So Jaycee Dugard’s money problems are over

I forgot to write this earlier: the state of California has given Jaycee Dugard twenty million dollars in compensation for her abduction and eighteen-year captivity by Phillip Garrido. The money will pay for things like housing, education/job training, health care, and presumably lots and lots of therapy for herself, her children and the rest of her family.

Although I think people are judging the police a bit harshly for not finding Jaycee sooner — correct me if I am wrong but I haven’t seen that anyone had any good reason to suspect he had a kidnapped kid on his property — I do think Jaycee deserves the money as much as anyone. Some people are making a fuss, saying “we don’t give that much money to every kidnap/rape victim,” but Jaycee’s ordeal was extraordinary by any measure. And “we can’t help/save everybody” is not an argument not to try to help whoever we can. Other people are claiming that money can’t help Jaycee, which is ridiculous: housing costs money, psychologists/psychiatrists cost money, education costs money, and for someone as high-profile as Jaycee, privacy will also cost money. The girl has suffered enough. Now we all can get on with our lives.

25 thoughts on “So Jaycee Dugard’s money problems are over

  1. Kat July 9, 2010 / 12:28 am

    Ah, I’ve read the comments….the taxpayers are put out that they have to pay for it since CA is broke, since she never tried to get away/was talked to, etc, she shouldn’t get it, she’d never make that much money in her life if she were not kidnapped, etc, where is it all going to, etc. Still a Charlie Foxtrot.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2010 / 12:30 am

      Those that say she’s not a victim or that she must have wanted it because she didn’t try to escape don’t know what they’re talking about.

  2. Donde July 9, 2010 / 1:26 am

    Of course she’s a victim….but with her, as with almost every other case of police or govt incompetence, why stick it to the taxpayer? How does that solve the problem? All it does is give incentive for others to jump on the bandwagon. If anyone, stick it to the govt officials that screwed up (AFTER it has been proven they screwed up).

    • Meaghan July 9, 2010 / 1:30 am

      This argument might have been better made around 200 years ago. The government has a long history of paying out (taxpayer-funded) settlements to people who were victimized by the government, like people who were wrongfully imprisoned, etc. At least it spreads the burden around — none of the individual officials at fault could cough up $20 million, but a penny or so from each taxpayer goes a long way. If you want to say taxpayers should only pay for things that benefit them personally or are their personal fault, goodbye to just about every public service you can think of. Why should I pay for the fire department when my house has never needed it? Why should I pay for Road X to be paved when I’ve never driven on it? etc etc etc.

      I admit that I don’t live in California so this doesn’t affect me. But if it were in Ohio, I’d gladly pay my share.

  3. Princess Shantae July 9, 2010 / 1:35 am

    Well where do you think the govt oficials get that money in teh first place? From the taxpayers so it comes to the same thing. No one person has got any $20 mil, not even if they are the exact govt people that screwed up here, if you can even find and name them. Then you have to prove they were neglegent on purpose. Maybe they weren’t very good at monitoring Garrido’s parole, but what else is new? He’s the rule and not the exception. And if they talked to Jaycee and she didn’t tell them who she was or acted weird or anything, what are they supposed to do? Okay, she’s a victim, but it’s never just all black and white. She didn’t stay 11 years old all that time, she grew up and aparently she did a good enough acting job that nobody suspected she was kidnapped. Parole officers and cops are only as good as the info they get, and it doesn’t really matter so much why Jaycee didn’t let on to them. People can’t help you if they don’t know something’s wrong and they can’t know something’s wrong if you don’t let them know.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2010 / 1:36 am

      Trying to find the individual people responsible for any government or corporate scandal is like trying to find the individual drop of rain responsible for the flood. I think I saw that on a poster once.

    • Ann July 9, 2010 / 8:48 am

      Shawn Hornbeck discussed why victims remain with their captors. According to Hornbeck, mentally victims are broken down as is their will and are no longer in control of their lives – they are simply, “on autopilot” as Hornbeck has stated. So questioning Jaycee’s behavior is irresponsible on your part because you have absolutely no idea what it is like to lose 100% control of your life. Jaycee even wondered when her thoughts could belong to her as Garrido was in full control of her life. I guess you also forgot Jaycee bore two daughters that she probably feared for as well.

      LE were VERY NEGLIGENT when it came to Garrido and all the 9-1-1 phone calls as well as the visits to his home. I can see if LE missed one opportunity to expose Garrido; however, they missed SO many it can only be deemed as negligent. When you say on, “on purpose” in terms of negligence, it can also refer to carelessness negligence and not intentional. In short, LE did not do their job when it came to protecting Jaycee, her daughters, or anyone else for that matter, from Garrido. Because it may not have occurred to you, but there is a good chance that Jaycee is not Garrido’s only victim after Jaycee’s abduction.

  4. Kat July 9, 2010 / 1:49 am

    Not for nothing Meaghan, but I read the article you interviewed for, did you know your hometown was listed? I know you like your privacy. Though, I know now just from the name you are rural.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2010 / 1:58 am

      Yeah, I know it’s there. You also can find out from my blog how rural I am, I mention it once in awhile. I figure my home address isn’t a state secret and people will find it out if they want to, so there isn’t a lot of point in hiding it.

