APks 06/03 2044 Moonie Kidnap
DENVER (AP) -- A Denver judge on Wednesday reduced bond to
$5,000 for two Omaha, Neb., men charged with kidnapping a
Unification Church follower who later fled a house where she
allegedly was being "deprogrammed" in Lyons, Kan.
Dennis Whelan, 52, and James Hilzenderger, 27, who are charged
with second-degree kidnapping, conspiracy and false imprisonment,
had been held on $250,000 bond. But Denver County Judge Robert
Crew Jr. dropped it to $5,000 during a two-hour hearing.
Crew said that when the men post bond -- as they were expected
to do Wednesday night -- they may not participate in any
deprogramming activities and must remain within a 200-mile radius
Whelan, reportedly an expert on deprogramming cult followers,
and Hilzenderger were arrested last week following the abduction
on May 26 of Britta Adolfsson, 29, of Sweden from a Denver
street. The woman was forced into a van by two men in broad
daylight, witnesses told police.
Authorities have said Adolfsson's parents, Swedish physicist
Tord Adolfsson and his wife Edith, hired deprogrammers to abduct
their daughter because they were concerned about her upcoming
wedding this summer to a man in South Korea. No charges have
been filed against the Adolfssons in the case.
Britta Adolfsson reportedly has belonged for eight years to
the Unification Church, whose members are known as "Moonies"
because of their Korean founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, police
For a week, Adolfsson had been the object of a search by
Denver police with the help of the FBI. But Tuesday morning, she
ran from a house in Lyons and flagged down Sgt. Buck Causey of
the Kansas Highway Patrol. "She said she had been kidnapped,"
Adolfsson told authorities several men had held her captive at
the house, but they apparently fled before police could search
The woman appeared to have "no physical injuries," as a result
of her time in captivity, said Denver District Attorney Norm
Early, "but something like this has to affect you emotionally.
The terror of being snatched off the street has to be extremely
Two Denver detectives on Wednesday brought Adolfsson back to
Denver, where she was staying at a hotel, officials said.
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