The Girl in the Box: The Psychopathic Kidnapper Who Kept a Woman Locked Under His Bed for 7 Years

Cameron Hooker might be the most dangerous psychopath alive right now—if hearing his name doesn’t send chilly tingles down your spine, it certainly will once you learn the details of his horrific crimes. Hooker, 61, is serving a 104-year sentence in jail for the kidnap, torture and rape of Colleen Stan.

Known as the “Girl in the Box” kidnapper, Hooker kept Stan locked inside a coffin-like box for 23 hours a day, for the duration of her seven year captivity.

Stan’s horrifying ordeal began in May 1977, as she hitchhiked along in Redding, California—an activity considered risky at the time, particularly for young women. When she was picked up by a couple traveling with a 7-month-old baby, she had no idea she was about to become the victim to a cruel monster.

Colleen Stan

Hooker –who was then 23 years old—and his wife Janice took Stan to their home about 30 miles away, and her torture began almost immediately.

She was stripped naked, tied up, and whipped in their basement—and that was just the beginning of the long seven years she would spend as a hostage and sex slave.

When Stan wasn’t confined inside the tiny, coffin-shaped box that Hooker kept under his and Janice’s bed, she was tied to an evil torture rack of Hooker’s own design.   She regularly and repeatedly raped, burned, chocked to the point of unconsciousness, and hung from her wrists.

During the brief times she was allowed out of the box, Stan would later say she was too scared to make an escape attempt despite having several opportunities. Hooker threatened her life and the lives of her family if she was defiant, and even brainwashed her into believing that an organization called “The Company” would hunt her down if she stepped out of line.

It wasn’t until 1984 that Stan was able to make her escape—and she did so with the help of Hooker’s own wife. Janice was jealous, because apparently Hooker wanted to make Stan his second wife in addition to capturing more female slaves.

Turning against her husband, Janice helped Stan escape Hooker’s clutch. Perhaps out of fear, or maybe Stockholm syndrome, Stan refused to report Hooker to the authorities. It was Janice who finally betrayed her husband’s monstrous secret to the police. She agreed to testify against him in exchange for immunity.

Called “the most dangerous psychopath ever encountered” by his sentencing judge, Hooker was finally convicted in 1985—although because it was such an unprecedented case of cruelty, many of his atrocities went uncharged.

Sentenced to 104 years, Hooker has served 25 years and was recently denied his request for parole. He won’t be eligible for parole for another 15 years, however in 2022 he will have a definite parole date and could walk away from prison and out into the free world once more.