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tv   2020  ABC  July 2, 2021 9:01pm-11:01pm PDT

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this is the story of two brothers. one, a hero, and the other, a monster. >> having a serial killer in a national park is a story. but there's more, the brother is a national celebrity. >> seven years ago, a youngster in california vanished and today he showed up with another boy. >> 5-year-old timothy white. >> he literally said i won't let him go through what i went through. >> books, television, movies. it was absolutely incredible. >> the moment that steven stayner is abducted is the moment this story really begins. >> there's going to be a homecoming. you could imagine, sheer joy, that the entire family would be ecstatic.
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but one member is not so thrilled. >> he was cold. hateful. >> a vicious, vicious killer. >> we have recovered two bodies. >> you can never imagine something so heinous. >> this is a story that decades later, they're still talking about it. >> maybe, just maybe, we'll find this girl alive. >> he was handful. he was warm. he was just like a big teddy bear. he was our friend. it is frightening to think what he was thinking the whole time. >> this is yosemite. these things don't happen in yosemite. >> yosemite actually means the people who killed. >> you never expect so much terror to happen in such a beautiful place. >> monster. ♪
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>> this story starts in merced, california. it's in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by almond groves and peach orchards. >> it's a small farming town in the central valley of california, which is in the huge shadow of yosemite. merced, they call the gateway to yosemite. ♪ i started singing bye, bye miss american pie ♪ >> we're talking 1972. "american pie" was on the radio. ♪ singing this'll be the day that i die ♪ >> it's the year of watergate. it was the year that pong was introduced. "the brady bunch." ♪ that's the way we became the brady bunch ♪ >> the stayners lived on bette street. it was a middle class kind of a neighborhood. >> the parents were delbert and kay, and cary was the oldest of five children, he had a younger brother, steven, and three sisters too. >> del worked as a mechanic in a
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peach cannery. >> his mother kay was always described as distant, somewhat aloof. a woman who raised her children with sort of almost a coldness. >> cary was a nice guy. he was kind of a quiet guy. our days would be just get on our bikes in the morning and go to the park. hang out with friends, or skateboard. >> he loved his brother. hung out with him, played with him, looked out for him. >> steven had walked almost all the way home, and that's when it happened, a man in a car offered him a ride. >> so at the same time that the stayner boys are growing up in merced, about two hours away in yosemite, there's a little, stooped, pasty, nebbishy guy named ken parnell. >> kenneth parnell was working at the yosemite lodge, doing the
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books for them. he was convicted previously of molesting a child. >> but he found a job in yosemite because that kind of guy could find a job in yosemite. a lot of people run to yosemite to get away from things. >> and kenneth decided that he was going to abduct a young boy. he was able to recruit a co-worker of his. >> a slow-witted fella named ervin murphy. and finally, on december 4th, it was a sleety, wintery day, he and ervin murphy got into ken's big, white buick and drove into merced. >> steven, what happened that afternoon, do you remember, when you were walking home from school? >> and they saw this little boy, 7-year-old steven stayner. >> steven had left school, headed straight south from here four blocks. and when he was on yosemite parkway, which leads to yosemite
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national park, he was approached by ervin murphy. murphy had some religious tracts with him, which he'd been using to approach other kids. he asked steven if he thought that his mother would be willing to make a charitable donation to a church. at that point, parnell drove up in this old, white buick. murphy opened the rear door and steven got in. >> instead of taking a right so he could go to his home, they continued directly eastbound. >> they're driving out of merced, going up highway 140. >> kenneth parnell stops the car and he goes to a pay phone, he comes back and tells steven, "your parents, i just spoke to them. they no longer want you." >> and parnell then told him, "you're gonna be my son."
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he was a 7-year-old, thoroughly confused kid. i think he was probably used to an authoritative approach by his parents, so when parnell told him that his parents said he was gonna go with him, i think he probably believed it. >> steven's abduction was sudden, wrenching, brutal -- >> and yet, he's gonna be hiding in plain sight for years. >> the moment that steven stayner is abducted is the moment that this story of two brothers really begins. and was absolutely pivotal in terms of the monster coming to life. ission: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain,
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december 4th, 1972. steven stayner was abducted on highway 140 in the city of merced by individuals driving in an older-model white buick. >> and they're driving east, towards yosemite. >> parnell lives most of his life in yosemite, in the lodge. he kept steven in his room for about a week after that. >> he kept giving him this cough syrup to sedate him. i think that parnell felt that the more confused and sedated that he could keep steven in for the first several weeks, the better chance he stood to erase his connection back to his own family. >> when steven didn't make it home from school, his parents immediately were alerted. >> merced was the lead police
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department, and so they really mounted a large effort to search. and they searched. and there was just nothing there. >> it happened here at this corner and it was such a classic situation. the kind against which parents are constantly warning their children. the next morning, there was an empty desk in the class at charles wright school. >> when he was missing, it rocked the stayner family. it hurt the family dynamic. and it crushed del stayner. >> he just becomes a broken man, really. kay becomes even more distant, more aloof. she's sort of raising her children almost robotically. >> kay and delbert became colder to their other children. >> cary was very upset. i heard stories about him going out and wishing on a star, that his brother would come home. maybe he had some guilt, because i believe he was supposed to have been with his brother.
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>> delbert kind of saw steven as his real son, and cary kind of felt abandoned, neglected. >> a few weeks after he kidnapped steven, parnell pulled up stakes and he started drifting around california. they moved first to santa rosa. they would stay in fleabag motels, a crappy trailer or a broken down house. >> steven stayner had a new father figure, and it was kenneth parnell, who, by day, was his father, and by night was his rapist. >> parnell told him that his name was gonna be dennis parnell, and he enrolled him in school. and the school failed to get the records. those were the days where you'd get a copy of a record. you know, there was no e-mail.
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>> in the summer of 1976, just a couple of weeks before the bicentennial, he ended up in a co com comptche, california. it had been four years since steven was told ken parnell was his father. parnell and steven ended up in the little town of comptche, california, which is in mendocino county. >> comptche was really tiny. it had maybe a post office and a general store. and he kept him on the grounds in a trailer. >> so this is where ken parnell used to live many years ago. it's a good place to hide. it's a long ways from anywhere out here.
