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By Robert Scott
PINNACLE BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Robert Scott
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRobot Clones
August 24, 2009
Forty-year-old Lisa Campbell slowly walked into her office on the University of California (UC) campus at Berkeley after lunch. It was just another warm pleasant afternoon during summer break, but things would become more lively soon with incoming students for the fall semester. Lisa was the special events manager with the University of California Police Department (UCPD). A native of Chicago, she had been in police work for four years in Cook County, Illinois, and then eight years as an officer for the city of Chicago. Lisa eventually moved to California and, by 2009, had taken on many different tasks in her law enforcement career in San Diego and Los Angeles. One of those tasks had been working with issues about abused and neglected children.
Shortly after 1:00 P.M. on Monday, August 24, Lisa received a phone call from a records technician that there was a man in the lobby of Sproul Hall who wanted to meet with her about an upcoming event. The man said that he wanted to conduct some type of demonstration or lecture on campus. This was not an uncommon occurrence, and even though Lisa was busy, she told the records technician to send the man down to her office and she would schedule an appointment for him.
A short time later, a middle-aged man came into Lisa's office and he had two young girls who followed slowly behind him. One of the girls was in her mid-teens, and the other one looked to be about ten years old. Almost immediately, the man started telling Lisa about his organization in a very agitated voice. Much of what he was saying didn't make any sense to Lisa, and he rambled on and on in a disjointed manner, never really getting to the point. Finally Lisa interrupted him and said, "What can we do for you? How does this relate to the UC campus?"
The man took a breath and tried explaining himself, but he was still having a hard time conveying what he wanted Lisa to do for him. Lisa recalled later, "He wasn't consistent. His thoughts were all over the place. At one point, he did say, 'This is going to be really big! It has something to do with the government and the FBI.' He wanted UC Berkeley involved, because whatever was going to happen, was going to happen on campus."
Lisa told the man she had to schedule him for another appointment because she had so many other things to attend to that day. She asked him if she could schedule him for 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 25, and he replied, "Yeah, that's great! Excellent! I look forward to sitting down with you. You're really going to love this! It's going to change the world! I'll see you tomorrow at two o'clock."
Lisa asked the man his name so that she could put it down on her calendar. He said his name was Phillip Garrido. When Lisa asked the man what the nature of the event was, Garrido responded, "It's called 'God's Desire.'"
Once the strange man and the two girls departed, Lisa was left with an uneasy feeling about the whole situation. She later said, "My initial impression of him was that he was clearly unstable. The girls were very quiet. They were very subdued. They were nonresponsive and didn't show the energy that children their age would normally do. They weren't in school, and that caught my attention. School had already started in the area. And the man—he was very animated, unlike the girls. The older girl stared straight up at the ceiling the whole time. She didn't make any eye contact at all."
Once the man and the girls left, Lisa was so uneasy about what had just occurred, she went to her captain in the UCPD and said, "This guy who came in was a little peculiar. There were things that just didn't settle right with me. I've scheduled an appointment for him to come back tomorrow at two o'clock, but I have some concerns about the kids he brought with him. I want to get a better assessment about them."
One reason Lisa had concerns was that she, in her police officer duties in Chicago, had often dealt with domestic violence and child welfare issues. She had seen her share of abused and molested children and knew how to read the nonverbal signs of such children. Many times they had furtive looks, the way the children whom Phillip Garrido had brought with him had. The two girls hadn't said anything negative to her while they were there, but as Lisa had told her police captain, something just didn't "settle right" with her about them.
On August 25, after lunch, Lisa contacted Allison "Ally" Jacobs, who was an officer with UCPD, to come in and "size up" the man who had been there on the previous day. Lisa told Ally, "There are some things about him and the kids that are alarming. I'd like you to be another trained eye on this. You might see something I don't."
Ally asked if Lisa had the man's name, and Lisa said that it was Phillip Garrido. Ally replied, "Well, let's run him [through the computer system]. We need to see why you're so concerned."
Ally went to the dispatch center and ran a routine records check on Phillip Garrido. What she found did indeed alarm her. Phillip Craig Garrido was listed as a federal parolee who had been convicted of kidnapping and rape in 1976. He was also a registered sex offender within the state of California. The fact that there had been two young girls with him the previous day really concerned Ally. She said later, "It sent up red flags right away." Ally wondered who those two girls were and what their relationship was to the man.
