Hannah: Kidnapper forced her to play Russian roulette

Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A kidnapped California teen, in an interview set to air Thursday on the "Today" show, says her kidnapper forced her to play Russian roulette with his pistol.

The New York Daily News says the interview to be broadcast on NBC's "Today" morning news show comes as an author is set to release a book questioning Hannah Anderson's story.

James DiMaggio, 40, was killed by an FBI hostage rescue team in Idaho in August following the disappearance of Anderson, 16, and the discovery of the bodies of her mother and brother in DiMaggio's burned home east of San Diego.

The teenager said DiMaggio took her to his house on Aug. 3.

"When I got into the house, he handcuffed me and zip-tied my feet, and then sat me down on the couch and told me what his plan was," the Daily News reported Hannah said. "He told me he was going to kidnap me and take me to Idaho, where my intention was just to carry his backpacks to the river. And that he was gonna live there. And then he'd get me home afterwards."

Then DiMaggio produced a gun and ordered her to play Russian roulette, she said.

"When it was my turn," she said, "I started crying, and like, was freaking out. And he said, 'Do you want to play?' And I said, 'No.' And I started crying and then he's like, 'OK.' And he stopped."

Chelsea Hoffman has written a book, "The River of No Return," expected to go on sale Nov. 2, in which she challenges the teen's version of what happened.

"It wasn't until her behavior after the rescue that I became suspicious," Hoffman told KSWB-TV, San Diego, while outlining what she says are inconsistencies in the teen's story.

"The four horseback riders made statements that Hannah didn't appear to be there against her will," she said. "She shows up to a car wash fundraiser wearing a brace on one leg and on that same exact day she's wearing the brace on a different leg."

Despite doubts from critics such as Hoffman and others on the Internet, officials have said Hannah was a victim.

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