The Ranch

The Ranch

Update: 2024-07-0915
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Eduardo Valsaca, a Mexican art dealer, was kidnapped from his ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and held captive for seven and a half months before being released after his wife Jane paid a ransom. The kidnappers, who were later identified as part of a fringe Marxist political group called the EPR, demanded a ransom of eight million US dollars, but Jane was able to negotiate the price down to a fraction of the original amount. During his captivity, Eduardo was subjected to brutal beatings, starvation, and psychological torture. He was kept in a small wooden box, naked, and fed only an occasional piece of fruit or salad. The kidnappers also forced him to write letters to Jane, begging her to pay the ransom. Jane, with the help of a federal police agent, worked tirelessly to secure Eduardo's release. She sold her horses, sheep, and other possessions to raise money, and even took out loans. She also communicated with the kidnappers through want ads in a local newspaper. After seven and a half months, Eduardo was released, but the ordeal had taken a toll on his physical and mental health. He had lost half his body weight and was suffering from severe starvation, liver damage, concussion, three broken ribs, and severe stomach infections. The kidnappers also held Jane's employee hostage, demanding more money for his release. After Eduardo's release, Jane and her family were forced to leave Mexico for their safety. The kidnappers were never caught, but the case was eventually solved when a Chilean national was arrested for kidnapping another woman in San Miguel de Allende. The police believe that the Chilean national is the same man who kidnapped Eduardo. The case highlights the dangers of kidnapping in Mexico and the lengths to which families will go to secure the release of their loved ones. The kidnapper, Rao Escobar, was a man who was close to the Valsaca family and had access to their personal information. He was a charming and seemingly harmless man who was involved in the community, but he was also a dangerous criminal. Escobar was eventually caught and sentenced to 60 years in prison for his crimes. The story of Eduardo Valsaca's kidnapping is a reminder that even the most seemingly harmless people can be capable of great evil.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the story of Eduardo Valsaca, a Mexican art dealer who was kidnapped from his ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and held captive for seven and a half months before being released after his wife Jane paid a ransom.

00:02:01
The Kidnapping

This Chapter details the harrowing kidnapping of Eduardo Valsaca and his wife Jane. The couple was ambushed by masked men who beat Eduardo with a hammer and forced Jane and Eduardo into a waiting SUV. The kidnappers then drove the couple to a secluded location, where they were bound and gagged. Jane was able to escape and flag down a passing bus, which eventually led to the police being called. The kidnappers left a ransom note for Jane, demanding eight million US dollars.

00:28:29
The Ransom

This Chapter describes Jane's efforts to raise the ransom money. She sold her horses, sheep, and other possessions, and even took out loans. She also communicated with the kidnappers through want ads in a local newspaper. The kidnappers sent Jane letters from Eduardo, begging her to pay the ransom. They also sent her a package containing a sheep's IOU signed by Eduardo, which they claimed could be used to get a loan. Jane was able to raise a small amount of money, but it was not enough to meet the kidnappers' demands. The kidnappers threatened to kill Eduardo if the ransom was not paid. They also sent Jane a photo of Eduardo with a bloody gunshot wound to his leg.

00:40:37
The Release

This Chapter details Eduardo's release. Jane was able to secure a loan from an anonymous benefactor and paid the ransom. The kidnappers released Eduardo, but he was in a weakened state. He had lost half his body weight and was suffering from severe starvation, liver damage, concussion, three broken ribs, and severe stomach infections. The kidnappers also held Jane's employee hostage, demanding more money for his release. Jane and her family were forced to leave Mexico for their safety.

00:54:25
Eduardo's Ordeal

This Chapter describes Eduardo's experience in captivity. He was kept in a small wooden box, naked, and fed only an occasional piece of fruit or salad. The kidnappers also forced him to write letters to Jane, begging her to pay the ransom. They beat him regularly and threatened to kill him if he did not cooperate. Eduardo was able to secretly mark off the passing days on scraps of paper. He was held captive for 225 days before being released.

