Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Backyard Prisoner: The Story of Jaycee Dugard

The Neighoborhood Crank, a Family Eccentric

To most of the residents of that humble area of Antioch, Garrido was the mysterious guy that people whispered about, and his house was a spot the more sensitive among them avoided. They thought he was "creepy." Parents warned their children to stay away. A group of teenage boys once chased him away from a graduation party after he'd showed up uninvited and proceeded to make inappropriate comments to the girls.

Several neighbors complained that Garrido proselytized excessively about his one-man church, God's Desire. He showed them a machine — apparently just a mixing board and amplifier — through which he said God spoke to him.

On his blog, Voices Revealed (, Phillip Garrido, aka "The Man Who Spoke with His Mind," recorded his spiritual investigations and his efforts to convince others that he had some special insight into God and the human mind. His pseudo-legalistic and quasi-scientific rambling was hard to follow, but he seemed to be convinced that he could hear God and that he could control sound with his mind. He believed that he'd liberated his mind and God had revealed to him humanity's real purpose. He seemed to have persuaded some of his local business contacts to sign documents attesting that they'd seen him electronically control an "unearthly" voice.

For all his evangelical efforts, he got angry when strangers and neighbors got too close to his property; in 2007, he seems to have followed the Google Search View camera car down the street as it filmed his neighborhood.

One print shop customer recounted that Garrido shared some of his home recordings, songs about his struggles with his attraction to young girls.

His own brother called him a fruitcake and said he wasn't surprised to hear of the alleged crime. It seemed in fact to have surprised only the authorities, despite the GPS device he wore as part of his parole, and the court-mandated supervision by the agent assigned to his case.

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