Cleveland kidnapping recalls 1981 Memphis case - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cleveland kidnapping recalls 1981 Memphis case

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

In November of 1981 15-year-old Leslie Marie Gattas of Memphis was abducted from her bedroom in the middle of the night and hidden by her kidnapper in a church attic for four months.

In most recent kidnapping cases, Gattas tried to get the message out that she had been taken.

Gattas was held captive for 119 days at Christ Methodist Church in East Memphis. There were notes left in pews saying 'I'm Leslie Marie Gattas being held captive,' and 'missing food in the cafeteria,' but the police were never notified.

Buddy Chapman, who is now head of Memphis Crime Stoppers, was the city's police director when Gattas was kidnapped and later rescued by church employees trying to catch what they thought was just a food thief at the church.
Chapman says in all of these kidnapping cases there were signs that something was wrong.

"Well, never give up hope and then I think there is another message here Earle," he said. "I look at the Gattas case and at the case up there and other cases that have been mentioned - including the one in Germany - and that is not finding fault. But in every one of these cases, including the Leslie Gattas case - there was evidence. There was information. Things that happened."

Chapman says we should all become more observant in our daily lives and if something seems wrong or out of place do not be afraid to report it to police. Nothing is too small or seemingly insignificant.
"I guess I look at every one of these including Holly Bobo and it is that I simply urge people," he said. "I know hindsight is 20-20 but I would urge people that when something does not make sense or you see something that does not go together - the food missing in the church. There were messages in the case of the three Ohio women, the naked woman in the backyard.

"The things that we see that I think we plain write off, I don't even think it's they don't care it's just we are not observant."

Look at it this way. If something does not make sense to you or feel right, chances are something is wrong. In this day in time do not be afraid to call it in. You just never know.

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