In Their Own Words - After School Specials
This week, om In Their Own Words, we go back to the world of the After School Special – as we relive the stories of five people who as children found themselves in home invasions.
We start on 1978, when Steve came home from school to his farm home to find his parents out – and his sister unexpectedly detained…
I was thirteen at the time, and it was a half day at our school. I was wearing a blue Adidas tracksuit with a blue rollneck sweater under the jacket, and because I had to cross the farmyard I was wearing a pair of grey wellingtons with the legs tucked under the rubber.
I knew my folks would be out on the farm when I was dropped off, so I let myself into the kitchen and poured some water from the tap into a glass, then went into the front room to do my homework – only I didn’t get the chance, because my fifteen year old sister Carol was there with someone.
She was wearing a blue v0neck blouse with short sleeves over a white blouse, and jeans which were tucked into black wellington boots- and a scarf was between her lips, tied tightly round her head as she sat on a chair.
There was a young man behind her, who looked at me and then stood up, pointing a gun at me as he said “not a word, kid – sit down, hands on your head, and don’t move.”
“Dhhshsss,” Carol mumbled, so I sat down and watched as he knelt behind her again. He had taken her arms round the chair back, and when he came round he had a length of brown rope in his hand – one he used to tie her ankles together, the rubber squeaking as her legs rubbed together.
The man then walked over and told me top lie face down on the couch, and when I did this, he pulled my hands behind my back. I just looked at Carol as I felt the rope on my wrists, rubbing on my skin as they were bound tightly together, but she just shook her head and turned it away. I think she was ashamed, and worried about what was going to happen, but she never really told me about what she was thinking later.
I, on the other hand, was wondering what I was going to do to try and protect her, as he found some more rope in his pocket and bound my ankles together, so I looked at him. He wasn’t that much older than us – maybe 18 or 19 – and was wearing a denim jacket and jeans over a black sweater, as well as Doc Marten boots. I guess he was robbing us – and I didn’t think he was going to find very much…
Anyway, he then rolled up a white handkerchief and pulled it between my lips, tying it round my head and then leaving me to lie there while he left the room. I looked over at Carol and tried to say “we’ll be all right.” What came out was “Whll be hllrhhtt.”
That made her laugh, and I noticed how dark the white cloth in her mouth was getting at the corners – before the man looked in, and then ran out of the house. I started struggling – and then I remembered the penknife that was in my pants pocket.
It took some time, and I was sweating, btu eventually I managed to get it out, open it, and cut the ropes round my wrists. I cut my ankles free, then walked over and freed Carol – getting a hug from her once I had got her wrists free, and then she went to try and phone. Only he had pulled the phone out of the wall – so I had to run to the next farm over to raise the alarm, and my folks were back by the time I returned…
Let’s go forward a year to 1979, and Gail, who was eleven years old when she had to go to her grandmother’s house after school. They then had a pleasant night at home before her mother found them…
Gran lived about fifteen minutes from the school, so I would walk there. I was wearing a long purple dress with a belt over a white roll necked sweater, and brown Frye style boots with a short heel. The first thing I remember about that day was seeing the police car outside the betting shop that was on the way to Gran’s, but it didn’t really register with me.
Gran was smiling when I came in, and I sat at the kitchen table to do my homework while she cooked tea. She was a wonderful woman, with glasses and lighter hair than me, and I remember she was wearing a fawn roll neck sweater and a long grey and black checked skirt, with baggy black leather boots.
So she cooked some Crispy Pancakes and crinkle cut chips, with frozen peas, and Angel delight for pudding, and we sat down to eat. It was when we were finishing our pudding that the back door opened, and the man walked in. He was wearing a black suit and a white shirt – and a sawn-off shotgun which he pointed at us, and told us not to scream. He just needed somewhere to lie low for a few hours.
Gran asked him what he was talking about – and then I told her about the police car I saw earlier. She seemed to understand, as she told me to finish my pudding, and then asked the man what he wanted.
What he said was he needed to keep us quiet – and he asked Gran if she had anything he could use to tie us up! I gasped as he said this, but Gran smiled and said we would treat it like an adventure – then she said all she had was some balls of wool.
