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Kidnapped American: 'How Do I Get Them to Shoot Me?'

California woman Gayle Endicott appears on CBS This Morning
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2019 12:40 PM CDT
Kidnapped American: 'How Do I Get Them to Shoot Me?'
Image released by Wild Frontiers tour company on Monday April 8, 2019, shows American tourist Kim Endicott, right, and field guide Jean-Paul Mirenge a day after they were rescued following a kidnap by unknown gunmen in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park.   (Wild Frontiers via AP)

(Newser) – An American kidnapped in Uganda says she felt a human connection with her captors but also contemplated how to get herself killed. Appearing on CBS This Morning, Gayle Endicott went into detail about her 5-day April ordeal and described a moment when she, her guide, and four captors were crossing the Ugandan border into Democratic Republic of Congo at night: "And I look up in the sky and I see the most beautiful sky I've ever seen in my life," she told the show's co-host, Gayle King, per CBS News. She urged her captors to "look at the sky," she said, and told them "we don't have this at home." Then she made it her "mission" to see their humanity and make them see hers. "I just start talking to them like I'm talking to you," said the California esthetician. Among other highlights:

  • "At one point I'm asked to get up" after lying on the ground in exhaustion, she said. "And I turn and look and they've made a tent for me out of tarps and a mosquito net, which, I remember that was the moment where I thought, 'Why are they taking such good care of me?'"
  • "How could I not?" she said when asked if felt for her captors, who drank water from a hole in the ground, adding that "it's not really above living like an animal. That's their life. ... That does not condone what they did. Not even close."
  • "They could've sold me to a different group," she said. "When I went out in the open they had guns that also protected me. It could've been so much worse than it was."
  • Endicott said she was "constantly" worried about the men attacking her, per CBS News. She says she thought, "How do I get them to shoot me? And just shoot me instead of dismembering me or raping me? How do I do that?"

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  • "I was able to call my daughter once," she said. "...My daughter's beside herself. Her mother's been kidnapped." But Endicott told her, "Okay we can't, like, we can't do this now. Let's get it together. But tell everybody what's happening."
  • A captor "had me by the arm, and he was, 'Run, run, run or I'll slap you,'" she said of the moment she and her Ugandan guide, Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo, were kidnapped, per CBS News. "But that's when I felt [the captor] shaking. ... I thought to myself, 'Is this methamphetamines? Is this fear?'" But she concludes, "He's afraid. Yeah."
  • It's unclear who paid for the ransom that sprung them free, but Endicott says a woman from the Ugandan Wildlife Authority gave captors the money. "...I realized just what my government did for me," she said. "And I was overcome with shame for thinking they didn't do anything."
  • "Certain things will trigger me" now that it's over, she said. "We went for a walk out at a nature area and it just triggered me like nobody's business."
(Read more kidnapping stories.)

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