Colleen Stan survived seven years of torture and confinement, kept in a “headbox” under a bed in California after she was abducted by Cameron Hooker and his wife, Janice.
Stan was on her way to a friend’s party in northern California May 17, 1977, when she encountered Cameron and Janice Hooker, who were on a ride with their oldest child, according to court documents filed in the case. Stan was abducted at knifepoint and taken to their home in Red Bluff.
Snapped: Notorious is digging in to the case in a new episode that airs tonight. “The Girl in the Box” airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, July 17, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Stan Described the Lifelong Impacts of Her Kidnap & Torture Around the Time of Hooker’s Parole Hearing
Although Cameron Hooker was sentenced to 104 years in prison, he became eligible for parole in 2015 after a California state law change was made regarding elderly prisoners, which made him eligible for an earlier release and reduced his sentence to 74 years, according to the Appeal-Democrat.
“I am going through that devastation all over again,” said Stan during a Tehama County District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Recognition Ceremony that took place around the same time as the parole hearing, according to the newspaper.
The parole board denied Hooker’s parole and determined he would not be eligible again for 15 years, according according to his prison record.
Here is Hooker’s prison record:
Stan told the newspaper she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and experiences residual physical pain. She has had failed marriages and cannot hold a job in the aftermath of the kidnap and torture, the newspaper reported.
An appeal filed by Cameron Hooker’s attorneys details the crimes and the nature of the relationship between Janice and Cameron Hooker.
The appeal says:
This case, which has attracted great media attention, involves the kidnapping and repeated sexual assault of Colleen S. by appellant Cameron Hooker, an advocate of bondage discipline and sadomasochistic sexual practices, over the course of more than seven years. Hooker had for several years practiced bondage on his wife Janice with her consent. Later, Janice wanted to have a child and to avoid some of her husband’s more painful bondage practices. Hooker fantasized about ‘practicing bondage,’ on a girl that really couldn’t say ‘no’. The couple agreed that Hooker could keep a woman who would become the target of his bondage, but he was not to engage in sexual intercourse with this ‘slave.’
The appeal further described the torture Stan experienced.
“Colleen was gagged, blindfolded, handcuffed, and her head was encased in a specially-constructed ‘headbox,’ the appeal said. “That evening, Hooker stripped Colleen and hung her by her arms from the basement rafters. It was very painful; when Colleen cried and tried to find something on which to rest her feet, Hooker whipped her. Through her blindfold, Colleen could see a magazine open to a picture of a woman who was hung much like she was. After she had hung for 10 or 15 minutes, Hooker let her rest her toes on a box.”
Stan Recalled Her Escape From 7 Years of Confinement & Being Reunited With Her Family
Janice Hooker helped Stan escape, although Stan told PEOPLE she does not know why.
“I don’t know if [Cameron] was going to kill us and get somebody else to replace us – that’s what news clips said – but obviously he said or did something to her that made her fear for her life and made her decide that we needed to get out,” Stan says of the pair’s escape,” Stan said, according to PEOPLE. “So we did. [Janice] took me to her parents’ home while Cameron was at work, and I called my father.”
Stan told PEOPLE about her experience of being reunited with her family.
“My first feeling was when I was free and reunited with my family was just, I was so filled with joy. It was just like my cup was overflowing with joy,” she said. “Coming home is the first step to the rest of your life.”
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