That made him smile – and then he told me to finish eating, and then we were to go into the front room. He’d stay with me while Gran closed the curtains across the windows, and then found that wool. So I ate up, we stood up, and we walked into the main room of her house.
I had to stand with the man, his hand on my shoulder, as Gran closed the curtains, turned the light on, and then picked up two balls of blue wool from her knitting basket. The man told her to sit on her leather couch, and then told me to sit next to her, before he took the wool from her and knelt down.
He then told me to put my hands together in prayer, and when I did so he made a loop at the end of the wool and put it over my hands. I gasped as he pulled it tight, then wound it around and between my hands several times, before he made me put them on my lap and took the wool down between my legs.
It pulled my skirt between them as he put my ankles together, and wound the wool round them in the same way as he had my wrists. He then took the wool back up and wrapped it between my wrists again before he tied the wool off and left the ball on my lap.
He then took the second ball, and tied Gran’s wrists and ankles in the same way, the skirt between her legs as well. We both tried to wriggle round, but without much luck as he took a pair of scissors from the basket, and cut both balls free.
I watched him pick them up in his hands, and wondered what he was going to do as he walked behind us – and then he rolled the collar of my jumper up over my face to cover my mouth.
He then used he wool as a gag, pulling my jumper into my mouth as he wound it round my head and then tied it off. Gran looked at me as he did the same thing to herm, her eyebrows raised as the fawn material was pulled into her own mouth with the blue wool.
It certainly kept us quiet, but the material of my jumper meant even though I felt the pressure on my cheeks, the wool did not rub on my face in the same way as my wrists – and as for my ankles, the leather protected them, but boy did it squeak when we tried to move them.
The man turned on the television and watched it with us – and that’s when we learnt the betting shop had been robbed. We looked at the man, who just nodded and kept watching the news.
He left a little while later – and half an hour after that, Mum walked in to find us there. Once she had finished screaming, she used the scissors to cut us free and the wool from round our heads - I saw the grey patch on the neck of my jumper as I pulled it back down again. It was – an experience…
For our third tale, we move on to 1981 – and we talk to Joe, who with his twin sister Joanne came home after school with their mother to find themselves as hostages…
We were twelve years old – Joanne had long brown curly hair, while mine was cut in a shorter style that covered my ears. I remember I was wearing a light grey V-necked sweater over a darker grey one, and brown corduroy pants with the legs tucked into brown worker’s boots. Joanne did not like wearing boots – she was wearing a white sweater and a tartan skirt, red socks and red suede and leather shoes that laced up the front.
Mum picked us up form the school that day and took us to the supermarket to pick up some shopping. She was wearing a brown checked coat dress, and her favourite black boots, and we didn’t take too long to do the shopping – it was when we went back to the car that things happened. We were sat in the back as Mum got behind the wheel – and a man got into the front passenger seat. He was wearing a blue boiler suit, and Mum asked him what he was doing – then her eyes opened wide, and she looked back at us as he put a bag on his lap.
“Just drive,” he said quietly, “don’t attract attention. I’d hate for your kids to get hurt, understand?”
She nodded, and turned as she said to us “let’s go home – we’re all going to be all right.” Starting the car, she drove off as Joanne and I looked at each other – and wondered what was going on.
When we got home, Mum stopped in front of the garage and got out to open the door – and that was when the man turned to look at us, and we saw the gun in his hand.
“Do as I tell you,” he said quietly as Mum came back, and drove the car into the garage, turning the engine off as he said “unlock the door to the house, then close the garage door – and remember, I have your kids in here.”
Well, we were too scared to move as Mum did what he said, and then he got out, opening the door and saying “get out, hands on your head, and go in – we need to make sure you’re all nice and comfortable.”
Mum just nodded as we walked into the house, and then he made us walk up the stairs and into Mum’s bedroom - Dad was away on a business trip. He looked round, and then nodded as he told Joanne to lie face down on the bed.
As she did so, he put the bag down and opened it up, before he took out a roll of silver tape. Looking at me, he then told me to take the roll, and tape my sister’s hands together behind her back.
Joanne shook her head, but Mum told her to be brave – and told me to do what the man said, as he gave me the roll. I said I was sorry as I crossed her wrists behind her back, and taped them together as tightly as I could. He seemed to be pleased, as he told me to cross and tape her ankles together in the same way.
