Who Is Caitlan Coleman? New Details On Wife Of American Taliban Supporter Joshua Boyle Who Was Kept Captive For Five Years And Abused By Him

What do you do when your co-captive is more abusive than your captors?

Who Is Caitlan Coleman? New Details On Wife Of American Taliban Supporter Joshua Boyle Who Was Kept Captive For Five Years And Abused By Him Getty

Caitlan Coleman (then seven months pregnant) and her husband Joshua Boyle were vacationing in South Asia in 2012 when they were captured by the Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban. They were held captive until 2017. Previously, they were on the same team—they were both victims of kidnapping! But when he revealed himself to be a Taliban sympathizer, his actions became even worse than their captors.


What happened, and what does Coleman have to say two years later? Who is Caitlan Coleman?

1. She gave birth to three children while in captivity

Prior to the incident, Coleman wanted to start a family with Boyle. Once they were in captivity, though, it wasn’t a discussion anymore. She had no say in whether or not they would have children while they were stuck in Afghanistan. He forced himself on her and she gave birth to Najaeshi Jonah, now six, Dhakwoen Noah, three, and Ma’idah Grace, two. “Not only was it psychological, it was physical, it was sexual. I was actually more afraid of him than of the captors,” she said. 


2. Boyle was really into the Taliban

According to ABC News, Boyle was actualy previously married to a woman named Zaynab Khadr, who is the Canadian daughter of a senior al Qaeda aide to Osama Bin Laden. He thought this connection would help him “earn the Taliban’s trust” and “sort of get the real story of the Taliban.” Coleman said: “He would always tell me, ‘I think they’re misrepresented in the West. I think they’re good people. When you meet them, you’re gonna see.’ So I saw. And they are, with the exception of my husband, the worst people that I’ve ever known in my life.”

RELATED: The Man Held Hostage With His Family By The Taliban For 5 Years Has Been Arrested For Sexual Assault


3. He was controlling her even before the kidnapping

While they were hiking in South Asia, Boyle said they could “dip into" Afghanistan for a bit, assuring her that they would be welcomed “as a guest” of the Taliban. She objected, but she couldn’t stop him because he had their passports and all their money and wouldn’t give them up. Even before the forced impregnations while in captivity, he never gave her a say.

4. Upon their release and return to Canada, Boyle only got more abusive

According to the Associated Press, Pakistan secured their release back in October of 2017. While in Canada, Coleman gave birth to another baby, Duhaa Joy, who's now nine months old, but this wasn't indicative of a healing family. Instead, Coleman reported that her husband “restricted pretty much everything. I had no freedom, as far as, you know, where I would go, who I would talk to, how I would dress, what I would say. I certainly felt like I was still a prisoner. There wasn’t actually a big change in my life from when we were still in Pakistan in the hands of the Haqqanis and when I was in the Embassy Suites Hotel [in Ottawa] with Josh.”


RELATED: Insane New Details About The Man Who Held His Wife Hostage For Days And Then Murdered The People Who Helped Her Escape

5. Coleman finally escaped (again) and Boyle was arrested on charges of assaulting, raping, drugging and unlawfully confining her

He denies all of these accusations, of course. The court documents say that the charges include eight counts of assault, two accounts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, one count of uttering a death threat, one count of misleading a police officer, and one charge of forcing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone" (an antidepressant).


Boyle’s now awaiting his next court date in Ottawa while she’s safe with her children in the U.S. 

Despite everything, Coleman somehow still has the strength to put on a fierce face and trudge forward. “We do have some ordeals ahead of us,” Coleman said. “But then I look at what I survived,” she added. “And I don’t think there’s anything, you know, anything that I can foresee that I couldn’t handle.”

Leah Scher is an ENFP finishing her degree at Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health. She draws inspiration for her writing from writer/director Wes Anderson, and for her lifestyle from her grandmother. Lastly, she's always actively seeking two things: a job having anything at all to do with publishing, and a chance to meet Jesse Eisenberg.