Crime & Courts

Cop impostor abducted, raped SC girl in bunker for 10 days. Now it's a Lifetime movie

Watch Lifetime movie trailer based on real-life SC kidnapping

The Lifetime network presents a new original movie "Girl in the Bunker" premiering on Memorial Day. It is based on the true story of Elizabeth Shoaf, who was abducted and held captive in a hidden underground bunker for 10 days in Kershaw County.
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The Lifetime network presents a new original movie "Girl in the Bunker" premiering on Memorial Day. It is based on the true story of Elizabeth Shoaf, who was abducted and held captive in a hidden underground bunker for 10 days in Kershaw County.

The 2006 kidnapping of a Kershaw County teenager, who was held captive and raped in an underground bunker for 10 days by a man posing as a police officer, is the subject of a new Lifetime movie.

"Girl in the Bunker" recounts the terrifying story of Elizabeth Shoaf, a 14-year-old Lugoff girl who was handcuffed and led into the woods by a man posing as a sheriff's deputy in September 2006. The captor, Vinson Filyaw, held Shoaf in an underground booby-trapped bunker for 10 days, during which he repeatedly raped her.

Filyaw pleaded guilty a year later to charges of kidnapping, rape, possession of explosives and impersonating an officer and was sentenced to more than 400 years in prison. He testified that the kidnapping stemmed from a desire to exact revenge and embarrass the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department, an agency he felt had mistreated him while investigating a complaint he had sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in 2005.

When Filyaw kidnapped Shoaf, he placed a black box that he described as an explosive around her neck and said if she did anything stupid, he'd blow her up, according to previous reports. He also threatened to find her little brother and shoot him with a rifle when he came home from school.

The 6-foot-deep bunker had a well, a bed, a stove and a television, which was turned on for newscasts, according to reports. Filyaw placed a chain around the girl's neck, tethering her to a beam.

The bunker was laced with explosives that Filyaw placed to be discharged when police searched around the bunker.

As days passed, Filyaw allowed his victim freedoms such as bathing in a nearby pond. When leaving for the pond, Shoaf would discreetly pull out strands of her hair and drape them on bushes in hopes authorities might find them, prosecutors said.

Filyaw soon allowed the girl to play games on his cellphone, and once he was asleep, Shoaf wrote a message to her mother and lifted the bunker door just enough to stick her arm out and send it.

He was alarmed as they watched news coverage of the manhunt and Shoaf's message to her mother, and asked Shoaf what to do, according to People magazine.

The girl told him he needed to leave or he would go to jail, and he fled, the magazine reported.

The actor who plays Filyaw, Henry Thomas, was made famous for his role as Elliott in the 1982 Steven Spielberg classic "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."

"Girl in the Bunker" premiers at 8 p.m. on May 28 on Lifetime.

A close-up look at the true crime photos taken from the 2006 kidnapping of Elizabeth Shoaf, held hostage by Vinson Filyaw underneath a bunker in Kershaw County.

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