When I had done that, he told me toile face down next to her, and he took the roll of tape and gave it to Mum, making her tape my wrists and ankles in the same way as my sister.
It felt strange when she did it, but I looked at Joanne, and she looked at me before he made us both sit up next to each other. He then took taped Mum’s wrists behind her bag before she sat next to us, and he taped her ankles together as well.
He then pressed strips of the tape down over our mouths before he made Mum lie down, and then me and Joanne on either side of her. We had to watch as he ransacked the room, and then left us to search the house - before we heard the front door open and close, and then the car drive off.
It was a neighbour who found us – he came home to find the garage door open, and came in to see if everything was all right. We were so glad he did that…
Next today, Suzanne and her mother – a teacher at her school – were tricked into staying late at the classroom…
The school production was coming up, which meant Mum had to work late – and with my father no longer in our lives, I was forced to stay behind with her, event though I thought as I was fifteen I could be home by myself. I was wearing one of those shapeless brown dresses that were popular at the time, with a cowl necked white jumper underneath, and brown ankles boots, while Mum was wearing a grey roll neck sweater, a grey striped skirt, and knee length chocolate brown boots.
Anyway, I was sitting backstage with her, sorting some clothes out when two boys from my class came in, and asked if they would rehearse a scene with us. The story was that a mum and daughter were going to be held captive for a sketch – so Mum agreed, and I had to as well.
They had some lengths of white cord in their hands, so Mum and I sat down on a packing case, and they took our arms behind our back. It felt funny having two of my classmates tying my wrists together behind my back, but it was happening to Mum as well, so what would they do?
They then knelt down in front of us, grinning as they used more of the rope to tie our ankles together – and then they tied our legs together above our knees, gathering our skirts as they did so. Mum said they didn’t need to do this – and then I started to get a little afraid of what was happening.
That fear wasn’t exactly helped when the boys said they needed to make sure we stayed quiet. Mum looked uncertain as well, but then she nodded – and opened her mouth as one of them put a rolled up clean rag in, the edges sticking out from between her lips.
The same thing was done to me – and then the Polaroid was brought out, and they started to take photos of us. Mum was not happy at that as she twisted round, and tried to tell them to stop – but she wasn’t able to say much at all, not with that cloth muffling her voice.
I tried to call for help -without much luck as they took more pictures and then ran out -just as the janitor came in and found us. He released us, and Mum went to find the boys – as for me, I got permission to stay home after that.
Funnily enough, the boys gave me a couple of the photos – and I did look very different…
Marion was thirteen when she returned home – and found her mother restrained. What happened next changed her life forever…
Perfectly normal day – I was walking home from school, wearing a duffle coat over my white jumper and black tartan skirt, the heels of my cream leather boots hitting the pavement and my bag over my shoulder.
I walked into the house and put my bag down, hanging my coat up as I called out for Mum – but there was no answer, so I walked into the front room – and stood with my eyes wide open.
Mum was sitting on the couch, wearing a red V-necked sweater, a red tartan skirt and burgundy red leather boots – but she had her hands behind her back, and I could see tow bands of white rope around her upper body, holding her arms to her sides, as well as a band holding her ankles together. She also had aa strip of brown sticking plaster over her mouth, as she looked at the clock and said “Hmgghdddmhrrhnn – dhntshcrhhmmm…”
“What’s going on – oh no…”
I turned round to see a man standing there, dressed in black with a stocking pulled down over his head – and I said “Dad?”
“Marion – we must have lost track of time… Look, sit down, le time explain.”
I walked in and sat next to Mum as she watched me, and Dad said “Marion, your mum and I – well, we like to play games from time to time, and… Well, you walked into one.”
“You did this to Mum?”
She blushed and nodded as Dad said “I promise you, she’s not hurt - she just likes to play like this sometimes.” I looked behind her to see the rope holding her wrists together, and then tied to the rope round her chest before I said “do you really like this?”
“Hdhhh,” she mumbled as the sticking plaster moved a little.
And then I looked at Dad, and said “can you… Can you do this to me as well? I’d like to play.”
He looked at Mum, who nodded as he said “go to the toilet, and then come back.” When I did, I saw he had some, more white ropes, as he said “put your hands behind your back Marion – let’s make sure you can’t move your arms like your mother.”
