Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford woman raised by monkeys to tell story
A Bradford woman’s amazing claim that she was raised by a troop of monkeys in the Colombian jungle is to be published as a book and has made headlines around the world.
Mum-of-two Marina Chapman, of Allerton, is said to be finishing off the astonishing story of how, aged four, she was kidnapped from her Colombian parents, but then dumped in the rainforest.
She escaped big cats, spiders and giant pythons until she says “about 20 capuchin monkeys” welcomed her into their family.
Mrs Chapman, a former cook at the city’s National Media Museum, says she lived with the colony for five years, during which time she learned to climb trees and catch wild animals with her bare hands.
She tells how hunters found her, then sold her to a brothel in exchange for a parrot, but she escaped before being put to work.
She says she then fled to the nearby town of Cucuta, where she led a gang of pickpockets, was a slave to crime lords and lost three fiances to violent deaths.
In her book, The Girl With No Name – The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised By Monkeys, Mrs Chapman will reveal how she was then taken on as a maid by a family who brought her to Bradford on a business trip and where she met her future husband.
She spoke virtually no English and he spoke no Spanish, but they married in 1977 and had two daughters.
Mrs Chapman, now in her 50s and married to former church organist John Chapman, is said to be finishing the book with the help of her musician and composer daughter, Vanessa James.
“I got bedtime stories about the jungle, as did my sister. It was just Mum telling her life, so in a way it was nothing special having a mother like that,” said Vanessa, 28.
Mrs Chapman was not available for comment until after publication next spring, said her literary agent Andrew Lownie after the story was published in a Sunday newspaper.
On February 7 this year, Vanessa wrote on her website blog: “I’m pleased to say a book that I wrote five years ago has finally made it through and will be out early 2013. It’s my mother’s life story: she was kidnapped from her village aged five then left for dead in the jungle.”