News24

Photos reveal Jaycee's prison

2009-08-31 22:10

San Francisco -Junk piled high, mounds of clothes strewn across dirty carpets, a fishtank green with rotting algae and a collection of cat statues and snowglobes.

The first glimpse inside Jaycee Lee Dugard's prison has revealed a world of mundane squalor with only a few clues about the interests of the young girls who were forced to grow up in the ramshackle labyrinth of tents and sheds.

The insight into Dugard's living conditions were revealed in a series of pictures taken by a British photographer who reportedly sneaked into the backyard of sex offender Phillip Garrido's home.

Convicted rapist and religious fanatic Garrido, 58, is accused of abducting Dugard in 1991, holding her prisoner for 18 years and fathering two children with her before finally being caught last week.

Police say Garrido had constructed a "backyard within a backyard," hidden from view by a high wooden fence and dense undergrowth. It was there that Dugard, 29, lived with her two daughters, aged 15 and 11.

The photos from within the compound depict a world of chaos. A forlorn "Welcome" sign hangs from a tree above what appear to be cut-outs of butterflies.

Magazines

One picture shows cushions, clothes and drink cartons piled into a corner of a tent. A cuddly toy monkey sits on top of a pile of blankets and pillows in another shot.

Another image shows a row of cheap dressers, some with drawers missing, lined up along one wall of a tent. A jewellery box, hairbrush and make-up compacts rest on top of one dresser.

On one side board is a montage of faded photos of a young man singing into a microphone and playing guitar, possibly Garrido himself.

Another shelf shows a collection of cat figurines and trinkets arrayed around several books attesting to a love of furry felines, with titles such as The Cat Who Went to Paris and Do Cats Think.

Below the bookshelf, a 1 000-piece "Cats" jigsaw puzzle lies open. An edition of "Cat Fancy" magazine lies on top of a wicker basket.

One box is stuffed full of magazines and books including a pest control handbook - Dead Snails Leave No Trails - and a guide to garden birds.

Another picture shows a disused fishtank full of green, dirty water. A packet of children's crayons stands nearby.

A wooden bookshelf, meanwhile, reveals a fondness for best-selling suspense and science fiction writers Dean Koontz and Isaac Asimov.

Another picture shows clothes and possessions scattered across the floor, a headless children's toy doll among them.

Perhaps most chilling of all, an interior shot from what appears to be an iron shed shows a mattress leaning up against a wall.

A large hacksaw hangs nearby alongside a chain dangling from the ceiling.


AFP