I'm signing off now, but thanks for all of your great questions and supportive comments.

I am currently working on a book about my experience which will be released November 8th!

Newspaper article about the kidnappings: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19721116&id=6bwqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oGYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6145,86301

Picture of me with my facebook page announcing my book: http://imgur.com/e2Q4V

Comments: 2674 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

zennk1155 karma

Did the kidnapper ever show remorse?

Annabelle_Kindig1549 karma

No. He said shooting us was like shoot deer.

macncheese2111117 karma

It does not specify if you were sexually assaulted. Sorry if this is personal, but were you?

Annabelle_Kindig1426 karma

Yes we were. I think that was the intent of the kidnapping.

macncheese211894 karma

Yikes, I am so sorry that happened :( Do you have trauma, still, from this? The newspaper says that your friend was not assaulted. Do you know why?

Annabelle_Kindig1125 karma

I think anytime there is a big story like this, especially back in the 70's, the papers rush to get the story out and there is a lot of misinformation. One paper said I was only 6 years old. Hopefully now the press checks their information before publishing it.

Koboldd1098 karma

How did he kidnap you, what happened?

Annabelle_Kindig1620 karma

I was walking my friend home after my birthday party, when he approached us and asked us to come see his puppies. There were no puppies, but it was too late then

dragoburst1139 karma

was this before schools started teaching kids about not talking to strangers?

Annabelle_Kindig1432 karma

Yes it was. I know in Boulder many things changed due to what happened to me. That is one of the good things. People used to put paper "hands" in their windows to let kids know it was a safe place.

aceoftrachs332 karma

Could you explain the paper hands concept?

Annabelle_Kindig766 karma

They were "helping hands". I think they had to register with the Sheriff's office to recieve one. It was intended to let kids know if they were lost or hurt, that those homes were safe to go to to ask for help.

Gorgggg282 karma

Here in boulder?!?!

Annabelle_Kindig545 karma

Yes. November 14, 1972 on the corner of 13th and Cascade is where we were kidnapped.

Vallombrosa845 karma

How did you manage to get away? Or were you found/released?

Annabelle_Kindig1514 karma

He shot us and left us in a snowy canyon outside of Boulder. I was handcuffed to my friend, who didn't make it. I had to free myself from my friend and climb up the side of the mountain. Then I flagged down a car and the man took me to Gold Hill where there were volunteer fireman that gave me first aid and called police.

joetromboni629 karma

how did you free yourself from your friend?

Annabelle_Kindig1139 karma

I had to pull the handcuff off her wrist.

catcitybitch814 karma

I see that the man who picked you up, Mr. Laughlin, said you just got into his car and shut the door, then explained what happened. Did you have any thoughts that maybe you had just gotten into the car of another murderer, rapist, etc.?

Annabelle_Kindig1788 karma

I really didn't have a choice. It was either trust him or bleed/freeze to death. I'm glad he was the one to pick me up. I spoke with him recently and he is still a dear, sweet person. He told me "we're family now".

evansco662 karma

I saw that he murdered your friend. Did you or do you have survivor guilt? Had you ever seen him before? Were you familiar with him? I have heard at various crimes against children conventions that we need to stop teaching our kids about stranger danger and start teaching them about the dangers of family, friends, and acquaintances. What are your thoughts on this approach?

Annabelle_Kindig874 karma

He was a stranger. I had never seen him before and i don't think he had ever seen me before. I think we still need to warn kids about strangers and let them know that there are certain things that adults should not do to children and that there are people (safe people) for them to talk to if they ever feel uncomfortable around an adult.

NotThisGuy657 karma

Could you give us any details about the kidnapping? Like what happened from the time you got into the van, to the end of the ordeal? Sorry this happened and sorry about your friend.

Annabelle_Kindig869 karma

Well, we were handcuffed and told to lay on the floor so we would be seen. He then drove around for a while and stopped in a seculded area. He assulted us, then started driving around. i don't know if he was trying to decied what to do with us or if he was trying to confuse us as to where we were. Then he drove to the canyon and told us his friend had the keys to the cuffs. I didn't really think there was a friend sitting in the snow up this canyon...

