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During a court appearance, accused Jaycee Dugard kidnapper Phillip Garrido glares at Katie Callaway Hall, whom he was convicted of raping more than three decades ago.
TODAY contributor
updated 10/30/2009 9:14:28 AM ET 2009-10-30T13:14:28

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.

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“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.

Katie Callaway Hall was 25 when she endured an eight-hour ordeal of captivity and rape at the hands of Phillip Garrido.
In 1988, while Hall was working at a gaming table in a Nevada casino, Garrido walked in, approached her and said, “Hello, Katie.”

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

Video: Garrido rape victim: ‘I wasn’t vigilant enough’

  1. Closed captioning of: Garrido rape victim: ‘I wasn’t vigilant enough’

    >>> but we're going to begin with an emotional scene in a california courtroom. it happened on thursday at a hearing for phillip and nancy garrido . they are the couple accused of kidnapping and holding jaycee dugard captive for 18 years. a woman who phillip garrido was convicted of raping more than 30 years ago showed up to face her attacker at that hearing. we're going to talk to her in just a moment. but first, nbc's lee cowan has the details.

    >> reporter: when phillip garrido and his wife nancy walked into court to face charges stemming from the jaycee dugard case, sitting not 20 yards away was a blond-haired ghost from a different crime.

    >> that man has been a part of my life, just the name, if nothing else, for 32 years.

    >> reporter: katie calloway was only 26 the last time she saw garrido in a courtroom back in 1977 . he was being tried for raping her. he was convicted and sentenced to 50 years. katie went on about her life but was shocked to find out that garrido was released early after only 11 years. how did she find out? garrido showed up at work. did he say anything?

    >> well, he said "hi, katie ."

    >> reporter: she says she quickly notified the parole board that he was a danger but was ignored. and there it sat for more than 20 years with katie always looking over her shoulder, until garrido suddenly made headlines again, this time for allegedly kidnapping and raping jaycee dugard.

    >> i just started screaming, you know? i went, "that's the man who kidnapped me! oh, my god!"

    >> reporter: her husband couldn't believe it.

    >> i always knew he was out there, but i never knew it was going to be this guy, which is a little different.

    >> reporter: with garrido safely behind bars for the dugard crime, katie decided if she was ever going to face down her fears, now is the time. so, she and her husband packed up the dog and the car and drove nine hours from las vegas to placerville to see her attacker in person.

    >> when he came in that door, i almost lost my hat. immediately grabbed on. his eyes went straight to her for a moment, and i'm sure to her, it was a long moment.

    >> i thought i'd sit there and look at him, you know, in victory, you know, you jerk, i survived, and you're going down, you know? but it didn't -- it hit me completely different.

    >> reporter: phillip garrido was escorted back to his jail cell just minutes later, as he awaited his next appearance in the jaycee dugard case, but for katie , she got what she came for. what was that glance like?

    >> it was a hard glance, because he looked at me, he focused in on me and i focused in on him, and it was a real hard glare.

    >> reporter: words weren't needed, she says. 30 years or not, the trauma remains. for "today," lee cowan , nbc news, placerville.

    >> and katie calloway hall is with us now. katie , good morning to you. thanks for joining us.

    >> good morning, meredith. thank you for having me.

    >> oh, not at all. i wanted to pick up on what you said to lee cowan , that once you finally faced phillip garrido , you would look with a sense of victory, but instead, it hit you differently. how so?

    >> oh, it took me by total surprise, my reaction, and i can't even explain why except to tell you that on some deep subconscious level, i reacted to this man in a way i didn't expect to. i expected to be really strong to go in there and do what i wanted to do, to face him. i intend to be a watchdog in this case, so to speak. it's what i need to do for me. it's really what i need to do for me. i know that what happened to jaycee is not my fault, but i have to live with this every day now.

    >> what do you mean you have to live with this every day?

    >> well, what he did to jaycee , what he did to this little girl because i couldn't -- because, i don't know, because i wasn't vigilant enough to keep track of him after he was paroled or something. i just can't explain it. i feel on some level not responsible, but i just feel that i should have done more. and like i said, it's just -- it's something i'm going to have to live with, and i'm doing this for myself, but i'm also doing it to make sure this man is put away forever. i want to see it with my own eyes. i want to see it with my own ears.

    >> but katie , you were the victim in all this, and when he was paroled after 11 years -- he was supposed to serve 50 years, that was the original sentence -- you talked to the parole board . you said this man is a danger. what more could you have done? you were living in fear at that point, weren't you, that he might come after you again?

    >> you know, if the parole board hadn't been so dismissive to me and had maybe encouraged me to call them, to, you know, feel free to call us, check on him, whatever. they were extremely dismissive. they pretty much told me go away, little girl , have a nice life, we'll watch him, don't worry, you know. there's nothing you can do. and i had to trust them and pretty much just had to look out for myself. and yes, i had to look over my shoulder my whole life.

    >> talk to me about that moment when you finally did come face to face with him in the courtroom, at the hearing. because i know when you testified against him back in 1977 , you made a point not to look him in the face. so, this time, you guys locked eyes. what was that moment like for you?

    >> well, like i said, i was not expecting my reaction, and it was -- i was trying to stay focused on him and just look at him. and all these feelings were surging through me that i didn't expect. i almost broke down. i almost -- i started tearing up and i couldn't understand why and i couldn't control it, but i hope that that's not going to happen next time. i hope i've got that initial meeting out of the way and now i know what to expect.

    >> katie , now that you have confronted him and you say that you plan to go to every hearing and you plan to be there for the trial as well, do you think when this is over you will finally be able to close the chapter on this part of your life, or will this always haunt you to some extent?

    >> i douthought this chapter was closed. i pretty much closed it and went on with my life. it's been, like i said, just under the surface of my life. and i thought this was in its box and put away, but this has -- this pandora's box has opened for me and now i'm dealing with it again on a different level. it's like i've been revictimized myself. and i'm just doing what i think i need to do, which is to follow this case carefully, be there, see with my own eyes and make sure this man is put away forever. that's my intent, and i hope that gives me closure. i really do. i'm sure it will, but i intend to reregister with the victim witness program so that as long as he is in custody for the rest of his life, i hope, they will have to keep me informed of anything that goes on with him.

    >> maybe he has met his match in katie callaway hall. katie , thank you very much for joining us this morning.

    >> thank you.


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