In August, 2009, Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy were arrested for the abduction of Jaycee Dugard. The abduction occurred in 1991, when Jaycee was only eleven. She was held captive for nearly two decades. During that time, Jaycee was sexually assaulted on a regular basis, and gave birth to two daughters.
Phillip Garrido brought the young girls that he fathered with Jaycee Dugard to the UC campus in Berkeley on August 24. While there, he met a police officer named Lisa Campbell who asked him to return for a meeting the next day. Campbell was suspicious of his unusual behavior, and noted that the girls should have been in school.
Later that night, Officer Campbell ordered a Comprehensive Background Check and discovered something disturbing. Phillip Garrido was a registered sex offender who was still required to check in with a parole officer.
The following day Campbell brought a colleague, Officer Allison Jacobs, to the meeting with Phillip Garrido. When he left, the women called Garrido’s parole officer to report his actions and ask about his daughters. They were stunned to be told that he did not have any children.
Based on this call, the parole officer set up a meeting with Garrido, which led to an investigation and arrest. Since then, Phillip and Nancy Garrido have been held in custody awaiting a trial. The prosecution intends to prove that Phillip Garrido is a highly manipulative individual who brain-washed Jaycee Dugard, but his public defender, Susan Gellman, hopes to prove otherwise.
Gellman’s plan is to state that Phillip Garrido suffers from severe mental illness. She will insist that he did not have the capacity to realize that he was doing wrong and he should be treated as a patient, not a criminal.
One of the points Gellman is expected to emphasize is that Garrido claims to have communicated with angels who live underground for many years. He proclaimed that these angels frequently spoke to him at night and even self-published a manifesto about their conversations, which he personally delivered to the FBI a few days before he was arrested.
Whether or not this defense will hold up in court remains to be seen. The prosecution asserts that since Garrido and his wife lived a somewhat normal life while detaining Jaycee Dugard in a backyard shanty for so long, their actions must have been calculated. They are also expected to point out that Garrido had plans in place to hide Dugard and the children if the police or unexpected visitors ever arrived.
We’ll be watching closely as the trial against Phillip and Nancy Garrido begins. Our hopes are with Jaycee Dugard and her family, and that the end of this hearing will bring them peace and comfort.