damage had been done, and her parents had to pay a very steep ransom for her not so safe return. Luckily, no long term damage was done, and she was able to physically recover.
6 Publicity Stunts
Speaking of family kidnappings, this family’s estranged father was completely insane. Most parents decide to kidnap their own kids because they miss and love them, and see no other way. Though it’s not the right thing to do, at all, this father’s motives were just ridiculous. He did it to make sure that the mother of his child felt terrible.
One young boy was snatched from his own yard by his father, and kept for several months before safely returned. He was treated just fine, and not abused or anything. But the reasoning behind it was because the father wanted to slander his ex wife’s name. For the months his son was presumed missing, he created smear campaigns against her, and tried to place all the blame upon her. Talk about insanity.
5 A BMW At McDonald’s?
The first suspicious thing about this scenario is that the driver of a fancy sports car wanted directions to a cheap fast food place. It’s not entirely uncommon, but it’s still a little weird. A man pulled over and asked a young boy playing in his yard for directions to the nearest McDonalds. The boy complies and eagerly gives directions (to the best of his ability, remember that he’s not very old).
The driver of the BMW thanks him, and asks if the boy would like to come with him to the fast food place, for a treat because he was so helpful. Obviously a little boy would want to go to McDonalds, so he decided to get in. Thankfully, right before he opened the door, his Uncle ran out of the house and punched the man in the face, and he quickly sped away.
4 What A Nice… Lady?
Some people are truly insane. One man decided to dress up as an old lady and drive around attempting to kidnap children. He had the full wig, makeup, and fake chest, and he was driving around in a beat up old Chrysler, which practically screams old lady. As he was driving around, he saw a boy who looked to be around 8 years of age sprinting out his front door and down the lawn. He pulled over and asked the boy if he had missed his bus and needed a ride to school.
Not wanting to bother his parents, he agreed and hopped into “her” car. Luckily, the boy was pretty sharp and noticed that the nice old lady had surprisingly man-ish looking hands, and that her legs had quite a bit of hair. The boy managed to jump out of the car and hightail it the rest of the way to school. At least he got his ride?
3 Stockholm Syndrome
Technically this case is not an example of stockholm syndrome, as the woman in the story still wanted to escape. But, it sure is close. A small girl, maybe around 9 or 10 years old, was taken from the front of her house while she was waiting for the school bus. Her captor kept her for 18 years before she was finally set free.
During that time, she was forced to clean for him, cook for him, and be his sexual slave. She even had to bear his child. No longer a kid and 18 years later, she managed to flee to a neighboring home and explain that she had been kept against her will, where the police were called. He was arrested and the child was sent into adoptive care, as she didn’t want him.
2 Not So Lucky Escape
It’s hard to wonder what the motives behind kidnappers and killers are, but they certainly do leave behind terrifying stories. A young boy was kidnapped right out of his front yard. A typical “grab and go” type thing, that unsurprisingly involved a white van. Nobody in the neighborhood claims to have seen this occur, not even the boy’s’ parents, who were home at the time and apparently okay with their little son playing outside alone.
After two weeks of police investigation and searching, they recovered the boy's severed head in the woods near his house. From what they could tell, his face was covered in bruises and lacerations. The sick part? They never recovered the body. Which means some maniac either has the body of a young boy frozen somewhere for safe keeping, or he buried it in a location nobody has found yet.
1 The Cellar
It’s a popular book title, and for those who have read it, this scenario is very similar. A girl was taken from her front lawn, right in front of her parents too. They were shellshocked for a moment, before running inside to call the police. Unfortunately, she wasn’t found by them. Though she did end up escaping, luckily.
The girl’s captors threw her in a cellar without any bedding to keep or warm or a place to go to the bathroom. She was forced to clean her own mess, and was only let out to do chores. This is how it went for whole eight years. One day while she was cleaning his car, the telephone rang and he went inside to get it. The girl bolted, running to the nearest convenience store (which was two miles away) and phoning her parents, and the police.
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