I was kidnapped and abused for 7 weeks aged 8 by 'night-vision' serial killer – my guilt after he murdered my family | The Sun

A GIRL and her brother were kidnapped and abused for weeks after a "night-vision" serial killer broke into the house and murdered their family.

Shasta Groene recounted her guilt after promising her brother they would make it out alive – she was the lone survivor after the horror slayings in Iowa.

The perpetrator was a 42-year-old named Joseph Edward Duncan, a registered sex offender who later was linked to the murder of a 10-year-old boy.

Shasta was just eight-years-old when spotted someone hiding in her bedroom closet.

She was comforted by her brother and fell back asleep.

But the little girl was later woken up by her mother who tearfully said that someone was in the house.

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Shasta went into the living room where she recalled seeing her father and older brother face down with their mouths duct-taped.

To her horror, a man with night vision goggles and a shotgun was standing above them.

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Duncan tied Shasta and her other brother up and took them outside to his car.

The stranger returned to the living room where he beat her mother, father, and older brother to death with a hammer.

This was May 15, 2005.

Shasta and her brother were taken to a campsite where they were held hostage for weeks.

The two children were physically and sexually abused until Duncan decided to kill her brother by shooting him with a shotgun in front of her.

"I honestly have no idea what gave me strength or hope," Groene told Fox News Digital.

"But there was something inside of me that was pushing me to say or do certain things to be on Joseph Duncan's good side and earn his trust."


Before her brother's murder, Groene told him that she was going to get the both of them out of there.

After managing to survive, Groene began to talk about herself with Duncan, telling him details like how much she loved and missed school.

"That made him feel good because he felt that I trusted him," she told Fox News Digital.

"He felt that he was learning about my life and getting to know a vulnerable part of me. I was just trying to manipulate him."

Duncan eventually decided to take the two of them to Denny's so they could "get a milkshake or something."

"The day before, he was telling me that he wanted to take me to North Dakota and meet his mom and family," Groene recounted.

When she arrived at the restaurant, she said that she made eye contact with a man there.

"He looked at me, and I nodded my head. He nodded back. And I can tell from his eyes that he knew who I was."

At this point, Groene had been missing for seven weeks.

The man went to the waitress working at the time who called the cops.

After a cop arrived, he questioned Groene who lied at first and told the officer her name was Katie.

"Joseph Duncan told me, 'It's okay, you can tell him.' That's when I said, 'My name is Shasta.' The cop then grabbed Joseph Duncan and handcuffed him right away," Groene said.


The traumatized girl had difficulty returning to a safe environment – including intense survivor's guilt.

"I promised my brother that I would make sure that we got out alive," Groene said.

"I carried so much guilt because he didn't live, and I did. I felt like it should have been the other way around."

After years of struggling with substance abuse and disordered eating, Groene is still recovering from her trauma but finally felt strong enough to tell her story.

Today, she is married with four children and works as a supervising housekeeper at a hotel.

After Joseph Edward Duncan was convicted, he was linked to another crime, the murder of a 10-year-old boy named Anthony Martinez.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

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Duncan died in 2021 of brain cancer while serving multiple life sentences on federal death row.

Shasta Groene shared her story with the television program People Magazine Investigates which airs on Investigation Discovery.

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