CA Kidnap Suspect’s Wife Will Get No Sympathy


The 18-year California kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard is raising questions about the role of principal defendant Phillip Garrido’s wife, Nancy, says the Sacramento Bee. Was Nancy, 54, a full-fledged accomplice and co-conspirator, who willingly participated in the crimes? Was she a victim herself, a woman brainwashed or beaten into submission? Or was she something in between? “Obviously, this is not normal behavior, unless she’s a total sociopath,” said Linda Barnard, a Sacramento marriage and family therapist and an expert in so-called “intimate partner battering.”

Barnard has testified in many criminal trials in which defense attorneys sought to minimize their clients’ guilt by portraying them as victims, too. In crimes involving male-female partners, she explained, the dominant one often gains power and control by isolating and threatening the other. Phillip Garrido’s brother said Nancy was “a robot” under her husband’s control, and she would “do anything he asked.” She had been certified as a nursing assistant between 1989 and 1995, when she did not renew her certification. She met Garrido while he served a federal prison term for the 1976 abduction and rape of a woman. Whatever Nancy’s story is, she will not get much sympathy from prospective jurors or the public, Barnard said. “Even if he brutalized her from day one, she’s still not going to get any sympathy, because she’s an adult,” the therapist said. “And when an adult does not do something to intervene and take care of a child – and it’s an adult woman – juries have no sympathy.”

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