Charlene Lunnon, Lisa Hoodless, Gill Paul
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In 1999, at the tender age of ten, Charlene Lunnon and Lisa Hoodless were snatched as they walked to school. Over the next week, they were held captive, tortured, raped and almost killed. News of the girls' disappearance dominated the headlines, and the entire country held its breath, praying for their safe return as a massive police hunt failed to turn up any clues. But then a miracle happened. The girls were found alive, their abductor was arrested and the case was closed.
But there was to be no such closure for Charlene and Lisa. Over the coming years, their friendship was strained to breaking point, as they struggled to reconcile themselves to their painful memories and to each other.
Abducted is their astonishing first-hand, insider account of how it feels to be kidnapped, how they survived their horrific ordeal and how they have found the strength to move on and rebuild their lives.
knelt down on the floor in front of us and put his head in his hands. ‘What have I done?’ he asked us, running his fingers through his hair, obviously not expecting an answer. He sounded really upset. ‘I’m so sorry. I’ve got myself into a big mess and I don’t know how to get out of it. I should never have taken you.’ Charlene and I looked at each other quickly. Did this mean he would take us home again? ‘My name’s Alan,’ he said. ‘This is where I live. The house I took you to yesterday is my
soon as I knock some sense into the authorities.’ By the time I was eight, things were much better. Mum had stopped taking drugs and hadn’t even been drinking for six months because she was determined that I should be allowed to come back and live with her. Social services had said she just had to manage a couple more weeks of staying clean and then I could go home, so I was really excited. Every Saturday, she came to the children’s centre for a supervised visit, and she always brought me a Lion
the five channels – no Sky or anything – but I found a newsflash mid-afternoon. It was just a short broadcast, and it showed Dad saying ‘Please let my little girl come home.’ It was so sweet that I had tears in my eyes. It was comforting to know that he was out there looking for me, doing everything he could possibly think of. It made me feel very loved, even though I was upset about his exhausted appearance and the desperation in his eyes. Poor old Dad. As if he hadn’t had a hard enough life
because I was quite proud of my art skills so I loaded the brush with black paint and scrubbed it all out with great sweeping strokes. ‘It wasn’t working,’ I explained, and was irritated to realise that tears were filling my eyes. ‘You must feel quite angry just now,’ Patricia said in a gentle voice. ‘A very bad thing has happened to you through no fault of your own.’ I started crying, and at the same time I was annoyed with myself for crying. ‘It’s OK,’ she said. ‘It’s going to be alright.’
told the police about Bert. I knew how hard it had been for her, because she didn’t want to upset her dad and her aunt and uncle – and anyway, it was difficult talking about these things. With Charlene, she likes to put her emotional problems in a box and lock them away, rather than making a song and dance about them, but the secret about Bert was eating away at her and it was much better to tell. When she got the news that he wasn’t being charged by the police, it was a huge slap in the face.