Months after a nationwide manhunt helped authorities track down kidnapped California teen Hannah Anderson, she’s revealing new details about her conversations with the man who allegedly held her hostage.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show set to be broadcast Thursday morning, Anderson describes the time she spent with alleged kidnapper James DiMaggio in his house about an hour east of San Diego.
Anderson says DiMaggio sat her down on a couch, handcuffed her, zip-tied her feet and revealed his plan to kidnap her and take her to Idaho. The day quickly took an even darker turn, Anderson told “Today,” describing how DiMaggio made her play Russian roulette with him, using a real gun.
“When it was my turn, I started crying and, like, was freaking out,” Anderson said. “And he said, ‘Do you want to play?’ And I said, ‘No,’ and I started crying, and he’s like, ‘OK,’ and he stopped.”
Anderson said DiMaggio told her he would eventually get her home. He also told her that her mother and brother were in his house, alive.
Police later found the bodies of her mother and brother at DiMaggio’s burned home.
After evading authorities for a week, DiMaggio was spotted in the Idaho wilderness on August 10, nearly 1,000 miles from where the alleged kidnapping occurred.
An FBI agent shot him dead and Hannah, 16, was returned to her family in Southern California.
The nationwide manhunt for DiMaggio drew widespread attention and sparked widespread speculation about the case.
Now, a new book criticizing the teen’s behavior and claiming there are inconsistencies in her story has drawn criticism from Anderson’s family, CNN affiliate KGTV reported. The teen’s family told the CNN affiliate that the author of “The River of No Return,” set to be published next month, is trying to cash in on their harrowing ordeal.
Anderson, meanwhile, told “Today” that thinking about her abductor makes her “disgusted” and “angry,” according to quotes from the interview published on the morning show’s website.
But learning more about the Amber Alert issued by authorities as they searched for her, she said, has helped her recovery.
“It helped me keep going through healing,” she said, “knowing that people were looking for me and that they’re on my side.”
CNN’s Faith Karimi contributed to this report.
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