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Cary Stayner, also known as The Yosemite Killer, was convicted nearly 20 years ago in the murders of four people in 1999 while he was working as a hotel After the fourth murder, the FBI went looking for Cary Stayner to interview him, but initially as a witness. Cary always wore a hat because he was compulsively pulling his hair out. Or certainly, nothing noticed by his colleagues at the motel. Concluding the interview, he addressed the victims' families: "I am sorry their loved ones were where they were when they were. How can one family, contain two completely contrasting children? For two weeks, Steven watched Timothy suffer the separation from his family. It was badly decomposed and her throat had been cut. It was not animated or digitally created; a stunt driver put the truck into a full controlled jackknife in front of the camera. They no longer want you.. During the first crash, the truck jackknifed before hitting the car. Local police and Yosemite Park Rangers began to search the area where the missing three were last seen. On February 15, the ladies hiked into Yosemite National Park on one of the many trails. "He had a great personality," said Lori Duke, who dated Steven in high school but knew him as Dennis. In order to prevent Steven from escaping, Parnell was constantly moving the two of them from town to town in California. See the latest list of Exclusive members-only articles on StrangeOutdoors.com, See more StrangeOutdoors True Crime Stories, The horrific rape and murder of Sophie Louise Hook whilst camping in her Uncle's garden, The miracle rescue of Alan Lee Phillips at Colorados Guanella Pass - the man who turned out to be a serial killer, The chilling story of Thomas Lee Dillon - the Ohio Outdoorsmen killer, https://casefilepodcast.com/case-161-the-yosemite-sightseer-murders-part-1/, https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/stayner-cary.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cary_Stayner, https://abcnews.go.com/US/steven-cary-stayner-tale-brothers-horror-heroism/story?id=60529944, https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/me-timothy-white10-2010apr10-story.html, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/a26040174/cary-stayner-steven-yosemite-murders/, https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/july-25-1999-cary-stayner-arrested-murder-yosemite-60263995, https://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-recalls-moment-family-learned-target-1999-yosemite/story?id=60364987, https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/stayner-sentenced-to-death/, Tagged: The Yosemite National Park Sightseer Murders, Carole Sund yosemite murders, Juli Sund yosemite murders, Silvina Pelosso yosemite murders, Cary Stayner yosemite murders, Yosemite park murders, Joie Ruth Armstrong, Sign up now for a one-time fee for access to over 55 exclusive member articles, The Yosemite National Park Sightseer Murders and the two faces of evil, Exclusive members-only articles on StrangeOutdoors.com, The Yosemite National Park Sightseer Murders, The miraculous escape of the Brazilian and German backpackers at Salt Creek in South Australia, Robert Hansen Butcher Baker - the Alaska Serial killer who hunted his victims in the wilderness, The shocking unsolved Keddie Cabin murders, The disturbing death of Fiona Torbet in the Scottish highlands, The unsolved Williams and Winans camping murders in Shenandoah National Park, The real Wolf Creek - The Backpacker Murders in the Australian Outback, The disturbing story of David Shearing and the Wells Gray Park camping murders, The mysterious death of Carol Laughlin in Yosemite National Park, The frightening case of the Trailside Killer David Carpenter, The mysterious Koh Tao - Death Island in Paradise, The disturbing disappearance of the Beaumont children on Glenelg Beach, The Kamloops Triangle - The British Columbia murders and disappearances, The Delphi hiking murders - Abigail Williams and Liberty German, The Peter Falconio disappearance in the Australian Outback, The unsolved murder of Scott Lilly on the Appalachian trail, The disturbing case of James Jordan - The Appalachian Trail Murderer. Cary was off anybody and everybody who met him will tell William Mapother is a cousin of, The unsub bears some similarities with Cary Stayner, older brother of infamous kidnapping victim Steven Stayner (. The issue of whether his confession was coerced seemed to be resolved when on July 24, the court heard the recorded demands that Stayner made to the FBI agents that he wanted to be satisfied before he would give them his confession. The issue was no longer who committed the murders but whether Stayner was insane at the time and whether the confession to the FBI agents was coerced. Hastings rejected new defense claims that juror misconduct prevented a fair trial. Very seldom did he get into trouble. Connections She was seen that day at the Institute offices and was planning to visit a friend in Sausalito, California, that