Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The People Next Door True Story

The True Story
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

This movie really should have been advertised as being "inspired by an actual event" because the true story is not as dramatic as the story that the writers wanted to tell for this movie. The real story involved a kidnapping in Greeley, Colorado on June 4, 1994, when Garry Lynn Ford took his 9 year old next door neighbor, Candice Mclane, on a camping trip for 12 days because he felt that the mother, Alice Johnson, was incapable of taking care of her daughter. Ford,43, had also complained to social services about the mother, who said that she "is not the perfect mom," but she does the best that she can. Candice Mclane left a note for her mom that read..."I am tired of your lies. I will not be your slave," and then she went with Garry Ford willingly to the Roosevelt National Forrest. Her mother made a desperate plea for her return, simply stating "I don't want Garry to take care of her...I really want my little girl back, said a tearful Alice Johnson. Ford, left a note saying that he felt that he could do a better job raising Candice than her own mother, and felt that he needed to rescue her from an abusive and destructive home life. There were sightings of her, and rumors that Garry Ford was hiding out in Roosevelt National Forrest with Candice and his own 10 year old son Johnathan. The police searched for the girl for a long 12 days before finally re-interviewing Garry's 19 year old daughter Tina for more information.

The Return Home
On the 12th day Gary Ford, emerged from the Roosevelt National Forrest with Candice unharmed. He was taken into custody without resisting. Candice Mclane said that Ford "made me hate my mom." She also stated that she had no choice, but to go along with the plan, and she felt that she had been under a spell the entire time. "I thought he was my friend at first, but then he double crossed me" said Candice. The child had been severely brainwashed, and did not want to return home to her mother at first. She stayed with foster parents until Weld County Authority could thoroughly investigate the accusations against Alice Johnson. On August 25, 1994, Candice was returned to her mother after 3 months of separation.The TrialThe trial was originally set for December 17, but had to be postponed until a later date. Once the trial was set, there was a lot of testimony regarding the way in which little Candice was being raised. Mike Mclane, Candice's father spoke ill of his former live in girlfriend. Stating "she was a terrible wife and mother...she sleeps late and would make Candice do the laundry, and she would send her to school with dirty clothes and hair." Garry Ford also testified that he thought Candice would either kill herself or be killed by her mother. "I did what I had to do, I wasn't prepared for a funeral" he stated. On April 27, 1995, after all the testimony and due to the disinterest and lack of involvement from social services before the incident, the jury of 12, sympathized with Ford and found him innocent of second degree kidnapping. Upon leaving, Ford stated that he is still very worried for Candice. "I'm going to go home and cry" he stated.