You know that feeling you get when you step into a crowded elevator or when walking through a busy mall? If you don’t know – let’s just say it’s not a good feeling. Most people like having their personal space.
Well, how do you think Colleen Stan felt when she was held prisoner and trapped in a COFFIN for seven years? Yep, that’s right – seven years.
Fifty-nine-year-old Stan has recently opened up about her terrifying ordeal in light of the release of the Lifetime biopic – The Girl In Box – in which she was famously dubbed.
On May 19 1977, Stan was hitchhiking to a friend’s birthday party in Oregon when she was picked up by Cameron and Janice Hooker. They had a baby and seemed trustworthy, so she got in the car. Little did she know, they had a sinister plan at hand which was revealed when Cameron turned down a deserted road and held a knife to her throat. He then stuffed her mouth, tied her up and placed a wooden box over her head. Stan was just 20 at the time.
When they arrived at the couple’s home in Red Bluff, California – she was then placed in a coffin under the couple’s bed and kept as a sex slave until 1984 when she made her daring escape.
During her siege, she was only let out to be tortured, raped or hit.
“I thought I was going to die,” she told People Magazine.
With the aid of Janice, Stan escaped in August 1984. Janice testified against her husband in court, in exchange for immunity. Cameron was found guilty of kidnapping and sexual assault and sentenced to 104 years in prison.
Stan recalled that memories of her family and friends is what kept her sane while in the box. She told People:
“I learned I could go anywhere in my mind,”
“You just remove yourself from the real situation going on and you go somewhere else. You go somewhere pleasant, around people you love. Whatever makes you happy.”
Since then, Stan has been married four times and is currently raising her 2-year-old grandson. Despite all that has happened to her, she remains optimistic about life.
“Your life is just kinda in limbo when you’re in captivity, and once you get that freedom back and you have that choice again, it’s just like the gates open,” she says. “And you just run for it.”