Rather than rehash the story about the girl in Mosman who was the victim of an intruder, since she is now safe, I thought it would be better to highlight an article that touches on the subject of collar bombs. The collar that was placed on Madeleine Pulver in the very wealthy suburb of Mosman, was a hoax, in that it did not contain explosives. However, its use by the perpetrator would have caused terror for the victim and her family with the intention of extortion.
This morning I found this article on the BBC website and it is quite good, because it explains the psychology behind the placing of the collar, as well as the terror it creates for the unwilling victim.
Australia has a history of children being kidnapped. One that I remember from a very long time ago (just hearing the name more than any of the details) was the case of Graham Thorn, who was kidnapped and stuffed in the boot of a car. The child died. In the USA, as well as the Patty Hearst kidnapping, there was the kidnapping of the Lindburgh baby. There are plenty of these cases around the world. One more recent near miss was that of Joss Stone, but in her case it seems that the intention was to murder her, not just a kidnap plot. This is why the Pulver case is highly unusual – it seems too well thought out. The big question will be whether or not she has suffered psychological harm from the ordeal.
As Sue mentioned in comments, a young policewoman who was first on the scene chose to stay with the girl to offer her comfort and to talk her through the ordeal. The policewoman had no idea that the collar did not contain explosives as claimed by the perpetrator and yet she chose to risk her life to stay with the young victim. It was an act of very real courage and bravery. It was more than that, because the young policewoman also probably had a net positive effect upon the girl’s psyche, staying with her and calming her down through the experience.
As you read through the report at the BBC site, you will see that there is a real possibility that the victim could suffer psychological harm from the placement of the collar. I am indeed hoping that the actions of the policewoman will have mitigated some of that potential harm.
Right now there is not much else to report on the case since the police are looking for the person who broke into the house and placed the collar on the girl. It is probable that this was an extortion attempt, especially when it took place in Mosman, one of those very rich suburbs in Sydney.