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Steven Gregory Stayner (April 18, 1965 – September 16, 1989) was an American kidnap victim. Stayner was abducted from the Central California city and county of Merced, at the age of seven and held until he was 14, when he escaped and rescued another victim, Timothy White, in 1980. Stayner died in 1989 in a motorcycle accident while driving home from work. On the afternoon of December 4, 1972, Steven Stayner was approached on his way home from school by a man named Ervin Edward Murphy, an acquaintance of Kenneth Parnell. Murphy, described by those who knew him as a trusting, naïve and simple-minded man, had been enlisted by convicted child rapist Parnell (who had passed himself off as an aspiring minister to Murphy) into helping him abduct a young boy so that Parnell could “raise him in a religious-type deal,” as Murphy later stated. For years Parnell abused Steven and told him that he had legally adopted him. As Steven entered puberty, Parnell began to look for a younger child to kidnap. On February 14, 1980, Parnell and a teenage friend of Steven’s, named Sean Poolman, kidnapped five-year-old Timmy White in Ukiah, California. Motivated in part by the young boy’s distress, Steven decided to escape with him, intending to return the boy to his parents and then escape himself. The two boys were picked up by the police and Steven told them the whole story. Steven’s life was the basis of the 1989 miniseries “I know my first name is Steven”.

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Originally posted 2017-12-12 19:21:00.