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Reports: Father of Hannah Anderson's abductor has violent past

By Josh Levs and Casey Wian, CNN
August 13, 2013 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Report: The father, James E. DiMaggio, broke into girl's home with cuffs, gun in 1988
  • He professed feelings for her, just as son James L. DiMaggio is accused of doing recently
  • Suspect was killed 15 years to the day after father's suicide, CNN affiliate KFMB says
  • Friend: Younger DiMaggio's house burned on anniversary of father's disappearance

(CNN) -- In a wild twist in the story of a kidnapped teenager saved when her alleged abductor was killed over the weekend, a report shows a disturbing similarity between the suspect and his father.

James L. DiMaggio's father had a violent past, and he once held a teenage girl at gunpoint after professing feelings for her, CNN affiliate KFMB reports.

A report from the San Diego Union-Tribune at the time contains similar allegations.

James L. DiMaggio was shot dead Saturday, 18 years to the day after his father committed suicide, the station reports.

DiMaggio's killing by an FBI agent in the Idaho wilderness ended the captivity of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson. DiMaggio is also accused of killing Hannah's mother and brother in California before fleeing with her.

A friend says DiMaggio, 40, told Hannah a few months ago that he had a crush on her.

DiMaggio and Anderson 'just didn't fit,' Idaho trail riders say

Hannah's first days of freedom
Rescuing Hannah: Inside the manhunt
Alleged kidnapper's eerie link to father
Hannah's dad: Let us grieve in peace
Sheriff: Hannah was under extreme duress

KFMB reports that DiMaggio's father, James E. DiMaggio, did something similar in 1988. He told a 16-year-old girl that he was "in love" with her, according to the girl, now a woman who is keeping her name confidential.

After having dated her mother, "He had told me that he only stuck around because he was in love with me, he wanted to take me away to a better life," she said.

After she refused, he broke into her house, holding handcuffs and a shotgun, and threatened to kill the girl, her boyfriend and her brother, the station reported.

"I asked him not to kill us, and he said, 'Don't worry, you won't feel a thing.' "

She managed to escape after saying she needed to use the bathroom, and DiMaggio ran off.

CNN reached out to the woman through KFMB but has not heard from her.

Public records show that James E. DiMaggio was the defendant in a criminal case filed in 1989. No specifics were immediately available.

DiMaggio's fascination with Hannah Anderson

The case is mentioned in a San Diego Union-Tribune article from December 1989.

Police wanted to question DiMaggio in a case involving a burglary and a beating at a motel, the article said.

He had previously been arrested in July of that year "after breaking into an ex-girlfriend's home in El Cajon, wearing a stocking mask and carrying a sawed-off shotgun," the article said.

"His ex-girlfriend was not at home, but DiMaggio held the woman's teenage daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint," the article said, citing prosecutors. "The boyfriend was handcuffed to a bedpost, but the girl escaped after asking to use the bathroom. ... Neither victim was harmed."

Andrew Spanswick, a friend of the younger DiMaggio, told CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" that DiMaggio's mother died of cancer and, several years later, in 1998, his father committed suicide.

But public records show the date of death as August 10, 1995.

DiMaggio's father had already "disappeared" by that point, Spanswick said. It was on the anniversary of that disappearance, earlier this month, that the younger DiMaggio's house was set on fire, burning the bodies of his former friend and her son -- Hannah's mother and brother, Spanswick said.

Teen rescued, suspect killed

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