October 1, 2010 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Have kidnapped people (children or adults) ever been rescued by family, friends, or others - who are not authorities or hired professionals?

If you can link to non-fiction, that's good (though I'm also interested in fictional depictions. The more detail into the how of it, the better. I'm also interested in such attempts that have failed.
posted by r_nebblesworthII to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There was a "This American Life" on this recently - Act One: of this episode Midlife Cowboy
posted by exogenous at 2:21 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There was an episode of E! Investigates, or one of those shows on E!, about a girl that was kidnapped and forced into prostitution at a truck stop. The father found out where his daughter was being held and busted into the house himself because the police were taking too long. Here is a news artilcle about it.

As to the how of it:
"My niece had the street name, but not the address. We drove by the house. She pointed out the house, and then we called 911," said the teen's father.

The teen's father didn't wait for police to arrive. He busted into the home on Downing Avenue, and a fight broke out. "Tire iron, piece of asphalt, piece of brick, they bashed into my head," said the victim's father.
posted by rancidchickn at 2:33 PM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: Natascha Kampusch?

Delimar Vera Cuevas.

Regarding failed rescue attempts: while searching for Kari Swenson, her friend Alan Goldstein was shot and killed by the kidnappers. (At the time the search for Swenson began, Goldstein and the other searchers thought she was lost in the woods, perhaps hurt by a bear.)

(Wikipedia has a list over kidnappings.)
posted by iviken at 3:19 PM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: Andrew Thompson was recently found by his father. He was kidnapped by his mother, but it was a matter of years before he was found in Amsterdam (taken from Australia). There is quite a bit about this in the Australian media at the moment. You could start here.
posted by jojobobo at 4:06 PM on October 1, 2010

H. Ross Perot got his people out of Iran.

He is a loon in many ways but he did do that.
posted by Freedomboy at 4:31 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's an interesting one...

Nelly Don, a fashion designer in the 1930s was kidnapped and held for ransom along with her driver. Her neighbor (and lover) James Reed called in the Kansas City Mob and told them that if they didn't find her, and make sure she was returned unharmed in 48 hours, he would take out time on national radio and spill every illegal secret he knew about them (and considering that he was a politician and KC politics was especially corrupt at the time, he knew a lot).

The mobsters did find and return her, she divorced her husband and married Reed.
posted by Caravantea at 4:53 PM on October 1, 2010 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Steven Stayner saved himself and Timothy White.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:00 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

(Ross Perot hired pros)
posted by bitdamaged at 6:00 PM on October 1, 2010

Response by poster: Great answers everybody. I should have thought to check wiki!
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:09 PM on October 1, 2010

check your memail.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 7:28 PM on October 1, 2010

Fiction: Taken? Although technically, the father is a professional, just not a hired professional.
posted by Xany at 8:27 PM on October 1, 2010

Read a great (fiction) thriller earlier this year by John Hart called The Last Child -- about a 13-year-old boy who keeps looking for his missing sister even after the police have given up.
posted by mdiskin at 7:24 AM on October 2, 2010

Have not read it yet, so it may not be the sort of fiction you are looking for,
but Emma Donoghue's Room might be a book of interest. Descriptions of the book imply that there was a kidnapping situation before the events of the book begin, and that it ended in some way. Details of that would probably be spoilers and I have not sought them out, but I presume it's an exciting story of some sort.
posted by yohko at 12:38 PM on October 2, 2010

Well, this happened on Monday...
A man rescued a kidnapped little girl after he recognized a truck described in an Amber alert.
posted by Adridne at 7:09 AM on October 6, 2010

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