Stockholm Syndrome?

December 8, 2015
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CBS 48 Hours Interviews Young Adult with Stockholm Syndrome

CBS 48 Hours Journalist Liza Finley and Ryan Smith may have done one of the first interviews of an International Family Abduction kidnap victim with Stockholm Syndrome. Samantha Geldenhuys/Savanna Todd, the young America-Australian woman who was kidnapped by her mother Dorothy “Lee” Barnett was interviwed in this episode of CBS 48 Hours. There are a growing number of comments in social media believing that she has Stockholm Syndrome. The belief is that she expresses empathy and sympathy for her captor/kidnapper mother to the point of defending and indentifying with her. Dorothy Lee Barnett was convicted of felony parental kidnapping. Her step-brother, Reese Geldenhuys who has coincidently changed his name from Reese Geldenhuys to Reese Barnett was also interviewed.

Stockholm Syndrome – Definition

“Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.” – Wikipedia

Stockholm Syndrome – Patty Hearst


Patti Hearst with an Assault Rifle in Hand Robbing a San Francisco Bank in 1974  – Hearst’s Defense Attorney Asserted She Had Stockholm Syndrome (Photo: FBI)

The 19-year-old American newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped and held hostage by the Synbionese Liberation Army (SLA) in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors and joined in a robbery. She was eventually caught and received a prison sentence.


What is Stockholm Syndrome? by Kathryn Wescott (BBC News Magazine, 08-22-13)

Stockholm syndrome (Wikipedia)

Editor’s Note: Since her mother was arrested, we believed this young adult has had Stockholm Syndrome. Had she been found before she was 18 years old, she would have gone through reunification therapy with her custodial father. We believe in these Family Abduction Cases, when the chid is kidnapped at a young age, the kidnapping victim should receive therapy for conditions like Stockholm Syndrome.

We also believe it was irresponsible journalism for Liza Finley and Ryan Smith to interview these young-adults. We do not belive they have received the treatment they should have received after a family abduction. Their story appears to be sympathetic toward the kidnapper with no respect for the victims in this case. We expect better from CBS. However, if any good could come from this, social scientists can study this interview and learn from it.