Friday, August 28, 2009

The Jaycee Lee Dugard Case

Phillip Garrido

By now, the whole country is talking about the bizarre kidnapping case of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 in South Lake Tahoe at the age of 11 and now discovered living in Antioch, California at the age of 29. As the facts now appear, Jaycee was snatched off a bus stop by one Phillip Garrido as she waited to board a school bus. Her step-father witnessed the incident and attempted to chase the suspect vehicle up a hill on a bike, but could not keep up. He had a neighbor call 9-11, but Jaycee was never found. For the last 18 years, Jaycee's step-father had been a suspect in her disappearance and this strain caused the break-up of his marriage to Jaycee's mother.

Only now, after Garrido tried to enter the UC Berkeley campus to distribute religious literature in the company of two young girls, whom he apparently fathered with Jaycee, have the police been able to discover Jaycee and her two young daughters, all of whom had been living with Garrido and his wife, Nancy-actually residing in a tent with make-shift toilet and shower facilities in a wooded area immediately behind the back yard fence of the Garrido house.

Aside from the horrific details of the case, this could not have come at a worse time for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrats in the California State Legislature, who are busily trying to pass a prison-release measure that would force some 37,000 prison inmates onto the public. Schwarzenegger even has the Mozart's Kugeln (that's an Austrian joke) to tell us that the release plan is all about making our streets safer.

Mozart's Kugeln-(a clue for you UC Santa Cruz students majoring in Community Studies)

Here's why the story is bad news for the governor and the legislature. Hot on the heels of a recent LA murder where a teenage girl was (allegedly) abducted and murdered by prison parolee Charlie Samuel(who should have been locked away for life under the Three-Strikes Law), comes this. Garrido was originally convicted of a 1971 kidnapping of a 25-year-old woman. In the 1980s, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Yet, he was paroled in 1988 and subject to "life-long parole supervision".

In spite of that, Garrido (allegedly) was able to kidnap Dugard, hold her for 18 years in his backyard and father two children by her, none of whom ever attended school or saw a doctor.

So, if Governor Schwarzenegger is now assuring us that our streets will be safer with 37,000 prisoners roaming those streets instead of sitting in prison, he has a lot of explaining to do in the light of this case. Now it has admitted by the local police that in 2006, they responded to the Garrido house after a neighbor complained of strange goings on and people living in tents in the back yard. They came, took a look around and left. Furthermore, they are now trying to determine if Garrido was involved in the murders of several local prostitutes.

And what about those parole check-ups? Did the parole authorities ever stop by the Garrido residence to check up on their sex-offender parolee? If they did, they apparently didn't see anything either. That doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in our ability to control the behavior of parolees now, does it?

"Hello, hello, Mr Garrido. Time for your monthly parole check. Nothing seems out of order. See you next month."

Charlie Samuel, Phillip Garrido...who will be next among those 37,000 felons the governor and the state government wants to send back to our streets?

The governor has no clothes.


Findalis said...

Safer streets? Not in California. Better police work? Not in California. Businesses leaving? In the droves.

Lisa said...

It is a miracle that she is alive. I pray that she can recover from this ordeal.