Chowchillla Bus Kidnapper James Schoenfeld Granted Parole

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Thursday, April 2, 2015
James Schoenfeld
Gov. Jerry Brown had until midnight Thursday to decide whether to approve parole for 63-year-old James Schoenfeld or send the case back to the board that recommended his release.

A state parole board granted parole for James Schoenfeld today. Schoenfeld was involved in the Chowchilla bus kidnapping in July of 1976. He, his brother Richard Schoenfeld and Frederick Woods kidnapped a school bus full of children.

The trio then buried the kids alive underneath a rock quarry near Livermore. They demanded $5,000,000 dollars for return of the children who eventually escaped.

In 1977 the three of them were given life sentences with no chance of parole. That is until an appeal three years later overturned their eligibility for parole. James' brother Richard Schoenfeld was paroled in 2012.

Wednesday's decision begins a six month process to determine if James Schoenfeld will be released from prison.