When Colleen Stan – a seasoned hitchhiker – accepted a ride with a young family in 1977, she could never have imagined the horror in store for her.
Horror she would endure seven years.
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Colleen’s ordeal led her to become known as “The Girl in the Box” – a horrific true crime story turned Lifetime film about about a young girl forced to live in a coffin-sized box for seven years and act as a deranged couple’s slave.
This was what lay ahead for the 20-year-old Colleen after she hopped in the car with Cameron Hooker, 23, and his 19-year-old wife Janice.
Colleen was hitchhiking from her hometown of Eugene, Oregon to northern California. She considered herself an expert hitchhiker and had already turned down two rides that day.
But when a blue van pulled over in Red Bluff, California, Colleen spotted a baby in the backseat, deeming the Hookers a safe family to ride with.
This family was anything but safe.
As it transpired, the couple had been actively looking for a hitchhiker to kidnap and torture. Cameron, a lumber mill worker, had intense bondage fantasies – fantasies he had used his wife Janice to fulfil until Colleen hailed them down.