Shawn Hornbeck says every day he was held captive by Michael Devlin, he lived in fear that Devlin would kill him. And in fact, when Devlin kidnapped Ben Ownby in January of 2007, Shawn realized that Ben was going to be his replacement and his days were numbered. More than a year after his release from captivity, Hornbeck is talking about his story of survival with the CBS News program, "48 Hours Mystery." During the interview, Hornbeck describes what he endured during the years that he was missing - from the instant Devlin knocked him off his bike to the moment he was rescued. When FBI agents rescued the boys Shawn says, "It was a new feeling for me to say who I really was."
Shawn says that Devlin threatened to kill him and his family if he ever tried to run. A threat Shawn's parents call a deal with the devil, in this case Devlin. He took on the life Devlin dictated, posing as his son and even making friends. Devlin Wielded such terror that Hornbeck never revealed his identity to anybody, despite numerous opportunities to ask for help. Over time, Shawn was given more freedoms, including time outside and being allowed to make friends. During the interview with CBS, Shawn's parents, Craig and Pam Akers, had requested that Shawn not be asked why he didn't seek rescue by telling someone about his abduction. His mother said she doesn't think Shawn is ready to talk about it. And his stepfather, Craig Akers, said it's not worth putting Shawn through any more guilt to satisfy people's curiosity. Shawn said that he still hasn't told his parents everything about what happened, and that he also worries about being misunderstood. "Is that to protect them?" he was asked. "In some ways, yeah," Shawn said. "Then, in other ways, I'm just not ready."
Click here to read more about the "48 Hours Mystery" episode about Shawn Hornbeck and to watch a preview of the program.