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>> nobody knew what was going on behind closed doors, and that this wasn't a father and son at all. >> by this time, i'm pretty certain that parnell felt i've got him emotionally locked in. so he knew this kid was going nowhere. >> from all outward appearances, he'd adjusted to his new life. there was no school out there, so every day he had to get on a bus and ride for 30 minutes. > this picture just describes what he looked like. his personality, his hairdo, his flannel shirt, his smile. >> my name is lori and steven stayner was my boyfriend in high school. he had a great personality. he was spunky. you could see that he wanted to play and be with kids and be normal. growing up with him consisted of a lot of fishing, riding bicycles. >> he sort of reminded me of shaggy from "scooby-doo." he had the same haircut and same shape of face. he made his way into getting into athletics in his freshman year of high school. he had a level of maturity to
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him that most of the kids didn't have, and i think part of that was, you know, he was already smoking cigarettes. a lot of kids had freedom, but not his kind of come and go as he pleased. which makes me wonder, why didn't he just leave? >> the answer is that steven now has attached to parnell on some parental level, and that's still his dependency day in and day out for food, clothing. and let's face it. it sounds like parnell basically let him do whatever he wanted to do as far as drugs, alcohol. and so his comfort level now has set in. >> because of the sexual abuse, i think that played into it, too. he knew that wasn't normal. i don't think that he wanted to have other people know about it. in some ways, it was just easier to go along with what was happening to him. >> steven still has a reality that he has a real family someplace else. >> we were walking home and he started crying. he said, "i want to go home to
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my real home." we just let it go. we had been drinking some beer and, you know, kids. >> while steven is a freshman at mendocino high school, some 300 miles to the south, his brother cary was an upperclassman at merced high school. >> he was cary stayner, the kid who had his brother kidnapped. there was a pall over him. >> he was actually voted most creative. cary was very well known for his drawings. i think he was a very, very good cartoonist, especially with the humor. >> he always wore a hat every time you would see him. >> he was wearing a hat because he was compulsively pulling his hair out. >> emotionally, cary had a tough
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time during his childhood. >> i don't remember cary ever having a girlfriend, and i never saw him with a girl. >> cary started acting wildly inappropriately towards females. he exposed himself to one of his sister's friends. >> it seemed as though he had a compulsion with trying to get close to women or be sexual with them. but he was unable to develop any sort of interpersonal relationships with any women. >> there's a surreal contrast in this. you have one brother who's been subjected to just unspeakable horror for years, but by all appearances he's a happy-go-lucky, jovial kid with a girlfriend. you have the other brother who's left at home. and it wasn't that he was just a loner. he was a bit of a creepy loner. >> so, in 1979, steven's now 14, he's been with parnell for seven years, and parnell then moves him to a very new, remote location. then he can, in his mind, stay one step in front of law
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enforcement. >> ken parnell takes steven to this small, little town called manchester, kind of along the coast of northern california. >> ken is looking for another prepubescent boy. steven knew what was gonna happen. and steven knew that that was wrong. and he was gonna end that. >> what steven would do in response would make him world famous. ♪ ♪ for those who see everyone's safety as equally important... experience our advanced standard safety technology on a full line of vehicles, ♪ at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. you said that you would shave your eyebrow off for a #klondike.
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in 1979, ken parnell pulled up stakes again, and he moved with steven to a small cabin in manchester, california, which is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by almost nothing. this is, for ken and for steven, a turning point. >> it was a one-room shack. very old and cold. >> at some point, parnell and steven together realized that steven was growing up and that he was no longer gonna be able to be controlled by parnell. parnell wanted another kid. >> so, in february of 1980, ken parnell goes back to the exact same m.o. that he used to get steven stayner. he paid a local kid to ride with him to the little town of ukiah, california, puts this high school kid out on the street to go find him a boy, and he finds
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5-year-old timothy white walking home from school. >> steven watched timmy suffer through this separation from his family for two weeks and decided finally that he had to do something about it. >> he literally said, "i was not gonna let that child go through what i had already been through. and if i didn't take care of it now, it would just get worse." >> eventually, steven got the courage to take timmy white out of that house. and when kenneth parnell went to work, the two hitchhiked to the town of ukiah. >> it's dark, and timmy can't remember where he lives. so, steven figures the best thing to do is to take him to the police station. >> keep in mind, steve stayner was known as dennis for seven long years. but when he arrives at that police station, he says something that will be embedded in the public consciousness
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forever. >> i know my first name is steven. >> and that became the title of a book. it became a television movie, and it made steven famous. >> seven long years ago, a youngster in california vanished. >> everyone thought he was dead at this point. he had rescued another boy. >> this is steven today. he is holding 5-year-old timothy white. >> who could make this up? every television network, every magazine cover, every movie executive. there wasn't anyone not interested. >> there he is. there he is. >> steven was a national hero. he returns to merced triumphant. >> steven's return has been a joyous event. >> within days, he's on "good morning america." >> good morning, steven, and mr. and mrs. stayner. steven, how's it feel to be home? >> feels great.
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>> did you remember your parents well? >> they didn't change that much. i recognized them when i got out of the car. >> what about your brothers and sisters? >> they changed a lot. i never recognized either one of them. >> mr. and mrs. stayner, how did this affect your other four children? >> when steve disappeared, the older two were very upset and i think kind of became very quiet children from the experience. >> there was a press conference outside the stayner house on bette street. and everyone was smiling. there was a lot of jubilation. this is really some sort of a miracle that steven's come home. >> the greatest thing that ever happened. it's a blessing. >> but if you look in the background, there's something worth noting, and it's cary in his baseball cap. and he's not smiling at all. >> cary, as the older brother, had a very strange relationship
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now with his younger brother, steven, who was getting all of this attention and who was a different person. >> in the television movie, there's a scene where he's finally reunited with his brother, cary. >> cary? >> and cary comes in, looking almost like a shaggy-haired surfer. and he's jubilant. he's so thrilled to see his brother. there's nothing to suggest that cary was all that thrilled to see his brother. >> they shared a room. they didn't get along. steven didn't understand the rules that he was now expected to live by. >> steven, what have these years been like for you adjusting, getting over the seven years you were away from home? >> for seven years i had been supposedly an only child. now i had to compete with a brother and three sisters. >> you were away for seven years, and a lot of people still wonder why you didn't try to escape before you finally did escape three years ago. when you look back on that, why
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do you think that is, do you think? >> well, there's several reasons. i was told i was adopted. >> you believed it? >> yes, i believed it. >> kay, what about for you? how do you think it's been for steven? >> i think he's done fantastic. i'm very proud of the way he's kind of joined right in with the rest of us, and he doesn't give us any problems. >> i tried to explain to her that they might consider, you know, some professional counseling. and she told me that she didn't believe that that was gonna be necessary. >> the adults all thought steven was a hero, but none of the adults had to go to high school with steven. >> it is generally known there was homosexual activity involved in steven's abduction. >> steven was constantly being made fun of when he came back, which is really sad because this poor guy has just been through seven years of, you know, being molested and everything else. >> his sexuality was constantly under attack. there's a scene in the movie in a locker room.
