Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine's Killer


Lots of attention, needless to say, is being given by the media to the Northern Illinois University shootings on Valentine's Day. I've posted my thoughts about that so-called "rampage": here, here, and here.

Besides all the other "Valentine's Dangers," there is another case worth mentioning that centers on this date.


It will be recalled that Stayner carried out his initial murder spree (or at least the one we know about) over Valentine's weekend in 1999, and used Bigfoot to talk to the park ranger he killed.

The following was sent to me by a relative (I'll withhold the name) of Yosemite Killer Cary Anthony Stayner. Stayner said he saw Bigfoot and sent me drawings of it.

This following note, at some level, is downright chilling:

I would like to add as a family member to Carey Stayner, as long as I could remember Carey was out running [and] climbing mountains. I remember when he first had told me and my brother of what he had seen [the Bigfoot], he would go very blank in the face as if he was being very serious or like somebody was watching him. He would tell us about the smell the creature had and that it was alot bigger than him. We were very young but we knew he wasn’t playing a joke on us. I remember when I went to Camp Green Meadows in the 6th grade he told me to stay close to all the teachers and no matter what don’t go out at night. He never really seemed the same to me after he had seen Bigfoot. So to me, maybe that’s what drove him mad? You never know.


For another one of those strange coincidences, please note the significance of Valentine's Day in the legacy of the Stayner family, a Mormon family who had been touched before on Valentine's Day:

Stayner family's woeful history
San Francisco Examiner 26 Jul 1999 L5
By Zachary Coile and Matthew Yi: Examiner Staff

Merced, California ~ When an FBI agent called Assistant Sheriff Henry Strength on Saturday morning looking for a criminal record of a possible suspect in the murders at Yosemite, he asked for the name Cary Stayner. Knowing the name sounded familiar, Sheriff Strength went to work. He had been a young patrol officer in l972 when 7-year-old Steven Stayner was kidnapped from the streets of Merced only returning home on Valentine's Day in 1980, when he walked into a Ukiah police station along with another 5-year-old abductee, Timothy White.

Steven Stayner was an instant hero and the l4-year-old later became the subject of the NBC miniseries "I Know My First Name Is Steven." "It was a shock," Strength said. Steven's brother, Cary, 37, was the prime suspect in the killing of a Yosemite naturalist and an FBI prime suspect in several other murders.

Shock was a familiar reaction to residents of Merced, a San Joaquin Valley city 100 miles from San Francisco. It was here that Steven Stayner was considered a hero for escaping from a child molester in l980. He later joined the LDS Church, married and had two children, only to die at age 24 in a motorcycle accident, nine years after he escaped.

When 7-year-old Steven was approached by Ukiah hotel clerk Kenneth Parnell, the boy was asked if he wanted to donate something to a church. "I said, 'Well, yeah. I think my mom might donate something.'" Steven told authorities years later. "He said, 'OK,' and gave me these booklets and he asked me if I wanted a ride home." "And I said, 'Well, it's just a little ways, I can walk.'" "He goes,'OK. Don't worry. I'll just give you a ride home.' "And I go," 'Well, OK,' "and so I got in the car."

This began the seven-year nightmare in which Parnell held and sexually molested Steven. He forced the boy to call him "Dad", telling him that he was no longer wanted by his parents.

Years later after returning home and putting his life back together, Steven Stayner married at age 24. With two children, he and his family joined the Mormon Church. Assistant Sheriff Strength said Stayner was on the waiting list for a job as a county jail guard.

On September 20, 1989, Steven was riding his new Kawasaki motorcycle without a helmet in the rain. He skidded trying to avoid a car and fatally struck his head. After Steven's death, his parents sold the family home and moved.

"They did mention about finally getting a chance to get out of here," said Ennis Mayberry, 36, who bought the house from the Stayner 10 years ago. "They said they wanted to get away and wash away some bad memories."

In December of 1990 the family was dealt another blow, but not its last. Jesse "Jerry" Stayner, 42, Cary and Steven's uncle, was shot to death in his Merced home. The murder remains unsolved.

"I was just talking to someone about this. We were talking about the Kennedy family, and all the bad things that have happened to them," Sherriff Strength said. "Then you have Steven Stayner get kidnapped, and then he comes back and gets killed in a motorcycle accident. Then his uncle gets killed in a homicide. And now this. It happens to all families, I guess."

These are the facts as noted by the media, although they may be confused in their correct chronology, as you can see from the comments below.


Unknown said...

Kinda curious??? I am also a family member of Carey Stayner(2nd cousin) and am surprised in all the articles i have read nobody that nobody has mentioned that Carey lived with his uncle Jessie when he was murdered. After the murder Carey accused multiple people including family members of the murder only to be proved wrong. I have heard from a family member that worked closely with police on Jessies murder that all along they have known who did it but just couldn't prove it in court!! This has always bothered me because my father was accused of Jessies murder at one point and I guess i will never know if it was Carey or my DAD!! talk about one f- upped family thats only the tip of the iceberg.......Carey and Stevens parents are to blame for the way Carey is!!! When your molested and told its okay to boink your sister your bound to have problems!! I don't know if Steven would have had it any better at home to be honest? isn't that SAD!!! Dont feel bad for any BAD LUCK for this family its there fault and what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason:
Thanks for the information on Carey and especially, his family. You are right as family abuse is at the core of all violent offenders, as much as many people want to deny it. I say look at the family history of any serial killer. Who was the abuser in Carey's home or was it both parents? Any information you can provide is helpful to society.

Anonymous said...

First off, please at least get the common facts straight. Such as the day Steven died and the day he came home, he died September 16 and did not come home on Valentines Day. Valentines day was the day Timmy White was kidnapped. Steven rescued him two weeks later on March 1st.
I am also a member of the Stayner family but will not disclose who I am. Secondly who ever said it was ok to "boink" their sister? Whatever did or didn't happen was certainly not with permission of the Stayner parents. It is pretty sad to me that a so called "family member" could say such things, true or not. It is more than unfair to blame the parents for the "way Cary is". I'm not by any means making excuses for Cary's actions but no amount of bad parenting causes a person to do things that he did. Raising kids can be a crap shoot, some of the best parents in the world by standards have had children who've grown up to be various kinds of criminals/murderers or whatever the case may be.
If you want to blame someone for Cary's actions, why not blame him? I think it's pathetic what some "family" members have said after what Cary did. Where was the concern for everyone before he became "famous"? So before you pass judgement on Steven and Cary's parents, maybe you should look long and hard at your own moral compass.

TrueCrimeFanatic said...

Any updates on the uncle's murder? Has Cary been ruled OUT? ~Teraisa

Justice for Jerry said...

I am the oldest daughter of Jesse “Jerry” Stayner and i can confirm Jason is a second cousin and also confirm that his father was accused and suspected of killing my father. My dads murder is still an unsolved case. We have our own thoughts and suspicions but nothing has ever been confirmed as to who killed my dad in 1990. But I want to clear up something I keep seeing....that my father molested Cary! Not a fact! My father was in the military stationed in Germany around that time. It was one the husbands of Carys aunt that was the molester and convicted as such.