Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

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Brain Injury, Drugs, or Just A Bad Seed?

Phillip Garrido
Phillip Garrido

The son of a forklift operator and a real estate agent in Antioch, Calif., Phillip Garrido, now 58, was a quiet kid, but, by the time he graduated from Brentwood's Liberty High School in 1969, he had come to stand out as a little weird. He had grown his hair out, experimented with drugs and played in a psychedelic rock band. To most of his classmates, the moccasins, the fringed leather jacket, and the black light in his bedroom marked him as an outsider.

Maybe he was just more in tune with nearby San Francisco's youth culture than were his peers in the remote east end of the Bay Area. But his father would later point back to this period as a significant turning point, saying that the head injury Garrido sustained in a motorcycle accident changed him.

His high school sweetheart seemed like an unlikely match. Christine Perreira was the daughter of a locally prominent family. She had been popular in school, racking up a long roster of extracurricular activities. She would later report, though, that he beat her and that he'd raped a girl in school.

Garrido was charged with the rape of another girl in Antioch in 1972. The 14-year-old said that he gave her barbiturates and raped her when she passed out. But she refused to testify, and the charges were dropped. She would come forward in 2009 to make sure officials were aware of the incident, even though the statute of limitations on her case had long since passed.

Despite these incidents, Perreira and Garrido got married and moved to South Lake Tahoe in 1973. He'd allegedly been dealing drugs, and may have been pushed out of Antioch by other drug dealers. In Tahoe, she dealt blackjack at the Harrah's Casino while he played the bass guitar.

She stuck by him through that first allegation and as he struggled to make it as a musician, but she would divorce him after a second set of criminal charges.

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