Regulation enforcement officers in California had been left shocked after they realized regarding the abduction of 26 faculty youngsters and their bus driver close to metropolis of Chowchilla in Madera County. Whereas kidnappers ambushed the varsity bus and demanded $5 million in ransom, a police investigation quickly led straight to Frederick Newhall Woods IV, James Schoenfeld, and Richard Schoenfeld. ’48 Hours: Remembering the Chowchilla Kidnapping’ chronicles the horrifying incident and follows the short police motion that launched the perpetrators to justice. Nicely, for individuals who’re intrigued by the small print surrounding the crime and wish to uncover out the place Frederick Woods is at current, now we’ve now you coated.
Who’s Frederick Woods?
A neighborhood of the San Fransisco Bay Space tales declare that Frederick obtained proper right here from a well-to-do household and didn’t have any essential approved historic earlier prior to the kidnapping. In actual fact, he was hardly ever in drawback with the regulation, and most seen him as a typical 24-year-old who beloved hanging out collectively collectively together with his buddies and was attempting to make it on his non-public. Nonetheless, of us had no concept that Frederick would find yourself committing such a heinous crime alongside brothers James and Richard Schoenfeld.
In line with sources, 26 youngsters had been being pushed residence from summer season season faculty by their bus driver, Ed Ray, on July 15, 1976, when Frederick, James, and Richard ambushed them right exterior metropolis of Chowchilla. They armed themselves with weapons prior to hijacking the automotive and threatened to hurt anybody who dared to go in opposition to their orders. Seeing as how the children’s lives had been at risk, Ed complied, and the abductors pressured the children, together with the driving energy, into two ready vans. By the way, the survivors had been pressured to leap from the bus to the van as a result of the abductors didn’t wish to go away any footprints behind.
After forcing the survivors into the vans, Frederick and his confederate drove for virtually 12 straight hours prior to arriving at a rock quarry in Livermore, California. As soon as on the rock quarry, the children, together with Ed, had been made to go down a distinct segment that put them inside an earlier truck trailer. With time, the survivors realized that they’d been buried virtually 12 ft underground and had no easy escape. In addition to, though the trailer had meals and water for consumption, it was barely ample for the 27 of us cramped inside. In the meantime, Frederick and the Schoenfeld brothers known as the State Board of Training and demanded $5 million as a ransom in change for setting the children free.
As soon as the meals and water contained throughout the trailer started understanding, the survivors knew they wished to discover a methodology to flee. That was when 14-year-old Michael Marshall and the bus driver, Ed Ray, managed to open the quilt blocking the doorway to the opening that they’d been pressured to go down by means of. With the opening accessible, Michael come what might dug a path to one of the best for the others to regulate to. Thereafter, the survivors sought assist from the native quarry employees, and regulation enforcement officers organized for his or her journey as soon as extra residence.
Curiously, authorities obtained an early breakthrough contained in the investigation as they realized that Frederick’s father owned the rock quarry. That gave the police ample aim to look his property, the place they discovered proof indicating Frederick Woods was concerned contained in the incident. Moreover, the search revealed a rigorously drafted ransom uncover and pointed the police within the path of James and Richard Schoenfeld. Subsequently, Richard Schoenfeld turned himself in whereas Frederick and James went on the run all by state traces. Nonetheless, it didn’t take extended for authorities to arrest the escapees, and the trio was made to face loads of payments, together with eight counts of inflicting bodily hurt.
The place is Frederick Woods Now?
When produced in courtroom docket, Frederick Woods pled accountable to all payments aside from that of inflicting bodily hurt. Nonetheless, he was convicted on all counts, and the choose handed him 27 concurrent sentences of seven years to life in jail with out the potential for parole in 1976. Following the sentencing, Frederick made an attraction, and then-state Choose William Newsom lowered the life sentence and made him eligible for parole in 1980.
Stories degree out that prior to 2022, Frederick appeared prior to the parole board seventeen circumstances, solely to be denied launch and despatched as soon as extra to jail. Nonetheless, in March 2022, two commissioners on the panel helpful Frederick’s launch, and though Governor Gavin Newsom requested the board to rethink their willpower, it appeared like Frederick was on the easiest way whereby within the path of freedom. Naturally, loads of of us, together with the kidnapping survivors, objected to this willpower, and a few insisted that Frederick had not modified his character in jail. Nonetheless, the parole board upheld the distinctive willpower, and he was launched in August 2022. Therefore, though Frederick in the mean time prefers privateness, his standing as a parolee signifies that he nonetheless resides contained in the state of California.