Friday, August 16, 2013

Why didn't Hannah Anderson tell anybody at cheerleading practice that her mother and brother were tied up in a garage?

Hannah Anderson, cheerleader from Lakeside, California

Is Hannah Anderson purely a victim, or did she have some involvement in James DiMaggio's plans? Either way, I'm sure she had absolutely no suspicion that her family was being murdered while she was at cheerleading practice. At worst, she was resisting parental limitations on her freedom. And that's something that a lot of teenagers do.

Since Hannah is 16, if there was any sexual contact at any time between James DiMaggio and Hannah, it constituted a crime committed by DiMaggio. Hannah was clearly a victim during any such events, if they did occur.

Did Hannah believe that her mother and brother's lives were in danger while she was at cheerleading practice?

No. How could she possibly have conceived of her "Uncle Jim" as a murderer?

If she had believed her mother and brother were in danger for their lives, she would have used her cell phone to call the police. I'm confident that Hannah believed that her family was safely tied up in the garage, not being harmed. She believed that a non-traumatic, short term kidnapping, not murder, was being committed.

But if she didn't believe DiMaggio was capable of murder, she didn't believe her own life was in danger. So why didn't she report the kidnapping while she was at cheerleading practice? She had a cell phone. Why didn't she call 911? Also, why did DiMaggio have so much trust in her, allowing her to go off alone with her cell phone, confident that she wouldn't call the police?

There are two possibilities:

Possibility #1) Hannah believed she must cooperate because DiMaggio was capable of murder.

Perhaps she thought he would kill her and/or her family if she called the police or ran away and hid from him, but would not kill them if she cooperated. Now we have the scenario that Hannah is at cheerleading practice, waiting to be picked up by a man who, she thinks, will turn around and go back and kill her family if she's not there waiting for him. If she believes this, then it would make sense for her to be there waiting for him--but it makes no sense at all that she wouldn't call the police. She could so easily have thwarted the entire plan. The police could have rescued her family, or if they were too late for that, at least they could have been waiting to arrest DiMaggio when he came to pick up Hannah. If Hannah thought DiMaggio was capable of murder, she would have called the police. Which leaves us with possibility #2.

Possibility #2) Hannah never believed DiMaggio was capable of murder. She believed her family would remain tied up in the garage while she and DiMaggio went off together.

Now we come to the question of whether Hannah willingly went camping in Idaho with DiMaggio. Clearly DiMaggio believed she was willing. Why else would he have let her go off to cheerleading practice without him? And why else would she have tolerated having her family tied up?

I continue to be completely convinced that Hannah didn't want her mother and brother to be killed. But I also think she wanted them tied up while she went off to Idaho. She likely planned to call someone to free them when she and DiMaggio were far enough away.

Of course her mother would have disapproved of having her 16-year-old daughter run off with a 40-year-old man. The mother would have called the police if Hannah and DiMaggio had simply gone off on their camping trip without permission. She might have called them when her daughter didn't come home from cheerleading practice, and almost certainly would have called if Hannah wasn't home by bedtime. Christina Anderson's disapproval would explain why James DiMaggio was so enraged that he would torture and kill her. She was standing in the way of his idyll in the backwoods with Hannah. And what could an eight-year-old boy possibly have done to anger DiMaggio? He would have been a witness. And the dog's crime? He would have barked--a lot--if left alive with the bodies of his family.

I'm sure Hannah is in shock right now. And denial. She thinks life is going to be pretty much the same as it always was. But I think that the burden of pretending that she is completely innocent is harmful to her mental health. She was certainly unlucky, unlucky beyond belief. And she is an adolescent, with the typical bad judgment of adolescents. I forgive her. I hope that she will be able to forgive herself. But to do that, I think she needs to come to grips with her mistakes. I wish her supporters would tell her that they support her even though she made some bad decisions. And to make sure that some good comes out of all this horror, Hannah might decide to help other teenagers understand the limits of their own ability to judge sexual situations, and warn them about how badly things can go wrong.

Hannah Anderson speaks to cameras for the first time as she thanks community for support after her kidnapping ordeal
Hannah's mother Christina had a DNA test in her burnt car, raising more questions about their relationship
By Daily Mail Reporter
17 August 2013

...One of the most puzzling pieces added to the ongoing investigation into this crime is that a DNA test kit was found in the burnt out car that once belonged to Christina Anderson.

