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Newly released videos were taken by Dugard's captors

By the CNN Wire Staff
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How police just missed saving Jaycee
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Videotapes taken by Phillip and Nancy Garrido were released by prosecutors Tuesday
  • DA's office: Release is part of an effort to improve "detection of sexual predators"
  • One clip shows children in playground as Phillip Garrido plays a guitar and sings
  • In another, a parole agent searches house, some years before Dugard was found

(CNN) -- In a shaky videotape released Tuesday, the couple who kidnapped Jaycee Lee Dugard can be heard discussing how to operate their new camera as they zoom in to capture images of children in a playground.

In another, taken some years later, Phillip Garrido accompanies a parole agent who is searching their home as his wife, Nancy Garrido, films the search, mere yards from the outbuildings where Dugard is hidden.

The videotapes were released Tuesday by the El Dorado County, California, district attorney's office in response to media inquiries under open-records laws, and "to highlight the gravity and severity of the mistakes made" by law enforcement in the 18 years the Garridos held Dugard captive, during which time she gave birth to two children by Phillip Garrido.

Dugard and her children do not appear in the videos released Tuesday.

Dugard was just 11 years old when she was abducted in 1991 from the street in front of her South Lake Tahoe, California, home by Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender who had served 11 years for rape. Despite the fact that as a parolee he was regularly visited by police, he and his wife held Dugard and her daughters in a hidden compound of sheds and tarpaulins until 2009.

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Last month, a judge sentenced Phillip Garrido, 60, to 431 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and 12 counts of sexual assault. Nancy Garrido, 55, got 36 years to life in prison for her role in the crimes, including kidnapping and one count of rape by force. The couple had pleaded guilty in late April in El Dorado Superior Court.

A statement from Dugard, read by her mother at the sentencing hearing, called the Garridos "evil" and described her kidnapping by them as a "sexual perversion."

In a statement accompanying the release of the videos, the DA's office said it had decided to reveal "certain details of this horrific case" at the request of Dugard's family "in hopes of improving the supervision and detection of sexual predators."

In one of the three videotapes, taken sometime between 1989 and 1993, the Garridos can be heard talking in low tones about how the autofocus and other features of the camera work. Meanwhile, the jostled camera catches fleeting images of children playing in a playground some yards away -- then settles on a small girl playing in the sand as older girls gambol on a tire swing.

Then, Phillip Garrido stands against a tree, and begins playing the guitar and singing while the camera pans to either side, pushing his face to the margins and centering on the children in the background.

"You got me real good?" he asks at one point while barely on camera.

"Yeah," she responds, "I can see you really good."

Another brief and inept video, apparently taken from a car in which the Garridos are sitting, shows a girl getting onto a bicycle and people in a parking lot. The camera zooms in on the legs.

Nancy Garrido appears onscreen briefly, affecting a grin.

The third clip, taken between 2000 and 2007, was taken by Nancy Garrido during a parole agent's search of their home in Antioch, California. As the agent goes from room to room, Phillip Garrido has little to say to his queries. But Nancy Garrido does, and raises some non sequiturs of her own.

"What does a parole agent do for his parolees?" she asks at one point.

"Ma'am, you can come to the office and we'll discuss that at an appropriate time," the parole agent responds. "Right now I'm doing a search, and I'd really -- uh, if you'll stay in this front room, then I don't have to place you in restraints."

The agent's face is blurred in the video clip, and a portion where his name is mentioned is edited out. The images of children's faces also are blurred.

CNN's Cameron Tankersley contributed to this report.

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