SAN FRANCISCO — A rally was held in the city's Civic Center yesterday in support of the release of three men responsible for the largest mass kidnapping in U.S. history.
Thirty-five years ago, James and Richard Schoenfeld and Fred Woods kidnapped 26 children and a driver from a school bus in Chowchilla, Calif., intending to hold them for $5 million ransom.
Supporters of the trio include ex-Madera sheriff's Detective Dale Fore, Richard Schoenfeld's attorney Scott Handleman and retired appeals court Justice William Newsom, KGO reports. The supporters say that the kidnappers, who were in their early 20s when the crime was committed, are not a danger to society.
Woods and the Schoenfelds have apologized for the kidnapping and reportedly have exemplary prison records.
However, some of the kidnapping victims say that Woods and the Schoenfelds should not be paroled.
The driver and children were able to escape unharmed from a moving van trailer, in which the kidnappers had buried them in a quarry.