Woman kidnapped, raped and tortured by couple who kept her in coffin for 7 years

A hitchhiker was kidnapped and kept in a coffin for seven years – and was only let out to be tortured and raped.

Colleen Stan was aged 20 and on her way to a party when a young couple with a baby offered her a lift in the US.

She jumped in, not realising the husband Cameron Hooker, 23, was actually hunting for a 'slave' to imprison, rape and torture.

During the fateful journey in May 1977 she spotted a strange box on the seat next to her with a hole in one side, the Mirror reports.

She would later learn it was a 'head box’, designed by lumber mill worker Hooker.

It was lined with sound-proofing to keep her quiet after he pulled onto a dirt track and bound and gagged her before locking her head inside.

She was driven 300 miles from Eugene, Oregon to the couple's home in Red Bluff, California.

Hooker suspended her from the basement rafters with chains before sexually assaulting her and having sex with his wife Janice beneath her in "celebration".

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Colleen, now 62, told Closer: "I was terrified. Janice watched as Cameron tortured me and then they had sex in front of me. I was convinced they were going to kill me."

Her ordeal was retold in the film The Girl In The Box, revealing how she was caged in a box for 23 hours a day.

She was only let out to be raped, tortured, beaten, electrocuted or stretched on a rack.

Hooker built her a coffin-like box that slid under their waterbed.

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She was starved, deprived of water and forced to endure temperatures of up to 38C in summer.

He brainwashed her into believing he worked for an organisation called The Company, which would kill her and her family if she escaped.

And it was only when she agreed to sign a "slave contract" she was allowed out more often to help with the children and housework.

After three years he took Colleen to see her parents, but she was so terrified she pretended he was her boyfriend.

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His control started to unravel when he made Colleen his second wife and Janice angrily told her The Company wasn't real.

Janice claimed he had also sexually assaulted and tortured since she was 15 and had only agreed to stop if she would allow him to find a slave.

She eventually set Colleen free by dropping her at a bus station before fleeing with her children in 1984.

Colleen did not go to the police, but Janice reported him three months later and was granted immunity in return for her testimony.

Hooker was jailed for 104 years but could be due for parole as early as 2021.

Colleen said: "Your life is just in limbo when you’re in captivity.

"Once you get that freedom back and you have that choice again, it’s just like the gates open… And you just run for it.

"I have to accept the fact that it happened because it did. I don't let it affect my life now because, to me, it's over."

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