NotThisGuy416 karma

Well, was there actually someone there with the keys? Or did he just leave you in the middle of nowhere?

Annabelle_Kindig949 karma

There was no friend with the keys. He told us to walk down this path. It had just snowed a couple of feet, so the snow was up to our knees. We walked a head of him a couple of yards and then he shot us and stood watching to make sure we were dead. Then, yea, he just left us in the snow.

[deleted]652 karma


Annabelle_Kindig1267 karma

He was sentenced to 2 life terms plus 60 years and was up for parole after just 10 years. He has come up for parole every years since then.

SassyScarlacc626 karma

this is incredible, thank you for sharing your story, glad you are alright

Annabelle_Kindig598 karma

Thank you.

Annabelle_Kindig532 karma

I thank everyone for their comments and questions. I hope if you all know anyone in your life that has experienced something similar that you will take a few moments and think what that person is actually going through. Recovery takes a long time and many don't recover. I would like to reach out to anyone who is struggling to offer support and encouragement. We all need the love and support of others. Life is not meant to spend alone. That is where a lot of victims find themselves. Reach out to someone who is suffering. You could change a life.

NeoDiamond530 karma

Do you have any children? If so, do you feel anxious whenever you are away from them (circumstances depend on age, of course) because of your experience?

Annabelle_Kindig1213 karma

I have a son. He's older now, but when he was young I explained to him what happened to me. I wouldn't let him stay out and play after dark. He would always get a little upset and then I would tell him I was sorry, but I had "baggage". Then he would understand.

quoth_teh_raven488 karma

I'm really sorry this happened to you as a child. I can't imagine how the trauma has shaped your life over the years.

  • Are there any lasting effects from this time in your life? Things like nightmares or habits you can't shake?
  • I didn't see in the article how you were abducted. Do you have any advice you would give to help others avoid this happening to them?
  • What has helped you most in your recovery? Family? Therapy?

Thanks for taking the time.

Annabelle_Kindig786 karma

I had many years of nightmares and feelings of guilt and anger. I finally overcame them after writting a letter of forgiveness.

Casemander373 karma

Do you mean that you wrote a letter of forgiveness to your attacker, or he wrote one to you? Could you explain this a little more?

Annabelle_Kindig1367 karma

I wrote the letter to , him. He didn't ask for it. I needed to do it for me. I told him that he was responsible for my anger and bitterness and that he needed to take responsibility for it. I than told him that I felt sorry for him that he would never experience freedom and that I forgive him. Forgiving him so that I could take back control of my life, not letting him have any more control over my feelings or thoughts.

GeneralCortex212 karma

Did he write back?

Annabelle_Kindig184 karma

He did not write back. In fact that letter sound not have reached him in the first place. Victims aren't supposed to contract their perpatrators. They get protection from me???

WhoNeedsRealLife469 karma

From the article: "They were both nice girls. They were not hippies or hitchhikers." Like that would make it more okay...

Anyway, do you think he had been stalking you? Watching your routine etc. to know when to strike? Or do you think it was just a sudden impulse?

Annabelle_Kindig520 karma

No. I think he was looking for college girls and we were walking next to the building that CU used for dance, music and field hockey classes. A lot of these classes would be in the evenings, so I think he thought we had just been to a class.

RobTECH707362 karma

But you were 11...even if you looked really mature for your age, I doubt you'd be able to pull off any older than 14.

Annabelle_Kindig658 karma

We had on winter coats and it was dark. I don't think we looked any older than 11. Who knows, maybe he really didn't care as long as we were female.


What wound up happening to your abductor? Is he still in jail? Death penalty? I imagine you still think about him from time to time, I'm sorry this had to happen to you. Sometimes the world can be a really shitty place.

Annabelle_Kindig829 karma

He was caught before getting out of the canyon where he left us. He is still in jail and hopefully will die there. In Colorado he is eligible for parole every year, so we tend to write to the parole board yearly.

LukeInDenver414 karma

How clearly do you remember being shot? What was that like?

Annabelle_Kindig777 karma

I remember that night like it was last night. I didn't have any pain, I just went into shock.

Kisses4Connie403 karma

Do you get nervous around strangers?

