Anyone who has been following the terrifying kidnapping case of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson breathed a sigh of relief when the girl was blessedly found safe last night. Her kidnapper, James DiMaggio, who is also suspected of killing her mother and 8-year-old brother, was found dead after a shootout with police, so we may never get some of the answers as to his motives. However, new, eerie information today suggests he may have been following in his father's very twisted and violent footsteps.
According to CBS8, James DiMaggio Sr. committed suicide 18 years ago to the day that his own son was killed in a shootout with police. Not only that, he also reportedly had been infatuated with a teenage girl when he was an adult and attempted to hold her hostage. Fortunately she was able to escape at the time, but after seeing the case publicized, she has since come forward (but has asked not to be identified) to tell of the chilling similarities between the paths this father and son took.
She says DiMaggio Sr., who was 35 at the time, professed his love to her after he broke up with her mom. "He had told me, that he only stuck around because he was in love with me, he wanted to take me away to a better life," she told the station.
When she didn't return his feelings she says he broke into her house with handcuffs and a shotgun and held her, her boyfriend, and her brother at gunpoint. "I asked him not to kill us, and he said, don't worry you won't feel a thing."
Fortunately, her story differs from Hannah's in that she was able to escape. However, after he got out of jail, DiMaggio Jr. (one of her classmates, who went by Jimmy) gave her a troubling warning. "I was walking to my locker and his son said, my dad is out, and he said to let you know he'll be waiting for you after school."
After that, she said she was terrified. She moved and went into hiding. On August 10, 1995, DiMaggio Sr. committed suicide -- exactly 18 years before his son would be shot dead by police.
She said she was shocked when she saw the recent news: "I don't believe that you're born this way, but really to follow such a path as your father. It was almost a déjà vu. It was weird."
The fact that DiMaggio was brought up by such a monster doesn't in any way excuse his crimes. There are plenty of people who grow up with horrible parents who manage to overcome their sad beginnings; we are not destined to walk in our parents' footsteps. However, it does at least shed some insight on this nightmare, which is finally over.
What do you think of this revelation? Do you think people are destined to follow in their parents' footsteps?
Image via CBS8