This is the true account of the abduction of Anita Wooldridge on June 25, 1998. She was taken from her parents’ house, her abductor was not a stranger but he was definitely not a friend either, and he had a prior conviction for rape. For eight days she was held captive, locked in a metal storage cabinet that was 5 feet by 2 feet and repeatedly raped.
Eight Days in Darkness chronicles the abduction, the steps her captor took to avoid detection and transport her across state lines, how he kept his current residence hidden from authorities and the successful efforts of local authorities and FBI agents to find and rescue her.
There is a foreword by one of the investigators, an introduction by Anita Wooldridge and an author’s note. This is an amazing story, but not an amazing book. Anita has strong faith and it comes through in her introduction, some may find it a little preachy. I wish I could say I liked this book but I didn’t.
The first thing I didn’t like was that the authors decided to refer to Anita’s abductor as “the mole”, because “moles have beady eyes, are unattractive, and prefer to only come out of their holes at night.” I don’t ever recall a perp being given a nickname in any of the other true crime books I have read. Her description of a mole is subjective, not based on fact. Moles are amazing animals and I happen to like moles. One mole can eat 45-50 lbs of worms and insects each year (I don’t like bugs). Included in that list of insects are grubs that destroy plants. Moles are not nocturnal animals and are specially designed to live underground. Also they are not predatory animals. Anita’s captor was a predator.
I also found certain aspects of this book to be rather confusing, for instance, the names of everyone in the book were changed to protect their privacy, but in the acknowledgement and captions for the pictures, their real names were used. Not only was this confusing to me and I am sure to others, it totally negated the attempt to protect their privacy.
The book takes you day by day through Anita’s ordeal, however it skimmed through the police investigation, spending more time on the officer’s personal life, how this investigation was impacting their relationships with their wives, girlfriends and so on. I didn’t mind the references to faith in God, I found the constant direct quotes of their prayers to God annoying and a little tiresome.
I thought Anita suffered through a terrible ordeal and is to be admired for the way she handled it and how she is recovering, I think the officers did an amazing job of finding her. I do not think this book does them justice.