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Perfect Victim: The True Story of "The Girl in the Box"

by
3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,878 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Recounts the ordeal of Colleen Stan during her seven-year captivity and sexual slavery in the hands of Cameron and Janice Hooker and details the court case that followed.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Dell
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karen
Jul 14, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keeper
I know the Victim (Colleen) personally.
one of my sons and her daughter were best friends in 8th grade.
I haven't seen her in the past couple years.
Colleen gave me this book to read when we first became friends.
It is written by her attorney and Colleen makes nothing from the book.
She always felt the attorney victimized her also.

This book is a sad true crime story about hitchhiking that lead to brainwashing and being held in a box for 7 years.
But thru it all Colleen survived and thats what's amazin
...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
A book I read over 15 years ago and remember in such detail. Probably why even the idea of reading ’50 Shades Of Grey’ makes me queasy, this story definitely de-romanticizes the S&M scene. What amazed me more than the victim’s attachment to her kidnapper was his wife’s collaboration in keeping her captive all those years.
Well researched, thorough without being excessively graphic, I appreciated its focus not just on the crime but also on the court-room proceedings. The stuff of nightmares…
Sandy
This is not "The True Story of The Girl in the Box by the DA who prosecuted her captor" as it purports to be. Rather, it is more accurately "The True Story of the DA who prosecuted the captor of "the Girl in the Box." Colleen's story at times feels more like a sideline to Christine McGuire's story.

There is too much focus on the attorney and her personal life and it is not at all pertinent to Colleen's ordeal, or to the book as a whole. I didn't need to know details about her family background, o
...more
Carol
Jul 25, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Just a horrific nightmare of a true crime story describing in detail (minus the smut) the kidnapping of twenty year old Colleen Stan. Such a tower of strength CS was to endure her captivity for 7 long years locked in a coffin-like box the majority of it, not to mention the pain she sustained from the on-going physical abuse, the humiliation of being unclothed, fear of dehydration, heat exhaustion, starvation and ultimately being treated like a slave. While not a pleasant read, the courtroom dram ...more
Erin
Apr 28, 2015 Erin rated it liked it
I'm not sure how I came across the book I'm guessing that I thought it was the true crimes story which Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door was based. It isn't

Rather, this story involves a woman named Colleen Stan was a young woman who was abducted by Cameron and Janice Hooker in 1977 and they proceeded to keep her as a sex and household slave while until 1984. They kept continue of her by placing her in a "head box",various tiny room and then in a specially made areas under their bed and holes d
...more
Kena Kump
Feb 01, 2012 Kena Kump rated it it was amazing
One word to sum up this book is INTENSE. The author speaks in 3rd person, so it almost feels that Colleen Stan (the survivor) is truly the victim she is. NO detail is left unnoticed, and you are thrust into Colleen's hellish world of abuse and confinement. I couldn't put it down, and I first saw this segment on a episode of "wicked attraction." Reading the book gave me even more of a background and took me deeper into the story. ONe part I didn't like, however, was all the court info, told from ...more
Delia
Jun 15, 2012 Delia rated it it was amazing
I read this book in my early 20s. I am now nearly fifty. Still on of the most moving novels ever written. The author spared no detail. And the horror of the whole scenario keeps you captured on every page. It is definitely not a book for the faint at heart. I had no idea that such cruelty existed.
Kerrin Proctor
Dec 10, 2013 Kerrin Proctor rated it did not like it
Where do I begin? I guess I will start with the terrible spelling and grammar. Did someone actually edit this book or was it all put together in a rush? Is it really that hard to spell difficult? And at one point Christine McGuire was called a him. These things made it really hard to read this book because I had to do a double take and make sure what I was reading actually made sense.

I also did not like that most of the time the story focused on the hardships that the district attorney Christin
...more
Felicia A
Another book about horrors in someone's life that I just cannot rate with stars. I don't know how these women endure the horrors and pain that they are subjected to by psychopaths and still live to tell about it.

