The news out of Antioch, California, in the ongoing investigation into the kidnapping case of Jaycee Lee Dugard and of her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, suggests that authorities are now searching the neighbor’s house as well as the Garrido house for possible evidence in the cases of two missing California girls. Just a couple days after the horrifying story of Jaycee Lee Dugard’s 18-year captivity became nationwide news, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement officials announced that Phillip Garrido might also be a serial murderer. As CNN reported in a breaking news segment Monday evening that the property searches were drawing to a close, it would seem that the investigation is just getting started.
Little is known about Jaycee Lee Dugard’s story since she was abducted off the streets of South Lake Tahoe, California, in 1991. With 24-hour news covering, that paucity of information is changing fast. Still, far more is known about the man who abducted her, Phillip Garrido. But Phillip Garrido, convicted rapist and registered sex offender, managed to elude detection as a kidnapper for 18 years, repeatedly raping the little girl who became the woman Garrido would call “Alissa.” Alissa would also bear Phillip Garrido two children.
Police also believe that Phillip Garrido may have been involved in a series of prostitute killings during the 1990s, perhaps as many as ten. Phillip Garrido at one time worked in the industrial park adjacent to the area where many of the dead prostitutes were found.
Police broke the news Monday that they were also searching for possible clues that Phillip Garrido might have had something to do with the disappearances of two more little girls. According to CNN, the two cases stretch back 20 years, predating the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard.
The first girl, 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff, was abducted on her way to an ice-skating lesson. Previous to that, 9-year-old Michaela Garecht, was pulled into a vehicle in 1988. What makes the Michaela Garecht abduction interesting to authorities is that she bears an amazing resemblance to Jaycee Lee Dugard and the sketch of the man who abducted Garecht resembles Phillip Garrido.
But are law enforcement agencies opening these cold cases because of the similarities in the cases, the overlapping territories, and the interchangeable clues or are they simply trying to close cold cases, pin them on a man most view as a monster now, all in order to clear the smeared name of the local officials for having allowed Phillip and Nancy Garrido to hold captive Jaycee Lee Dugard for 18 years? It does seem as if breaking news occurs every few minutes targeting Phillip Garrido as a possible suspect in yet another abduction or homicide.
Although there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the agencies involved in the investigations are engaged in anything other than bona fide police work, 18 years is a long time to miss something. Especially when there were so many times when they might have discovered the captive girl — or Jaycee Lee Dugard’s daughters — if they’d simply looked around a little…
Just a little…
And there is nothing more industrious than those seen as responsible and accountable — who seem to have not been and whose names have become news as well — when they are in CYA* mode…
* CYA — Cover Your Ass, common term used for those attempting to make good — or at least give that appearance — in a situation where they have been found wanting. Mode usually kicks in after the fact…
“Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN Television