83 hours buried: Barbara Mackle's kidnapping

It was around Christmas 1968, and 20-year-old Barbara Mackle, a millionaire heiress to Deltona Corporation in the homebuilding business, was unlucky. Along with the other half of campus, she had contracted the Hong Kong Flu, which ravaged Emory University in Atlanta where she studied.

Seeing her daughter's diseased state and her hard work during the finals, Jane Mackle decided to drive from Coral Gables, Florida, where the whole family lived, to take care of her daughter and then take her back to spend the holidays together. of year. When she arrived on December 3, she persuaded Barbara to stay with her at a hotel near campus so he could take care of her while studying for exams.

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Knocking on the door

On December 17, at 3 am, Barbara woke up with a knock on the door and asked her mother to see who it was. One man reported that Stewart Hunt, then her daughter's boyfriend, had suffered a terrible car accident. Desperate for the information, Jane opened the door and came across a man dressed in his local police uniform and pointing a gun at him. It was Gary Stephen Krist, 23, accompanied by Ruth Eiseman-Schier, 26, disguised as a man, Barbara's future kidnappers.

Quickly, Ruth gave Jane chloroform, bound her, and gagged her. Meanwhile, under many death threats, Gary forced Barbara to follow them and get into his car, a blue Volvo. They drove to a remote pine forest that was 20 miles from the hotel.

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18 hands down

Once there, Gary ordered Barbara's ascent to an earthen ground where his grave had been dug. At the bottom of the hole was a fiberglass box with two plastic ventilation tubes. It was equipped with water adulterated with sedatives, food, a flashlight, a blanket, and a small fan.

He would later explain to the police that he was looking for a rich, intelligent woman who could stand to be buried alive. He reached the girl after chasing her for months and months on end.

Gary then explained that it was a kidnapping, even though Barbara had realized it, and that they would release her as soon as they received $ 500, 000 from her father, about $ 3.5 million today, approximately R $ 14.4 million in direct conversion. Barbara begged and even suggested that they do the kidnapping otherwise, not to bury her alive. However, no argument convinced them and she was forced to lie in the coffin and, before being enclosed there, Gary took a picture of Polaroid of her holding a kidnapped paper.

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The ransom request

Jane woke up, managed to break free and call the police before calling her husband, Robert Mackle, who warned the FBI immediately. Shortly thereafter, he got a call from Gary explaining the whole situation, step by step what the man should do to make it all work out and that if he told the police about the details - which until then had only known about the kidnapping -, your daughter would suffocate to death.

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As part of the plan, Robert should place on the Miami Herald newspaper classifieds the following ad: “Beloved, please come home. We will pay all expenses and will find you anywhere, anytime. Your family". That would be the sign that Robert had accepted their conditions.

The failure of the plan

The announcement was made on the 18th and two days later the hijackers called again to inform the rescue site and that the amount should only be in twenty dollar bills and stored in a large suitcase. Robert did everything as agreed, but the move where the exchange would take place eventually attracted the attention of a resident, who informed police that it was a robbery.

Gary fled hurriedly, abandoning his suitcase halfway, as did his Volvo. Inside, agents found Barbara Mackle's picture, shovels and leftover food. Investigations began to reach the identities of Gary and Ruth, making the case public. Until 1968 this was the largest kidnapping case ever made in the United States.

Meanwhile, Robert, fearing any move, rushed to warn the hijackers through the media that he had not involved the police during the negotiations. In response, Gary called the Mackles for a ransom, which this time went well.

How it ends

It was agreed that within 12 hours of taking the money, the kidnappers revealed Barbara's whereabouts. So Gary left not very precise coordinates of where Barbara was buried in a call center.

Police spotted her after hearing beats coming from the ground. Barbara was then taken alive from her coffin, weighing five pounds less, a little dehydrated but unharmed.

Gary was arrested on an island after having the boat he had bought tracked. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was granted parole after 10 years in prison. During this time, the man wrote a book titled Life: the Man Who Kidnapped Barbara Mackle .

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Ruth, who became the first woman on the FBI's most wanted list at the time, was arrested two months later in Oklahoma. She was sentenced to seven years, was released after four, deported to Honduras and forbidden to return to the United States.

In her book 83 hours' til dawn, Barbara Mackle reported: “I wanted to stay alive. I kept good thoughts, though. I thought about Christmas, my family and friends. But I confess that sometimes I shouted into darkness: this will be my coffin. ”