Kidnappers’ personal videotapes released

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Newly released videos recorded by the Northern California couple who held Jaycee Lee Dugard captive for 18 years provide chilling details about the kidnappers and their outings to stealthily shoot footage of young girls frolicking on a playground and elsewhere.

In addition, video of a parole officer visiting the home of abductors Phillip and Nancy Garrido shows yet again how the state botched chances to find Dugard as she was kept hidden in the backyard of the couple’s Antioch home.

Three video clips were among several pieces of evidence released Tuesday by El Dorado County prosecutors “to highlight the gravity and severity of the mistakes made,” and to improve the supervision and detection of sexual predators.

The footage was recovered from videotapes found in trash in the Garridos’ backyard. They had apparently tried to destroy many of the tapes with chemicals.

But investigators, with the help of NASA technicians, were able to recover footage from the damaged tapes. Still photos of the partially destroyed tapes were included in the released evidence.

“The criminal justice system had some significant failures,” District Attorney Vern Pierson told The Associated Press.

“It’s important to reevaluate what has happened and look at what has changed since then and ask if there’s more that needs to be done.”

One of the videos, taken sometime between 1989 and 1993, shows Phillip Garrido playing a guitar and singing while sitting against a tree at a park.