After 32 years, Katie Callaway Hall thought she had put away the horrible things that Phillip Garrido did to her during eight hours of terror long ago. But when the man accused of kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard for 18 years locked eyes with Hall in a California courtroom, it all came rushing back.
“It took me by total surprise, my reaction, and I can’t even explain why — except to tell you on some deep, subconscious level, I reacted to this man in a way I didn’t expect to,” Hall told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Friday from Sacramento, Calif.
“I expected to be really strong and to go in there and be really strong and to face him,” Hall said.
Instead, everything that Garrido had done to her came rushing back.
Face from the past
A day earlier, Hall and her husband, Jim Hall, had attended Garrido’s first court hearing on the Dugard charges in Placerville, Calif. Hall said she went to the hearing because she wants to make sure that Garrido spends the rest of his life in jail.
When Garrido was brought into the courtroom, his eyes caught Hall’s and locked with them. In 1977, when he was convicted of raping Hall over eight hours in a rented storage unit, she had not been able to look him in the face. On Thursday, she returned his baleful glare.
Video: Jaycee Dugard: A Dateline investigation “It was a hard glare,” she said. “He focused in on me and I focused in on him. It was a real hard glare.”
Hall said that her reaction took her by surprise.
“I just thought I’d look at him in victory: ‘You jerk. I survived. You’re going down.’
“But it hit me completely different,” she said. “I almost broke down. I started tearing up. I couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t control it. I hope that that’s not going to happen next time. I hope I got that initial meeting out of the way and now I know what to expect.”
Pandora’s box reopens
It was, Hall said, like being a victim all over again.
- VIDEO: Never-Before-Seen Outtakes of Robin Williams as Aladdin's Genie Have Been Released
- Taylor Swift Turned to Drive Thru After Grammys Loss - Find Out What She Ate
- Bella Hadid Celebrates Birthday with New Furry Friend
- Oregon Victim's Husband Eric Dietz Reveals His Emotionally-Charged Meeting With President Obama
- VIDEO: Watch Austin Mahone Scream As he Walks Through A Haunted House!
“I thought this chapter was closed. I pretty much closed it and got on with my life,” Hall said. “It’s always been just under the surface of my life, and I thought this was in its box and put away. But this Pandora ’s box is open for me, and now I’m dealing with it again on a different level, like I’ve been victimized myself.”
Slideshow: Captive’s tale Hall was also surprised to find that she felt somehow responsible for what happened to Dugard, whom Garrido is charged with kidnapping in 1991, three years after he was paroled after serving 11 years of a 50-year sentence for kidnapping and raping Hall. Dugard was just 11 when she was snatched from in front of her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Over the next 18 years, until her rescue this summer, she was held in a compound of tents and shacks behind Garrido’s home, where police say she was raped constantly and gave birth to two daughters.
“I know that what happened to Jaycee is not my fault, but I have to live with this every day now,” Hall told Vieira. “What he did to Jaycee, what he did to this little girl, because I wasn’t vigilant enough to keep track of him after he was paroled? ... I just can’t explain it.
“I feel on some level, not responsible, but I feel that I just should have done more. It’s something I’m going to have to live with.”
‘Go away, little girl’
Vieira pointed out that Hall did everything she could. She was 25 when Garrido offered a ride and she ended up hog-tied and held captive in a storage unit outfitted with mattress-padded walls. For eight hours, she was brutally raped and assaulted before being saved when a police officer noticed a broken lock at the storage facility and found her.
Hall hadn’t even been told that a federal parole board had let Garrido out of prison. Authorities have since said that in 1988, parole standards were more lax than they are today — but no one has explained why Hall wasn’t notified of the parole hearing and wasn’t asked to testify.
Hall told Vieira that at the time Garrido was convicted 32 years ago, authorities treated her as if her opinions didn’t matter.
“They were extremely dismissive,” Hall said. “They pretty much told me, ‘Go away, little girl. Have a nice life. We’ll watch him. Don’t worry, there’s nothing you can do.’ And I had to trust them and pretty much just have to look out for myself, and yes, I had to look over my shoulder my whole life.”
But Hall is determined not to let Garrido win.
“I’m just doing what I need to do, which is to follow this case carefully, be there seeing with my own eyes, and make sure this man is put away forever. That’s my intent,” she told Vieira.
“I hope that gives me closure, I really do. I’m sure it will.”
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints