3096 Days

Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian girl who was kidnapped by a stranger and held captive for eight years, has written a book, 3096 Days, about her experience. It comes out in Britain on September 9 and in the US on September 16. This article has more info:

Bizarrely, Miss Kampusch, who is now 22 and presents a talk show on Austrian television, marked her tormentor’s death by saying she was in mourning because in a macabre way he had become “part of my life”. […] Miss Kampusch is considered to have made a good recovery in the circumstances. However, the psychological scars of her ordeal are still very much in evidence: she has bought both his house and his car.

I’ve read Sabine Dardenne’s memoir of her kidnapping/captivity experience, I Choose to Live, and it was pretty good. (A candidate for Charley’s recommended books page? Anyone?) I’ll definitely read Natascha’s when I can get my hands on a copy.

Sabine was held for several months, if I recall, and she was twelve, four years older than Natascha was when she was kidnapped. In her book Sabine shows none of the ambiguous feelings towards her kidnapper that Natascha seems to have; in fact she hardly talks about him at all and calls him names like “beast” and “animal” instead of by his name. Her book aside, Sabine seems to have faded into relative obscurity since she testified at her captor’s trial; I heard that she had a normal life, a boyfriend and a job. Natascha on the other hand is on television. Another difference: Sabine had a normal happy family life, but Natascha’s mother was reportedly abusive to her.

Natascha, Sabine, Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard should all get together and talk. I know Elizabeth and Jaycee have been in touch with each other.

6 thoughts on “3096 Days

  1. Kevin September 6, 2010 / 3:24 pm

    This sounds like the story in John Fowles book ‘The Collector’ (1963). Recommended.

    • Justin September 6, 2010 / 5:30 pm

      I disagree. In the novel, the abductor Frederick Clegg wanted someone to love him, but didn’t know how to go about it. He never physically abused or molested Miranda Grey, his captive, sexually and just kept her in his cellar with the hope his captive would grow to love him.

      In the real abductions of those girls, these men wanted sex slaves first and foremost. They beat, starved, and raped them repeatedly until they became compliant.

      • Meaghan September 6, 2010 / 6:44 pm

        That said, Justin, I’ve heard that a lot of serial killers and the like have admired that novel and tried to emulate it. I’ve never read it myself.

      • Justin September 7, 2010 / 8:56 am

        Because it is all about control. If you lock someone up and can force them to do what you want, it is very attractive situation for people who feel they have no control under normal circumstances. But in this situation, they are a god who holds all the power as far as the victim is concerned. A pretty girl who normally would have nothing to do with this person would be forced to abide by their every whim. I can understand why serial killers would get off on that book.

  2. Cattt September 7, 2010 / 10:01 am

    Wow! That is crazy how she felt about him, but I can see why.

  3. Kevin September 7, 2010 / 6:11 pm

    Just making an assimilation to a similar story. Meaghan, you are right. Christopher Wilder was found with it when he was killed, and Bundy mentioned it.

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