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XBox (Games)

Kidnap Victim Visible Via Xbox Community Site 119

Via Joystiq comes the confusing tale of Shawn Hornbeck. Shawn was kidnapped more than four years ago, and his absence has made his parents worry and left a hole in his friends' lives. He's been returned safely home, so there's a happy ending to this tale. Strangely, though, he has been publicly visible for over a year now - via Xbox Live. From the Joystiq post: "The GamerTagPics profile for Xbox Live user 'DevilDevlin' shows the kidnapped Hornbeck outside what appear to be [alleged kidnapper Michael] Devlin's apartment. The profile was created Sept. 4, 2005 but hasn't been accessed since early 2006. DevilDevlin's Gamertag reveals that someone played Saints Row on the account as recently as Friday. It seems likely that Hornbeck used the account -- a Washington Post story reveals Devlin's neighbors 'often spotted Shawn out and about, visiting friends on his bicycle or playing video games with the apartment door open.'"
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Kidnap Victim Visible Via Xbox Community Site

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  • Re:Kidnap? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drachemorder ( 549870 ) <brandon&christiangaming,org> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:08PM (#17637736) Homepage
    It's probably not just Stockholm. The boy got to play games all day and didn't have to go to school. To a kid, that's about a step down from paradise. It's quite possible he didn't really want to go home because of that.
  • 2 + 2 != 5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:10PM (#17637792) Journal
    Devlin's neighbors 'often spotted Shawn out and about, visiting friends on his bicycle or playing video games with the apartment door open.

    Y'know, call me crazy, but... Does anyone else find this entire situation somewhat unbelievable as a "kidnapping"?

    In child kidnapping cases that don't involve a parent or close relative, they either:
    A) Recover the child within a few days, or
    B) Recover the body within a few months.

    Yet, in this case, we have a kid missing for four years, found in good health, who had the freedom to leave the apartment and hang out with friends?

    Not to take a "blame the victim" stance here, but did running into a friend's house and begging the friend's parents to call the police never cross this kid's mind? Hello?

    Personally, I suspect the kid ran away and eventually hooked up with some random guy that let him live there. As for the second kid, well, I can't explain that one so well, but the "kidnapping" angle just doesn't sit right with me.
  • Re:2 + 2 != 5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by posterlogo ( 943853 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:15PM (#17637882)
    It's actually quite common for young kidnapping victims to (1) initially be too afraid to even attempt escape or indicate to other strangers that they are being held against their will, and (2) to eventually get accustomed to their kidnapper(s). Of course (2) can happen to anyone, e.g. the Stockholm syndrome. It doesn't necessarily imply that the kidnapped child was previously in a unhappy situation which he/she wanted to get away from. I'm not sure what you're implying by "hooked up", but it seems unreasonable for you to even be making these points now given that the man obviously kidnapped again, as you pointed out.
  • Re:2 + 2 != 5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ElleyKitten ( 715519 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {esirnusnettik}> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:04PM (#17638592) Journal
    Y'know, call me crazy, but... Does anyone else find this entire situation somewhat unbelievable as a "kidnapping"?
    The guy was probably molesting the kid. Why else would you keep some random pre-teen in your house for four years without ever sending him home or calling child services? He was only 11 at the time, so the guy probably bribed him with games and threatened him with force until the kid got used to it and thought it was "normal". I imagine the parents would much rather the world think that he spent four years playing video games (even if they do "blame the victim") than tell the world their kid was molested for four years, so they're not talking. That makes the most sense, I think.

    Goddamit I hate it that you can't edit posts.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:44PM (#17639084) Journal
    No, really. Some kid who was apparently kidnapped has his picture online. The only possible reason I can imagine is that there is an 'online' aspect to this story. But seeing as everyone and their granny is online these days I don't see why this story is interesting. Look on youtube, you'll see plenty of more interesting pictures than a picture of a kid who wasn't kidnapped.
  • by the Gray Mouser ( 1013773 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @09:57PM (#17640064)
    Talk to any victim of sexual abuse you know. Most of them don't report it, especially while it's happening.

    Fear and shame are very, very powerful forces.

    What is truly scary is the thought that he kidnapped Ownby as a "replacement" for Hornbeck. Hornbeck had grown older, and was starting to look like an adult. Ownby is a very young looking boy.

    Even more scary is the thought that Shawn may have been a replacement for someone else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @01:46AM (#17642268)
    (from wikipedia)

    Elephant traps

    A method of confining elephants practiced in the Indian Subcontinent is far less physical and brutal, and more psychological, than earlier means. It is called the "elephant trap". The following is taken from a newsletter:

            From when an elephant is a baby they tie him for certain periods with a rope to a tree. The young elephant tries his hardest to escape, he pulls and wriggles and jumps and crawls yet the rope just tightens and to the tree it remains tied. Learning that, the elephant doesn't try to escape and accepts his confinement. A couple of years pass and the elephant is now an adult weighing several tons. Yet the trainer continues to tie the elephant to the tree with the same rope he's always used, for the simple reason that the elephant has the concept in his mind that the rope is stronger than him. Abiding to this conditioning the elephant is trapped for life. To break free all the elephant has to do is erase that limiting thought for in fact he is free to go.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"