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

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,724 ratings  ·  213 reviews
In 1977 twenty-year-old Colleen Stan left home to hitchhike from Oregon to California. Seven years later she emerged from hell, the victim of a bizarre and extraordinary crime.
Paperback, 370 pages
Published July 15th 1989 by Dell (first published July 1st 1989)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,724 ratings  ·  213 reviews


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Q:
Standing in the small, cool room, she had a strange feeling that she should escape, as if a voice were warning her: Run! Get away! She noticed the restroom’s little window, and the voice insisted: Crawl out the window! Run! You can get away! But Colleen couldn’t understand why she was having such crazy notions; she shook off the impulse to flee and went back to the car. (c)

A cautionary tale of a horrible experience. The book is rather well-written, however. Poor girl. I hope she managed to ove
...more
Karen
Jul 14, 2010 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
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
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A disturbing and shocking read yet uplifting when justice finally comes to happen, Perfect Victim tells the story of a heinous crime but also one district attorney's dedication to "the girl in the box". It's a very brutal and often horrible story that I wouldn't recommend to everyone, but nonetheless it's a very important book.
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…
Carol
Dec 30, 2012 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
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
Shadow Girl
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lifetime movie about Colleen Stan aired last night.
Thoughts?
I'm afraid AND excited about it - hopefully I'll watch it this weekend.
Kerrin Proctor
Nov 18, 2013 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
Erin
Dec 20, 2014 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
Peacegal
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This has to one of the most bizarre and troubling true crime books I've encountered. Honestly, Colleen Stan's story reminds you of one of those cheaply-made horror flicks that flood theaters and Netflix this time of year.

I think this book could have been considerably shorter, and the fact that it was written in third person by one of the authors, Ms. McGuire, was rather disconcerting. So were the frequent allusions to McGuire's attractiveness and fashionable way of dressing.

That said, I do thi
...more
Kena Kump
Jan 24, 2012 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
Jillian Marie
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well the book is based on the actual events and the actual testimonies. I found it very fascinating, except for the parts in which Christine and the court were involved. Half of the book is the story, and half of the book is the story from behalf of the courtroom and such. I was not happy that the story finished midway and then it was completely about the court sessions. That bored me a bit. However, it's a good read, and Colleen angered me very often. There a holes in the story. Being in love w ...more
Debra
Jun 01, 2015 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.
Delia
Jun 15, 2012 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.
AC
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Nothing wrong with it, but 400 pages on a single case generally gets rather boring unless there is something really unique about the book.
Sarah Todd
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crazy that I’m from the area where the story takes place and had never heard of it. Granted, it took place before I was born, but being a true crime fan I was still shocked. Sometimes the stories in which the victim survives are even more haunting because you know they had to suffer and still continue to suffer so much. Sometimes long-winded, this book still is a great example of a true crime novel. A narrative of the crimes followed by detailed ins and outs of the trial.
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 rated it liked it
4 stars because I read this book over 15 years ago and I still remember it clearly. Horrifying.
Kristyn
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I had heard of this case periodically over the years. I had no idea what Colleen actually went through until I read this book. I didn't realize she had been held for so long or what her captivity entailed. This book goes back and forth from her captivity to the trial of Cameron Hooker. It was well-researched and well-written. I thought the trial part could have been condensed a bit, but that's my only complaint. This is a great book for anyone who wants to know more about this case.
Megan
-Reading for the Serial Readers true crime book club

Quick overview of the kidnapping and captivity of a young woman in the 80s who was kept as a slave for 7 years.
Liza Martin
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wish I would have never picked up this book.

Not because it isn't suspenseful, enthralling, and hard to put down, but because it gives me insight into a horrible, horrific nightmare I can't imagine anyone enduring. There are some things in this world you just don't want or need to know about. Because people can be so twisted and so evil, yet hide it from everyone around them, which is the scariest part. (No wonder my local library didn't carry it.) But I suppose Colleen Stan's story needed to
...more
Lindsey
Jan 22, 2014 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
Kirsti
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Yet another of the odds and ends books my father left behind when my parents broke up, this one was more typical of his regular reading. He adored true crime and had a great memory for it, and it was something he passed on to me. I too have a weirdly morbid fascination with crime and what makes some people commit such horrible things.

I remember this book as being very comfronting, and something that has kept me from accepting lifts from strangers, even females. I was horrified by the events in
...more
Siobhan
Jan 24, 2016 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 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.
Lynne White
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this, but at times it did drag. I did skim through the last 50 pages because I just had to know the verdict. Overall, a good, true-crime story.
Fishface
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
You could hardly find a more chilling true story than this.
Beth
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
read this some time ago in paperback.. unbelievable story..so glad she got out
Kacey
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: abuse-kidnapping
This is a hard book to rate. On one hand, the story told about Colleen's experience was dull. I don't think it fully displayed the horror to the reader. Didn't push into our heads just how absolutely miserable, horrifying and mentally crazed she must have been. That leaves us scratching our heads and asking the same questions the jurors and spectators asked, "why didn't she get away?" "why didn't she fight harder?" - I can't sympathize with Colleen to the extent that she deserves. I would like t ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover Needed for Perfect Victim 3 154 Sep 16, 2012 05:37PM  

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