Canadian Amanda Lindhout, was a young, freelance journalist when she was kidnapped with photographer, Australian Nigel Brennan, in 2008. She was released 15 months later after her mom handled much of the dealings with the kidnappers. They were asking for a million dollars ransom. Lindhout has since written the bestseller, A House in the Sky, about her time in captivity. Her mother, Lorinda Stewart, has just released her book, One Day Closer, about her negotiations to bring her daughter home. Lindhout and Stewart are on a Canadian book tour for One Day Closer.
In this clip, Stewart says how she felt about her daughter going to Somalia. She and Lindhout are at Indigo in Vancouver, November 2, 2017, being interviewed by Vancouver Sun reporter, Denise Ryan.
Stewart was assigned the role of chief negotiator for the RCMP in the command centre that was set up in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. She handled most of the calls from a person called Adam. Sometimes she had the opportunity to speak with her daughter, which was often traumatic. Here, Stewart talks about one of the “bad calls.”
Lorinda’s voice is quivery as the result of illness she suffered from the stress of the ordeal. Canada has a policy of not paying ransoms. Stewart managed to raise $600,000 ransom money which help facilitate the release of Lindhout and Brennan. The families eventually hired private hostage negotiators because the Canadian government’s attempts were failing.
During her fifteen months in captivity, Lindhout was tortured and sexually abused. Her experience is documented in detail in her memoir, A House in the Sky. Here, she explains how her dream of a house in the sky kept her going during the very dark times in captivity.
Recovering from the 460 life-altering days has been a challenge for both mother and daughter. They both suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lindhout says she has overcome the guilt she felt about being naive enough to go to Somalia in the first place. In this clip Stewart explains that she kept it together only long enough to bring Lindhout home. Afterwards she fell apart, as she explains in this clip.
In 2015, the Somali man, Ali Omar Ader, was arrested in Canada on kidnapping charges related to Lindhout’s case. There was a 10-day trial in October of this year. Lindhout, 36, testified at the trial, as did her mother. Here, Lindhout talks about facing her alleged abductor who actually contacted her through Facebook before he was arrested.
The judge in the case is not expected to make his ruling for several months.
Lindhout, originally from Red Deer, Alberta, has created the Global Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women in Somalia.