Kidnapper had bad day

By Sinclere Lee

It's hard to feel sorry for Roy Ratliff, the career criminal, who abducted two teenage girls at gunpoint last week from a lovers' lane where he rapped them and was planning to kill them before the cops killed him.

The girls were rescued 100 miles away from the site of the actual kidnapping after sheriff's deputies closed in on the suspect's stolen car and shot him to death, authorities said. Before the cops killed him, the 37-year-old Roy Ratliff got an old fashion ass kicking by the very teenagers he kidnapped and raped.

Details about what happened to Roy Ratliff during his botched kidnapping attempt are now surfacing, and the picture is of a man who obviously didn’t think his crime out very well, and as a result, damn near got killed himself by the very girls he kidnapped.

The two girls tell a story of stabbing him in the neck with his own knife, knocking him over the head with whiskey bottle, throwing him out the car he stole, and many other acts of self-defense before the cops showed up and killed him.

His day started out so badly, that Ratliff and the world would have been better off had he just stayed in prison.

Kern County Sheriff Carl Sparks said he was certain the kidnapper was minutes away from killing the girls and had gone to remote location in the high desert.
``He was hunting for a place to kill 'em and bury 'em,'' Sparks said.

When two deputies arrived, the suspect showed a gun, according to the sheriff. The deputies shot at him numerous times while he sat in the car and struck him twice in the head, Sparks said.

Television footage showed the sobbing girls, Tamara Brooks, 16, and Jacqueline Marris, 17, being bandaged before they were taken to a hospital for a checkup.

Hospital administrator Peter Bryan said they were ``coherent, awake, alert,'' but he declined to discuss their condition. They were released late Thursday. The sheriff said the girls were raped.

The girls were abducted at 1 a.m. in the Quartz Hill area outside Lancaster by a gunman who left the girls' dates bound with duct tape. The kidnapper drove off in a Ford Bronco that belonged to Tamara's date, leaving behind a car the FBI said was stolen in Las Vegas last month.

The abduction launched a 12-hour manhunt across the Southwest.

There were a number of sightings of the Bronco, including calls from an animal control officer, state highway workers and a gas station. The car was spotted by a sheriff's helicopter near Walker Pass, Kern County sheriff's Cmdr. Chris Davis said.

Friends and relatives at the sheriff's command center here wept with joy and hugged when they learned the girls were safe.

``My little child Jackie, I can't wait to see her. I love her so much. If you're watching this honey, I love you, I can't wait for you to get home,'' said Jacqueline's father, Herb Marris.

Tamara's father, Sammie Brooks, told reporters in Lancaster: ``I couldn't be a happier man right now and hope none of you has to go through something like this.''

Arrangements were being made to reunite the girls with their parents.
``When I get to see her and hold her, then that's when it'll all be real,'' said Nadine Dyer, Jacqueline's mother.
After the kidnapping was reported, authorities swiftly issued an ``Amber Alert,'' using radio and TV bulletins and electronic freeway signs to announce the abduction.

It was the first time California authorities have used the plan named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped in 1996 and later found dead in Texas. There are currently 41 programs across the country.

The Lancaster case was the latest highly publicized abduction in California this year. One man is on trial for the murder of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, who was taken in February from her home in a San Diego suburb, and another has been charged in the slaying of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, who was snatched outside her Orange County home last month while playing with a friend.

The two teenage girls were kidnapped after they parked in separate vehicles beneath two giant water tanks on a barren, scrub brush-dotted hilltop known as Quartz Hill, a teenage hangout.

The gunman forced Tamara out of the Bronco belonging to her date, Eric Brown, 18. He then approached a pickup truck occupied by Jacqueline and her date, Frank Melero Jr.

Brown said he was blindfolded, bound with duct tape and tied to a post as the man took Tamara. ``He just kept telling her to stay down, keep her head down, don't look at him,'' he said.

``He told me he was going to kill me but he didn't want to,'' Brown said. Left behind was a car that the FBI said was stolen July 18 from Roberta and James Young, 65, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Ratliff poured gasoline over the car, apparently trying to torch it, but was unsuccessful.

``We're very thankful those girls are all right,'' Roberta Young said in Las Vegas. ``I really knew, truthfully, that that could have been me, could have been my husband.''

Ratliff had a criminal record dating to the 1980s in Nebraska and California that included prison stretches for theft, burglary and possession of methamphetamines. He disappeared after his parole in July 2001.

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