Mother Says Kidnapper Cared, Cooked For Son In Alabama Bunker
(Reuters) - The mother of the Alabama boy who was kidnapped from his school bus
and held in an underground bunker for six days said on Wednesday she
had not been allowed to speak with him during his captivity and worried
that he would think she had abandoned him.
Jennifer Kirkland said in an interview on "The Dr. Phil Show" that she had found some comfort in knowing that her son Ethan's abductor had cooked him chicken meals and asked law enforcement to fetch a red toy car he said the boy missed.
"I think he took care of Ethan to the best of his capabilities," Kirkland said during the taped interview that aired on Wednesday.
Kirkland said her son's disabilities may have touched a soft spot with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, who authorities said gunned down Ethan's school bus driver on January 29 before fleeing with the kindergarten student to a homemade bunker near Midland City in southeast Alabama.
who turned 6 two days after his February 4 rescue, has been diagnosed
with bipolar disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and
Asperger's syndrome, his mother said.
Dykes was shot and killed by law enforcement agents during the rescue.
"I was told in the beginning that (Dykes was) sympathetic to children with disabilities," Kirkland said.
The talk show aired video of Ethan and his mother,
during which the blond-haired child presented host Phil McGraw with a
picture from a Power Rangers coloring book.
When talk turned to the boy riding the bus to school, Ethan whispered to his mother, "My bus driver is dead."
Kirkland said Ethan had a special bond with slain bus
driver Charles Poland. Before he was killed, Poland had refused to let
the gunman take any of the children off the bus.
Poland, 66, always had Ethan sit directly behind the
driver's seat so he could keep an eye on the boy, Kirkland said.
"The reason I think Ethan was taken off the bus is
because when he saw Mr. Poland shot, Ethan passed out" and Dykes picked
him up, Kirkland said. "I think in his own way, (Dykes) was trying to
care for him."
Kirkland said that as the standoff with Dykes dragged
on, she began to doubt that she would ever get her son back. But, she
said, she forgave Dykes and asked authorities to try to avoid hurting
"I could not be angry through this because my job
through this was to be the mother, the concerned mother that I needed to
be," she said. "With hatred in me, I could never have made it through
Kirkland said Ethan has had trouble sleeping and has
shown sensitivity to loud noises. She worries about how he will cope
long-term but said she takes pride in how he handled his time in the
"I was very proud and still am that Ethan complied, he did his best and he stayed alive," she said.
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:54:08 GMT
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. >>
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. With tens of thousands of people in downtown Spokane watching the parade, the floats, the marching bands, we know you took plenty of pictures! Well, we want to see them!>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:30 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:30:26 GMT
KHQ.COM - The results of the 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade are coming in. We'll post them as we get them.>>
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:19 AM EDT2013-05-21 05:19:50 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma.>>
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma as the state recovers from a massive tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, killing at least 51 people and flattening entire neighborhoods.>>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:10:47 GMT
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The "Today" show will be broadcasting live from Yellowstone National Park as part of a weeklong travel series.>>
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The "Today" show will be broadcasting live from Yellowstone National Park as part of a weeklong travel series. All five of the NBC show's anchors will be on the air at Old Faithful starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:21 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:21:01 GMT
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - It was a bigger-than-average tree rescue for firefighters in Colorado Springs.>>
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Monday, May 20 2013 2:07 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:07:32 GMT
PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias' lawyers have asked to withdraw from the case and say they won't call any witnesses in the penalty phase of her trial.>>
PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias' lawyers have asked to withdraw from the case and say they won't call any witnesses in the penalty phase of her trial. The stunning declaration came Monday after the judge denied their request for a mistrial based on a key witness receiving death threats.
Monday, May 20 2013 11:19 AM EDT2013-05-20 15:19:00 GMT
KHQ.COM - United Airlines is getting its 787s back in the air today. United's first 787 flight on Monday is scheduled for 11 a.m. from Houston to Chicago.>>
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