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>> was it kind of exciting for you, being around all those naked guys? >> where steven, at least, is strong enough to fight back. but the bullying was just unending. while steven already has these two sides buffeting him, the adults who say he's a hero and the kids who are just picking on him mercilessly, he's gotta deal with parnell as well. there he is sitting in the courtroom, and he's gotta point to ken parnell. >> ultimately, kenneth parnell did face charges of kidnapping and false imprisonment. but he was never tried for sexual assault in this case. in the end, there was not sufficient evidence to prove those charges. >> it was outrageous. there was out and out fury over the sentence. >> i'm angry that he will be back out on the street. i thought laws were to protect the innocent children, and it's not. because he will be out, and he'll possibly do it again. quite probably. >> ken parnell went back to what he had been doing for years.
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he found someone else to help him find another boy, only this time he was caught and he was sent to prison again, where he died in 2008. >> while steven was kind of struggling through his own life after his return, cary was out of high school and having his own troubles. >> i think cary after high school seemed a little lost, like he didn't know where he was going. >> when his life was starting to spin out of control, he took refuge in yosemite. >> he had this international scout, pale blue. and he would just drive out highway 140 into yosemite and disappear up into the woods and get high. >> whatever demons were clamoring around in his head, by being naked, by smoking pot, he could find the peace that he so desperately needed.
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>> one of the things that made a huge impact on him was that he was convinced that he saw bigfoot. >> any opportunity that cary got he couldn't wait to tell people about driving through an area known as foresta and bigfoot leaping out of the woods in the dark of night. it turns out that this incredibly deep obsession with bigfoot is ultimately going to have incredibly tragic consequences. this sanctuary would turn out to be the very setting where cary stayner's murderous demons would be unleashed. alright, guys, no insurance talk on beach day. -i'm down. -yes, please. [ chuckles ] don't get me wrong, i love my rv,
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happy new year! >> by 1989, the stayner family had fallen far from the spotlight. the world had moved on. the berlin wall fell. there was a big earthquake during the world series in san francisco. but the stayner brothers were struggling, each of them both in their own ways. >> steven's celebrity was pretty short-lived. he did make some money for consulting on the tv film and actually had a bit part as one of the police officers rescuing himself. he blew almost all of that money on cars and drugs and booze. he worked some menial jobs. he got married. he had two kids. >> he was very proud of who he was when he told me. he was not ashamed at all. he was just very well-grounded, for a person that had gone through what he went through.
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>> but then, at the age of 24, he was riding a motorcycle without a license. >> he was riding home from work, and a vineyard worker pulled out in front of him and hit him and flipped him. >> you just have to feel this poor man was dealt such a horrific hand of cards in life, and in death. >> you know, steven really did the best that he could. for seven years, he was subjected to unspeakable horrors. he did work for a living. he did fall in love. he did have two kids. >> i see him as being on a good path. and that's how i prefer to think of him, you know. >> this one, it says, "dear lori, hi, how's everything in comptche? good, i hope. wah-wah-wah." he used to always say that. it's not everybody that gets a letter from a famous person, namely me. love always, steve. so i cherish these letters.
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forever. >> steven was gone now, but in a big sense, so was cary. cary had no direction. he thought his life was going nowhere. >> cary never recovered from his own emotional difficulties and then, coupled with steven's tragic death. >> well, not long after steven died, cary's uncle was shot and killed in the home they shared together. cary was very close to his uncle. >> steven's dead, uncle jerry's murdered. this rage is starting to bubble up. cary has a couple of nervous breakdowns. one was fairly violent. >> he stated that he felt like jumping in a truck, driving it through the shop and killing the boss and killing everybody in the office, and then torching the place. and that's when i told him, "you need to go see a doctor, cary." >> they got him to a mental health center, but he left. cary is literally crying out for help. he's literally saying, "i'm
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losing my mind." >> what a lot of people didn't know at the time was that cary was having these dreams and these fantasies about killing women. >> cary was a lost soul. he ended up taking refuge in a place that he loved, and that was yosemite. >> in the fall of '97, he drove his international scout to the tiny town of el portal, which is the doorstep to yosemite national park. by this time, cary's in his 30s, and he lands a job as a handyman at the cedar lodge. >> the cedar lodge is this rustic lodge seven miles outside the gate of yosemite. it is surrounded by and filled with these wonderful wooden bear sculptures. >> working at the cedar lodge gave cary access to his beloved
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yosemite. his idea of serenity was to maybe smoke a little pot and to sunbathe naked. >> well, he was always naked. no tan lines on him. i hung out at the river with him, a lot of times alone. he never hit on me, and i know he never hit on any of my friends. never that uncomfortable come-on. never anything like that. not even a hint of it. >> but not everyone at cedar lodge was enamored of him. there was a woman there named trish hautz. she and her husband ran the restaurant that was attached to the lodge. they had a teenage daughter that cary spent an uncomfortable amount of time with. >> my daughter would start freaking out 'cause he would just stand there and stare at my child as she's swimming in the pool. and i said, "you go towards my daughter ever again and i will destroy you." he was cold, hateful, but i've dealt with cold and hateful people before. >> trish was, in some ways, a sort of savant. she seems to be the only one who
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saw this side of cary. >> by february, 1999, cary had been at the cedar lodge about two years. and the winters were very desolate. not a lot of tourists visit the park at that time of year. >> winter is a spectacle. when the granite is iced in beautiful white snow, you really get to understand how extraordinary these walls are. >> among the small group of people who did come to the cedar lodge and go to see yosemite was carole sund, her daughter, juli, 16, and their friend, named silvina pelosso. >> the three of them are on a trip two-fold. look at colleges and then also to enjoy yosemite. they had a red pontiac that they had rented for this trip. this was an opportunity for them
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to show silvina, who was visiting from argentina, one of the most beautiful places on earth. >> and they spent the day touring the park, going to a lot of the highlights. they went ice skating. >> that night, most of the other guests had actually gone home. and their room was about as far as you can get from the lobby and the restaurant. in a dark corner of the lot. >> they had dinner at the restaurant. then they went to the front desk, and got a movie they were gonna go watch back in their room. >> all of this rage that had been building up in cary all of these years, he finally decides he's going to act upon it. >> as i walked, there was a red car in the 500 building all by itself. the window was open, the curtain was open, and i can see inside that there was two young women, and the mother, and no man. >> for cary, he's been planning this for years. there's a fantasy that he's created in his mind. and this is the night when all of this rage is finally let
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loose. >> something clicks and, at that moment, cary stayner knows it's time. you mastered the master bath. you created your own style. and you - yes, you! turned a sourdough starter into a sourdough finisher. so when you learn your chronic dry eye is actually caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation you take it on, by talking to your eyecare professional about restasis®... which may help you make more of your own tears with continued use twice a day, every day. restasis® helps increase your eye's natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. restasis® did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs. to help avoid eye injury and contamination, do not touch bottle tip to your eye or other surfaces. wait 15 minutes after use before inserting contact lenses. the most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. ask your eye care professional about restasis®.