Annabelle_Kindig884 karma

I do have some "red flags" around some strangers. Not all though. I think most people are good and don't go around hurting young children.

SetsOnTheBeach345 karma

Thank you for posting, and I am so glad you are okay.

Annabelle_Kindig772 karma

Thanks. I am okay and living a pretty good life. I have a husband of 27 years and a handsome son.


Where on your body did he shoot you and was your friends death instant or were you forced to watch the suffering? I'm sorry for this awful experience you were forced to go through and I hope life is very well for you now :)

Annabelle_Kindig545 karma

I was shot in the leg and the chest. My friend died instantly. Her's hit her heart.

Illwisherinattic275 karma


Annabelle_Kindig571 karma

Back in the 70's we were all told not to talk about it. The way to "put it behind you" was to not speak of it. Kind of like pretending nothing happened. I only have told a very few good friends, until now.

Ayavaron267 karma

  • Is this the kind of thing you eventually feel compelled to talk about eventually with everyone you meet? How does that conversation usually go.
  • Are there scenes in movies you can't stand to watch anymore?
  • Did you ever lose hope? Did you regain it? If yes to either, what made you lose it? What made you regain it?

Annabelle_Kindig441 karma

I have. I have a book coming out in November..Footsteps out of Darkness. While writting the book I was able to go back and meet all the people in Gold Hill that helped me that night. It was amazing to see them after 40 years.

frustratedsardine249 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. Did the kidnapper say anything to you? How did he manage to kidnap both you and the other girl? (i.e, did he pull you in, persuade you both to get into the car, or something else?)

Annabelle_Kindig473 karma

You need to know this was back in the early 1970's. We thought our neighborhood was safe. No one really said anything back then about stranger-danger like they do now. We were told he had puppies in the back of his motorhome and when we went to the door, he pulled out a gun and told us to get in. We really didn't have a choice at that point.

ViennaKP237 karma

How did you deal with this after it happened? And what were your emotions toward the incident? Were you bitter or drained or scared?

Annabelle_Kindig530 karma

I was in the hospital for several weeks. Then I was home for a couple of months before returning to school. Going back to school was really scary. I didn't know what the kids knew or what they were going to say to me.
i carried with me a lot of anger and bitterness. I also had a lot of guilt. Why did I survive and not my friend? I dealt with that for many years

ctyt217 karma

So how did your classmates end up treating you when you returned?

Annabelle_Kindig270 karma

They were all told not to talk with me about it. I felt like I had just dropped out of outerspace into a world I wasn't a part of. The kids just went about their day and I struggled with every stair and every recess. it was several days before a friend came up to me to ask if I was OK. It wasn't the kids fault, they were told not to talk to me about it. It was just supposed to "go away".

isanthrope_may229 karma

When did you know you were being taken to your death? Was there a sudden realization, or did you just have a feeling the whole time? How did that change your behaviour, did you break down or just kind of accept it?

Thanks for the AMA.

Annabelle_Kindig430 karma

I knew the minite I saw the gun that things weren't going to work out too well for us. Having said that, I don't think my mind actually went to that e xtreme. I just kind of went into shock. i remember feeling like all the blood was draining out of me when I saw the gun. i'm sure my face was sheet white. I didn't cry until I climbed up that hill in the canyon. A car passed just as I was reaching the top and I thought that might be the last car I would see. Then I was also afraid he might come back.

TigFan15220 karma

Does it ever upset you when sitcoms and cartoons make fun of the whole "come to my van to see my puppies" thing? I can't imagine the strength you have to get through something like that... You are an amazing woman.

Annabelle_Kindig417 karma

Thank you. I do get a little upset, but then I hope when they do that maybe kids will understand that adults don't go around with puppies in their cars to show to kids. I just had so much trust in people back then. I didn't know there were "bad" people.

b36219 karma

How did he treat you, and what did he say to you?

Annabelle_Kindig390 karma

He treated us like, how should I put it? Like we were prisoners. When he spoke to us it was to give commands. Like "lay on the floor". He wasn't pleasent to us. I think during the whole ordeal I was in shock. I don't really remember any specific questions, except he did ask how old we were and didn't seem to care when we said we were 11.

tarheel295190 karma

Any conversations with the kidnapper? What was the kidnapped-kidnapper relationship?

