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.
Shortly after Colleen got into the van, Cameron veered off the road into a remote area. He held a knife to her neck and forced her into a ‘head box’ that weighed 20 pounds. The box blocked out sound and light around her and prevented the flow of fresh air.
When the car stopped, Colleen was led into a house and downstairs to her torture chamber. She was tied to the ceiling by her wrists and beaten, electrocuted, whipped, and burned.
The twisted couple had made a prior arrangement that Cameron wasn’t allowed to have sex with Colleen, she was instead forced to watch the couple have sex after they abused her.