Anorak News | Jaycee Dugard: How The Media Spreads The Fear

Jaycee Dugard: How The Media Spreads The Fear

by | 4th, September 2009

Jaycee DugardJAYCEE Lee Dugard – Anorak’s look at Jaycee Dugard in the news: It’s every parent’s worst nightmare as Phillip Garrido rapes a 14-year-0ld, allegedly.

Before we go on with today’s round-up of Jaycee Dugard news in the media, hats off to the Washington Post’s Petula Dvorak for telling readers:

“Jaycee Lee Dugard’s Story is Every Parent’s Nightmare”

Because, kids and mums and dads, it could be you.

Dvorak writes that Dugard’s abduction in 1991 “changed my tiny California home town of South Lake Tahoe forever…Her reappearance last week at the age of 29 generated headlines across the country — a chilling reminder to me and millions of other parents that it can happen anywhere, to anyone.”

Look out! Paedo! But  – what’s this? – the kidnap and rape of a child by a stranger is not all that common?

It seems that no horror story is complete without a paedophile, the one thign that can make it still worse. Readers may recall the name Kristian Walker, 12, Swedish boy who the media told us had been kidnapped by a paedo after the Asian tsunami.

Kristian’s father said he feared the boy been taken by child traffickers after reports that he was seen leaving hospital with a European man.

It turned out that:

A German man sought in connection with the case has been cleared after police questioning. Police say they confirmed his account that he helped reunite two German boys with their parents, and a Swedish youth with his mother.

But while the good Samaritan did his work, the media did theirs:


The Guardian brought us:

Scotland Yard has set up a child protection unit as part of international efforts to combat the possible trafficking of children in the wake of the Indian Ocean earthquake, it emerged today.

So what are the facts?

Slate’s Christopher Beam: “800,000 Missing Kids? Really?Making sense of child abduction statistics. News reports cited a statistic that 800,000 children disappear every year—or about 2,000 a day. Seriously? How reliable are these numbers?…

Take the number 800,000: It’s true that 797,500 people under 18 were reported missing in a one-year period, according to a 2002 study. But of those cases, 203,900 were family abductions, 58,200 were nonfamily abductions, and only 115 were “stereotypical kidnappings,” defined in one study as “a nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.” Even these categories can be misleading: Overstaying a visit with a noncustodial parent, for example, could qualify as a family abduction. Some individuals get entered into the database multiple times after disappearing on different occasions, resulting in potentially misleading numbers.

Of course, not all missing children are reported straight away or at all. But as Judy Zimmerman writes:

According to the US Census, in 2000 there were about 48 million children 11 and under in this country. That gives this event a .0000171 chance of happening. Childhood abductions have been declining for years–it’s just the media coverage that has increased.)

So every parent’s worst nightmare is a media creation. No terrible event can be bad enough. It could be worse – it could be you. It might well be you.

Sky News: “Jaycee Kidnap Accused ‘Raped Child Before’”

The alleged kidnapper of Jaycee Lee Dugard was accused of drugging and raping another girl more than 30 years ago, police have revealed.

So he might not have done it? And, as yet, it’s not been proven in a court of law that Phillip Garrido raped Jacey Dugard. He denies all charges.

Phillip Garrido, who is accused of abducting Jaycee in 1991 and holding her prisoner for 18 years, was charged with attacking a schoolgirl in a separate case in 1972.

But the 58-year-old was released after the charges against him were dropped because the child refused to testify in court.

He and another man had met the 14-year-old girl and a friend at a library in Antioch, California, police lieutenant Leonard Orman said.

“They got into a vehicle with Mr Garrido and were provided barbiturates… she ended up at a motel with Mr Garrido,” he said.

“She basically awoke and found herself there and was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted at that time.”

Oakland Tribune: “Antioch rape allegation among details emerging about Garrido’s past”

Last week’s news of the kidnapping prompted another possible rape victim to contact Antioch police. Anioch police Lt. Leonard Orman said the woman was 14 when her parents reported to police in 1972 that Garrido had raped her. Orman said the woman, who still lives in the area, wanted to make sure that police were aware of her case, which was dismissed after she chose not to testify against Garrido.

Ace Showbiz: “Oprah Winfrey, Top Contender to Interview Jaycee Lee Dugard”

Don’t the polce have to interview her fist, then her lawyers, then a judge… Before the kidnap and rape of a child can be tuned into daytime telly entertainment?

All pictures from Jaycee Lee Dugard’s case here

Posted: 4th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink