O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me… Where can I go from Your Spirit. Or where can I flee from Your presence?
Psalms 139: 1, 7
For 18 years, Phillip Garrido lived surreptitiously with Jaycee Lee Duggard, who was only 11-years old when he abducted her near her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. The convicted sex offender fathered two daughters by his tender-aged victim and kept the three of them hidden away in a secret backyard compound at his home in Antioch, California.
Garrido’s neighbors had no idea what kind of monster was living in their midst, although a couple neighbors said they had grown suspicious over the years and one even called the sheriff on one occasion.
But nothing came of the sheriff’s visit to Garrido’s home. Nor even did the home visits by kidnapper’s parole officer ever come to anything. No one, save for Garrido and his accomplice wife, knew about the dark secret he was hiding.
But God knew. And Garrido could not escape His conviction.
Indeed, I find it interesting that the sex offender felt compelled in recent years to draw closer to the Almighty, to seek His grace and His mercy.
That’s why Garrido started a business, “God’s Desire,” which, he said, has “kept me busy the last several years.”
What ultimately proved Garrido’s undoing was his repeated efforts to pass out religious literature on the University of California-Berkeley campus. On his most recent attempt, this past Wednesday, he actually showed up at the campus police to apply for a permit with his victim Jaycee – who identified herself as “Allissa” – and her two daughters.
Campus police were suspicious of the way the two girls, ages 15 and 11, acted, and contacted Garrido’s parole agent.
The parole agent had never before seen the two girls or their mother and that’s what led to the exposure of Garrido’s crimes.
The convicted sex offender acknowledges that he did a “disgusting thing” when he first abducted Jaycee in her pink top and matching pink pants and when he impregnated her when she was only 14-years-old.
But he’s a different man now, Garrido claims. “I turned my life completely around.”
Well, I do not rule out the possibility that even a monster like Garrido could be transformed by the grace of God. But I do not believe it has happened in his case.
Because he did not come forward and confess his crimes. He was found out. And he continued to perpetrate his crimes, to live in his sins, up until the time he was arrested and Jaycee, his victim, was restored to her family along with her daughters.
Garrido is unworthy of mercy. He deserves the death penalty.