NBC News reports that other items listed in the search warrants released today include 'crow bars and other weapons, instruments and objects capable of inflicting blunt force trauma', as well as bomb-making materials like gas cans, various types of duct tape and arson wire.

A number of personal items that could potentially be used for DNA collection were also gathered, including clothing and toothbrushes but also used condoms.

The meaning behind the items was not listed, as emergency responders appear to have grabbed as many items as possible on August 5 as they tried to get a better idea of Hannah's relationship with DiMaggio as they were missing...

Friend: Hannah Anderson discusses kidnapping on social media
By Casey Wian
August 15, 2013

(CNN) -- Hannah Anderson did what any teenage girl would do after a life-changing ordeal: she discussed it with peers online.

The 16-year-old fielded anonymous questions on the website, where she shared details about her abduction by the man she knew as Uncle Jim, James DiMaggio.

"How did he separate you from your mom and brother?" a user asked.

She said he tied them up in the garage...

When asked what she would say to Ethan and her mother if she got a chance, her response was a reminder of her trauma.

"I wish I could go back in time and risk my life to try and save theirs," she said. "I will never forgive myself for not trying harder to save them."...

NEW: page says Wednesday night: "This user has disabled their account."

Kidnap fiend tortured Hannah Anderson's mom, brother before killing them, warrants say
From AP
August 15, 2013

SAN DIEGO — Court papers shed new light on the slayings of a California mother and son and abduction of a teenager by a family friend, revealing that the suspect tortured his victims before he killed them and exchanged more than a dozen calls earlier that day with the teen.

DiMaggio and 16-year-old Hannah Anderson exchanged about 13 calls before Hannah was picked up from cheerleading practice on Aug. 4. Both phones were turned off, and the home burned several hours later...

Letters from Hannah Anderson in abductor's home
Warrants show contact between James DiMaggio and girl
Marty Graham
August 16, 2013

SAN DIEGO - A California man who abducted the 16-year-old daughter of a longtime family friend and took her to the Idaho wilderness after killing her mother and brother this month had a stack of letters from the teen, search warrants showed on Friday.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s office warrants also showed 13 phone calls or text messages between phones belonging to the San Diego area girl and her abductor, James DiMaggio, on the day she went missing.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which requested a total of 8 search warrants in the case, declined to say whether Anderson or DiMaggio initiated the calls.

Abducted teen's mother, brother had been tortured
Melanie Eversley and Doug Stanglin
August 15, 2013

Unsealed warrant revealed crowbar and blood found near mother's head
Authorities said brother, 8, was burned and his body found in rubble
The family dog was shot to death, according to unsealed warrant

The mother and 8-year-old brother of abducted teenager Hannah Anderson were tortured before they were killed by her captor, who was a family friend, according to gruesome details found in a newly released search warrant.

...In a separate interview with KGTV news, Spanswick said that he was "disturbed with some of the inconsistencies" in Hannah's story, but he believes she is the victim....

Hannah Anderson a victim, even with calls, letters, officials say
By Kate Mather and Tony Perry
LA Times
August 16, 2013

Although search warrants in the Hannah Anderson case revealed extensive communication between the 16-year-old and the man who allegedly kidnapped her after killing her mother and brother, San Diego County sheriff's officials maintained Friday that they still considered the teen a victim.

San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said the department's investigation was ongoing and declined to comment on the specifics of the search warrants released this week.

...Investigators also collected duct tape and handcuff boxes from DiMaggio's home, along with a Yosemite camping printout, cut electrical cords, model rocket containers and two used condoms, the documents said.

Computers, papers, photos and a journal were among the items seized from the Andersons' Lakeside apartment, additional warrants showed.

Authorities allege DiMaggio set up a trap by asking the family to come to his home so he could say goodbye before he moved to Texas.

Christina Anderson's body was found in a standalone garage, with blood near her head and a crowbar nearby, the warrants said. Her son's body was later found burned in the home. Both had been "tortured and killed," the documents noted.

The family's "medium brown dog" was also found shot to death under a sleeping bag, the warrants said. Investigators believe the fires were set separately, possibly with timing devices and accelerant, arson specialists said in seeking one of the search warrants. The one fire could not have migrated to the other location, they said.

Investigators later found incendiary devices and "arson wire" on the property, the documents revealed.

DiMaggio was so close a friend to the Anderson family that the children called him "Uncle Jim," authorities said. One of the warrants noted he and Hannah had been on "multiple day trips," most recently visiting Malibu and Hollywood...

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