Rally held in support of school bus kidnappers' release

Posted on February 24, 2011

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.

Related Topics: law enforcement

Comments ( 1 )
  • Linda K

     | about 6 years ago

    REALLY???!!! How is it that just because it was 35 years ago and many people have forgotten the incident that makes these men safe to release? All that says to others contemplating this terrible crime is that if you are good sooner or later you will be free to do it again? Come on, school bus drivers are transporting our future here, do we really want to set a precedent that allows people who commit this type of crime to be set loose in the life time of the children it was done to? Sad state of affairs, shame on you to all the people in authority at the time of this crime who are saying these men should be released.

More Stories

Mother Gets Probation for Assaulting School Bus Driver

Kiesha Shannon of Ohio pleads guilty to attacking her daughter’s bus driver and is sentenced to three years of probation. The judge says he had limited sentencing options, which is why he didn’t give her jail time.


Portable Child Restraint

HSM Transportation Solutions’ C.E. White Portable Child Restraint for school buses, a five-point restraint system, is designed to accommodate children weighing 20 to 90 pounds and up to 57 inches in height.


2-Camera System

The DS2 is a two-camera vehicle event recording system that combines high-definition video recording, fleet telematics, and vehicle operating data on one screen for better incident review and driver coaching.

As Maryland’s new state director of pupil transportation, Gabriel Rose (seen here) replaces Leon Langley, who stepped down from the position in July.

New State Director Named in Maryland

Gabriel Rose, who previously served as a security specialist for Talbot County (Md.) Public Schools, replaces Leon Langley as state director.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!