A New Hampshire high school girl who accepted a man's offer of a ride home ended up spending the next nine months locked in a shipping container on his property, shackled with zip ties and a shock collar as he raped and tortured her.
Three years later, 35-year-old Nathaniel Kibby admitted his crimes, pleading to a slate of felony charges and telling a packed courtroom he eventually released the then-14-year-old victim because he'd "terrorized her enough" and didn't think she'd report him.
After initially pleading not guilty, Kibby changed his plea to guilty and on May 26 was sentenced to 45 to 90 years in prison, according to the Daily Mail.
Kibby is a smart man who's also "brutally myopic" in his world views, according to Conway Lt. Chris Perley. Neighbors described the convicted kidnapper as a "gun nut" who talked endlessly of an impending zombie apocalypse and built his arsenal in preparation for fighting the undead.
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"I have known him for years and he was a very odd man," one neighbor said, reports the Daily Mail. "He would always talk to me about zombies and the zombie apocalypse. It was very unnerving. Most people round here avoided Nate."
Another neighbor said it wouldn't be unexpected if Kibby "went postal," but news of the kidnapping was surprising to those who knew him.
"He would say things like, ‘I’ll blow this whole trailer park up without even thinking about it,'" the neighbor said. "That’s why we were surprised about [kidnapping the girl]. We expected him to go on a rampage or go crazy with a bomb, not kidnap a child."
The victim was a week shy of her 15th birthday when she was walking home from school and Kibby's car pulled to a stop alongside her. She accepted his offer of a ride home, she said, because she was wearing new boots and her feet has blisters.
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But when she got in the car, Kibby pointed a black handgun at her and told her he'd "blow her f------ brains out" if she screamed or tried to escape, Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said, according to WGME.
Kibby drove the girl to his home, shocking her with a stun gun as he drove, prosecutors said. When they arrived, Kibby took the girl's clothes off, cable-tied her hands and feet, and raped her, WGME reported.
"The zip ties were so tight that they left scars in her wrists and she lost feeling in her fingers and in her hands," Young told the courtroom.
At first, Kibby placed a red ball gag in her mouth, put a shirt over her head, and left her zip-tied in a shipping container on his property, according to WMUR. Shortly after that, he brought her into his trailer, where he used a stun gun on her again, put a chain around her neck, taped her eyes shut and raped her.
When he was done, Kibby dressed the victim in diapers and put a shock collar around her neck, which delivered painful stabs of electricity if she tried to escape.
"She had a tube in her mouth with what she described like a toggle-like device in her hands and if she wanted water, she would hit the toggle, and water would drip into her mouth and he weaved that through the restraints on her hand," Young said.
The victim was resilient. At one point, Kibby told her to write a letter home making it seem as though she had run away. The victim tried to scratch Kibby's identification and address into the paper with her nails, but Kibby caught her and punished her, according to the Daily Mail.
At the sentencing hearing, the now 17-year-old showed remarkable grace as she addressed Kibby. She thanked the convicted kidnapper and rapist for eventually letting her go.
"Some people might call you a monster, but I've always looked at you as human," the victim said, reports WGME. "And I want you to know that even though life became a lot harder after that, I still forgive you."