CHOWCHILLA, California (KSEE/KGPE) — Thursday marks 45 years since the abduction of a school bus driver and 26 children in Chowchilla.
July 15, 1976 is a day that many in the community of Chowchilla say they will never forget. On that day, three gunmen abducted 26 school children and their school bus driver on their way home from a summer class trip.
The children and bus driver were piled into a moving van and then buried in a Bay Area quarry. They were able to escape the next day.
According to CBS News, 36 years later in 2012, Richard Schoenfeld, one of the perpetrators, was granted parole. Three years later, his brother James, who was also convicted of kidnapping for ransom and robbery, was paroled. Fred Woods, the last convicted kidnapper in prison, was denied parole on October 8, 2019.
Woods is eligible for parole again in five years.