Dr Phil: PTSD After Kidnapping & Jimmy Lee Dykes Mental Disabilities


Dr Phil: PTSD After Kidnapping

Dr Phil talked with the mother of the boy in the bunker, who was held hostage in Alabama in early 2013. The FBI told Jennifer that her son Ethan was crying out for her in the bunker. She felt that she failed him as a mother because she couldn’t do anything. She worried that Ethan would feel abandoned. Every day, Jennifer wanted to take Ethan’s place in the bunker.

Dr Phil: Jimmy Lee Dykes Mental Problems

Dr Phil: PTSD After Kidnapping & Jimmy Lee Dykes Mental Disabilities

Jennifer worries that if she doesn’t handle her son’s trauma well he will suffer in the future.


Although Jimmy Lee Dykes abducted Ethan, he cared for him while he was his hostage. Dykes made Ethan meals in the bunker and sent requests to the FBI for specific things Ethan wanted. Jennifer thinks that after Dykes heard about Ethan’s mental disorders he became sympathetic toward her son. Jennifer believe this is because Dykes had mental problems as well and was sympathetic to children with disabilities.

Jennifer said that she forgave Dykes for what he did. She said she couldn’t have stayed strong if she had hatred running in her viens. Her job was to be a concerned mother. She asked that Dykes not be hurt unless it was absolutely necessary. She had absolute faith in the people that were working to save Ethan. She believes that all had Ethan in their hearts and minds.

Dr Phil: Young Hostage PTSD After Kidnapping

On the day that Ethan was rescued Dykes had stopped negotiating. The FBI told Jennifer the time had come to get Ethan out. They set explosives and stun grenades on the door to the bunker and when Dykes tried to come out they went off. Dykes was disoriented and the FBI swooped in.


They covered Ethan with a bullet proof vest and shot Dykes. Jennifer was outside of her church waiting  for news. They brought her inside and told her that Ethan was rescued. Her first words were “Praise God.”

The took Jennifer for the ER where they were checking Ethan out. She found him coloring and putting stickers on everyone around him. She walked in and hugged him, feeling overwhelming joy to have her son back. Will Ethan have PTSD after kidnapping?

Dr Phil: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Ethan had several small injuries from the bunker. His knee was scraped and he had several small cuts all over his face and body. He had ant bites and a rash from being in the underground bunker. He did see Dykes and his bus driver Charles Poland get shot and killed. The police said that Ethan passed out when Polan was shot, which may have saved everyone else on the bus. He calls Dykes “the bad man.”

Jennifer said she hasn’t been able to talk to Ethan about what happened. She doesn’t want to scar him further, but has noticed he needs to deal with the trauma. Ethan now has a sensitivity to loud noises, night terrors and is afraid of busses. Dr. Phil is going to help Jennifer because if this is handled badly Ethan could suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.