Kidnapper of Steven Stayner dies in California prison | TahoeDailyTribune.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Kidnapper of Steven Stayner dies in California prison

Don Thompson, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO ” Kenneth Eugene Parnell, one of California’s most notorious child molesters, has died of natural causes while serving a life sentence.

Parnell, 76, died at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville on Monday, corrections officials said Tuesday.

He was convicted of kidnapping 7-year-old Steven Stayner in 1972 and keeping him until 1980. That’s when Parnell abducted a second boy and Stayner fled, taking the boy with him.



Stayner’s story was told in the television movie “I Know My First Name is Steven.” He died in a motorcycle accident in 1989.

Parnell was paroled after serving prison time for the earlier kidnappings. In 2004, he was sentenced to 25 years to life after he attempted to abduct another child.



Prosecutors said he asked the sister of his former caretaker to deliver a 4-year-old boy to his Berkeley apartment in exchange for $500. The woman went to police instead.

Stayner’s brother, Cary, is awaiting execution for killing Yosemite nature guide Joie Armstrong, and sightseers Silvina Pelosso and Juli and Carole Sund, in Yosemite National Park in 1999. Carole Sund is the daughter of Carson Mall owner Francis Carrington.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.