Feb 14, 2013 Comments Off on Inside Scoop: Dorner Cabin Hostage Couple Tells Their Story Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from ABC News: The California couple held hostage by Christopher Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer suspected of killing four people, said their ordeal lasted a few minutes but seemed like hours.
Karen and Jim Reynolds said at a news conference Wednesday that they think Dorner, 33, was holed up in their unoccupied cabin in Big Bear, Calif., since Friday, only steps from where police had set up a command center.
“He said four or five times that he didn’t have a problem with us, he just wanted to clear his name,” Jim Reynolds said. “He said I don’t have a problem with you, so I’m not going to hurt you.”
Dorner tied their arms and put pillowcases over their heads before fleeing in their purple Nissan, the couple said.
Before he fled, the couple said Dorner told them that he had been watching them before he took over their cabin. Dorner told the couple he could tell they were “hard working, good people.”
“He had been watching us and saw me shoveling the snow Friday,” Jim Reynolds said.
They say they may have left the cabin door unlocked and that could have been the reason Dorner was able to enter undetected.
Dorner remained “calm and meticulous” throughout the harrowing ordeal, the couple said.
The Reynolds were some of the last people to see Dorner before his apparently final encounter with police. Their 911 call to police triggered a fiery standoff with police at another nearby cabin.
Charred remains of the body believed to be Dorner were removed from the cabin high in Big Bear Wednesday, the apparent site of Dorner’s last stand.
The Reynolds walked into their cabin around noon Tuesday when they came face-to-face with Dorner. There was no question in their minds who he was, the suspected cop killer at the center of one of the largest manhunts in recent memory.
“I thought we were dead,” Jim Reynolds said with a nervous chuckle.
Dorner, Reynolds said, first asked them to remain calm. Reynolds screamed and attempted to escape before Dorner caught up with her.
“I never even knew my reaction would be to run, but it was,” she said.
Dorner tied them up and told them they were a means to his end, and wanted their car to escape.
“At first he kneeled down beside me and said, “You’re going to be quiet, right? Don’t make a muss, don’t try and get loose. Give me time,'” Jim Reynolds said.
The Reynolds’ finally managed to break free and untie themselves after Dorner escaped with their car.
The whole ordeal lasted about 15 minutes, but felt much longer for the couple.
“It felt like 15 hours with him,” Karen Reynolds said.
Excerpted from The Los Angeles Times: When they stumbled upon Christopher Jordan Dorner inside their condo, they were quickly bound and gagged by him so they couldn’t escape and alert authorities that the fugitive former police officer was in the area.
That harrowing ordeal was described by Jim and Karen Reynolds, who own the Big Bear area property, where Dorner was apparently holed up for as many as five days.
“I really thought it could be the end,” Karen Reynolds told reporters outside the condo Wednesday night.
Dorner bound the couple’s arms and legs tightly with plastic zip locks, stuffed small towels in their mouths so they couldn’t scream and covered their heads with pillowcases, they said. He tied an extension cord around each of the pillowcases to keep the gags in place.
They said he assured them that he meant no harm: “I don’t have a problem with you. I just want to clear my name,” they recalled him saying.
“He tried to calm us down, saying very frequently, he would not kill us,” said Jim Reynolds, 66, who has owned the condo with his wife for 12 years. “He huddled down beside me and said ‘you’re going to be quiet, right? Not make a fuss and let me get away?’ ”
Dorner, 33, said those words to the couple after nearly a week of eluding authorities, who pursued the former LAPD officer after police say he killed several people.
“He told us ‘I know you know who I am, I know you’ve been seeing the news,’ ” recalled 56-year-old Karen Reynolds.
The couple’s account added new details about some of Dorner’s movements in the apparent final hours of his life before he is believed to have died in a fire following a mountainside gun battle with officers. Law enforcement authorities previously said the fugitive had held two cleaning women hostage. The Reynolds, married for 36 years, spoke to reporters to end the confusion.
The Reynolds said Dorner had been at the condo since as early as Friday when they arrived to do maintenance in the yard. He told them he was watching them while they worked during the day before leaving to sleep at another property nearby. The couple own the condo, near ski resorts in the snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains, and lease it out to people on vacation.
Dorner said he had seen Jim Reynolds shoveling snow and told the couple they were “hard-working, good people.”
When they entered the condo about noon Tuesday to clean the unit, they said, they were surprised to find the fugitive former Los Angeles police officer inside, upstairs. They said they were held captive for about 15 minutes.
Once they saw Dorner, they said, he brandished a “big gun” and yelled, “Stay calm!”
Karen Reynolds said she tried to run down the stairs, but Dorner chased after her and caught her. He then took the couple to a bedroom, where he tied them up, forcing them to lie on the bed, and then on the floor.
Dorner was a menacing presence but at other times tried to reassure the couple that he did not want to harm them, they said.
Karen Reynolds said Dorner left the condo and stole their purple Nissan.
At that point, Karen Reynolds was able to roll on her knees and get onto her feet. She was able to make her way to the cellphone on the coffee table. With her hands still bound behind her back, she was able to call 911, and put the phone on speaker about two minutes after they heard the car leave.
“Dorner tied us up, and he’s in Big Bear,” Karen Reynolds recalled telling the operator.