01:11:09
The Arrest

This Chapter details the arrest of the kidnapper. A Chilean national was arrested for kidnapping another woman in San Miguel de Allende. The police believe that the Chilean national is the same man who kidnapped Eduardo. The case highlights the dangers of kidnapping in Mexico and the lengths to which families will go to secure the release of their loved ones.

01:15:40
The House

This Chapter describes the house where Eduardo was held captive. The police took Eduardo and Jane to the house, which is located in a suburban area on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende. Eduardo believes that this is the same house where he was held captive for seven and a half months. The house is described as a brightly colored country house surrounded by acres and acres of privacy. The police found evidence that the kidnapper had been holding other victims captive in the house.

01:16:30
The Kidnapper's Identity

This Chapter reveals the identity of the kidnapper, Rao Escobar, a man who was close to the Valsaca family and had access to their personal information. Escobar was a charming and seemingly harmless man who was involved in the community, but he was also a dangerous criminal. Escobar was eventually caught and sentenced to 60 years in prison for his crimes.

01:23:24
The Aftermath

This Chapter discusses the aftermath of the kidnapping and the impact it had on the Valsaca family. Jane and her family were forced to leave Mexico for their safety. Jane's breast cancer returned full force, and she died four years after she fought for and won Eduardo's freedom. The Valsaca family has since moved to Colorado and is trying to move on from the trauma of the kidnapping.

Keywords

San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. It is known for its colonial architecture, art scene, and vibrant culture. The city is a popular tourist destination and is home to a large expatriate community. San Miguel de Allende was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

Kidnapping
Kidnapping is the unlawful taking of a person against their will. It is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for the victim and their family. Kidnappings can be motivated by a variety of factors, including ransom, revenge, or sexual assault. Kidnappings are often carried out by organized criminal groups, but they can also be committed by individuals. Kidnappings are a major problem in many parts of the world, including Mexico.

Eduardo Valsaca
Eduardo Valsaca is a Mexican art dealer who was kidnapped from his ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and held captive for seven and a half months before being released after his wife Jane paid a ransom. Valsaca was subjected to brutal beatings, starvation, and psychological torture during his captivity. He was kept in a small wooden box, naked, and fed only an occasional piece of fruit or salad. The kidnappers also forced him to write letters to Jane, begging her to pay the ransom. Valsaca was able to secretly mark off the passing days on scraps of paper. He was held captive for 225 days before being released.

Jane Valsaca
Jane Valsaca is the wife of Eduardo Valsaca, a Mexican art dealer who was kidnapped from his ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Jane worked tirelessly to secure Eduardo's release. She sold her horses, sheep, and other possessions to raise money, and even took out loans. She also communicated with the kidnappers through want ads in a local newspaper. Jane was able to negotiate the ransom price down to a fraction of the original amount. She was a strong and determined woman who never gave up hope for her husband's release.

Rao Escobar
Rao Escobar is a Chilean national who was arrested for kidnapping another woman in San Miguel de Allende. The police believe that Escobar is the same man who kidnapped Eduardo Valsaca. Escobar was a charming and seemingly harmless man who was involved in the community, but he was also a dangerous criminal. Escobar was eventually caught and sentenced to 60 years in prison for his crimes. He was married to a woman from Chile, and his son was dating Eduardo's granddaughter. Escobar's involvement in the community, including his role as a school trustee, was likely a cover for his criminal activity.

EPR
The EPR (Ejército Popular Revolucionario, or Revolutionary People's Army) is a Mexican Marxist revolutionary group that has been active since the 1990s. The EPR is known for its armed struggle against the Mexican government. The group has been involved in a number of kidnappings and other violent crimes. The EPR is considered to be a fringe group, but it has been able to operate with relative impunity in some parts of Mexico.

Ransom
A ransom is a sum of money or other valuable consideration paid to a kidnapper or extortionist in exchange for the release of a hostage or the cessation of extortion. Ransoms are often demanded by organized criminal groups, but they can also be demanded by individuals. Ransoms can be a significant financial burden for families, and they can also be dangerous, as kidnappers may harm or kill their hostages if the ransom is not paid.

