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‘Chowchilla Kidnapping,’ 35 years later

Friday, July 15, 2011

imageIt was 35 years ago today that a school bus taking 26 children home from a field trip near Chowchilla in the Central Valley was hijacked by three men who drove them to Livermore and herded them into an old moving van (pictured) which they then buried in a rock quarry while demanding ransom. With only a thin air pipe to keep them breathing, the kids famously clawed their way out of the blackness. Their captors are still in prison.

Add: One of the victims, Larry Park, who was 6 at the time, has written a book, “The Chowchilla Kidnapping: Why Me?” He tells the Contra Costa Times’ Eric Louie that he still struggles to overcome the emotional scars from the horrific episode: “At 41 years old, I still sleep with a night light.”

Image: KCOY TV
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