crimesider

"Twisted": Phillip Garrido Offered Kidnapping Prevention Tips

(CBS13)
Photo: Mug shot of Phillip Garrido after his 1978 arrest for rape.

Story Contributed by CBS 13 Reporter Mike Dello Stritto

ANTIOCH, Calif. (CBS13) In a chilling revelation, a longtime child safety advocate and former client of Phillip Garrido's printing business said that the man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard and holding her hostage for 18 years used to give her tips on preventing child abduction.

Photos: The Search For Jaycee
Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive
Photos: Inside Jaycee's Terror Tent

Janice Gomes said she has known and worked with Phillip Garrido for 15 years, and was sickened to discover that he was accused of holding Jaycee Dugard in his Antioch backyard for nearly two decades.

Missing kids and child safety is Janice Gomes' passion, and she often turned to Garrido to print documents on the subject. Once she hired Garrido to print a tip sheet for families to prevent kidnapping.

Gomes said that Garrido had some extra advice.

"He said, 'Children really shouldn't be walking to the bus stop by themselves. Children are no match for adults,'" Gomes said.

Authorities have accused Garrido of kidnapping Dugard in eerily similar circumstances. The irony is thick and horrific for Gomes, who talked to Jaycee on the phone about printing jobs.

"She was sweet, very professional," Gomes said, adding that there were no indications that there was any sort of problem.

VIDEO COURTESY OF CBS AFFILIATE CBS 13 SACRAMENTO

Janice even went inside Garrido's home, which she described as small, with antiquated decoration and no television.

"He invited me in, and I wasn't sure it was a good idea," she said. "He always seemed a little off."

Gomes said Garrido would ramble and break into song, sometimes in mid-sentence.

"One of my daughters told me he sang Madonna songs and she felt one of his favorites was 'Like A Virgin,'" she said. "He would sing very high and very off-key."

Other neighbors have also described Garrido as a strange, eccentric man, but now he has captured the world's attention as a convicted kidnapper and rapist that has been accused of another shocking crime.

"Last Monday, he invited one of my granddaughters to his Bible study on Wednesday," Janice said. "My reaction to that was: God didn't tell him he would be arrested on Wednesday."

Gomes says she has spent much of the past week reflecting on her years of conversations with Garrido. What once seemed inane suddenly has new meaning.

Photos: The Search For Jaycee
Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive
Photos: Inside Jaycee's Terror Tent

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(CBS13)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mike Dello Stritto joined the CBS13 news team in June, 2006. He comes to California from Las Vegas, where he spent two and a half years reporting the news at KTNV-TV. Stritto has also worked in West Palm Beach, Florida, Chattanooga, Tennnessee, and Gainesville, Florida. Stritto is a graduate of the University of Florida.

  • Edecio Martinez

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