Cori
Jun 27, 2011 Cori rated it liked it
4 stars because I read this book over 15 years ago and I still remember it clearly. Horrifying.
Blow Pop
Content warnings: Rape, abuse, torture, manipulation, coercion, kidnapping, and imprisonment

This was an alright book. I mostly read this because I wanted to know more about the trial because I already know a bit about the case itself.

I didn't like McGuire putting in her personal shit into this. Especially shit that had NOTHING to do with the case.

It was enough that I actually took notes while reading because it angered me so much.

I did like and conversely didn't like that the parts were differen
...more
Lindsey
Nov 21, 2014 Lindsey rated it did not like it
Horrible book. I went in knowing there would be a lot of adult content and I was fine with that. No, my problem was the fact that this was written by the prosecutor. As a ardent reader of true crime, I usually don't mind when the author has something to do with the case, since true crime authors are often the prosecuting attorney or a cop that worked on the case. But when you were the prosecutor of this crime that you wrote a book about, I don't need to hear about how smart and pretty you are in ...more
Debra
Jun 02, 2015 Debra rated it liked it
This book is the horrific account of a young woman's kidnapping, torture, multiple rapes, and imprisonment by a husband and wife. This really happened and the Author of the book was the prosecutor assigned to the case. Colleen/K's tragic story is told in the third person and bounce back and forth between the trial and her time spent locked in the box. Like other reviewers, I didn't feel it was necessary to know what was happening in the Prosecutor's personal life.
Meredith Morgan
Jul 01, 2015 Meredith Morgan rated it really liked it
The true story of Colleen who was kidnapped and kept as a slave for 7 years, at least 4 years of that time she spent in a coffin sized box under a bed, or with a box padlocked over her head so she was cut off from the world. Her captor tortured her, starved her, raped her, brainwashed her into thinking she was a slave and that if she tried to escape the "Corporation" would find out and she would be further tortured as well as her family would be hurt too. Colleen only escaped with her captors wi ...more
Siobhan
Feb 20, 2016 Siobhan rated it really liked it
A very well written account of a disturbing crime. I often find that books written by the prosecutor are very insightful. Such an interesting case for anyone interested in true crime, but not easy reading for the faint hearted.
StickyBuns
Oct 10, 2007 StickyBuns rated it really liked it
Trashy non-fiction read. Kidnapped sex slave kept in a box under a water bed for 7 years. Like whoa. Good for October.
Beth
Jan 09, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
read this some time ago in paperback.. unbelievable story..so glad she got out
Jovdb
Aug 19, 2015 Jovdb rated it really liked it
An interesting book. A true crime story told by the prosecutor and written by Carla Norton.

It is sickening that there are individuals out there who perpetrate crimes like this.

Like other reviews, I think the wife Jan was just as much to blame. Rather like Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, this couple take innocent people and make their life hell. As in the Canadian case, the wife should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

I hope that Colleen has managed to overcome this terrible or
...more
Sherry Celaya
Jul 08, 2014 Sherry Celaya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable stuff

This story was incredible. In addition to the basic story of kidnapping and horrible abuse for 7 years, the court proceedings kept the reader riveted to their seats. A case so "open and shut" became a strategic maneuver between both the prosecution and the defense. The pendulum swung so many times, and there was never a sure moment. I am so relieved that the verdict resulted in justice. It is important to give the public the information as our laws dictate to better understand
...more
Kerrie Bethel
I'm going to withhold rating the actual book. Some seemed turned off by the collaboration of Carla Norton with the attorney, some seemed to like getting to glance into both worlds.

I think I'd rather read a book by Dr. Hatcher, but we get what we get. All in all, I went into this as a 25 year old with basically no prior knowledge of the case and was stunned by the horrific actions that were to unfold.

and I never want to read it again, but I think that may be the purpose of these particular kinds
...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Horrifying...
Cara Byrne
Whereas a lot of reviews for this book focus on the content...in other words, how awful it was for a human being to be treated in such a way (which it was) I would just like to comment about the WAY the book was written.



