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A Man Staged An Abduction To Convince His Christian Girlfriend To Marry Him

Photo: Raland, Rynio Productions, ruigsantos / Shutterstock
man who staged an abduction of his Christian girlfriend to marry him

We've all heard stories about men scheming to get their girlfriends to sleep with them. There's an entire regrettable pie-centric film franchise from the early 2000s about it, after all.

But one devoutly Christian young man in Australia went to lengths beyond anything most of us would ever conceive of — to the point of being equal parts bizarre and horrifying. And boy, did it ever blow up in his face.

Julian Buchwald staged an abduction to convince his Christian girlfriend Carolynne Watson to marry him so they could have sex.

Buchwald was 22 at the time and Watson was 17, and both were devout Christians from Melbourne, Australia who'd been dating for two years. As many Christians do, both had pledged to wait until their wedding night to have sex, and it seems Buchwald was having trouble with the wait. 

What he ended up doing about it is so bizarre it has become the stuff of true crime legend since the story first broke way back in 2008, spawning several podcasts and television specials over the years.

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In 2008, Carolynee Watson disappeared from Budgaree, Australia where she went on a picnic with Julian Buchwald. 

The day was meant to be a romantic picnic excursion into the Eastern Australia countryside. But things quickly went extremely sideways when Buchwald stopped the car to inspect a dead animal on the side of the road. 

A masked man in a balaclava suddenly appeared and blindfolded Watson, stripped her naked, tied her up and drove her to a remote part of the Australian bush. When the car finally stopped, Buchwalk removed her blindfold. He, too, had been stripped naked and told Watson they'd been abducted by a Satanic cult who'd abandoned them in the middle of nowhere. 

They roamed the wilderness for days, eating the peanut butter and tahini Buchwald had packed for their picnic and braving freezing temperatures in a sleeping bag Buchwald said the Satanists had dropped on accident.

Buchwald repeatedly tried to coerce Watson into having sex with him, urging her to marry him "in the eyes of God" there in the bush so that they could consummate their relationship. At one point he even suggested it as a way to keep warm.

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Meanwhile, a frantic police search ensued for Julian Buchwald and Carolynne Watson, who were missing for six days.

A search effort began as Buchwald and Watson's frantic families tried to locate them and police began to investigate. Nearly a week elapsed before the pair were spotted by a farmer near the area where they were wandering, and reported them to authorities.

Even after having been caught in the act of having obviously staged an abduction, Buchwald doubled down on the Satanic cult story. A letter was even found at his home covered in Satanic markings, which Buchwald claimed had been mailed by cult members. 



But once pressed, Buchwald quickly crumbled, admitting he'd staged the entire thing and confessing that it had been an elaborate ruse to get around the stringent rules he and Watson's Christian faith has about pre-marital sex.

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Julian Buchwald was unsurprisingly convicted of kidnapping, but fled Australia and wasn't apprehended for three more years. 

As if this story wasn't bizarre and disturbing enough, in 2011 it took on a new twist. After his conviction, Buchwald was released on bail but didn't show up to his sentencing court date. 

He was subsequently arrested in Singapore, having bailed out of Australia and gone to India. He'd created an entire Indian persona, in fact, with a fake passport and name, and dyed black hair and eyebrows. Once apprehended, he was sentenced in absentia to seven years and nine months in prison, plus an additional six months for that whole skipping-town-to-India thing.

The jig being thoroughly up, Buchwald relented and quietly served his sentence except just kidding, he did no such thing — instead, he appealed his sentence, claiming it was a miscarriage of justice and an excessive sentence, which is quite honestly the most insane part of this entire story. 



Unsurprisingly, his appeal was denied on the grounds of the profound, long-lasting trauma from the abduction inflicted on Carolynne Watson. But Australian authorities didn't stop there. 

Buchwald, who was born in Germany and came to Australia as an infant, had never acquired Australian citizenship. His visa was canceled in 2014, and in 2016 he was deported to Germany, where he didn't speak the language and knew no one.

All that in an attempt to coerce his girlfriend into sleeping with him — makes those "American Pie" movies look downright wholesome by comparison.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.