Deriving pleasure from pain and dismemberment, even Austin Sigg recognised his own evil...
On 5 October 2012, Jessica Ridgeway, 10, left her home for the short walk to her school in Westminster, Colorado.
But before the youngster reached her classroom, she was grabbed and thrown into a waiting Jeep. She was never seen alive again.
Jessica had been sexually assaulted, strangled, then dismembered by 17-year-old Austin Sigg. He was just a teenager. What could’ve led him to commit such an evil act?
Austin Sigg was born in Colorado to Robert and Mindy. His parents divorced and his father had run-ins with the law, including driving under the influence, and domestic violence.
Sigg grew up with his mother. Classmates described him as an intelligent and shy loner. He was bullied for having a high-pitched voice.
When he was 12 or 13, Mindy found him looking at online porn, and took him to Christian counselling. But Sigg’s porn habit had taken a grip and he looked at more extreme images, including child porn and rape fantasies.
Leaving school at 16, Sigg studied Mortuary Science, expressing an interest in becoming a mortician. His Internet history showed searches for chloroform recipes, Top 10 places people get abducted, as well as child porn.
He was making plans…
In May 2012, Sigg tried to kidnap a female jogger. He shoved a chloroform-soaked rag in her face. But she fought him off.
Sigg wasn’t caught. Instead, months later, he looked for someone smaller to overpower.
He found Jessica Ridgeway. He threw her in the back seat of his Jeep, bound her hands and feet with zip ties.
‘Do you know Mom?’ she said. Sigg told her everything would be OK, that she’d see her mother again. A callous lie…
He took her back to the empty house he shared with his mum, cut her hair, stared at her, sexually assaulted her, then decided to kill her.
He strangled her for three minutes, then drowned her in the bath. Afterwards, he dismembered her body, removing her organs and labelling them.
Two days later, Jessica’s backpack was found. Three days after that, her torso was discovered in black bin bags nine miles from her home.
DNA from Jessica’s backpack matched that recovered from the jogger who was attacked months before.
On 23 October, Sigg told his mum he’d killed Jessica. Mindy called the police and, when officers came round, he made a confession.
After his arrest, Sigg detailed keeping some of Jessica’s remains under the family’s home, including her skull.
In court, Austin Sigg, by then 18, admitted 15 charges, including kidnapping, sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering Jessica.
‘He is someone who derives pleasure in pain. He derives pleasure in dismemberment,’ the prosecutor said.
The judge heard how Sigg’s mother inhaled paint during her pregnancy and suffered a fall shortly before he was born. They told how Sigg was born with an abnormality in his intestines, and a head deformity.
Sigg was sentenced to life in prison, plus 86 years.
In a statement, Sigg chillingly said, ‘I am a monster. There’s no better word to describe what I’ve done than evil.’