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Shawn Hornbeck and the Kidnapping Case that Shook the Nation
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 2008
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime ~ Library Book
Read: May 24, 2016
Rating: Really liked it ♥♡
On October 6, 2002, in Richwoods, Missouri, 11 year-old Shawn Hornbeck was enjoying a day of freedom. Riding his lime-green bike around town doing typical pre-teen things, until he was abducted by ‘the monster man’, Michael J. Devlin. Devlin kept Shawn captive for the next 4 years and 3 months, until he kidnapped a second boy, Ben Ownby on January 8, 2007. On January 12, 2007 both boys were rescued by police. Then the questions began, why didn’t Shawn try to escape? This book answers those questions.
Shawn had freedom, he wasn’t tied up 24/7, he had a bike, a cell phone, access to the internet, and friends in the community. He spent holidays at his friends homes. He even had a girlfriend. Why did he never try to leave? The title of this book says it all Invisible Chains.
First you need to ignore Bill O’Reilly’s fucking idiotic comment:
The situation here, for this kid, looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn’t have to go to school, he could run around and do whatever he wanted…. And I think, when it all comes down, what’s gonna happen is, there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances.”
Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor
Shawn didn’t like his circumstances, he was doing what he had to do to survive. This is explained in the book.
While most of the information about the boys, the abductions, and their families is taken from news reports and interviews with family friends, Ms. Sauerwein was able to personally interview child psychologists and others with experience in this field. She took this information and somehow made it readable for the layperson. The result is an informative book about the why’s of a crime as opposed to just, this happened, the police followed these leads, and this person went to prison.
There is not much information about the boys recovery. I imagine the author is respecting their privacy. Which gives her another boost in my book. Curiosity takes second place to compassion.