Ally recalled, "Lisa had mentioned that the two young kids didn't seem right. I thought this could be something a little more than we bargained for. I went back to Lisa and told her about what I'd just found out about Garrido. Then I asked her, 'What do you want me to do?'"
Lisa replied that she wanted Ally to sit in with her when Garrido came back to her office at two o'clock. If they were lucky, he would bring the girls with him once more. Lisa said, "Can you just watch this guy and see if there is something wrong? I'm not a sworn police officer here, but you are. Maybe there is something a police officer might have to deal with at the time."
Ally agreed to sit with Lisa, after briefly telling her sergeant about the matter. The sergeant agreed it was something worth doing, and told Ally to go ahead and sit in with Lisa and make her own observations about the man. Obviously there was something not quite right with the situation, since most registered sex offenders cannot have children accompany them. But at that point, none of the officers knew what the problem might be.
Around 2:30 P.M. on August 25, Phillip Garrido and the two girls walked back into the UCPD building on campus. Ally recalled, "Lisa and I walked into her office, with Phillip Garrido right behind us, and then the girls. There was an empty desk in Lisa's office and I made like it was my desk. We didn't want to alert him to anything. We didn't really know what we were dealing with. We wanted to just keep it really mellow and see what was going on here.
"As we walked in, I introduced myself as Officer Jacobs, and told him, 'This is my desk, and that's Lisa's desk.' We all sat down and Lisa asked, 'How can I help you?' His youngest daughter sat down in a chair directly across from me, about five feet away. The older daughter stood next to her, directly between her and Phillip. And he was standing right in front of Lisa's desk.
"He put down his attaché case, opened it, and pulled out a book about 'Schizophrenia and the FBI.' When I say a book, it was more like a bunch of typed pages in book form. He opened it up and just started talking about it. It was really hard to understand what he was talking about, and Lisa kept saying, 'How can we help you, sir? How can special events help you?' She was trying to get him back on track."
Phillip Garrido was too wound up, however, to settle down and keep on track. He told Lisa and Ally that this project was going to be "Huge! It was God's Desire." And then suddenly out of nowhere, he stated, "Years ago, I was arrested for kidnapping and rape."
Ally recounted, "I already knew that, but I didn't think he would say something like that in front of those two girls." Ally looked for some kind of reaction on the girls' faces to Garrido's comment. There wasn't any reaction at all, however, which was strange in it own right.
Phillip then stated, "I've learned differently now." And he started expounding about his relationship with God and Jesus and how they had changed his life. Whatever he was trying to explain concerned his "book" and the event had something to do with this revelation, but he was not making himself clear to either Lisa or Ally.
Ally recalled, "I was having a really hard time following his thoughts. So I focused my attention on the two girls. At first they really blended into the background. I didn't understand why they were really there at all. And I said to Mr. Garrido, 'Sorry to interrupt you, but who are these two young ladies?'"
Phillip answered, "Oh, these are my daughters," and he introduced them to Ally and Lisa as Angel and Starlit. (Sometimes also spelled as Starlet or Starlite.)
Ally turned to the girls and asked, "How old are you?"
The younger one said she was eleven, and the older one fifteen.
Ally asked, "Do you go to school?"
In quick response, they both answered as if on cue, "We're homeschooled."
Ally recalled, "One of the first things I noticed right away was the coloring of the girls. They were extremely pale in comparison to Phillip. They both had bright blue eyes, just like his—penetrating blue eyes. But they were so pale. I just got a weird, uneasy feeling about them.
"I was looking at the younger girl, who was sitting directly in front of me. It was almost as if she was looking into my soul. That's how her eyes were so penetrating. And she had a smirk on her face. The older daughter, her eyes would dart up at the ceiling. Then she would look at her dad, as if she worshipped him.
"When we asked questions, the younger daughter would focus her attention on us. She would give eye contact and answer our questions. The older one, not so much. Her eyes were just all over the place around the room. I kind of got the feeling the kids were like robots."
