Last week I discussed Philip Garrido, a psychotic and psychopathic individual who allegedly with the help of his wife kidnapped Jaycee Dugard at age 11 and held her 18 years. This week I would like to discuss the some of the details of Nancy Garrido’s life that have been reported by reliable news sources.
Nancy Garrido is 54, her maiden name is Bocanegra. She was born born in Texas, the second child of a family of five or six children. She has been married to Phillip 28 years. According to the New York Times, “Gail Powell, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Public Safety, said Nancy Bocanegra was visiting an incarcerated uncle when she met Mr. Garrido, a tall, lanky and deep-eyed sex offender who was serving a 50-year sentence for the 1976 rape and kidnapping of a casino worker from South Lake Tahoe, Calif.”
The couple married in the prison and did not live together until Phillip’s release 7 years later. Nancy never had children, but is reported to have been a caregiver. She cared for Phillip’s elderly mother and worked as a nurse’s aide.
Several people who knew Nancy described her as submissive, depressive and quiet. Others said she appeared kind and caring.
Nancy’s employer reportedly said this about her work with developmentally disabled adults, “The people she worked with really liked her.”
The same employer also questioned “How could it be that this other situation was happening at the same time? It’s impossible to understand.”
People are also asking why Nancy participated in this crime. They are questioning whether she was under “the spell” of her husband, and whether she was “brainwashed.”
I wonder why we allow sex offenders to marry in prison. He had a history at least one other arrest, “It seems likely that Ms. Garrido knew all too well of her new husband’s sexual history and proclivities. In addition to his rape and kidnapping conviction, Mr. Garrido had also been arrested in a 1972 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Antioch, Calif., the Bay Area suburb near where he had grown up and where he and Ms. Garrido would settle with his mother after his release from prison in 1988,” said the New York Times.
Is there any legal reason why sex offenders or other psychopathic felons should be allowed to marry while they are in custody? They can’t vote, why should they marry? I think we allow these offenders to marry because some still believe that “love” can rehabilitate them; that marriage makes it less likely they will reoffend. (Lawyers reading this please comment!)
I contend that this marriage facilitated his re-offense and that sociopaths often could not do what they do without the help of witting and unwitting accomplices. The best thing for society is to isolate these people. We are more likely to be suspicious of an offender who lives by himself. Marriage and family just give them the false facade of normalcy.
There is data showing that generally speaking marriage prevents re-arrest of felons. We don’t know if that applies to psychopathic sex offenders. We also don’t know if marriage protects against re-offense versus just re-arrest. My suspicion is that married psychopaths just get away with more.
Why would a woman marry such a man? Many serial killers have a following of women and other women have married offenders serving life sentences. It is noted that Nancy had an uncle in the same prison, and that is how she met Phillip. Perhaps the presence of other antisocial individuals in her life desensitized her to their dangerousness.
Many have questioned why Phillip was released after serving only one fifth of his sentence. I wonder if it had anything to do with this marriage and the fact that Phillip’s mother allowed the couple to live with her after his release.
All family members who render aid to psychopathic offenders have moral culpability to any subsequent crimes they commit. When you do something nice for a psychopath, a perverse reverse Karma is created. The psychopath will use the “nice” to perpetrate evil on someone else or even you. In this case, a kindness bestowed upon a psychopath will result in bad Karma for you.
The fact that sociopathy/psychopathy is a spectrum as opposed to an absolute category is confusing for people. In the same way, the spectrum that defines the spouses, family members, and associates of sociopaths/psychopaths is also confusing. Let’s be open to the real likelihood that Nancy is also psychopathic and selected Phillip for that reason.
What about the caretaking behavior? What about Nancy’s assertions that she loves and misses the victims? This week I came across another important statement regarding psychopathic individuals and love. It came from a book chapter written by three psychopathy experts:
“they (psychopaths) may also be prone to express intense affiliative impulses directly. Because such attractions are not based on empathy (for) or a mature appreciation of another person, these positive affectional links are often likely to be fleeting, tenuous, and based on illusory perceptions of others” (emphasis added).
To translate the difficult vocabulary, psychopaths do experience affection and intense impulses that feel like “love” to them. It is not all just a sham or a lie. That is why psychopaths are able to fool people. It is not that victims and family members are always so gullible that they fall for the lies. Sometimes the people in a psychopath’s life correctly read the “positive affectional links” and “intense affiliative impulses”.
What we all need to understand is that the presence of these impulses and feelings doesn’t tell us anything about a person since even psychopaths have these. What tells us most about Nancy’s inner world is the crimes she is alleged to have perpetrated.
Please if you are in the life of a psychopathic person, particularly an offender or sex offender consider carefully what I have said here.