*Warning – The information you are about to read may include discussions of true crimes, graphic details, and crime scenes, this may be too graphic for some people, please use discretion when reading*
In 1977, Colleen Stan was kidnapped while hitchhiking to a friends house from Oregon to California. She was kept hostage for over seven years. Colleen Stan would be known as The Girl In The Box. She would remain captive for over seven years. I’m not unsympathetic to her case as I can only imagine what she had to go through for those seven years. But when presented with escape options, Colleen didn’t take them. Was she also a victim of Stockholm Syndrome or did she want to be there?
Cameron Hooker and his wife Janice had come to an agreement that he could capture a slave to take Janice’s place as she no longer wanted to participate in the bondage games that Cameron enjoyed. Colleen was tortured and kept in the box 23 hours a day, and was forced to sign herself into slavery in January of 1978. Cameron didn’t have intercourse with Colleen, but would orally rape her, and used implements to penetrate her vaginally and anally.
To avoid painful punishments, Colleen tried to comply with his commands, which then allowed her more freedoms; jogging, working in the yard, caring for the children. Even with an open door, neighbors, and a telephone, she made no attempt to escape.
In 1981, Colleen was able to visit her family. She never revealed her situation for fear of consequences. The next day, she returned with Cameron who was posing as her boyfriend. Her family took a picture of them and it showed a happy smiling Colleen. After this visit, Cameron felt he had given her too much freedom, and she was back in the box 23 hours a day for the next three years.
It wasn’t until 1983 when Cameron wanted to make Colleen his second wife when Janice approached Colleen and told her the truth about “The Company”. The fictitious entity that Cameron said was watching her and would hurt her family if she didn’t comply. Colleen Stan left and took a bus back to her family, and when she notified Cameron that she was leaving him, he burst into tears. In the months that followed Colleen called him regularly, as she wanted to give him a chance to reform, per a request by Janice. Three months later, Janice called the police on Cameron.
Cameron was tried and convicted and sentenced to 104 years. His request for parole was denied in 2015 and will be eligible again in 2030. Janice received full immunity for testifying against Cameron, she has reverted back to her maiden name and currently lives in California. Colleen Stan has changed her last name, she also lives in California, she and Janice do not communicate.
Be ever alert, make good choices, stay safe