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cary had been looking for victims that night. eventually he spied carol and the girls through the window of their room, and decided to knock on their door. >> i knocked on the door, said i was maintenance, had a leak in a room upstairs. >> carole answers, and he says to her, "i need to come in and look for the leak." and she said, absolutely not. the girls are in their pajamas. they're watching "jerry maguire" on the vcr. >> what can i do for you? >> show me the money. >> they're done for the day. he persists, says they'll have to move to a different room if the leak goes on. >> they let me in. i went to the bathroom and checked the fan where i told them the problem would be. when i came out of the bathroom, i pulled my gun out, and i told them i wanted the money and keys
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to the car. >> he takes carole's daughter, juli, and her friend, silvina pelosso, and herds them into the bathroom. then he ties up carole with duct tape. and then strangles her with a length of rope. and when he was done, he bundled her up and put her in the trunk of a pontiac that she'd rented, that was outside the hotel room door. >> came back in, and pulls the girls out of the bathroom and sexually assaulted them. silvina resisted, she was hysterical. he brought her into the bathroom and strangled her. >> so he takes juli, puts her into the bathroom in room 510 next door, and then takes silvina's body, puts her in the trunk along with carole sund, and returns to get juli. >> it was getting pretty late, probably 5:00 or so in the morning. i told juli we had to get someplace to go and i wouldn't harm her.
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so i put her in the car, her hands were duct taped in front of her, i wrapped a pink blanket around her and just drove. i didn't know where i was going. i didn't know what i was going to do. >> the next time cary stayner is seen is 100 miles away in sierra village, when he uses a payphone to call a cab to get back to cedar lodge. >> he said that he had come down from yosemite with some other people and that they left him there stranded with no way back. as we were approaching yosemite valley, he said he would show me the cabin where he saw bigfoot. and he pointed off to a ways back, you could see there was a cabin. and he said that bigfoot came out, ran around the side of the cabin and into the trees. >> after leaving yosemite, the plan was for carole, juli, and silvina to meet carole's husband, jens sund, at the san francisco airport. well, the girls didn't show up at the airport. >> we started calling the
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sheriff and the police. i mean we were scared. we thought that they were crashed somewhere, there was snow up there, there's icy roads. >> as each day went by and there was no trace of these three women, it became a larger and larger story. >> a very mysterious story. three people have disappeared at yosemite national park in california. >> i remember distinctly sitting in a newsroom when the word came that there were three women missing from yosemite. the very last thing that you think of at first is that foul play occurred. these things don't happen in yosemite. >> the week of carole, juli, and silvina's disappearance from el portal, i had been approached, because i was the kidnapping coordinator in my office. >> ten days of combing the outskirts of yosemite. there are no leads. >> this is the largest search that has ever been mounted in yosemite at any time. it included going up and down
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the roads looking for places where the car could have gone off. >> i'm just devastated. i can't imagine how three people in a red car could disappear. >> when covering it, you really were empathizing with the families. >> we're handing out posters. we're doing everything possible. >> and the pain that you could feel from the sund family, and the pelossos, who had come from argentina. >> i ask people here, in america, to help us. >> we went up to el portal, to the cedar lodge, and we started doing interviews. >> one of the people they interviewed was this helpful handyman named cary stayner. he was not at all flustered. >> he just didn't set off any alarm bells. he even told them a story about steven. at one point he was opening all the rooms for the fbi to gather evidence. >> tonight, a desperately needed
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break in a month-long search for those three missing visitors to yosemite. >> about a month after the disappearance of carole, juli, and silvina, there was a big break in the case because a california highway patrol officer reported the location of the missing rented vehicle. this is about 60, 70 miles from the cedar lodge. >> 20 years ago, i was a member of the evidence response team. this looked a lot different. but behind me is where the vehicle is located. this is a 1999 pontiac grand prix, but it was so completely burned, there was no paint, rubber, plastic, upholstery. the initial inspection of the vehicle, we knew we had two bodies based on the remains that were still in the trunk. so there was not much left, there was no way for us to identify who was in that trunk. >> the forest where the car was
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found is just a short walk to sierra village, where cary made the phone call to get the cab back to yosemite. >> evidence was found thrown free from the car, that didn't burn. there were the car keys, some shoes, a personal cd player, but most importantly there was a camera found. it was a crucial piece of evidence. >> we get the pictures back, and we have juli and silvina doing handstands in the room, we see all their pictures that they took going through yosemite. and this is a picture of silvina and carole sitting in the far bed. we came to learn that this picture was taken about 20 minutes before cary stayner knocked on their door. so you look at these pictures of these wonderful, vivacious people. and you just want to go home and hug your family, because it's too late for them.
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>> we have recovered two bodies from the trunk of a vehicle, no identification has been made. >> when the discovery of the bodies in the burned-out vehicle were made, i wouldn't say it affected the community. i would say it affected the nation. >> two bodies have been found, but there are still many unanswered questions. >> this was an enormous story. a huge, huge story. and "20/20" decided to do an hour on it. my producer jon meyersohn and i went straight out to yosemite to cover it. we had an interview with silvina's mother, and she was the picture of despair and grief. >> i knew from the very beginning that my girl was dead. >> how? >> i don't know. don't ask me, just felt it. >> her mother's intuition was sadly correct. it was silvina in the trunk of that car. silvina, along with carole sund. >> as a father, i feel terrible.
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i'm supposed to die -- forgive me. >> when they realized it was silvina and carole, then the big mystery was, where's juli? >> what are you hoping? that juli is still alive? >> hoping against hope that they've got her somewhere. >> the realization that there's a third victim out there that may still be alive sent us into a frenzy. and my mind went to, oh, my god, she's out there, she's being held prisoner. something terrible is being done to her. >> in the middle of all this frantic searching arrives this letter to authorities with a taunting, tantalizing clue. with a crude map that may finally solve the mystery of what happened to juli sund. maybe, just maybe, we're going to find this girl alive.
