'Stockholm, Pennsylvania' Didn't Happen In Real Life, But It May Remind You Of These Actual Kidnappings
When a person goes missing, images of the search usually flood the news. But what happens after when a missing person is found alive years later? The Lifetime movie Stockholm, Pennsylvania, premiering Saturday night, takes a look at what the post-kidnapping life might look like. The movie centers on Leia (Saoirse Ronan), who was abducted 17 years ago and finally returned to her real parents, but life isn't perfect — she misses her old life and captor.
There have been real-life kidnapping cases in which the victims start to bond with their captor. It's known as Stockholm Syndrome, which involves developing some sympathy for the person in charge of their fate. "It is believed to be a common and expected occurrence," clinical psychologist Paul G. Mattiuzzi told LiveScience. "Imagine you've been kidnapped and are in a situation of genuine threat and terror. In order to survive, you have to act compliant or act nice to your captor. There will be a tendency in your mind to achieve consistency: I'm acting nice to this person because they are nice."
Here are three real cases that may remind you of the story told in Stockholm, Pennsylvania.
Jaycee Lee Dugard
As reported by The Daily Mail, in 2009 Dugard finally reunited with her family after being held captive by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy for 18 years and having two children with him. After she was found, Dugard allegedly lied to protect Garrido and refused to say anything that could incriminate him. According to CBS News, Dugard's stepfather Carl Probyn said, "she really feels it's almost like a marriage." The Garridos were both convicted of rape and kidnapping, with Phillip sentenced to 431 years in prison and Nancy to 36 years to life.
From the age of 10, Kampusch was allegedly kidnapped and held captive for eight years by Wolfgang Přiklopil, according to NBC News, until she escaped in 2006. Kampusch had called him "Master" and reportedly cried when she was told that Přiklopil killed himself. She also had a lot of trouble fitting back in with her family, like Leia does in Stockholm, Pennsylvania.
In one of the most famous cases of Stockholm Syndrome, William Randolph Hearst's 19-year-old granddaughter was taken captive by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. According to CBS News, not too long after the kidnapping, the younger Hearst became an accomplice to the group's crimes. She said she was brainwashed, but Hearst was convicted for her involvement in a bank robbery and sent to prison, though she was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001.
"Stockholm Syndrome is what it is called when you begin to identify with your captors," she told CBS News. "I mean, once they don't kill you, (you) start to think they're nice. They get nicer every day that they don't kill you."
Image: Aaron Epstein/Stockholm PA, LLC