Hannah Anderson: Kidnapper DiMaggio ‘made me play Russian roulette’
San Diego County teenager Hannah Anderson has shared more details about her kidnapping ordeal, telling NBC’s “Today” show that abductor James DiMaggio made her play Russian roulette before taking her to Idaho.
The interview, scheduled to air Thursday, comes more than two months after the 16-year-old was rescued from the remote Idaho wilderness after a nearly weeklong search that stretched across the western United States.
The ordeal began, officials said, when 40-year-old DiMaggio lured the Anderson family to his eastern San Diego County home. Hannah told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that DiMaggio brought her to his home on Aug. 3 and at some point handcuffed her.
“When I got into the house, he handcuffed me and zip-tied my feet and then sat me down and told me what his plan was,” the teenager told “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie, according to a preview of the interview.
“He told me he was going to kidnap me and take me to Idaho, where my intention was just to carry his backpacks to the river. And that he was gonna live there. And then he’d get me home afterwards.”
DiMaggio said Hannah’s mother and brother were in the house and alive, Hannah told Guthrie.
“When we got into the house, after he told me the plan, he made me play Russian roulette with him sitting on the couch,” she said.
“With a real gun?” Guthrie asked.
“Yeah,” Hannah replied. “And when it was my turn, I started crying and like, was freaking out. And he said, ‘Do you want to play?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And I started crying and then he’s like, ‘OK.’ And he stopped.”
Authorities say DiMaggio killed Hannah’s mother and brother, then rigged his house to catch fire. The search for Hannah and DiMaggio began after firefighters found 44-year-old Christina and 8-year-old Ethan Anderson’s bodies in DiMaggio’s burning home.
After an Amber Alert was issued across much of the West, a group of horseback riders spotted DiMaggio and the teenager in a remote stretch of wilderness about 75 miles north of Boise. FBI agents moved into the campsite Aug. 10, killing DiMaggio and safely rescuing the girl.
DiMaggio was shot six times in the head, chest and extremities, Valley County coroner Nathan Hess confirmed Tuesday. Though the coroner said he was still awaiting toxicology results, he said DiMaggio died as a result of the gunshot wounds.
Authorities have released little information about the shootout, but said DiMaggio was armed and fired at least once at the agents.
Hannah told NBC she felt “sick, disgusted” and “angry” about DiMaggio.
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