At first, it takes you back to what happened. You're living through what Colleen lived through and then the next 'section' of the book takes you to the court proceedings which divulges a little into what else happened with her and it leaves you thinking 'Hold on, where did it men
...more
Julie
Nov 30, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
I enjoy reading "true crime", and this book was included on a few lists as an interesting case. I suspect the reasons I had not heard about it before had to do with the fact that it happened when I was very young (1977 through 1984), and that the nature of the crime(s) was so graphic, awful, unimaginable and centered around sex crimes so heinous that would have been rated XXX.

Unfortunately, this book was not well-written. The story was co-authored by the county prosecutor, and told mainly from
...more
Meg Listwan
Oct 11, 2014 Meg Listwan rated it liked it
The first half of this book, the abduction and enslavement,albeit deeply disturbing, flew by. The second half (particularly the last third),the trial, was much slower.Much of it, I felt was too much information. For example, I didn't feel I needed to know the process of many times an item went back and forth before it was admitted. A lot of this felt rather long winded. But I finished the book because I was so invested and wanted to know what became of Cameron Hooker.
Amanda Evanson
Feb 24, 2016 Amanda Evanson rated it really liked it
I found this book very interesting. I enjoyed the look into the legal system and just how complex and screwed up it is.

I didn't particularly care for the back and forth set up of the book. From what was happening to the victim back to the legal aspect. it didn't prevent me from finishing the book though.

overall it was a simple and worthwhile read. i had many emotional reactions to Colleen's ordeal and I hope she is doing as well as she can today.
Lauren Ford
Aug 20, 2015 Lauren Ford rated it liked it
Like others, I thought there was a bit too much coverage of the trial and it seemed a bit redundant. I did like the first half of the book and colleen's story. I would have liked to hear more from Colleen's perspective, but I do understand this was not written by her or with her. I am curious as to what happened to her after the trial concluded. Good read on a case I hadn't heard of until I listened to the True Murder podcast.
Tamary Anderson
Jul 01, 2012 Tamary Anderson rated it liked it
I knew quite a bit about this story before I read the novel.

I found the writing to be pretty good. I liked going back and forth with the timeline.

Wow what an insane, twisted individual Cameron Hooker is. I don't think Janice Hooker deserves immunity... she should have ended things before they started. I read this book on the way to florida on vacation and then on the way back my dad read it. He said he couldn't believe that colleen (k) was so gullible that she believed everything about the comp
...more
Tom Schulte
Feb 03, 2014 Tom Schulte rated it liked it
Thanks to the details on the suffering, privation, and orchestrated isolation of "the girl in the box" this has the makings of an engrossing true crime study with as much to say on breaking a person as the farther limits of organized cruelty. However, the authors elected to pull forward discussion of legal events that occasions after the victim regained her into interleaving chapters much too soon; before escape even seemed possible. It seems today authors think fractured chronology is appropria ...more
Nicole
Jul 10, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it
This book was hard to give a rating to because it was such a horrific true story. The things this young woman suffered at the hands of a sadistic physcopath are incomprehensible. And after being givin some "freedom" she stayed. She had been brainwashed and believed everything this man had told her. Then the fact that he had a wife who not only aided in the kidnapping, but also stayed and helped keep her captive and also brought a child into the mix is just inbelievable. You become engrossed in t ...more
Beverly
Dec 29, 2009 Beverly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: true crime buffs
I've been a true crime buff ever since I read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood as a teenager. The human psyche just fascinates me.

This is a book I have read before. It was my father's book and is now mine. I needed something to read over the holidays so this one looked appealing since I have long since forgot the details.

Basically this is about a guy who was in to bondage so he kidnaps a girl who can't say "No" and keeps her in a box under her bed. He has her sign a slave contract and takes her out
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover Needed for Perfect Victim 3 154 Sep 16, 2012 05:37PM  
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Is THE EDGE OF NORMAL inspired by true events? Absolutely. When a shocking case first hit headlines, Carla wedged herself between reporters and sketch artists to cover the trial. She later wrote PERFECT VICTIM with the prosecutor. The book made the reading list for the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit and became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

THE EDGE OF NORMAL and the sequel, WHAT DOESN'T KILL HER
...more
More about Carla Norton...

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