“THERE WASN’T A DAY WHEN I DIDN’T THINK HE WAS JUST GONNA KILL ME. [SOMETIMES] IT SEEMED I WAS BETTER OFF DEAD THAN LIVING THROUGH THAT.”
KIDNAP VICTIM SHAWN HORNBECK REVEALS THE DETAILS ABOUT HIS INCREDIBLE STORY OF SURVIVAL IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
CBS NEWS “48 HOURS MYSTERY” –TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2009
In October 2002, at the age of 11, Shawn Hornbeck, was kidnapped. Over the course of the next 4 ½ years, Hornbeck suffered horrific abuses at the hands of his abductor, Michael Devlin, until he was rescued by FBI agents in January 2007. In an exclusive interview with 48 HOURS MYSTERY correspondent Tory Roberts, Hornbeck speaks about what happened during the time he was missing.
“Nobody knows the real story except for me,” Hornbeck tells Roberts in the revealing interview. “There wasn’t a day when I didn’t think he was just gonna kill me…[sometimes] it seemed I was better off dead than living through that.”
Hornbeck describes what he endured during the years that he was missing – from the instant Devlin knocked him off his bike near his home to the moment he was rescued. “The thing that sticks out the most is [Devlin] said, ‘You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,’” recounts Hornbeck.
For years, Hornbeck lived every day fearing for his life. “From day one, he had the gun, he had the power,” Hornbeck tells 48 HOURS. Threatened with death and the death of his parents, Hornbeck made a deal with the devil, in this case Devlin. He took on the life Devlin dictated, posing as his son and even making friends. Devlin wielded such terror that Hornbeck never revealed his real identity to anybody, despite numerous opportunities to ask for help. Hornbeck even expresses the trepidation he felt when he first saw the FBI enter Devlin’s front door. “I knew when they came in the door, it was either going to be something very good or very bad,” he recalls. “It was a new feeling for me to say who I really was.”
Troy Roberts reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: “Kidnapped: Shawn Hornbeck’s Incredible Story,” Tuesday, June 15 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Katherine Davis, Mead Stone, Clare Friedland and Chris O’Connell. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer and Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.
Editors' Note: Click here to watch a preview of the broadcast. CBS News 48 HOURS MYSTERY broadcasts are now available on iTunes.com.