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in law, the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will. Kidnapping may be done for ransomransom,
price of redemption demanded by the captor of a person, vessel, or city. In ancient times cities frequently paid ransom to prevent their plundering by captors. The custom of ransoming was formerly sanctioned by law.
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 or for political or other purposes. A parent whose legal rights to custody of a child have been revoked can be guilty of the crime for taking the child. Consent of a kidnapped person is a defense, unless given by one legally incompetent at the time (e.g., a minor or a mentally ill person). The crime differs from abduction, in that the intent of sexual intercourse is not required, and from false imprisonment, in which there is no attempt to abduct.

Under common law kidnapping was only a misdemeanormisdemeanor,
in law, a minor crime, in contrast to a felony. At common law a misdemeanor was a crime other than treason or a felony. Although it might be a grave offense, it did not affect the feudal bond or take away the offender's property. By the 19th cent.
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, but in most states of the United States it is now punishable by death or life imprisonment if there are no extenuating circumstances. The kidnapping and murder of the son of Charles A. LindberghLindbergh, Charles Augustus,
1902–74, American aviator who made the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight, b. Detroit; son of Charles A. Lindbergh (1859–1924). He left the Univ. of Wisconsin (1922) to study flying.
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 in 1932 led to a federal statute prescribing severe penalties for transporting the victims of kidnapping across state or national boundaries. The practice of kidnapping, in the wider and not strictly legal sense, has been known since the beginnings of history. It was common as a method for procuring slaves, and it has also been employed by brigands and revolutionaries to obtain money through ransom or to hold hostages whose safe release was dependent on the freeing of political prisoners.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


The main theme in abduction dreams is fear. The dreamer may be afraid of losing a very important part of himself or of losing his safest and most familiar surroundings. Also, the dreamer may be afraid of leaving his home, childhood, familiar support group, or long-standing ideas. These types of dreams may be most prevalent during times of psychological or physical transition and during stressful times of life when the future is somewhat uncertain. Consider the details of your dream and try to isolate and identify the fear that created the dream.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
RAWALPINDI -- Police busted a gang of kidnappers and recovered four minor children besides ransom money, rickshaw, motorbike, mobile phones from their possession.
The kidnappers had demanded Rs10.5 million in ransom for release of the abductee from the heirs.
"My husband's kidnappers were wearing masks on their faces and four to five of them were dressed in civil attire," Shakila claimed in her application to the local police..
The joint team of Rangers, Police CPLC/AVCC and Rangers Special Task Centre (RSTC) started investigating the case after receiving a call from the kidnappers.
kidnappers' car, but they retaliated by opening fire on the police
BEIRUT: A businessman was released by his kidnappers Sunday night, five days after he was snatched on a road in Tyre, the state-run National News Agency reported.
The seven kidnappers, who were wearing ski masks, realised they were out-numbered and released the victim and his two children u a 14-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.
After extensive investigation, the Information Unit was able to identify and locate the kidnappers in a time span of 48 hours.
The kidnappers forcibly took Gao to the Chinese Embassy and his official residence in Guinea-Bissau and took cash and other valuables, Chinese officials said.
The Chinese woman -- a 38-year-old resident of Kawaguchi -- was kidnapped in the city on the early morning of April 20 when she was on her way home, and the kidnappers then contacted her wealthy ex-husband in China, asking him to pay several tens of million yen in ransom, the sources said.
His advisers warned that the international community would not approve of any fresh humiliation at the hands of kidnappers.
The our kidnappers, aged 20-30, all with criminal records, the woman and five other people involved were detained.