SAN FRANCISCO - In the 18 years that Jaycee Lee Dugard allegedly spent captive in Phillip Garrido's backyard, shielded from the world by trees, tarps, tents and tool sheds, she no doubt had a chance or two to tell someone the truth.
Customers of Garrido's Antioch home-based printing business say the young woman whom they knew as Garrido's daughter 'Allissa' designed business cards and helped with the family business.
They never suspected that 'Allissa' was a South Lake Tahoe girl kidnapped in 1991 at age 11.
Neighbors also had no idea that Garrido's two young daughters - now 11 and 15 - were Dugard's offspring, fathered by Garrido.
Why didn't Jaycee Dugard escape, reach out, scream for help?
The question arises every time an abductee is found with their abductors after years of hiding. But the question, and its implicit criticism of the survivors, is unfair, say experts on kidnapping.
'It's really important that people not jump to judgments or conclusions in these cases,' said JoAnn Behrman-Lippert, a Reno, Nev.-based psychologist who has done extensive research on child abduction cases. 'We know there are many cases like this, and it's very detrimental to the survivors to have such a simplistic view that does not take into account the actual situation the person was in.'
Authorities say that Garrido and his wife Nancy kidnapped and raped Dugard and kept her imprisoned in the backyard compound. They pleaded not guilty Friday to the charges.
Garrido's printing business customers described Dugard as a polite and efficient aide who straightened out orders on the phone and by e-mail.
One customer, Ben Daughdrill, said he saw her twice in the last six months when he drove to the Garrido home to pick up office supplies and drop off payment. She had an opportunity to escape or seek his help when she came out alone to Daughdrill's vehicle.
'There was a reason she did not say anything,' said Daughdrill.
One explanation given to victims who stay with their captors is that they have Stockholm syndrome, where the victim comes to identify with and bond with their kidnappers. The term was coined in 1973 to describe several bank employees held captive for six days in Sweden. At the end of their ordeal, the hostages resisted rescue, refused to testify against their captors and helped raise money for their legal defense.
Stockholm syndrome is most often associated with Patty Hearst, the newspaper heiress kidnapped in 1974 from her Berkeley apartment by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She joined the group as 'Tania,' a radical in army fatigues who helped her captors rob banks before she was released months later.