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the mother and daughter who were found dead after disappearing from yosemite national park. >> this was an enormous story. a huge, huge story. >> what in the heck are we dealing with? >> what day was it when you murdered her? >> this was the story of two brothers, one a hero, the other a monster. >> the stories are going to intersect again in a way no one could have anticipated. steven stayner is a 7-year-old boy who is plucked off of the street and held captive for
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seven years and miraculously, he escapes. but it turns out the mon ste s weren't gone. >> all this rage that's building up in cary. he's this vicious killer, but he's even more twisted than that. and they're about to find out just how twisted. >> as winter merges into spring, the entire valley just seems to come to life. everything turns green again. it's a completely different feeling. >> it's march, 1999, and this spring is different, because there is a palpable fear in yosemite park. >> a very mysterious story. three people have disappeared. >> the sunds were last seen near the yosemite valley where the
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trio had been visiting. >> in february, carole sund, and her daughter juli, and their teenage friend silvina pelosso had gone missing from the cedar lodge. >> i can't imagine how three people in a red car could disappear. >> this doesn't happen in the national parks. there was a sense of panic. >> there was nobody here. even the locals stopped coming in. >> you can't overstate the sense of fear there. everybody was afraid, everybody wanted to know what had happened. >> but there's still no sign of the bodies for about a month. until a hiker stumbles across a burned-out pontiac. >> we have recovered two bodies from the trunk of the vehicle. >> when the fbi announced that only two bodies had been found, that stumped everybody. >> i urge anyone with information to immediately call the fbi tip line. >> when they realized it was silvina and carole, then the big mystery was, where's juli?
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>> investigators in california continue searching for the third of three women who disappeared from yosemite national park. two bodies have been found, but there are still many unanswered questions. >> for about a week searchers combed the countryside, the roads, the ditches, the rivers, everywhere near that car. but no juli. she's being held something terrible is being done to her. >> in late march, the fbi got another big clue. >> we are pursuing significant and potentially very viable leads. >> this one came in the mail. >> and when the letter was opened, you see a lined paper, and on the top it says, we had fun with this one. and there's a crude map, and the map shows route 120. it shows vista point. it shows don pedro reservoir. and it's about 40 miles away from where the car was found.
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>> they bring up a cadaver dog, and within ten seconds of going to where this map points out they find juli's body. >> earlier this afternoon, investigators discovered the body of a homicide victim. >> the body of 15-year-old juli sund was identified earlier in the week. >> when you saw where juli sund took her last breath, the gravity of the story really hit home. >> just to think of her being alone, away from her mom and silvina and wondering what's happened. it was terrible. >> francis, was that also for you the hardest part? >> that, that was the end of, you know, any hope. >> i've told the family that we won't stop until we find out what happened, until we've resolved this.
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>> so, as we move into the summer of 1999, yosemite's getting back to normal, and the tourists are coming back. >> and now, five months have passed, there has been no more murders. >> so the sense around yosemite was that it was safe. it was safe because the people responsible for this horrific crime, according to the fbi, were in custody. >> when they made the announcement that we have the killers -- >> they believe they have the killers in custody. >> huge. absolutely huge. >> we do not believe there is anyone else on the loose who is not in custody. >> these two men were half brothers. they had criminal records. they were violent offenders. so there's a sense of relief that, "hey, we got these guys. everything's okay."
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>> with the fbi's assurance, relatives sense closure is near. >> once they went down that road, it seemed like they just kind of had tunnel vision, and they weren't looking at anything else. >> people may have thought the right people were in custody, and they certainly wanted to believe the right people were in custody. but they weren't the right people. >> cary stayner was still working here at the lodge, he was still living here on the premises. he was still an active member of the community. >> he was not an unknown quantity. people knew who he was. he was not someone who hid. >> we didn't see him as a suspect, he didn't raise alarm bells for anybody. >> stayner was free. i mean, he had gotten away with triple murder. >> on the more westerly aspect of the park is a little area called foresta.
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you can look down and see this gorgeous meadow, and it's called big meadow for good reason. down in that meadow is an old house. >> it's called the green cabin. it's owned by the park service and it's leased out for a dollar a year to the yosemite institute, which runs educational programs throughout the park. living there in the summer of 1999 was a 26-year-old woman named joie armstrong. >> she was really kind. and she was sensitive. she was loving. she was generous. she was smart. >> joie was a naturalist at yosemite. her job was to take children and teach them the nature of yosemite. >> i asked her if she was ever afraid, and she said, no, we knew they had suspects in custody. >> she had memorialized it in her diary. at one point even wrote, "the
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monsters are gone," meaning the fbi had gotten the people who did this. and they were behind bars. >> but it turns out the monsters weren't gone. cary stayner was very close by. truthfully, it's frustrating to see how fast dust reappears. but dusting with a cloth is a pain. and dealing with a bulky vacuum.. . is such a hassle. uchhh!!! so now we use our swiffer sweeper and dusters. the fluffy fibers? they pick up dust easily. grabbing it in all those hard-to-reach places. gotcha!!! and for our floors, sweeper's textured cloths lock all kinds of dirt, dust and pet hair. unlike my vacuum, it sneaks under and around places. look at that!! dust free and hassle free. stop cleaning and start swiffering. nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard. you get advice like: try hypnosis... or... quit cold turkey. kidding me?! instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big.
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there's actually a road that connects from where the cedar lodge is into yosemite. it's a back road that very few people know about. the end of the road is where joie armstrong was living, and that's the road that cary stayner took that day. >> he drove his international baby blue scout up to foresta where he'd seen bigfoot.
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he went up there with some regularity. he had gotten out of his truck and he was looking around. he wasn't out hunting for anybody, but an opportunity presented itself. >> now, cary stayner is down here in this area. he sees up at the green cabin this petite blond girl. >> it's almost the weekend, and joie's very excited. she's got a trip planned to meet some friends. >> she's just going in and out of her house, packing up her truck, getting ready to leave. >> her toyota tacoma is parked here. the back hatch is open. he then approaches her, as she's putting things in and out of her truck. >> you just wonder about the randomness of it all. what if she was in the cabin or had packed up a half hour earlier? what if she had left? >> it turned out to be a situation where evil truly meets opportunity. >> i was just over there throwing rocks in the creek and just happened to notice her walk out again and again. it seemed like she was alone. >> he comes closer and as he comes closer, she is what he thinks he wants. >> something instantly changes with cary stayner, and he's ready to kill again.
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just like in the first murders, he goes back to his truck and he gets his murder kit. >> he gets out his backpack. he's got a gun. he's got duct tape. he's got a knife. he's standing somewhere in this vicinity. he's talking to her and he's making conversation. >> here is a guy who, you know, was big and strong and athletic and has these movie star white teeth. he would've been just a little oddity. but as he's talking to her about bigfoot, he's trying to look behind her and look over her shoulder to see if anyone is in the house. and then, pretty quickly, it would have gone to flat-out terror. >> that's when i pulled out the gun and put it to her head. she turned around and freaked out. i told her to go inside. >> he uses the gun to direct her to the back of the house and into this rear bedroom. he starts binding her with the duct tape he's brought in his kit.
