Canadian case sheds light on abductor mindset

The rescue of three Cleveland women after a decade in captivity has raised questions about the mental state of abductors. A CBC documentary looked at a similar case in Canada and what the kidnapper had to say.

B.C.'s Abby Drover kept in neighbour's dugout for 181 days in 1976

The Abby Drover story

10 years ago
Duration 23:04
A 1997 documentary by The National on the 1976 kidnapping case of Canadian Abby Drover, who was held captive for 181 days

The discovery of three women in a Cleveland home about a decade after their abductions has raised questions about the kind of person who would kidnap young women and keep them for years.

The only case in Canada where a crime similar to the cases of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — who were held since being kidnapped between nine and 11 years ago while in their teens or early 20s — is that of Abby Drover.

The 12-year-old was kidnapped for six months in 1976 by her neighbour, Donald Alexander Hay, and kept in a makeshift bomb shelter beneath his garage in Port Moody, B.C.

More than 20 years after the kidnapping, Drover and Hay spoke publicly for the first time about the 181-day abduction in  interviews for a documentary that aired on Nov. 21, 1997, on CBC's The National.

The documentary gives a rare glimpse into the mindset of both the abductor and the victim: How Hay thought the kidnapped girl would be "my friend until I died;" and the steps Drover took to ensure the truth was known, even if she died in the dugout dungeon.

Watch the video above for the full story.

Hay died in 2012 at Saskatoon's Regional Psychiatric Centre while serving an indeterminate sentence for kidnapping, unlawful confinement and sex with an underage female.