day but never made it. Then he took action. He was known to take refuge in nearby Yosemite, where hed drive up and get lost in nature. Unfortunately, less than a decade after his incredible escape, Steven Stayner died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24, leaving behind a wife and two children. By Friday, July 23rd, Stayner, in the meantime, had disappeared from the area, by the time agents came to arrest him. Concluding the interview, he addressed the victims' families: "I am sorry their loved ones were where they were when they were. He had a long criminal record and had been questioned extensively by the FBI. "Thats when I told him, 'You need to go to a doctor, Cary.'" Stayner said he thought he had gotten away with the earlier crimes, but could not resist the urge to kill Armstrong after he struck up a chance conversation with her. By the end of June, the FBI had reviewed the testimonies and the evidence linked to the suspects in custody. Agents descended on the colony and returned him to El Portal on Saturday where he was put through a more lengthy interrogation. She was working for the Yosemite Institute for the past year and had worked on education programs through a partnership with the National Park Service. "Privately, some members of the Sund-Pelosso task force were saying the same things to the media. He told Hartman that his parents "didnt change that much," but his brother and sisters, "they changed a lot. He was convicted of four brutal murders in 2002. But seven years later in February 1980, Steven miraculously reappeared. In 1972, Stayners He had no criminal record and his only encounter with the law was for marijuana use in 1997. Investigators searched his truck and confiscated his backpack for examination. Steven Stayner was just seven-years-old when he was abducted a few blocks from his home in Merced, Steven and Cary Stayner: The tale of two brothers' horror - ABC He demanded that his parents be given the reward money, that he be incarcerated at a prison near his parents home, and, to Stayners detriment, that he be given a large cache of child pornography. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but only served five, less time than he held Steven captive. "I remember going out one night after Steve disappeared and wishing on a star that my brother would come back home," Cary reportedly told Mike Echols, author of the book I Know My First Name Is Steven. Initially, the police didn't have any solid leads as to who killed them. Many local residents were convinced that no one person could have created so much horror, "'The logistics of it say it had to involve more than one person, said Letty Carolyn Barry, owner of the Yosemite Rosebud Lodge, west of Cedar Lodge. ", Steven Stayner and Cary Stayner in the baseball cap in the background. While he attended his meeting, the women were to tour the Grand Canyon. That same day, Stayner allowed himself to be interviewed by a reporter from KNTV. ", Steven Stayner with his kidnapper Kenneth Parnell. I never recognized either one of them.". In mid-July of 2002, the trial began in Judge Thomas C. Hastings courtroom. In (the) interview, Stayner said he had fantasized about killing women for the last 30 years and described in detail how he murdered all the women, He had strangled Pelosso and Carole Sund in their rented cabin in the Cedar Lodge motel, then took Juli Sund to a lake, where he killed her early the next morning. Timothy Lee White, 5, gets a piggyback ride from 14-year-old Steven Stayner at a news conference in Ukiah, California, in 1980, Kenneth Parnell stops the car and goes to a payphone, he comes back and tells Steven, Your parents, I just spoke to them. Larry Duane Utley, 41 an associate of Dykes and Larwick, first picked up during a March parole sweep. Connecticut Serial Killer William Devin Howell Describes The Shockin | He was charged with attempting to purchase a child and attempted child molestation in 2004, that he was sentenced to 25 years to life. By this point, Cary Stayner had a couple of nervous breakdowns. "I've struggled with that issue for the last 24 hours and continue to do so," he confessed. The car was hidden off a spur road where locals dump old refrigerators, cars, and washing machines. On Good Morning America in March 1980, Steven shared with host David Hartman that it felt "great" to be home. However, when they found Cary at a nudist colony nearby and brought him in for questioning, he quickly confessed to Armstrongs murder, and soon after admitted he was also responsible for the first three killings. But instead of seeking mental health treatment, he moved to Yosemite. What followed turned out to be one of the most shocking crimes in both National Park and American history, involving a man whose family had already been involved in a notorious crime, literally the two faces of evil. Decades later, Stevens older brother, Cary Stayner, made headlines when he was arrested and convicted of the serial slayings of four females. The California Highway Patrol verified