      Some months ago some stranger emailed me with all sorts of information about myself that they’d find out online. My address and previous addresses, names of relatives, my home phone number, etc. They said they felt I should know people can find this out very easily. I already knew.

  5. danielle July 9, 2010 / 5:23 am

    I don’t think the complaint is that SHE was in the home but that HE WAS A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER with a CHILD in his house. Next, the police did not check inside the house or the backyard and being on parole for a sex offense Philip had NO rights which means his house could have been searched at any time.
    Yes, the police are being criticized too harshly, especially the current officers for past officers behavior.
    Think about it: she’s kidnapped. Her step dad is the last guy to see her. He has a cloud over his head ..did he do it? The marriage breaks up. The younger sister is affected too.
    In Captivity, she has TWO children at home. They have never been to a dr or school.
    Now…in court, Philip’s lawyers want to question Jaycee and know her hiding place. His wife misses “her girls”.
    WEIRD and WRONG.
    His adult survivor says he terrozied her too. Don’t blame the police only, it’s the system’s fault. Yes, he has rights, but with rights come responsibilties and how responsible is it to rape, enclose and ruin others’ lives for his sick pleasure.

  6. Jennie {in Wonderland} July 9, 2010 / 7:11 am

    I just read on CNN [ http://us.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/07/08/california.dugard.settlement/index.html?hpt=T1 ] that actually, officers spoke to her on numerous occasions and failed to follow up on suspicions as to why she was on a convicted rapist’s property. They saw the utility wires going to the sheds as well and didn’t investigate. Not to mention that his previous rape victim had contacted parole officers and told them Garrido contacted her right after his release, which should have sent him straight back to jail. Just a huge fuck-up, on all counts.

    She deserves every penny, and to those who are whining about the burden to the taxpayer – are you SERIOUS? This girl was raped, terrorized, forced to bear her rapist’s children, held captive for TWENTY YEARS from the time she was ELEVEN and you’re complaining about what amounts to maybe a few cents on your end?

    Think about it. Reflect on the selfishness of that. And grow up.

  7. Ann July 9, 2010 / 8:34 am

    You are wrong because Garrido was not allowed to be around children as he was a registered sex offender. Parole officers on at least one occasion actually spoke to one of his then unknown daughters and passed her off as his niece. Even if it was Garrido’s niece, he was still not allowed to be around children. The fact that the parole officer did not act on this direct evidence alone is highly irresponsible. Not to mention multiple incidents that occurred within the past eighteen years that were enough reason to arrest Garrido or even thoroughly check his property. How could a 9-1-1 call regarding kids living in the backyard of a sex offender go unchecked based on Garrido’s word to a visiting police officer?!?!?!?! Jaycee and her family were let down on multiple occasions by the very department that vowed to protect innocent citizens from being victimized. So there were actually SO many good reasons to suspect Garrido of criminal behavior in his own backyard, and SO many ways LE missed the opportunity to arrest Garrido and more importantly find Jaycee and her daughters.

    • danielle July 9, 2010 / 4:35 pm

      that’s exactly what I think and hope the message came across when I wrote my post. I agree with you fully.

  8. Jaime July 9, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    I know this is completely off topic, but the Dallas Morning News about a man that wrote a song about missing children. He learned later that he himself was a missing child. The title is something like man writes song and finds out he is a missing child.

  9. Princess Shantae July 9, 2010 / 11:35 pm

    Was he actualy forbidden to be around children? Because his conviction was for a crime against an adult.
    Shawn Hornbeck. I read alot about him and it looks to me he had more freedom and less supervision with his captor than he probably would have had at home. Who lets a 12yo ride his bike all over the place late at night? And remember the guy spent time in the hospital and Shawn was on his own in the apartment during that time, plus he was allowed to use the net and have a girl friend and go to her school dances with her and meet her parents and all that. He wasn’t kept locked up someplace where nobody saw him.

    • Meaghan July 10, 2010 / 2:48 am

      My parents let me ride my bike all over the place at all hours of the night.

      And Shawn was never “free” even if he was able to go to school dances with a girlfriend, etc. I read that he kept his silence because he was afraid his abductor would harm him or his family.

      • Princess Shantae July 10, 2010 / 7:27 pm

        I meant this Devlin person let Shawn ride his bike all over at night, thats how a cop actualy talked to him. THe cop was guarding a burned down house and Shawn came riding around near midnight and the cop asked him who he was and what he was doing out there. Devlin must have trusted the kid all teh way to leave him so much on his own and to let him use the net. Theres more going on there than just oh he’s brain washed. Like Cards Fan says he’s a victim but thats not all he is.

      • Meaghan July 10, 2010 / 8:02 pm

        Are you suggesting Shawn was happier in a place where he was raped on a regular basis, where the man in charge of him had kept him handcuffed to a couch for a month (if I remember correctly) and tried to strangle him on at least one occasion?

