adBlockCheck

Kidnappers Realize They Have No Idea What Child Is Worth

Top Headlines

Local

Aunt On Facebook Casually Advocates War Crime

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Arguing that it was time to deal decisively with the threat of terrorism, local aunt Deborah Massey casually advocated a war crime Monday in a brief Facebook post, sources confirmed. “Any city that has ISIS people hiding out in it needs to be bombed to the ground.

Mom Learns About New Vegetable

MERRILVILLE, IN—Excitedly sharing the news with her husband and two teenage children, local mother Karen Tyson, 49, learned about a new vegetable Wednesday, sources confirmed.

Cover Letter Specifically Tailored To Company Even Sadder Than Generic Ones

BEDMINSTER, NJ—Wincing noticeably as they read the applicant’s claim that he has “always wanted to work for the leading midsize pharmaceutical advertising and brand strategy group in the tri-state area,” sources at Percepta Healthcare Communications confirmed Tuesday that a cover letter specifically tailored to their company was much sadder than any of the generic ones they had received for a recently posted job opening.

Grandmother Doesn’t Care For New Priest

SPENCERPORT, NY—Voicing criticism of the man’s general demeanor and the hurried pace of his masses, local grandmother and St. Rafael Catholic Church parishioner Patricia Trudel, 72, told reporters Friday she doesn’t care much for the congregation’s new priest.

Mom Brings Home Little Plaque That Says ‘Family’

GAITHERSBURG, MD—Describing how she hung the newly purchased decoration on the living room wall immediately upon returning, sources confirmed Tuesday that area mom Patricia Matheson had brought home a little wooden plaque that says “Family.”

Mentally Unbalanced Man Still Waiting For The Right Trump Comment To Incite Him

HARRISBURG, PA—Explaining that the candidate’s recent inflammatory statements had further stoked his uncontrollable fury but hadn’t quite pushed him over the edge, local resident and mentally unhinged man Peter Scheft told reporters Friday he is still waiting for the exact right comment from Trump that will incite him to action.

No One Really Knows What Dad Was Doing From 1985 To 1988

BOSTON—Unable to recall a single instance in which their father mentioned any details about his early adulthood, the children of local man Alan Murphy confirmed Monday they had no idea what he was doing between the years of 1985 and 1988.

Home Depot Employee Can Tell This Customer’s First Attempt At Pipe Bomb

APPLETON, WI—Shaking his head Monday as the customer selected a length of plastic pipe over a stronger metal alternative and placed it into his shopping cart, local Home Depot sales associate Graham Warner, 57, was reportedly able to tell right away that this was the store patron’s first attempt at making a pipe bomb.

Man Entirely Different Misogynist Online Than In Real Life

CHATTANOOGA, TN—Explaining how his subtle belittlement and disrespect for women in face-to-face interactions had little in common with the bold, outspoken manner in which he degrades women when he’s on social media or website message boards, sources reported Tuesday that local man Colin McManus is a totally different misogynist online than in real life.

Man Has Loyalty To Pretzel Brand

BROWNSVILLE, TX—Describing them as “the best pretzels out there” and “the only ones [he] buy[s],” local resident Ned Carlisle expressed his firm loyalty to Snyder’s of Hanover–brand pretzels Tuesday.

Seagull This Far Inland Must Be Total Fuckup

KNOXVILLE, TN—Questioning how the bird could have possibly ended up more than 300 miles from the nearest ocean, sources confirmed Friday that a seagull that was spotted this far inland must be a total fuckup.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Kidnappers Realize They Have No Idea What Child Is Worth

SAN YSIDRO, CA—The weekend kidnapping of 5-year-old Brendan Adler stalled Tuesday when the two men responsible for his abduction announced that they have no way to gauge the current market value of the boy.

Adler last month.

"We've run through a lot of figures, but the truth is we have no idea," said Troy Alan Curtis, the crime's primary planner. "We've been talking about anything from $1,000,000 to $10,000. It's all over the map."

The inability of Curtis and partner Steve Rodriguez to arrive at a realistic ransom figure has stymied the otherwise smooth kidnapping, which began Saturday morning when the pair snatched Adler from a local park and drove him to their abandoned-warehouse hideout. Yet four days later, the kidnappers say they are no closer to an accurate estimate of how much a boy in Adler's age and condition can fetch in the often confusing, constantly changing abductee marketplace.

Curtis also worried that the lost time has cost the kidnappers critical leverage in demanding a ransom "worth the effort."

"The price window is closing," Curtis said. "Steve thinks it could be good to keep the family waiting, but for all we know, they might think the kid is dead already."

He added: "It's the not knowing that's hardest for us."

"We probably should've given them a ballpark figure and just bargained from there," Curtis said. "Look at where we are now."

Shortly after bringing Adler to their safehouse, the two realized that though they had elaborate plans for collecting the ransom—including a fake public mailbox and two decoy briefcases—they had not determined a specific price.

In "a moment of panic," they briefly considered sending the family a "Reply-To" note, asking them how much they would be willing to pay. But the two ultimately decided that, no matter how carefully they phrased the question, the risk that the family would lowball them was too great.

Both men admitted that they never discussed a value before the kidnapping, assuming that the price was "a foregone conclusion."

"When it came to the amount of money we wanted, I guess we both thought, 'a lot,'" said Rodriguez, whose deep telephone voice made him the natural choice to be the liaison with the family. "Not knowing anything about him, I would say the kid is worth 50 or 60 grand. After casing his family's swanky home, though, that almost feels like it'd be a steal for them. I'd hate to find out later in the papers that they would've paid up to half a million."

"On the other hand, we wind up looking like we didn't do our homework if we go high and it turns out the family doesn't have that kind of money," Rodriguez said. "It's a real balancing act."

The two first-time kidnappers said they were "frustrated with the whole process," and would possibly have been able to come up with a more straightforward amount if they had abducted the Adler family's 3-year-old daughter, Amity.

Rodriguez and Curtis outside their hideout just after a trip to the store to buy Gummi Bears for Adler.

Said Rodriguez: "You wonder, is a girl worth more than a boy? Is younger better? But it's pointless to second-guess the decision we made."

"If we had thought to scuff him up a bit and send pictures, I bet we would have been able to name our price," Curtis said. "But some say roughing them up lowers the value. See, I just don't know."

At one point, according to the kidnappers, they removed the boy's gag and blindfold to ask him what he thought his parents would pay to get him back alive.

"That was no help at all," Curtis said. "He cried for a long time, and it took a while just to get him to speak coherently." After giving Adler some crackers and letting him watch TV, they posed the question again, and the boy estimated his own worth at "$100 million bazillion."

Curtis blamed the lack of any reliable source to consult for their failure to make an informed estimate. "There's no kidnappers' price guide, the Internet is filled with bad information, and Blockbuster is missing their copy of the Mel Gibson movie Ransom," Curtis said. "We feel a little bit like we're on our own here."

After spending more than $700 on gas, food, rope, folding chairs, and other supplies, the duo decided to factor those costs into a final figure and "work from there."

"Things like juice boxes add up pretty quickly," Curtis said. "Then there's the possible long-term upkeep to consider, which is a scenario we do not want to get into. In short, we're stuck."

Despite the complications, Curtis and Rodriguez are still hoping to come up with a workable number before too long and hope they do not have to resort to slaying the child.

"At this point, we're just looking to recoup our losses and get compensated for our time and energy," Rodriguez said. "We've put a lot into this. Killing the kid would feel like throwing that all away."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close