An Obit That Will Break Your Heart
This obit will break your heart. Here's how a serial criminal's misdeeds infected a whole lot of people.
Timothy White, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who died of a pulmonary embolism April 1 at the age of 35, was only five years old when he was kidnapped by a child molester. That molester had taken, abused and held another boy for more than seven years. Two weeks after White's kidnapping, that fellow victim, 14-year-old Steven Stayner fled with the boy and hitchhiked to safety.
"He didn't want what happened to him to happen to me," White said in 2004. That's White, on the shoulders of Stayner, after they managed to escape.
The molester, Kenneth Parnell, spent five years in prison during the 1980s for the abductions of Stayner and White. He died at age 76 in 2008 while serving a life term for trying to buy a 4-year-old boy for $500 while living in Berkeley, Calif.
Stayner, who returned to his family in Merced, died in a 1989 motorcycle crash.
The ordeal exacted a heavy toll on the Stayner family. Stayner's brother, Cary, is in San Quentin State Prison awaiting execution for killing four women in Yosemite National Park in 1999, a crime I vividly remember since I lived in northern California at the time.
His parents testified at his trial that they felt they had neglected him, preoccupied with searching for Steven.
The dramatic kidnapping story was told in a book and in the 1989 television movie, "I Know My First Name is Steven."
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