Mum watched as Dad stood behind me, and I felt him take my wrists behind my back, cross them – and then felt the rope as he bound them tightly together. Hye was quick, but I realized he knew what he was doing as the rope went round and between my arms, and then was tied off. It didn’t hurt- in fact, it felt kinda – nice.
Mum nodded, her red-brown hair falling down her back, as Dad doubled over a longer length of rope and took it round my body, pulling it tight and forcing my arms against my sides as he took it above and below my chest, stretching my jumper a little -nut again it wasn’t scary. It felt nice, different, exciting.
I could feel him tying my wrists more behind my back before he said “right - sit down next to your mother, and put your legs up in the air.”
“Okay Dad,” I said as I sat down, and watched him double a length of rope over before he knelt down and put my ankles on his knee. He passed the rope round them, and then pulled the ends back through the loop, which forced my ankles together as he wound the rope round in neat bands. It was stranger still watching his smile under the mask, as he took the ends between my ankles. That made it even tighter before he tied the ends off, and lowered my ankles.
“One more rope.”
“Where,” I asked, and then dad folded Mum’s skirt back so that I could see the band holding her legs together below her knees. I nodded as he folded her skirt back, then folded mine up before he tied my won legs together, taking the rope around and between my ankles again before he folded the skirt back. I tried to move – with little success as I said “okay – this is exciting, Mum. Is this why you like it?”
She nodded, and then I heard him ripping something. I looked at Dad as he tore a length of brown sticking plaster from a roll, and then pressed it down over my mouth. It was – it was amazing! I was tied up and gagged, just like Mum, and as we wriggled round we both started to giggle slightly.
“Right – I’ll go and get dinner ready,” Dad said as he removed the stocking from his head and left us both to have fun. When the food was ready, he untied our arms and removed our gags – but we both kept our legs tied together and jumped to the dining table.
That night, we talked a lot – well, we talked, then Mum and I changed into our nightdresses and let dad tie us up and gag us again before we watched the television…
Finally this week, we hear from Esther – a mother who had to work late, and came home to find her daughter and her friends in peril…
I should have been home for Bobbie and her friends – but my boss insisted I work late, so I had to. I was wearing a blue cardigan over a grey checked pinafore dress and a white blouse, as well as brown knee length leather boots.
So I had to trust Bobbie and her friends would be all right – they were twelve, but in those days that wasn’t the problem it is now. So I got home at seven o’clock, and walked into the house - only to find they were in a little trouble.
Bobbie was wearing a blue jumper and faded jeans, the legs turned back almost to her knees and a pair of brown boots on her lower legs. Connie, her best friend, was wearing a grey cardigan over a patterned blouse, dark blue pants and grey shoes, while Michael was wearing a black jumper, dark brown corduroy trousers and boots – but all three of them could only look at me as I came in.
They were on the floor, lying on their sides, and I could see the rope holding their wrists together behind their back, their ankles crossed and tied together with rope as well, and rope from their wrists to their ankles.
What was more, they all had silver tape over their mouths – and a look of ear in their eyes a is said “what the….”
“MHHMM – RHHNNNN!”
It was Bobbie who screamed at me, the tape crinkling over her lips as I backed up – and then found a hand over my mouth as a man said “Mummy’s back – good. Lie down on the couch, lady, and put your hands behind your back – I’m going to tie you up and keep you quiet as well.”
All three of the children were struggling now, but I felt I had no choice, so I lay down and did what the man asked – then felt the rough rope on my wrists as he crossed them and tied them together. He then crossed my ankles a is looked at them, and said “Don’t struggle – you don’t know what might happen. Once he has gone, we can try and free each other then.”
All three of them nodded as my ankles were crossed and tied together, and then I felt him band my legs as my ankles were secured to my wrists with rope as well. He then lifted my head up as silver tape was pressed down over my mouth, before I heard him leave.
I never saw him – Bobbie told me later he had walked in on all three of them, a big man wearing a black jumper and pants, and a mask over his head so they could only see his eyes and mouth. He also had a gun, which was show he got them to agree to being tied and gagged as well.
All we could do was lie there, and wait for my husband to get home…
That’s all from In Their Own Words this week…