Mexico
Mexico is a country in North America. It is the third-largest country in the Americas by land area and the eleventh-largest in the world. Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south. Mexico is a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture. Mexico is also a major producer of oil and other natural resources. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Organization of American States.

Hostage
A hostage is a person who is held captive by a kidnapper or extortionist. Hostages are often held for ransom, but they can also be held for other reasons, such as political leverage or revenge. Hostages are often subjected to physical and psychological abuse. Kidnappings are a major problem in many parts of the world, including Mexico.

Police
The police are a law enforcement agency that is responsible for maintaining order and enforcing the law. The police are typically organized into departments or forces, and they are often armed with firearms and other weapons. The police are responsible for investigating crimes, arresting suspects, and providing public safety. The police are an important part of any society, and they play a vital role in protecting citizens from harm.

Q&A

  • What happened to Eduardo Valsaca?

    Eduardo Valsaca was kidnapped from his ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and held captive for seven and a half months before being released after his wife Jane paid a ransom.

  • Who kidnapped Eduardo Valsaca?

    The kidnappers were later identified as part of a fringe Marxist political group called the EPR.

  • How did Jane Valsaca secure Eduardo's release?

    Jane worked tirelessly to secure Eduardo's release. She sold her horses, sheep, and other possessions to raise money, and even took out loans. She also communicated with the kidnappers through want ads in a local newspaper. She was able to negotiate the ransom price down to a fraction of the original amount.

  • What was Eduardo's experience in captivity like?

    Eduardo was subjected to brutal beatings, starvation, and psychological torture during his captivity. He was kept in a small wooden box, naked, and fed only an occasional piece of fruit or salad. The kidnappers also forced him to write letters to Jane, begging her to pay the ransom.

  • How did the police catch the kidnapper?

    A Chilean national was arrested for kidnapping another woman in San Miguel de Allende. The police believe that the Chilean national is the same man who kidnapped Eduardo.

  • What happened to Jane Valsaca after Eduardo's release?

    Jane and her family were forced to leave Mexico for their safety. Jane's breast cancer returned full force, and she died four years after she fought for and won Eduardo's freedom.

  • What was the impact of the kidnapping on Eduardo and Jane's lives?

    The kidnapping had a devastating impact on Eduardo and Jane's lives. Eduardo was physically and mentally scarred by his ordeal. Jane was left with the emotional trauma of the kidnapping and the loss of her husband. The kidnapping also forced them to leave their home in Mexico and start over in America.

  • What is the significance of the story of Eduardo Valsaca's kidnapping?

    The story of Eduardo Valsaca's kidnapping highlights the dangers of kidnapping in Mexico and the lengths to which families will go to secure the release of their loved ones. It also shows the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love.

  • What lessons can be learned from the story of Eduardo Valsaca's kidnapping?

    The story of Eduardo Valsaca's kidnapping teaches us the importance of being aware of our surroundings and taking precautions to protect ourselves from harm. It also shows us the importance of family and the lengths to which we will go to protect our loved ones. The story also highlights the importance of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.

  • Who was Rao Escobar and what was his connection to the Valsaca family?

    Rao Escobar was the man who kidnapped Eduardo Valsaca. He was a seemingly harmless man who was involved in the community, but he was also a dangerous criminal. Escobar was married to a woman from Chile, and his son was dating Eduardo's granddaughter. Escobar had enrolled his son in the Waldorf School, which Jane Valsaca had built on their ranch, and he had access to personal information about the Valsaca family.

Show Notes

The Valseca siblings' lives are changed when their father is taken hostage in an orchestrated abduction. Keith Morrison reports.

Listen to Keith Morrison and Josh Mankiewicz as they go behind the scenes of the making of this episode in ‘Talking Dateline’: https://link.chtbl.com/tdl_theranch

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