The man charged in the kidnaping of a Virginia banker's daughter, after being caught by authorities who matched copies of the ransom money with cash he allegedly used to buy an airline ticket, was ordered held under $1 million bond yesterday by a federal magistrate in San Francisco.
John J. O'Grady, 33, of Fairfax, wearing a blue ski jacket and cowboy boots and speaking softly, told U.S. Magistrate Richard S. Goldsmith in a brief bond hearing that he is heavily in debt and has not worked in nine months.
"I collected unemployment for the first six months," O'Grady said . "After that zero." O'Grady said he owes more than $15,000, including about $5,500 to various banks and credit card companies.
Further details of the dramatic, 14-hour abduction last Tuesday of Carol Lynn Drewer, 19-year-old daughter of First American Bank of Virginia president Milton Lee Drewer Jr., emerged yesterday when a 17-page FBI search a warrant affadavit was unsealed in federal court in Alexandria.
In a phone conversation about the ransom with Drewer's father, O'Grady allegedly masqueraded as a member of a nonexistent "freedom group" that wanted to take money from the rich and give it to the poor, according to the FBI.
O'Grady, the FBI said, identified himself as an individual named "Franklin" and said the group had successfully carried out four other kidnappings. The FBI has no information that O'Grady was a member of any such group, a spokesman said.
The FBI affadavit also raises that possibility that there may have been at least one alleged accomplice. Carol Drewer told the FBI that while she was held captive she overheard O'Grady having a phone conversation with someone else in which he allegedly said: "Everything is going smoothly."
The young woman, who was bound, gagged and blindfolded during much of her captivity, remained alert and was able to provide investigators with several clues, according to the affadavit. For example, when her captor left to pick up the ransom, Drewer estimated he was gone for two hours by keeping track of programs she heard on a television set left on in the room, the affadavit said. p
At intervals throughout the day of her abduction, Drewer was forced to cash five personal checks totaling $1,200 at First American branches. Between stops, the FBI said, she was made to cover her eyes with black eye patches and sunglasses, and to wear a baseball cap.
O'Grady allegedly abducted Drewer at gunpoint about 8 a.m. last Tuesday as she left her car in a parking lot at First American's headquarters in McLean, where she is employed in the marketing department. Her father later dropped off the $50,000 payoff, in $50 and $100 bills, near where the abduction took place, according to authorities.
The FBI, which was assisted by Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria police during the investigation, was notified of Drewer's disappearance by the bank's security officer, Robert Kunkel, former head of the FBI's Alexandria field office. Kunkel contacted authorities almost immediately after Drewer failed to show up for work, an FBI spokesman said yesterday.
At the FBI's instruction, most of the ransom money was Xeroxed at the bank before it was released, the affadavit said. The FBI later determined that 12 of 18 $50 bills O'Grady alledgedly used to buy his San Francisco plane ticket at Dulles airport matched the serial numbers of money used in the ransom payment, according to the court papers.
In court yesterday in San Francisco, O'Grady said he normally makes between $25,000 and $30,000 a year, but did not specify his line of work. Prosecutor Mark N. Zanides told a reporter he believed O'Grady had worked as an executive job recruiter. O'Grady gave the Bedford Village apartments in Fairfax as his home and business address.
In addition to his credit card and bank debts, O'Grady said he owed his mother, an Arlington resident, $10,000 and had borrowed $1,300 from his roomate. None of the credit card or bank debts O'Grady mentioned in court involve First American Bank.
The magistrate appointed a federal public defender to represent O'Grady at a hearing today, at which the date of his transfer back to Alexandria is expected to be set.
Based on the FBI affadvit and interviews with investigative sources, the ransom payment followed a series of telephone contacts during which Drewer's father was directed to various locations in Northern Virginia.
When the first call came into First American headquarters at Tysons Corner at 3:28 p.m., the kidnaper demanded money and said the banker would never see his daughter again if he called the police. As the banker listened, his daughter got on the line and confirmed that she had been abducted.
Drewer, carrying the $50,000 in a brown satchel, susbsequently was told to go to three locations in the Tysons shopping center area. First he was sent to the Upstairs Maid restaurant, then to a Hot Shoppes restaurant and finnally to the Dominion National Bank's parking garage on Leesburg Pike.
There he found a small index card telling him to drop the satchel into a trash can, which he did. Drewer then returned to the Hot Shoppes. About a half hour later, at 7:10 p.m., he was notified in a telephone call that everything was "okay" and that his daughter would be released shortly.
More than three hours later, at 10:47 p.m., Drewer received another phone call at the family's home in the Chain Bridge Forest section of North Arliington. It was his daughter, telling him she had been set free.
Law enforcement officials in San Francisco said yesterday the bulk of the ransom money has not been recovered.
Asked for comment as he was being whisked out of the courtroom, O'Grady told a reporter, "Can you believe it? I don't know what to say."