A 20-YEAR-OLD woman was kept as a sex slave in a coffin-like crate under a bed for seven years by a twisted kidnapper.
The horror ordeal of Colleen Stan’s years in captivity has now been adapted into a terrifying true crime drama that is due to air in the UK this month.
The Girl in the Box, broadcast by Paramount +, delves into the details of the youngster’s torment at the hands of Cameron and Janice Hooker.
On the fateful night of May 19, 1977, Colleen had taken a ride off the young couple while hitchhiking to a friend’s birthday party in Oregon.
Reassured by their smiles and the baby sitting in the back seat, she assumed she had struck lucky with the seemingly helpful pair.
But her initial assumptions were quickly proved wrong – leaving the 20-year-old wishing she had trusted her gut instinct.
After the pair pulled into a petrol station to use the bathroom, she recalled how “a voice told her to run and jump out a window and never look back.”
Yet she brushed off her worries and continued on her journey – before noticing a peculiar object on the seat next to her.
It was a heavy wooden box with hole on one side on the seat next to her – but Colleen was clueless to its purpose.
She said: “I didn’t know what it was. But I later found out it was a ‘head’ box.”
Just 30 minutes later, lumber mill worker Cameron Hooker drove down a dirt track and threatened his passenger at knifepoint.
He bound and gagged the hitchhiker before locking her head into the 20lb hinged box – that was purpose-built by the skilled carpenter and lined with sound-proof material to keep her quiet.
The couple then took her to their family home in Red Bluff, California, some 30 miles away.
Colleen was ushered into the basement where she was stripped and hung by chains from rafters.
Still blindfolded, Hooker raped and beat her, then “celebrated” her capture by having sex with Janice on a table below her.
The next seven years consisted of a similar barbaric routine, with Colleen ritualistically raped and tortured.
She was confined to a three-foot by six-foot wooden crate for 23 hours a day, which she was only freed from to be raped and beaten.
The Hooker’s later moved to a remote mobile home, where they simply adapted their torture chamber to fit their new arrangement.
Colleen was forced into a coffin-like wooden box hidden under their bed, where she was forbidden from making a sound.
Barely able to move and trapped in the dark, she was forced to use a bed pan when she needed the loo – manoeuvring it into place with her feet.
Janice even gave birth to her second child on the bed while their hostage squirmed underneath.
Colleen slowly became indoctrinated by the monster couple, with Hooker convincing her he was part of a shadowy organisation called The Company.
He claimed they would “nail her to a cross” or shoot her if she tried to escape.
Increasingly compliant and desperate to escape his sadistic attacks, Colleen was forced to sign a “slave” contract.
The brainwashed captive was renamed “K” and made to call Cameron “Master” and his wife “Ma’am”.
The couple’s psychological control on her was put to the test in 1981, three years into her ordeal, when she was allowed to visit her family alone.
Colleen returned to them after the trip, convincing her relatives she was happy and in a relationship with Hooker.
After gaining their trust, she was allowed out of the box for longer periods and became a glorified babysitter for their two children.
It was only in 1984 that Hooker’s perverted ruse was rumbled – when Janice became jealous of his intentions of making Colleen his second wife.
She confessed to the woman she had held hostage that The Company did not exist – and that she had suffered a similar hell to Colleen since meeting Hooker at the age of 15.
Janice helped her escape from the shackles of her husband’s manipulation, driving Colleen to a bus station and fleeing with her two kids.
But incredibly, the then-27-year-old didn’t report her kidnap to police and instead kept in contact with Hooker in hopes he would “reform”.
Once you get that freedom back and you have that choice again, it’s just like the gates open…And you just run for it.
It was Janice who finally revealed the dark side of the lumber mill worker to authorities, in wake of the kidnap and murder of another young woman in 1976.
In exchange for her testimony against her husband, she was granted immunity in 1985.
Hooker, who is now 68, was handed a 104-year sentence for the kidnap, torture, and rape of Colleen.
It is believed Colleen suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, which occurs when people begin to love their captor because of the intense stress they’ve been under.
She admitted she began to care for Hooker when he showed her the smallest amount of affection – allowing her to celebrate her birthday and giving her a bible.
She later said she coped with her ordeal by compartmentalising it.
Following the traumatic trial, Colleen, now 62, studied for an accountancy degree while later getting wed and having a daughter.
She explained: “Your life is just in limbo when you’re in captivity.
“Once you get that freedom back and you have that choice again, it’s just like the gates open…And you just run for it.
“I have to accept the fact that it happened because it did. I don’t let it affect my life now because to me, it’s over.”
The extraordinary story of The Girl in the Box has been documented in several dramas, books and documentaries.
It will again return to Paramount + screens on September 19, showing the film and a two-part documentary on Colleen.