August 11, 2022

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"Captive Viewers": Steven Stayner's Quick Life Was Marred by Tragedy

Hulu’s newest true-crime documentary, “Captive Viewers: A Actual American Horror Story,” traces the practically unbelievable story of the Stayner household. One brother, Steven, was the sufferer of a nationally publicized kidnapping and child-abuse case, whereas one other, Cary, later turned a serial killer. Steven Stayner’s tragic story did not finish along with his kidnapping, although. This is what to know in regards to the man whose life was upended so early on. Be warned: this story entails mentions of kid abuse.

The Kidnapping of Steven Stayner

Steven Stayner was the center youngster of 5 siblings dwelling with their mother and father in Merced, CA. In 1972, when he was simply 7 years outdated, a stranger satisfied him that his mom had requested him to select Stayner up and convey him dwelling. Stayner acquired within the automobile and wasn’t seen once more for eight years.

The kidnapper was convicted youngster rapist Kenneth Parnell alongside along with his confederate, Ervin Murphy. Parnell manipulated Stayner into believing that his family did not need him anymore and that Parnell was his “dad” now. Parnell moved them incessantly and even modified Stayner’s title to Dennis Parnell. For seven years, Parnell managed and abused Stayner, whereas Stayner’s household continued to attempt to get info and preserve the case open.

How Did Steven Stayner Escape?

In 1980, Parnell kidnapped one other boy, 5-year-old Timothy White, and commenced to abuse him, too. In response to later interviews, that was the turning level for Stayner, who was now 14 years outdated.

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“I could not see Timmy undergo,” Stayner later mentioned as reported within the Los Angeles Occasions. “I simply did not suppose it was proper for him to must undergo the identical factor that I did. He actually did not must. There was somebody there who may cease it.”

The chance offered itself simply two weeks after White’s kidnapping. Stayner took White and the 2 fled, hitchhiking 40 miles to succeed in a police station within the close by city of Ukiah, CA — White’s hometown. There, Stayner advised police that he remembered his first title was Steven, although he could not totally keep in mind his final title. Finally, police had been capable of piece collectively his actual identification and return him to his household.

What Was Steven Stayner’s Life Like After His Abduction?

Stayner’s ordeal wasn’t over when he returned dwelling. He struggled to readjust to “regular” life, and he confronted bullying as Parnell’s trial revealed the small print of the sexual abuse Stayner had suffered. Finally, nonetheless, he started to discover a path ahead. Stayner married his spouse, Jody, in 1985, when he was 20 years outdated. The couple had two kids.

In 1989, Stayner’s story caught the curiosity of Hollywood. A TV miniseries known as “I Know My First Identify Is Steven” aired on NBC throughout two nights, with Stayner advising on the movie’s manufacturing and even making a cameo as a police officer. The miniseries earned 4 Emmy nominations. Sadly, Stayner’s life could be tragically minimize brief quickly after.

How Did Steven Stayner Die?

On the evening earlier than the Emmys, Stayner was driving his bike dwelling from work when he was the sufferer of a hit-and-run crash with a automobile. He sustained deadly head accidents, dying on the age of 24. It was a devastating and stunning finish to a life that had already survived a lot.

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