        Colleen Stan‘s kidnapper actually let her visit her family, and get a job at a local store. Even after she left him she didn’t call the police; his wife did. This doesn’t mean that Colleen, or Shawn, were there of their own free will or that they were happy or any less than victims. Perhaps you might want to research the psychology of long-term abduction victims.

      • Princess Shantae July 10, 2010 / 8:23 pm

        Right after Shawn was taken, Devlin had to go in the hospital for like two weeks to have his toes taken off. This is RIGHT AFTER he got Shawn, like within the first month or so. All that time Shawn was left alone in their apartment. He couldn’t of been cuffed to the couch or he’d have died. He was in there by himself, ordering his food by phone. And Devlin’s in the hospital and he sure couldn’t be calling home every minute to check up on what his boy was up to cause somebody would hear him and wonder why he was acting that way. He’d get in trouble even if it was really his own son he left all alone for two weeks.
        Now you tell me why a kid would not take thsi great chance, knowing his captor can’t get to him and the police can go right to him. I’m sorry but the whole thing smells just a little bit. Maybe the kid just isnt’ very smart and that’s all it is. Devlin isn’t all that smart either from what I heard, and he even looked kinda slow minded.

      • Meaghan July 10, 2010 / 8:30 pm

        I like you, but here you are coming very close to getting your comments deleted for my “don’t say bad things about missing people or their families” clause. It upsets me to see insinuations made about Shawn and other people who are/were in his situation. You don’t know all the facts and you don’t know how a person “should” behave unless you are there yourself. It’s not as if there is an instructions manual.

        Shawn was a victim of horrific abuse at Devlin’s hands, Devlin admitted to it and pleaded guilty. Shawn will probably never get over what he went though. I politely ask that you do not continue this line of speculation on my blog.

      • danielle July 10, 2010 / 9:57 pm

        PRINCESS: Shawn was a child! CHILD!!! He was told, “if you leave me…I’ll find you and kill you and your family!” Of course Shawn believed him. FEAR…CHILD…ABUSE (most likely sexually abused the day/night he was taken). That’s why.

      • Justin July 11, 2010 / 3:47 am

        Shantae, I think you don’t understand how completely a person can be broken psychologically by people who know what they are doing. After a while, you don’t even try to run, even when you had an excellent chance to get away. They dehumanize their victims, don’t let them sleep, beat, rape and starve them until the victim becomes indoctrinated to do whatever their captors want. The average person can be turned in a relatively short time. Take for example Elizabeth Smart: Less than a month after she was taken, her captor Brian David Mitchell (may that PoS be eaten alive by starving rats) made her tell him how to take her favorite cousin so he could start his harem. She knew what he intended, and she still told him how to get into her room. If you think that only children could be warped that easily, look at Patty Hearst. She was a very intelligent, college educated woman. She was raped, beaten, starved and continually indoctrinated until she started to identify with her captors It’s called Stockholm Syndrome. Later, she robbed banks on behalf of her captors and even was given guns. You can be broken and turned completely.

        In 1973, 591 American POWs were returned alive from the Vietnam War, the vast majority of them being air crews who had undergone EXTREMELY intensive training to resist interrogation and to escape from their captors prior to their being captured. Do you know how many made escape attempts after they were captured? Two dozen, perhaps three. Do you know how many after being tortured, starved and deprived of sleep successfully resisted interrogation by the enemy and didn’t give them the information they wanted? You can count the number on one hand and that is because they died under torture before they could break. And they were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Keep in mind that whatever the North Vietnamese did to these men to get what they wanted, they didn’t sexually abuse them.

        And pimps. Oh, yes. Lets talk about how street pimps, AKA: some of the lowest forms of human life in existence, break these women to make them sex slaves and not flee. These…men, are experts in breaking people. They rape them over and over again over a period of days and weeks, they are given drugs, beaten if they hesitate for an instant if told to do something. They are so broken that they don’t refuse to do anything. They don’t think, they just do what they are told. If you ever read the stories of former prostitutes who talk about what their pimps did to turn them out, you would want the death penalty for these people.

        You hear about mothers who let violent men sexually abuse their children and wonder how they could let that happen. It happens because either the women were raised in that environment to where they believed that’s just the way it was supposed to be, or they were so broken by the abuse that they didn’t dare try to stop the abuse from happening. A lot of people will say with total confidence that they would never be beaten down that badly that they would allow that to happen to their children. But most of them have never been brutalized to that degree and their minds cannot understand it.

        Perhaps you cannot comprehend being completely broken this way. You might believe there would be some small part of you that would wait for the right time to escape your captors like Natascha Kampusch did, though it took eight years and they went out in public together long before she escaped from him. All I can say is that if God sees fit to put that test before you, I really hope you will be one of those rare ones who can keep a bit of resistance in them despite all that happens which can keep you from being completely broken. But I wouldn’t put any money on it.

  10. CardsFan July 10, 2010 / 12:06 am

    Yes, Jaycee is a victim, no doubt about that. But to see her only as a “victim” is ultimately to deny her humanity, – humans have a panoply of pluses and minuses.

  11. danielle July 10, 2010 / 6:02 am

    mind blank: what is an LE? I forgot…thanks

    • Meaghan July 10, 2010 / 9:52 am

      Law enforcement.

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