It would be really nice when you are going to do a live TV interview if they would give you the questions in advance so you could have a minute to think about it. But they don’t. So the other day Larry King asked me what I think of Nancy Garrido. Well, I hadn’t really give it much thought, so I just reacted off the top and said that I thought it was almost worse what she did, that Garrido was obviously sick, but she was doing his bidding without being sick herself, and that was worse.
But you know, I was wrong. Well, I think I was wrong, because obviously I cannot see inside the mind of a woman I’ve never met. But when I really take time to think about it, I believe Nancy Garrido was every bit as much a victim of Philip Garrido as everyone else. I’ll admit, I think she was crazy to marry him in the first place. Or before that, she was crazy to even give him the time of day, to allow him the opportunity to start crawling inside her mind to plant the seeds of control.
All you girls out there, remember that. You will probably have an intuition if the guy you are talking to has that kind of evil in his heart. But he may be charming, and sweep you off your feet. It is well known that a lot of women suffer from some mental aberration that causes them to be attracted to “bad boys.” Or perhaps he might start tugging at your heart with his sad stories. You know, nobody has ever really loved him, his heart has been so badly broken, yada yada yada, and you start to feel that you have that magic gift, you have that love that he has never experienced, and with that love you can heal all those hurts … and voila! He will be whole again, and the two of you will have a glorious future. You know, sometimes for some people, this can be true. But we’re talking about the “bad boys” here, the ones whose known history tells you they are trouble, the ones whose initial presence whispered a warning to your spirit, no matter how badly you wish to deny it. These people tend to be very controllling. Like Phillip Garrido. Do not give them a chance to get into your head and your heart, because they will twist them just as their own are twisted.
From what I’ve heard, Garrido was a pretty frightening guy. If he could manage to worm his way into Nancy’s heart enough for her to marry him while he was still incarcerated, just imagine what happened once he was out. He probably terrified the living daylights out of her. And then he made her an accomplice to his crimes. Maybe she didn’t want to be a part of it. Maybe she wanted to help Garrido’s victims, but was afraid to because, as Phil undoubtedly reminded her, she was an accomplice. We are pretty certain that she participated in Jaycee’s abduction. I feel fairly safe in asserting that she probably didn’t do so because it gave her any thrills. She probably did it because she was afraid of what Garrido would do to her if she didn’t. And then he had an additional hold of her. She was not only afraid of Garrido and his violence, she was afraid to try to get help because he had made sure she was also afraid of the authorities.
What sentence would I give Nancy Garrido? I would guess that over the last 21 years she has already served the worst sentence a human being could serve. I mean, I could be wrong about everything, but if I’m right, I’d have mercy on this woman — predicated on her willingness to fully cooperate with authorities and spill all regarding all of Philip Garrido’s activities to which she may have been privy. For me, if she could give out information that would help solve some of our other missing children’s cases, Michaela’s or anybody else’s, and testify against Garrido, I’d be tempted to sentence her to treatment for her own psychological injuries rather than imprisonment.
But the question is, would she be able to do that? Would she be able to trust in the system to actually keep her safe from Garrido? And beyond that, did Garrido have associates in his nasty business? Some of the reports from the neighbors over the years indicate that he may have. Nancy could still be more frightened to be free than to be in jail.
I speak from a victim’s heart. I can only pray that if Nancy knows anything, she can find the courage to tell. In the meanwhile, I will have to suspend my own judgment of her. I think we need to pray for her as much as we need to pray for any of Garrido’s victims.