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Mommie Dearest, Brothers Grimm: Thinking about Cleveland's House of Horrors

My mother also used to say:

If you ever got kidnapped, I'd hope they'd find your body right away because then at least I'd know you weren't being tortured in a basement.

But then she'd reassure me that nobody would want to kidnap me anyhow, because we weren't rich, like the Hearsts.

Because that's why I worried so much: the Patty Hearst kidnapping was such a huge deal when I was a child.

So was the Chowchilla incident, when a schoolbus was hijacked and all the kids were hidden underground.

When I got older, I wondered why my mother had child abduction on the brain.

I'd assumed the whole kidnapping thing was a uniquely 1970s phenomenon, like hitchiking and hijacking.

Had weird scary things happened to children when she was growing up, too?