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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Sabine Dardenne - I choose to Live

review written and read live on bookshow by Maggie Perkovich on 8th May 2014
This is one of two books the Library was donating to passing wayfarers for a donation.
In June 1995 Sabine was cycling to school thinking of the day ahead and if her friend
was at school already when a scruffy large van overtook her, the doors in the side flew
open  and she was scragged inside, her bike flying on by itself, though her abductor
who had paid someone to drive the van, laterhe  went back to retrieve the bike.
Her captor Marc Dutroux was to drug her at first and keep her prisoner for 88 days.
He was a notorious pardophile who was responsible for the abduction and murder of
several young girls in and around Belgium leading to reports of a paedophile ring, but
it was him and him alone that was operating. Sabine was an innocent but feisty young
girl who contrived to conceal the drugs and despite the revolting conditions she was
kept in, the bare amount of food given to her, and the abuse she suffered, kept her
head and endured until rescue finally arrived. The story he told her was that her father
was in trouble with a gangster that would kill her and her family unless they paid a
huge ransom, so if Sabine tried to escape this "gangster" would punish her in such
a way, she would long for death.She believed him, and when he captured another
young girl to keep her company she was told the same story. More quiescent than
Sabine, Lettice suffered more from the drugs and the captivity. However when Lettice
was captured someone saw it all, and reported the van. Very soon the police came
to the semi underground, flea ridden room the girls were in and they were saved.
This is not a prurient book by any means, the actual details of the abuse Sabine
keeps to herself, but wrote it all down in a letter to her mother which she concealed
from the captor. This proved a clincher in the trial, where he was found guilty of many
many murders and abuse. Her introduction emphasises that Paedophiles never
change, they can pretend and appear to have a change of heart, she implores
Governments to remember this and keep them in prison please!!
Well written, restrained recommended. Maggie Perkovic.

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