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she fights with everything she has. he barely was able to overcome her. >> she was very strong. and i don't mean just a strong woman in the sense of emotionally. she was physically strong. >> this was supposed to be easy for cary. this was, you know, his fantasy was to -- that nobody's supposed to fight back. and she did. >> she's totally controlled, and then he takes her and guides her here. >> he picked her up and tossed her in the back seat and started driving away. >> the first sign joie ruth armstrong was in trouble was when she didn't meet up with her friend in marin county on wednesday. >> when joie doesn't show up, obviously her friends are bewildered and they're frightened. absolutely freaked out. >> her friends called yosemite, and now the search was on for joie armstrong. >> i received a page, and i called in.
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and they asked if i was available for a search. >> we're covering a number of leads that are not confined to the park. that's about all i can tell you at this point. >> as they came in to look, they could not find her. and they also found debris on the floor of the cabin. they found broken sunglasses. they found a red mechanic's wrap. they were very concerned. >> you're just looking for something that doesn't fit. and then a few feet down the stream, i noticed what i thought was an inanimate object kind of bobbing in the water. and i went over and i saw that it was a person. >> to their shock and dismay, they saw that her head had been removed. >> this was just as grisly a scene as you could possibly imagine. it was incredible and horrible what had happened to joie armstrong. >> you know in your own personal life you've said many times
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before, "i can't imagine the pain of losing a child." you don't believe it's you. you don't believe it's her. you're going, "no. no." >> cary stayner left behind a load of evidence, and he knew it. unlike the first three murders where he left virtually no evidence, he knew that he had left a very easy trail for investigators. >> about two hours north of yosemite is a nudist colony, which turned out to be the key to the whole thing. >> a car ride is about to happen. and during that car ride, the story of steven stayner and the story of cary stayner are going to intersect again in a way no one could have anticipated. [music begins to play: “colors” by black pumas]
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laguna del sol is like any other resort, except that people don't have clothes on. there's camping, and some cabins and there's shuffleboard and volleyball. there's a restaurant and a bar and a darts league. >> i'm told people go to laguna del sol from all over the country. >> i don't think you're trying to hide if you're going to a nudist colony, and it's the last place that cary stayner would be a free man. >> the yosemite park naturalist was found decapitated. the 26-year-old's body was found thursday near her yosemite home. >> joie armstrong's murder sent shockwaves through yosemite valley. here was another murder in the yosemite area and this time it was actually in the park. >> this is the second high profile murder case connected to yosemite this year.
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three tourists disappeared from the el portal area in february, and were later found dead. >> people didn't know what to think. were they connected? were they not connected? if they weren't connected, then what's happening? >> i called some of the investigators to ask them, do you think they're related? and it was a resounding "no." >> we have absolutely no reason to believe, no indication if there is any linkage at all. >> you don't want to cause undue panic, you don't wanna cause undue concern until you know the facts. >> there wasn't really much time for us to speculate on whether this was related, i mean, it quickly became related. >> somebody had spotted a very unique vehicle. a blue and white international scout, the same vehicle that cary stayner drove. on the same road where joie lived, around the same time she was murdered. and that was the first thing
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that authorities followed up on. >> the tracks of the vehicle that drove away from joie's house left very clear tracks and they were able to get very clear pictures. and then they started looking for this guy cary stayner because he would be a natural witness to interview. >> i was sitting in the bar having lunch and somebody came in and said they're looking for cary stayner. and i said, "what?" >> and he's really starting to feel that noose tighten around his neck. >> now, cary stayner realizes he has to get out. he packs up and leaves and ends up driving to that nudist colony, laguna del sol. >> he pitched a tent outside, went in, there's a bar, and restaurant, and he was socializing with people inside and struck up a conversation with a woman there. >> he says, "oh, things are not so well now. i decided to pack up my stuff, in fact, and i'm headed north."
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>> they had put out a bolo, "be on the lookout for," on the news, and so it's gone out that people were looking for cary stayner. >> authorities set out on a manhunt for him yesterday. >> it just so happens the woman he struck up a conversation with saw the news. >> and i immediately picked up the phone and called the fbi and told them that i knew where this person was. >> that morning fbi agent jeff rinek gets a call. he's supposed to meet up with a couple other agents at laguna del sol right away. >> so, as i'm driving and proceeding down there, the next train of thought was, oh, my god, we're going to a nudist colony. for me a nudist colony means peter sellers, "a shot in the dark," and a guy walking across the screen with a guitar over his genitals. >> laguna del sol, a nudist colony. it's not a place i ever thought i would be in my fbi career. the manager came out and said, yeah, he's inside sitting in a corner booth, and you'll be able to find him because he's the
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only one wearing clothes. got here, parked. >> and as they walk into the restaurant area, stayner gets up and puts his hands up. >> he's thin. he's athletic, he's tall, he's handsome. he looks like a movie actor to me. and he's very soft-spoken and cooperative. >> he didn't do the, "hey, who are you, why are you handcuffing me, what's going on here?" put him in the car, and he and jeff drove off and i followed. >> it's just the two of them. stayner's in the front seat. rinek has no idea, the magnitude of what is happening. nobody told him that cary stayner is a suspected murderer. >> what happened during that drive between cary stayner and that fbi agent changed the story forever. >> it was a very pleasant drive. we were two guys that were just stuck together. >> one thing that special agent rinek is really good at is
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getting people to open up. >> you meet someone, and you ask them questions about themselves. >> and jeff being jeff, said, "hey, stayner, you're not any relation to steven stayner?" >> he'd been kidnapped on a merced street corner in 1972 when he was just 7 years old. >> and he goes, "have you ever seen that movie?" >> i know my first name is steven. and that's when stayner said, "yeah, that's my brother." >> in that moment, he's just connecting with some guy he's supposed to pick up. well, this is horrible, you are steven stayner's brother, that's terrible what happened to him. >> and he went on to describe that unlike what the world expected, life was not happily ever after. >> all of a sudden cary stayner gets upset. he gets emotional about his brother steven. "my brother was held captive for seven years and his abductor kenneth parnell only got seven years. how can that be fair?" >> and he asked me if i thought
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that was just, and i told him absolutely no. >> something truly remarkable happened in that car. cary stayner, who had such trouble with relationships and intimacy and connections, developed a connection with jeff rinek. that would absolutely change this case. >> so after that, they actually bond over something else. it's a movie, it's called "billy jack." >> and the very popular song associated with that movie, called "one tin soldier." ♪ one tin soldier rides away ♪ >> and i said to him, you know you look just like billy jack, have you ever seen the movie, and he said no. i kept asking him, you sure you never saw "billy jack"? "nope, haven't seen billy jack." >> there was this line in the movie, that, it's a classic line after they've finished their long ride and had their little bonding moment over steven, they're walking into the fbi field office and cary stops and says, "i'm gonna take this right foot --"
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>> -- and i'm going to whoop you on that side of your face. >> and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. >> it's a weird little moment, where he'd just finished saying he'd never seen the movie, but he knew the classic line. >> and he's laughing and i'm laughing, i'm like, yeah, that's pretty good. >> now they're walking in and they're having a good laugh together. and then things sort of take an odd turn. >> but remember, agent rinek doesn't really know what it's about or what to expect. cary stayner, on the other hand, knows exactly what he has planned, and it's going to be a bombshell.
