A Stolen Life

Told in her own words, A Stolen Life is the true story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped at age eleven, and held captive for eighteen years.

It's June 10, 1991 in Lake Tahoe, CA. Jaycee is walking up the road from her home to a school bus stop. When a car pulls over, she thinks it's someone wanting directions. Instead, a man rolls down the window, his hand shoots out, and Jaycee's body becomes tingly and numb. She falls over into the bushes. The last thing she remembers is touching a pine cone. She learns later that she'd been paralyzed with a stun gun.   

When she wakes up, she is face down in the floorboard of the car. She's covered up and has no idea where she is. She goes in and out of consciousness. She doesn't hear anyone say anything for a long time. When she does, it's the driver laughing and saying that "he can't believe they got away with it".

The driver is convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido. With him is his wife, Nancy.

When they arrive at their home 120 miles away, they strip Jaycee of her clothing, put a blanket over her, and lead her to a small sound-proof shed in their backyard. Phillip handcuffs her, and leaves her there, still naked, and tells her he'll be back later.

There is one window in the tiny building. It has bars on it and is covered with a towel. There's a pallet on the floor, and she tries to sleep as much as possible.

As time goes on, Phillip allows her small privileges. He removes the handcuffs. He brings in a television, but it gets only one channel. Eventually, she is allowed to be in a larger room.   

She knows Phillip has a wife, but she has never seen her. Jaycee has been there seven months before she meets Nancy.   

For the first six years Jaycee was was never outside. Phillip finally builds a high fence around a space in the backyard, where she can get some sun and grow some plants. He knows she loves animals, and lets her have a kitten from time to time, but doesn't always let her keep them for very long.   

When she becomes pregnant, he deliveries the babies. She has two daughters. Her first child was born when she was only fourteen years old, the second one when she was seventeen.   

A Stolen Life describes Jaycee's eighteen years with the Garridos, her two daughters, and finally, her freedom.

This book was one of the top ten most frequently challenged of 2014. Reasons given were drugs, alcohol, smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group.

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