James DiMaggio, who was killed by police as they rescued his 16-year-old captive Hannah Anderson on Saturday, died 18 years to the day after his father committed suicide, having had a similar infatuation with a 16-year-old girl.
DiMaggio was a close friend of the Anderson family’s. Hannah Anderson is said to have become uncomfortable when DiMaggio, 40, once told her he would date her if they were the same age. He is believed to have killed Anderson’s mother, Christine, and her brother, Ethan, before setting fire to the family’s home and kidnapping the 16-year-old.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 8, a woman who was once the 16-year-old object of DiMaggio’s father’s desire, described the clear parallels between the elder and the younger DiMaggio’s actions. James DiMaggio Sr. dated the woman’s mother nearly 20 years ago, but showered the daughter with affection and attention.
He made advances on her, which she rejected. The elder DiMaggio then held her and her boyfriend at gunpoint, threatening to kill them. The woman, then 16, escaped peril.
The younger DiMaggio, responsible for this month’s kidnapping, approached his father’s victim at the high school they both attended, the woman said.
He told her, “My dad is out, and he said to let you know he’ll be waiting for you after school.”
She left the high school and has been in hiding ever since. KFMB-TV found an article on the incident in the Union Tribune archives from 1989. The elder DiMaggio was 35-years-old at the time.
“When I saw his name and picture, I instantly knew it was him,” she said. “When I saw the name … my heart stopped for a second.”
“I don’t believe that you’re born this way, but really to follow such a path as your father,” she said.