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Five Kidnapping Cases That Made History / History

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When I was a kid, my mom was always chiding me to stay close to her for fear that I’d be “snatched.” When I got a little older, I decided my mom was crazy, paranoid, and overbearing. Kidnappings never really happen, right? But now that I’m much older and have heard and read countless news stories about abducted children and even adults, I realize that kidnapping is a very real threat.

1. Kyoko Chan Cox (1971)

Kyoko Chan Cox is the only daughter of Japanese artist, musician, activist, and writer Yoko Ono and Ono’s second husband, Anthony Cox.

In 1971, Cox—who was living with his second wife on the Spanish island of Majorca and studying mysticism—and Ono entered a fierce battle over Ono’s visitation rights. In an interview with People magazine, Cox said that he had become increasingly frightened that Ono would one day try to keep their child.

With Kyoko, Cox and his second wife fled to Houston, Texas, and became evangelical Christians. They then relocated again to Los Angeles and joined the Church of the Living Word, also known as the Walk, a group whose beliefs blend elements of Pentecostalism, mysticism, and the occult. For the next five years, the Coxes sought refuge with members of the sect in rural Iowa and in California.

Cox became disenchanted with the Walk in 1977 and decided to leave the sect. At that point, Kyoko was attending the Walter Reed Junior High School in North Hollywood, California, under the assumed name of Ruth Holman. Cox feared that Walk leaders would take her away to prevent his leaving, so he took her from school and went on the run again. “We left with the clothes on our backs,” Cox says.

Ono hired detectives and tried to communicate with her daughter through songs such as “Don’t Worry, Kyoko.” Says Ono, “Losing my daughter was a very serious pain. There was always some empty space in my heart.”

In 1994, twenty-three years after her kidnapping, Kyoko contacted Ono. Kyoko had been married since 1992 to a successful lawyer and had decided to have children of her own. “When Kyoko appeared finally, I was totally in shock. It felt like the part of me that was missing came back,” Ono says.

2. Patty Hearst (1974)

The story of Patty Hearst held America spellbound for nearly two years. She was the granddaughter and heiress of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst and was kidnapped by a militant left-wing group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Hearst answered the door of the Berkeley apartment she shared with her fiancé and, according to a Dateline NBC special on the kidnapping, “people just burst into the apartment.” While Hearst’s fiancé was beaten with a wine bottle, she was gagged, blindfolded, shoved into the trunk of a car, and whisked away by her captors. 

As a ransom, Hearst’s father, Randolph Hearst, donated two million dollars in food to Bay Area people...


Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №3 (март 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.

08 апреля 2011

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