the car's license plate as the Sunds rented vehicle and immediately notified the FBI. The revelation came in a six Stayner said to investigators I want you to get a hold of some producers in Los Angeles. He remains on Arrested on an unrelated drug charge, he has been questioned about the Yosemite case. They had been hosting Silvina, who was a foreign exchange student from Argentina and a friend of Juli's, She was spending three months with the family. The FBI task force investigating Yosemite issued a federal warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in Stanislaus County drug court in June. Cary didnt emerge as a suspect during the initial investigation, and the FBI actually believed they had the people responsible for the killings in custody. On Monday, July 22, the court heard Stayners taped confession, which he had given to FBI agents. Unofficially, Jens Sund offered a $250,000 reward for information that would lead to the return of the missing women. Chief James Maddock said he himself questioned whether the Bureau could have done anything to prevent Armstrong's killing. Vacuum sweepings were taken from inside Joies house, where Stayner claims to have bound her with duct tape, yielded hair evidence. The prosecution team was headed by George Williamson and the defense team was headed by Marcia Morrissey. He was buried Thursday in the town of Newhall, where he had worked as a Los Angeles County sheriffs deputy. Her body was next to a stream and head within the water that she and her friends used for drinking water. After graduation from Merced (California) High School, Stayner worked as a window installer at a glass company. How frightened the girls must have been when he cut their clothes off.. On December 4, 1972, at the age of seven, Steven was approached after school by Edward Ervin Murphy, who claimed he was collecting money for the church. That evening, the group grabbed some videos from the lodge's service desk to watch in their room. He abandoned the group's rental car with the bodies of Carole and Silvina inside, returning two days later to burn the evidence and retrieve the wallet, which he dumped in Modesto to confuse authorities. Although the Merced police department launched a full-fledged investigation at the time of Stevens disappearance, they werent able to find any significant leads. But when Parnell kidnapped another young boy, this time 5-year-old Timothy White, Steven knew he couldnt let another child be subjected to the abuse and torment he had faced for years. The hire car company confirmed that Carole had never returned the rented Pontiac, nor told them that they were extending their agreement. Cary Stayner confesses to killing four innocent women in 1999: Part 9 Two FBI agents were eating pizza with Stayner when he suddenly admitted he murdered Joie Larwick, who grew up in Tuolumme County near where the bodies of Carole Sund and Silvina Pelosso were found, was jailed on March 16 after he allegedly shot a Modesto police office. She was subpoenaed because she is a friend of Dykes and Larwick. He was arrested on March 5 when he allegedly reported to his parole officer with liquor on his breath. "Her mother, sisters, and a family friend had been missing for a month by the time Gina Sund read her poem in front of a thousand or so people who gathered in Modesto," writes Time. They were looking for the missing red 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix as well as the women. However, given Californias statewide moratorium on capital punishment, it doesnt appear that hell be executed anytime soon the states last execution was held in 2006. Billy Joe Strange, 39, an El Portal parolee who worked at the Cedar Lodge lounge and restaurant, where the murdered women were last seen. Soon after, he confessed to murdering Carole Sund, Juli Sund, and Silvina Pelosso once in custody. Goofs He also struggled in high school where he was bullied for the abuse he had endured. According to court documents filed Monday, Cary Stayner told the FBI he assaulted Silvina Pelosso and Juli Sund before killing them. The two hitchhiked to Ukiah, California. Jens had scheduled to meet them at the San Francisco airport that evening on his way to Arizona, to where the others were to accompany him. Stayner said he thought he had gotten away with the earlier crimes, but could not resist the urge to kill Armstrong after he struck up a chance conversation with her. Teresa Kay Gray, 36, of Modesto. By mid-April, those who had been arrested were ordered to testify in front of a grand jury in Fresno, California. . Upon release, the FBI warned him not to leave El Portal. A relatively quiet, but friendly, a motel handyman called Cary Stayners only passions seemed to be nude sunbathing and hiking. Sandy Cox, whose husband owned the window company where Stayner worked for in Atwater, says, "We've known Cary since he was a little boyIt just doesn't match up. ", The FBI was reluctant to finger Stayner because, they, and many others, did not believe that Stayner acted by