Ally noticed that the younger daughter had a bump near one eye. It was covered over somewhat by her hair, and Ally stated when she saw that, "I kind of went into police mode to investigate if abuse had happened. While I was talking to her, Lisa was talking to Phillip Garrido. I asked the girl what had happened to her eye. She immediately replied, with a very rehearsed response, 'It's a birth defect. It's inoperable. I'll have it for the rest of my life.'
"I was taken aback by that response. Because if I was a little girl and somebody asked me about this thing on my face, I would probably be a little embarrassed. But she didn't seem embarrassed at all. She just wouldn't stop smiling.
"It was then that my police mode turned into my mother mode. I have two young sons, and I think that was a key factor, what with police intuition and a mother's intuition. I wasn't focused on Garrido, because I'm used to the rantings and ravings of people because of the job I do. I focused more on the girls."
Lisa was very aware of the strange situation as well. She later said, "All while Ally was focused on the girls, Phillip had pulled out his book. He was showing me pages and trying to tell us more about his program and what he'd written in his book. He wasn't clear and he wasn't concise. He just couldn't stay focused. He jumped all over the place and was very animated. But he was very persistent about what he was talking about, which created a distraction for Ally to talk to the girls. When he looked over at her, I would try to engage him, and Ally and I kind of played off each other.
"If he looked at Ally, it was an opportunity for me to look at the girls. The older one at one point had eye contact with me. Immediately she looked back up at the ceiling. The younger one had a kind of smirk on her face, but she engaged us a little bit more. During the whole time, Phillip never stopped talking."
Ally noted the girls were very drab in appearance, and recalled, "They were dressed in a monotone fashion. It was almost like Little House on the Prairie meets robot clones. They were sitting and standing like robots. The younger one didn't move and she had an eerie smile on her face the whole time. And the older one had rehearsed answers. She really didn't like talking to us.
"At one point, I focused my attention on the home-schooling aspect. I wanted to know a little bit more about the family's life. By now, I was back in police mode. I was thinking, 'What kind of crimes do I have here?' I asked about their homeschooling and I asked Mr. Garrido if he taught them. Did his wife teach? He said, 'My wife teaches, and I help with that.'
"Then the younger girl said, 'We have an older sister that lives with us, too. She's twenty-eight.'
"Immediately the older girl said, without missing a beat, 'She's twenty-nine.' And she looked right up at her dad. She seemed bothered that this was mentioned."
At the time, Ally didn't think much about the comment concerning the older sister. She just noted that there was another young woman in the Garrido household that was either twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old and sister to these two others. Ally was mainly focusing on whether there was a crime involved with this situation, and tried to figure out if there was something upon which she could detain Phillip Garrido. She wondered if she needed to call Child Protective Services (CPS) or the Berkeley Mental Health Services to come in.
Ally noted, "Phillip was clearly disturbed. I didn't know if he took medication or not. All of this was going through my head as I sat there. My training was kicking in, and I was thinking, 'What do I have here? What can I do?'
"All of this happened within a matter of minutes. I think the whole meeting from beginning to end was less than fifteen minutes long. So while Lisa was talking to him, I was in cop mode, thinking, 'What can I do?' Basically, I couldn't come up with anything at the moment. I was searching the younger daughter's face for any kind of sign from her. I was just looking at her to see if she would give me a sign—'Help me!' Any kind of sign if she couldn't talk. But I wasn't reading anything from those kids.
"Knowing that I probably couldn't pull them away from their dad to talk to them, I decided what I was doing was all I could do at present. Just listen, send them on their way, and maybe contact the parole officer."
At the end of the meeting, Ally spoke up and said to Phillip, "Sir, what would you like for us to do for you? Would you like to forward me that book, and I hand it on to my supervisor? Would that make you happy?"
Phillip answered enthusiastically, "Yes, would you, please!"
Garrido gave Lisa and Ally a copy of the book as well. Ally noticed that he had been shaking a lot during his conversation with Lisa, and without warning, he now grabbed his oldest daughter and unexpectedly said, "I'm so proud of my girls! They don't know any curse words. They don't know anything bad about the world."
Ally recalled at that moment, "I felt so horrible for those girls. I knew there was something wrong. But I just said to him, 'Well, you should be proud. You have two lovely daughters.'"
Excerpted from Shattered Innocence by Robert Scott Copyright © 2011 by Robert Scott. Excerpted by permission of PINNACLE BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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