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The riveting story of the Shawn Hornbeck kidnapping case, which grabbed national headlines in January 2007 when Shawn and another boy were found in the home of Michael J. Devlin. Hornbeck had been in captivity for four years, was gradually given more and more freedom, but never tried to escape.
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In January 2007, two boys were found in the Kirkwood, Missouri, home of Michael Devlin, a 41-year-old pizza parlor manager who was described by those around him as a nice enough” guy. One of the boys, Ben Ownby, had been
kidnapped just four days earlier; the other was Shawn Hornbeck. At the age of eleven, Shawn Hornbeck abruptly vanished from his rural hometown in Richwoods, Missouri, while riding his mountain bike. For the next four years the young boy lived with his abductor in plain view of others and only an hour’s drive from where he went missing. Shawn assumed his abductor’s last name, made several friends, played video games, and used the Internet freely yet he didn’t attempt to escape. Invisible Chains explores the psychological factors involved in the kidnappings that startled a nation from Michael Devlin’s criminal profile
to the reality behind Stockholm Syndrome and recounts the riveting story of the abduction and miraculous rescue of Ben Ownby, who was held captive by Michael Devlin for four days, and Shawn Hornbeck, who was held captive by Michael Devlin for four years.
Kristina Sauerwein is a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and for the Los Angeles Times, where she shared a 2004 Pulitzer prize for her reporting on California wildfires. She is now a freelance journalist who lives in Kirkwood, Missouri, the same town as the kidnap victims.
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