True crime story ‘The Girl in the Box’ will air in the UK in September
A true crime drama based on chilling real-life events is set to air in the UK this month, and some are calling it the ‘most terrifying film of the year’.
The Girl in the Box, broadcast by Paramount+, tells the story of Colleen Stan, 64, who was kidnapped in 1977 before undergoing a terrifying seven-year ordeal where she was tortured, raped and forced to serve up to 23 years. – hours a day in a box by her captors.
According to the show’s synopsis, “In the spring of 1977, 22-year-old Colleen Stan hitchhiked to California when she accepted a lift from a young married couple, Cameron and Janice Hooker.
Colleen has been abducted with a knife and will be locked in a coffin-sized coffin under the Hookers’ bed for up to 23 hours a day for the next seven years.
“When not locked up, she works as the Hookers’ slave and nanny while being sucked into a bizarre and complex world of obsession and fantasy.”
Colleen Stan, pictured before being kidnapped by Cameron and Janice Hooker in 1977, was hitchhiking to a friend’s party when she was picked up by the couple
Girl in the Box airs on Paramount+ on September 19, starring Addison Timlin, Zane Holtz and Zelda Williams
Cameron Hooker placed a wooden box over Colleen’s head after picking her up while hitchhiking before taking her to his home in May 1977, about 30 miles away in Red Bluff, California.
The film, starring Addison Timlin, Zane Holtz and Zelda Williams, is based on Colleen’s seven-year ordeal, after which she became known as ‘the girl in the box’ when it was revealed that she had been forced to spend so much time trapped in a box.
In May 1977, 20-year-old Colleen hitchhiked to her boyfriend’s birthday party from her home in Eugene, Oregon.
After letting two cars pass before accepting a ride, she got into the vehicle of 23-year-old lumberjack Cameron Hooker and his wife Janice.
Since the couple was accompanied by their baby, she assumed it would be a safe option, but tragically it would be proven otherwise.
After getting into the car, Hooker had stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom. Colleen has since said she had a strong impulse to leave the couple at this point.
She has said, “A voice told me to run and jump out a window and never look back.”
However, she ignored the voice and returned to the vehicle. About half an hour later, Hooker turned onto a remote dirt road. He put a knife to Colleen’s throat, tied her up, gagged her, and placed a wooden box over her head.
This device, which Hooker called the “headbox,” was designed to prevent light or sound from passing through.
After driving the 30 miles to the Red Bluff, California house he shared with Janice and their baby, Hooker forced Colleen into his basement before undressing her and hanging her naked by the wrists.
During the seven years that Colleen was imprisoned by Hooker, he raped and tortured her, often keeping her in a coffin-like box (pictured) under his conjugal bed for 23 hours a day.
Colleen was also forced to endure Hooker’s homemade torture devices (Photo: Red Bluff Police Department Lt. Jerry Brown shows head restraints found in Hooker’s home in 1984, after Colleen escaped)
For the next seven years, he would continue to abuse the young woman, who was starved, flogged and burned by Hooker.
Colleen was forced to sign a “slave contract” that required her to do everything Hooker wanted, from sex to more mundane things like household chores or taking care of his kids.
His beatings continued: He would tie her to the ceiling by her wrists or leave her for days with a 20-pound hinged wooden box around her head, blocking the outside world.
He built Stan’s torture devices, including a stretcher that caused permanent damage to her back and one of her shoulders.
Hooker would also force her into a wooden box stored under his matrimonial bed, and stay there for 23 hours at a time.
According to Colleen, during these times she managed to focus on happy memories.
After Hooker’s wife helped Janice Colleen escape in 1984, she testified against her husband, who was sentenced to 104 years in prison for kidnapping, torture and rape.
She said People in 2016: ‘I learned that in my mind I could go anywhere.
“You just remove yourself from the real situation and go elsewhere. You go somewhere cozy, near people you love. Whatever makes you happy.’
As time went on, Colleen was given more freedom and was sometimes allowed to jog, work in the garden and… take care of the Hooker children alone in the mobile home.
During this time, she did not try to escape, as Hooker had psychologically manipulated her into convincing her that a greater force he called The Company was watching her at all times and that they would ensure that any attempt to leave would be serious. would have consequences. .
The psychological check was so severe that when Hooker allowed her to visit her family alone in 1981, she returned to him after the trip.
It wasn’t until 1984 that Colleen finally managed to escape, with some help from Hooker’s wife Janice.
Hooker told his wife that he wanted to make Colleen his second wife and bring in more slave girls.
This led Janice to tell Colleen that Hooker was not part of The Company, and help her leave.
After she went to a bus stop and called Hooker to tell him she was leaving, he would have burst into tears.
Although Colleen refused to report him to the police, saying she wanted to give him a chance to reform, he was arrested after Janice went to authorities and agreed to testify in exchange for immunity.
Hooker, who is now 68, was sentenced to 104 years in prison in 1985 for the kidnapping, torture and rape of Colleen.
After Hooker was denied parole in 2015, Colleen (pictured) said she was “satisfied with the results” at the time.
Superior Court Judge Clarence B. Knight Called Hooker ‘The Most Dangerous’ psychopath I’ve ever come across,” the Los Angeles Times reported after his conviction.
Hooker, who is incarcerated at California State Prison in Corcoran, was released early in 2015 and was told he would not face another hearing for at least 15 years.
Meanwhile, after returning home, Colleen went to school for an accounting degree, got married and had a daughter. She also joined an organization that helps abused women.
Her story has been documented multiple times, in dramas, books and documentaries.
In addition to airing the movie The Girl in the Box, Paramount+ will also air a two-part documentary about Colleen, detailing both her ordeal during the seven years she was imprisoned and her experience standing up to Hooker’s trial.
Girl In The Box and Girl In The Box: The True Story will both air on Paramount+ on September 19.