Hannah Anderson Speaks About Kidnapping Ordeal
Kidnap victim Hannah Anderson spoke out for the first time about her week-long kidnap ordeal at the hands of a crazed family friend.
The 16-year-old spoke on the Today show. She said, “If I can get through this, I am sure I can get through a lot more."
Just-released photos of Hannah show her with her father, Brett. On her t-shirt, there are images of her slain mom and brother and the poignant message: “We're Still A Team.”
The bodies of her mother and eight-year-old brother were found slain and burning inside the California home of kidnapper James DiMaggio.
Hannah choked back tears as she spoke about her little brother, Ethan. She said, “He had a really big heart.”
The desperate search for Hannah kept America transfixed. It ended when four horseback riders spotted her and DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness and alerted authorities.
DiMaggio was killed in a shootout with the FBI, but questions swirled after Hannah’s rescue. Suspicion was heightened when authorities revealed they found letters from Hannah in the kidnapper's torched home.
Adding to the doubts is the revelation that Hannah and her kidnapper exchanged 13 text messages in the hours before she was abducted. Hannah says there was an innocent explanation.
She said, “He was picking me up from cheer camp and he didn't know the address or what, like where I was. So, I had to tell him the address and tell him that I was going to be in the gym and not in front of the school.”
When Hannah answered questions about her ordeal on the social media site Ask.fm shortly after she was freed, criticism rained down on her.
"Something fishy here," said one commentator.
Another said, "Odd victim behavior. Is she telling the truth?"
Hannah addressed this on Today show and said, “I connected to them through Facebook and Instagram. It just helps me grieve, like post pictures, to show how I’m feeling.”
But the doubts persist for some. Comments the Today show's website include: "There is something very strange about this girl," and "There is far more to this story."
Hannah said, “I didn't know people could be so cruel.”
There's another bizarre twist in the case. The kidnapper's sister wants Hannah to take a DNA test, to determine if DiMaggio could be her real father. Hannah’s father Brett Anderson, calls that claim "ridiculous."
Hannah said, “Other people's opinions shouldn't matter.”