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jeffrey rinek and cary stayner have been in the car for two hours from that nudist camp when they finally arrive at the fbi offices in sacramento. >> neither jeff nor i really knew why we were there and talking to him. we didn't know what his involvement was, if any. >> the three of us are settled in the room eating pizza. >> as a general rule, when law enforcement is interrogating a suspect, they don't order pizza. >> it's not textbook. it was grasping at straws to figure out, where do we start to begin the interview. >> cary stayner starts launching off into, this is gonna be my last meal as a free man. >> out of the blue, he looks at the agents and says, "i can give you closure." >> i said, "cary, what exactly do you mean closure, and about what?" and he says, you know why we're here. >> and he told us, "hey, i can answer some questions about joie and more." and we didn't know what that was. >> they thought cary stayner was a witness to something. and suddenly, out of the blue,
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he's dangling a confession to these fbi agents who i think were shocked in many ways. >> but he has a condition, an absurd, horrible condition. >> who would go into an fbi office and ask two fbi agents to see child pornography? that's not your everyday request. and he said not just a couple, three, four images. i'm talking about a stack that high. >> well, can you imagine what these fbi agents are thinking? what in the heck are we dealing with here? >> you never say no to them. you basically put them off saying, "we're going to get to that. i know you want that. i'd like you to have it." but you move it down the ladder. >> they managed to buy some time. so in the meantime, "what do you have?" and then cary starts to talk about joie. >> okay, we're going to start talking about her. >> in the interview, jeff continues the bond that they had created in that car ride and wants stayner to continue to talk. >> if it hadn't been for bonding over steven in that car ride,
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this whole confession might never have happened. >> it seemed like she was alone. i had a backpack, small green backpack. in the backpack, i had a .22 revolver. >> he was talking about some very grisly things as if he was reading a soup label. >> she stepped up on the porch. and she was talking to me. and then she turned around. and that's when i pulled out the gun and put it to her head. she turned around and freaked out. >> it's very unsettling to listen to cary stayner. he's calculating. he's creepy. >> i took her into the back corner of the house, to the bedroom. i duct taped her and gagged her. >> you're doing fine. this is hard. you're being good, brave. go ahead. >> the thing that jeff does in a very magical way is to not be judgmental, to keep cary talking.
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the bottom line is, nobody's going to talk to you if they think you're disgusted by what they're saying. >> she resisted quite a bit. >> mm-hmm. >> i didn't hit her or anything. i just used threats and the gun to subdue her. as i was trying to duct tape her hands behind her back, she kept fighting me. >> he wanted us to know he was not beating her or being violent or sadistic. he wants to control what we think of him. >> it becomes pretty clear to me that he's just this big, emotionless monster. and joie comes across as heroic. 'cause she was a fighter. and he was a coward. >> he successfully binds her with the duct tape. and he binds her to the point where all she can pretty much do is walk. >> the key to everything is what cary stayner says next. the question always has been, why was joie's body found where it was found in the woods? how did it get there? why did it get there? and cary stayner is about to
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reveal exactly what happened. >> and as i was driving, she started going crazy, just jumping all over the place in the back of the truck. and i couldn't really control her. and she fell out through the window, on the road right in front of the barn. >> she didn't fall out. she was fighting every way she could to get out of that car and she did. and he didn't expect it. >> the idea that she was able to, bound, fling herself out of the moving car in an almost superhuman way, is absolutely astounding. >> i slammed the truck into park and jumped out. and she got up off the ground and started running. >> and he calmly got out. and he ran down. and he chased her. and somewhere back in there is where he caught her. >> what did you do next? >> took the knife from my back pocket. and i slit her throat. >> the investigators told me
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that i should be very proud of her, that because she fought there was a lot of evidence. >> cary stayner has lived up to his promise. he gave them the confession, joie armstrong. but remember, he said he had more. the "and more" now is what's critical, without him getting his precious kiddie porn. >> we were advised that he could not have the condition he wanted. now, my biggest fear was in place. we still weren't sure that he had done sund/pelosso. >> jeff was very empathetic. and he was saying, "i can already see a change in you. you seem like you're feeling better. you know, whatever this is that's inside you, you need to get it out." >> there was a dramatic period of silence that was followed by him saying, "okay, let's do it." >> i knocked on the door. i said that i was maintenance. and there was a leak in a room upstairs. and they let me in.
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>> so now he's giving the agents this blow by blow of every gruesome detail. >> the pelosso girl couldn't speak very good english, was crying a lot. and juli was very calm. >> and at the same time, he's giving them a glimpse inside these strange thoughts that he was having. >> she was very cooperative. she did everything i told her to do, no tears, no nothing. >> he constantly reminds us that she was cooperative, that she did everything he wanted her to do. >> the things he wanted to do to her, that somehow she wanted him to. >> he's painting a picture as if he has some kind of relationship with juli. >> i put her in the car and just drove. i didn't know where i was going. i didn't know what i was going to do. >> you're at don pedro. it's this beautiful reservoir. and he's telling us a story about how he's gonna have to let her go, almost like he's doing
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her a favor. >> this has nothing to do with love. it has everything to do with playing out this violent fantasy in his head. >> i took juli out of the car. and i carried her down the pathway. >> i asked him, "how did you carry her?" and he goes "you know, like this." and i said, you mean like a groom carries a bride? and he says, "yeah, like that." >> i laid out the blanket. and i guess i knew what i was gonna do. 'cause i had the knife with me. and i slit her throat. >> it was a brutal homicide. what actually happened had no relation to, in any way, to what he was describing to us. >> but he said after he killed her, he stood here. and he marveled out at the view of the rising sun. it was so hard to understand how someone could just disassociate from what they had just done and
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look out and enjoy the beauty of nature. >> but it's not over. bombshells are on the way. >> i loved cary. >> i could not believe what i just heard. why choose proven quality sleep from sleep number? because every new day starts the night before. "hi everyone" and a quality night's sleep is scientifically proven to help boost performance. the new sleep number 360 smart bed is temperature balancing. and it helps keep you asleep by sensing your movement and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now during our lowest prices of the season. most bladder leak pads were similar. until always discreet invented a pad that protects differently. with two rapiddry layers. for strong protection, that's always discreet. question your protection. try always discreet.
