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Mary Stauffer was repeatedly raped and tortured for 53 days after being abducted by her obsessed student

Ming Sen Shiue was a student in Stauffer's high school math class 15 years ago and had become dangerously obsessed with her
UPDATED MAR 13, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On May 16, 1980, Mary Stauffer was leaving a beauty salon in Roseville, Minnesota, with her eight-year-old daughter Beth when a man appeared out of the blue and forced them into his car at gunpoint. Stauffer didn't know who he was, but would soon find out.

The man was Ming Sen Shiue, a student in Stauffer's high school math class 15 years ago, who over the years he had become dangerously obsessed with her. Shiue had stalked her family and plotted to kidnap her several times in the past, without her knowledge. 

For almost eight weeks after their abduction, Stauffer was held captive at Shiue's residence, where he repeatedly raped her and threatened Beth—until the mother and daughter somehow managed to break free.

'Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story', which aired October 5 at 8/7c on Lifetime, is a drama based on the horrific kidnapping that took place almost 40 years ago.

Shiue directed Stauffer to drive his car to a remote location on that fateful day, where he bound her and her daughter's hands, shoved them into his car trunk, and took the steering wheel. He stopped the car somewhere in between and saw Stauffer had managed to partially free her daughter. When Shiue began threatening her, two young boys nearby saw the commotion and walked over to find the embattled duo in the trunk.  

Without a second thought, Shiue picked one of them — a six-year-old named Jason Wilkman — threw him into the trunk, and drove away. At one point, he stopped the car again and pulled William out — only to fatally hit his head with a metal rod and dump his body in the woods. 

Upon arriving at his house in Roseville, Shiue locked Stauffer and Beth in a closet that was barely 21 inches wide and four feet tall.

According to court records for State v. Ming Sen Shiue, Stauffer's former math student had been looking for her for the longest time. He broke into her family-in-laws' home in Duluth, Minnesota mistakenly thinking she lived there, and then made three separate attempts to break into her actual address in St. Paul at Bethel University.

Abduction and torture victim Mary Stauffer. (Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images) 

After having successfully abducted her this time, Shiue began to rape his former teacher on a daily basis, often filming the abuse. He once tried to suffocate Beth complaining Stauffer didn't show him affection during the assaults, which last for hours. The powerless mother was forced to kiss Shiue on the lips to save her daughter's life.

During the daytime, he continued to work at the electronics store he owned, leaving the mother and daughter locked in the closet while he was away. 

On July 7, 1980, Stauffer somehow managed to break open the door and called authorities, explaining to them her situation. 

At first, Stauffer and Beth were waiting on the front porch. However, they quickly moved to the backyard and hid behind a car — fearing their abductor would show up. 

But the police arrived minutes later and found the disheveled pair, still in chains, before rescuing them back to safety.

Ming Sen Shiue. (Ramsey County Sheriff)

Shiue was arrested soon after and stood a federal trial for kidnapping Mary and Beth Stauffer, as well as another state trial for the murder of little Jason Williams.

Thomas Berg, the former U. S. Attorney who prosecuted the kidnapping case, recalled how Shiue got off his chair and charged at Stauffer, who was on the witness stand.

“I was questioning Mary Stauffer, the kidnapping victim, on the witness stand from the podium in federal court, and I just kind of sensed that something was going on behind me,” Berg told A&E Real Crime. “I turned, and the defendant Ming Shiue had gotten out of his chair on the other side of counsel table and was coming up, going after Mrs. Stauffer, the witness. So I just kind of instinctively grabbed him.”

But that was barely the end of it. During the second trial for Wilkman's murder, Shiue rushed at Stauffer and slashed her face with a knife he'd snuck into the courtroom. The victim required 62 stitches to cover that wound.

Shiue received two concurrent life sentences after being convicted in both trials. He was denied parole in 2010 and remains behind bars at the United States Penitentiary in Marion.