Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological term given for a strange occurrence that happens when some people are held captive against their will. Stockholm Syndrome got its name from a strange situation that occurred in a Stockholm bank in 1973.
While on leave from prison, convict Jan-Erik "Janne" Olsson entered a bank in Norrmalmstorg Square and took four of the bank’s employees hostage while attempting to rob it. The convict forced the hostages inside the bank vault where they were held captive for around six days.
Around day two, the four hostages were on a first-name basis with their captor and had developed a close relationship. When the police came into the bank to check on them during negotiations, oddly the four hostages were hostile towards them. The hostages were only freed from captivity when police pumped teargas into the vault.
The hostages hugged their captor before leaving him and even protected him from police to prevent him being shot. After the event the hostages collected money for his defense attorneys. The whole incident was covered by the media and completely confused the public.
Below are some famous cases of other that were held captive against their will, but through a strange psychological trick of the mind they developed feelings for their kidnappers.
In 1998 when Natascha Kampusch was 10-years-old she walked home alone from school for the very first time. On her way home she was grabbed by a man and thrown into van.
It wasn’t until 2006 Natascha was found running through the streets after making an escape. Her captor laid down on a set of railroad tracks and killed himself just a few hours after her escape.
Even though Natascha escaped and has since spoken in great detail about her terrifying ordeal, she says that she mourned her captor's death. Psychologists often refer to her case as an example of Stockholm Syndrome.
when Elizabeth was 14-years-old she was kidnapped by Brian Mitchell who broke into her bedroom at night. She was taken to the woods where Brian met up with his wife who was waiting for them and married Elizabeth in a mock ceremony. He then proceeded to rape her.
Elizabeth was held against her will for the next 9 months and moved around the country. She was tied to trees and starved while Brian continued to rape her at will. Eventually she was found and returned to her family. In her testimony against her kidnappers, Elizabeth said she had lots of opportunities to escape but did not take them. Psychologists believe she most likely was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
Jaycee was kidnapped near her bus stop when she was 11-years-old. Her kidnapper Phillip Garrido kept her hostage for 18 years with the help of his wife, and repeatedly raped her. Jaycee had two children with her kidnapper and never once tried to escape, it’s believed she suffered from Stockholm Syndrome and felt she was in a relationship with Garrido.
Collen Stan’s abduction story is the stuff of nightmares. She was kept against her will inside a box for 23 hours a day for seven years between 1977-1984. Cameron Hooker made Colleen perform sex acts and kept her as a sex slave in the box under his bed. It wasn’t until Hooker’s wife who was in on the kidnapping eventually went to the police that Colleen was freed. The control Hooker exercised over Colleen and her willingness to live in the box is an example of Stockholm Syndrome.
Shawn Hornbeck was riding his bike to a friend’s house in 2002 when he was intentionally knocked off by a car. The driver, Michael Devlin, picked Shawn up and put him in his car before taking off. Shawn was 11-years-old when he went missing and a huge search took place for the missing boy. Just over four years later another boy who went missing from the area, 13-year-old William Ownby, was found in Devlin's apartment.
When police found William Ownby in the apartment, they also found Shawn Hornbeck who was now a teenager. Shawn told police officers that he freely went to the shops, even had a girlfriend, and was allowed to browse the internet, but never attempted to leave his kidnapper. Shawn later revealed that Devlin had instilled a deep fear in him and threatened violence, psychologically keeping him a prisoner.