Annabelle_Kindig336 karma

There really wasn't any converstions, just pleas to let us go and not to hurt us. we were only in his control for a few hours and then he took us up the canyon and shot us.

fae7127 karma

Where were you shot? How did you manage to get help, considering you had been shot and were left up the canyon?

Annabelle_Kindig504 karma

I was shot in the upper leg and in the chest. I think I was just running on survival mode. I climbed up the hillside about 50 feet to the road and flagged down a car that just happedend to be going home there in Gold Hill. I was really fortunate to have anyone driving by at that time of nights as there are only about 100 people that live in that town.

bonny_peg_o_ramsey181 karma

That is absolutely horrifying and I hope you are doing OK. I think back to when I was 11 and how I thought the world was basically a safe place. An event like this would have wrenched me into a whole other reality. Has it gotten easier to cope with this as you've gotten older or is it still very difficult? Also, good luck with your book.

Annabelle_Kindig260 karma

I think this rocked the world for everyone in Boulder. We all thought it was a safe small town. It has been much easier to talk about in recent years. There are memories that are still very difficult. Thanks for the good luck on my book!

throawawayaccnt166 karma

How was the emotional process of writing the book? Did it take you a long time to know you were ready to revisit all that? Were there moments when you thought it wasn't a good idea to write it?

Annabelle_Kindig267 karma

It was very emotional at times, but it also brought a lot of closer for me and many that were involved. i hope that my book will help others that have similar expriences and those around them.

[deleted]119 karma


Annabelle_Kindig290 karma

The positive effects are that I am a much stronger person and I have a lot of compassion for others. I had a lot of negative too, fortunately that part is over now.

I_have_a_Secret109 karma

How have you coped with the entire situation year after year?

How did it mentally change you as a child and then as an adult?

What did you do at different stages of your life to help you get over this?

Annabelle_Kindig382 karma

I write letters every year to the parole board. I still keep in contact with the DA that prosocuted him. As for how it changed me as a child. I wasn't a child anymore. I was more of an adult in a childs body. No child should ever know the life and death choices made by a evil person.

Frajer92 karma

Any idea why he chose you?

Annabelle_Kindig201 karma

There are some that think he was also exposing himself to college co-eds. We happend to live across the street from a campus building so he probably thought we were students

Reeceist87 karma

Are you going to do a special for Dateline on ID, or I Survived?

Edit: Also, how did it feel being published next to the Maytag Marathon?

Annabelle_Kindig157 karma

I don't have any plans to do any TV shows at this time. I am just starting with my book and see how it is received.

Joedirt11286 karma

What did getting shot feel like? Which shot hurt the most? Do you ever get nightmares from this situation?

Annabelle_Kindig262 karma

I think the body and mind have ways of protecting you. I didn't feel anything when I was shot. I knew I was, but really didn't know where until I got to Gold Hill. i don't get nightmares anymore, but did for a long time afterward. I slept in the same twin bed with my older sister for over a year.

palsar74 karma

How was the experience of writing the book? Cathartic? Did you have to think about the kidnapping more than usual to write the book or have you always had the whole story looping in your head?

Annabelle_Kindig165 karma

It was a cleansing experience. I also learned that at the times when I felt I was all alone, I really wasn't. I had so many people praying and hoping that I was OK. I learned alot about myself too. I really took a hard look at the mistakes I made in life and why I made decisions I did. My book isn't just about that night. It is more how that night changed my life and how you can stumble and pick yourself back up.

claxt72 karma

Have you been in touch with him since? How do you feel about him now? Did you learn anything about him later that changed your perception of him?

Annabelle_Kindig395 karma

It is not permitted for the victim to contact the perpatrator. He is evil and will always be evil. I really feel nothing for him. He doesn't deserve my thoughts any longer.

leggybrewski59 karma


Annabelle_Kindig122 karma

Yes, thank you. Law enforcement has come a long way since then. Now there are victim advocates to help when these things happen and counslors. I think we know now that events like this have a long lasting effect on victims and their family and friends. I know it did mine.