himself, given the brazen killing of the three women in the Cedar Lodge Motel and the disposal of the bodies. She also happens to have a front row seat to two true crime narratives in her own family. A woman named Lenna learned in 1999 that her mother, her sister and her had nearly been murdered by Cary Stayner. I did murder Carole Sund, Juli Sund, Silvina Pelosso and Joie Armstrong None of the women were sexually abused in any way.". Caroles parents, Francis and Carole Carrington, appeared on the Good Morning, America TV show, to ask for the prayers of Americans and their help in locating their daughter and the children. In a 2003 jailhouse interview with The Chronicle, Parnell admitted that he had tried to buy the boy to experience the "love and respect" that a son has for a father. Steven told the police what happened to him and Timothy and he was also able to tell them his real name was Steven, not Dennis. She had probably been murdered on the evening of Wednesday, July 21. WebCary Stayner, the handyman at their hotel, confessed after being arrested for beheading another victim, female nature guide Joie Armstrong. Agents arrived at the scene early on the 19th and upon opening the trunk, investigators found two charred bodies. Knives were used in the slayings and the weapon suspected in Ms. Armstrong's death was recovered.". I wish I could have controlled myself and not done what I did. "'Deep in my heart I know something my mind does not want to learn,' said Gina,13. Stayner was already serving a life sentence for the murder of Joie Ruth Armstrong. He received the death penalty for killing four women, three of whom had been staying at the Cedar Lodge, where Stayner was employed as a handyman. Maria Ledbetter, 24, of Modesto, an admitted methamphetamine addict and former girlfriend of Dykes, about whom she was questioned extensively. The judge said there was overwhelming evidence against Stayner and that the devastating emotional toll justified execution. Cary Stayner, the serial killer convicted in the grisly murders of four women near Yosemite National Park, is born on August 13, 1961. Steven Stayner helped another child escape from a pedophile, after enduring years of abuse and not wanting to see the child experience the same fate. Convicted in 1978 for rape and robbery, he was jailed on March 14 for failing to register as a sex offender. Steven was a national hero. On Saturday, July 24, FBI agents announced at a press conference that a man was in custody on strong suspicion of murder and that a "significant announcement" would be made shortly. He had talked his way into the room under the guise of fixing a leak, and then sexually assaulted both girls and brutally murdered Carole Lund and Silvina Pelosso in the room. Stayner, clad in a red jail jumpsuit, bowed his head but showed no emotion as Judge Hastings sentenced him to death three times, once for each murder, after returning to the courtroom. Police found her car in front of her cabin, packed for the trip. Ashley Stayner is a self-professed true crime fan. I want a movie-of-the-week made about my story. There was a movie made about Steven Stayner. Cary Stayner went from being the brother of child abductee Steven Stayer to a full-blown serial killer. The initial suspicion was that they may have wandered off the main hiking paths and got lost in the park. Out of respect for his family and the victim's family, we don't want to say anymore." "We never really got along that well after he came back All of a sudden Steve was getting all these gifts, getting all this clothing, getting all this attention. Her mother had been dating him and he had decided to kill them on Valentines Day. He died in jail in 2008 at the age of 76. On March 1, 1980, Steven waited until Parnell was at work and then fled the house with Timothy. And he wanted the same treatment. ", FBI sources claimed that he had already confessed his guilt during the Saturday evening interrogation. At a press conference outside the Stayner house, everyone was smiling, but Cary in his baseball cap wasnt smiling at all. In 1997, Stayner got a job as a handyman at the Cedar Lodge, seven miles from the gate of the national park, where he worked for 2 years before the murders.. He befriended a co-worker named Ervin Murphy to assist him in the abduction. I guess I was jealous. Shortly after Stevens death, an uncle with whom Cary Stayner was very close was shot and killed in a home they shared together. Eugene "Rufus" Dykes, 32, also of Modesto and Larwick's half-brother was arrested in March. Cary, as the older brother, had a very strange relationship now with his younger brother, Steven, who was getting all of this attention and who was a different person, former KNTV reporter Ted Rowlands told ABC News. After they stopped trying to teach me the fundamentals all over again, it got better. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "(A witness claimed that) Stayner was angry about authorities seizing his backpack after he was questioned earlier that day. By the time Steven was 14, he had been abused and manipulated by Parnell for seven years and Parnell and Steven together realized that Steven was growing up and that he was no longer going to be controlled by Parnell and they would need to find someone else that they could sexually abuse. In his capacity, Stayner performed technical and housekeeping duties, everything from fixing electrical and mechanical breakdowns to delivering extra towels and bedding to guests. You have the other brother who's left at home. It was dark when they arrived and Timmy could remember where he lived so they went to the police station. I guess seven years changed him, too. He walked naked and and smoked pot, he could find the peace that he so desperately needed. In February 1980, Parnell decided to kidnap a new victim. I was the oldest and all that. 51K views 3 years ago 20/20 Extra: For the first time, 20 years after the Yosemite murders, Lenna speaks out exclusively on what she learned about Cary 2023 BDG Media, Inc. All rights reserved. They then headed out for Cedar Lodge in El Portal on February 14, which is located on Yosemite's western slope. Then Carole's wallet turned up in Modesto, which included money and credit cards. Cary Stayner Span of crimes FebruaryJuly 1999 Country United States State (s) California Date apprehended 1999 7 more rows The boys were still in elementary school when on December 4, 1972, a man named Kenneth Parnell took seven-year-old Stephen, whilst walking home from school on Highway 140. Cary Stayner, now 57, was convicted of the murders of Armstrong, the Sunds and Pelosso, and sentenced to death for all except Armstrong's. He remains on death row at San Quentin Penitentiary. It seemed as though he had a compulsion with trying to get close to women or be sexual with them, but he was unable to develop any sort of interpersonal relationships with any women. He grew up, got married and had two kids. Specifically, the media scrutiny seemed to affect his older brother Cary, who clashed with his brother after his return. He had given the FBI details "only the killer would know in such specificity that agents were able to recover evidence confirming his confession. He usually ate lunch and dinner at the motel restaurant. He did feel, however, that the FBI spared nothing to investigate the earlier killings. He paid a local kid to ride with him to the town of Ukiah, California and he told to go and find him a boy. Despite this, he never appeared to behave lewdly nor perversely in public. Ive never seen anything thats so close to black and white and evil and good as Stayner and our children, said Francis Carrington, the father of Carole Sund and grandfather of Juli. Rachel Lou Campbell, 36, of Modesto, was charged in April with stealing checks and credit cards, and converting them into cash and merchandise worth $365,000. "He was spunky. "I'm confident we've done everything that could be reasonably done.". Carole and her husband, Jens, 43, owned a realtors business in the Stockton area. But he was surprised that did not find his wife at the airport and assumed she had flown ahead, The next day, he tried to contact them again and failed and he called the police. The Bureau relocated its headquarters from Yosemite to Modesto at this point and, on February 28, twelve days after the women's disappearance, hinted that was is no longer treating the Sund incident as a missing persons case, but as murder. And in 1999, the Stayner family was back in the news but this time, for a less than positive reason. "And I did that almost every clear night from then on until Steve finally came back home. But, to no avail. Silvina Pelossos mother, Raquel, said, I just cannot understand how so many peopledidn't realize that maybe (Stayner) was the man since I heard that he was interviewed some time ago. WebCary Stayner was convicted of the 1999 Cedar Lodge Killings near Yosemite National Park. One of those arrested, and later released, was Cary Stayner, who worked at the Cedar Lodge as the handyman. The Sund family's worst fears were confirmed when a hiker wandered onto the site of a burned-out red 1999 Pontiac, hidden off Highway 108, in the Stanislaus Forest region on March 18. Its manager had seen a story on television, recognized Stayner's photo as one of his guests, and notified the FBI. | In May 2002, Stayner pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1999 murder of Pelosso and the Sunds. I wouldnt think that he would think of himself as one, but he is a hero.". "The only time Steve would kill anything like a fish is because we were gonna eat it. After a couple of weeks, he upped the sum to $300,000. In the end, Stayner confessed without the promise of child pornography or reward money for his parents. When Steven didnt return from school that afternoon, his parents sounded the alarm. | Cary was 11 years old at the time, and deeply upset about his brother's disappearance. I went to ask if Cary wanted to talk, reporter Ted Rowlands said. wayne simmons imposter, ever after high fanfiction dexter and daring,