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now at togo's. how far would you go for a togo? my name is lenna, and i grew up in a small town right outside yosemite national park. my sister and i met cary in 1998. my mom was a waitress at the cedar lodge, where cary was a maintenance man and lived above the restaurant.
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>> they were in a relationship. i must have been 10, 11 years old. he was in his 30s. he was handsome. he was warm. like a big teddy bear. a safe person to be around. we were excited when cary would come over. he would buy us a new beanie baby almost every time we saw him. because that was pretty big in the '90s. my sister and i would be walking up the driveway, and we'd see cary stayner coming up in his scout and jump in the truck. and he'd give us a ride up to our house. i loved him a lot. i don't know if he knew how much i did. he was a happy part of our life such a happy part that turned into such a dark part of our life. >> one of the most disturbing things stayner told jeff was that carole, silvina, and juli were not his first choice. >> cary actually planned to kill a whole another set of people. and this was a complete surprise to them.
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>> i'd been gone most of the day off the property. i was at a girlfriend's house, and i guess it's this girlfriend and her two daughters that were my original intended victims. >> i could not believe what i'd just heard. i was literally trying to get my mouth going to hear that again to make sure i had heard what he said. >> i'm sorry, say that again? i -- i misunderstood you. >> the girl i was seeing and her daughters were my original intended victims. >> had we not gotten stayner, they could've been next. >> the day after valentine's day, he had intended that that would be the day that he carries out his fantasy. and the object was his then-girlfriend and her two daughters. while he was there, there was
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another person on the grounds that stopped in and deflected what he could do. >> so cary abandoned his initial plan to kill his girlfriend and her daughters. >> he said when he got back to the cedar lodge that night, he was really ramped up. >> i got back to the hotel and went to go soak in the hot tub to try to calm down. and the hot tub was dirty, so i was a little annoyed. so i took a walk around the property. >> he's actually stalking. he's looking. he's predatory. as he's walking past the 500 building, he sees who we now know to be carole, juli, and silvina. >> the fbi has been summoned to help find three missing women. >> he was right under everyone's nose the entire time. he was right there. he was right there. i do remember him always carrying his backpack. i remember seeing it in the truck. it was always with him, like a woman carries a purse. i later learned that he had a
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murder kit. a murder and rape kit in his backpack that he wanted to use against my mom, my sister, and i. it is frightening just to think that -- the things that were inside of it. and what he was thinking the whole time. >> late last night, federal authorities arrested this man, 37-year-old cary stayner. >> the fbi went in and spoke with my mom privately to let her know that cary stayner had confessed to initially wanting to kill my mom and rape and kill my sister and i. i kept it quiet for 20 years. i didn't address it. my whole family fell apart. my mom was extremely shocked. as a mother myself, i don't know if i would have been able to handle that. my daughter is the same age right now that i was when i met cary. i think at such a young age i learned that you couldn't trust adults. i still have issues trusting people, and i don't know if i'll ever feel completely safe.
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we're survivors, but it took a really big part of our life away. it destroyed part of my childhood. i had not been back to the cedar lodge until last year, and it sent chills up and down my spine. i just remember he would show us how to dive perfectly and my sister and i both wanted to be the best at it. it feels like it was so long ago that you forget that it even happened. like a dream where you -- a movie that you watched. and almost doesn't feel like it was you. >> there's a big part of me that still wonders if he still thinks of those two little girls that adored him so much.
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because we think about him all the time. does he even remember? does he care? >> everybody wondered what was going on in his mind. everybody wondered why. >> i went to ask if cary wanted to talk, and within minutes i'm face to face with him and he just opened up. i now had answers to all of our questions.
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i asked him if he would bring us back to these places because he was talking about evidence. >> he took us to all the spots, and he knew exactly where everything was. >> and he pointed out in that direction, and he said he took the roll of duct tape and the knife, and he threw it out there as far as he could. >> with the recovery of the duct tape and the watch and the knife, which was the murder weapon. now we're talking evidence. >> with the confession and all the forensic evidence, cary stayner was found guilty and was sentenced to death. he has spent years in san quentin prison, on death row. he's now 57 years old. >> i don't forgive him. i can't, but at the same time i still have a hard time looking at him as a monster. >> cary was the monster in the forest.
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bigfoot was never supposed to be real, and then he became that real thing. >> i went to ask if cary wanted to talk, and he just opened up. >> he told me that he'd had these feelings since he was a 7-year-old child, and had been resisting these feelings for years. it was almost as if he was trying to get credit for being a good soldier. >> he said, i want a movie of the week made about my story. there was a movie made about steven stayner, and he wanted the same treatment. he wanted the world to take note. >> as far as i know, he's never talked to anyone about the effect steven might have had on his crimes. i'm not sure there is any direct cause and effect. steven could have grown up normal, happy, and healthy, and cary still would've been a
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serial killer. >> it's difficult to picture what cary has done because knowing steve, their personalities are completely opposite. the only time steve would kill anything like a fish is because we were gonna eat it. you know what i mean? i wouldn't think that he would think of himself as one, but he is a hero. >> steve was a hero to a lot of people. >> because of steven, timothy white got a second chance at a childhood, but like steven, didn't live long. he died at the age of 35, of a blood clot to the lung. >> there's a statue in merced now, of steven and timothy white, and they're holding hands. yes, terrible things happened to steven, but his legacy is that he saved another kid from having to suffer those same terrible things. that's really how he should be remembered.
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>> we understand why the stayner brothers' story garnered so much global attention, but when it's all over, who should we really be remembering? the sons. silvina, joie. these are beautiful people who met their death too soon. >> the only solace i get is that she's with god almighty, and i will see her again. >> joie's legacy carries on in yosemite. there is something now called armstrong scholars. >> every summer a group of girls from the ages of 15 and 18 are brought into the park to spend a week exploring, learning about it, which is exactly why joie was there in the first place. ♪ and you can't take my dreams away ♪
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>> whatever terrible things happen in the world, i think people come to beautiful places like this because they know that nature has healing power. this is the place of beauty where evil will be vanquished >> yes, healing power and we hope that a lot of people will be taking part of that in the national parks this weekend. >> yes, it is fourth of july weekend and we wish you all a safe and healthy holiday. i'm amy roarback. >> and i'm david muir wishing you a safe and happy 2020.
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you're looking at exactly why there is so much concern about this holiday weekend. how business owners in one bay area city hope


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