In 1976, in Chowchilla, California. A man named Frederick Newhall Woods IV, along with two others, kidnapped children from a school bus. Let’s find out who Woods was and what he did.
Frederick Newhall Woods IV, only 24 at the time, came from a family known since the California Gold Rush. He, along with James Schoenfeld and his brother Richard Schoenfeld, shocked Chowchilla by kidnapping kids and asking for a $5 million ransom.
Arrest and Conviction:
The FBI discovered Woods’ involvement through evidence linking him to the crime. They found keys to a quarry and proof that he helped plan the ransom. The three were charged with kidnapping for ransom and robbery.
Originally, they got life sentences without parole. But later, an appeals court changed it to life with the chance of parole. This decision sparked debates about justice.
Parole and Legal Battles:
Woods had many parole hearings. In 2012, Richard Schoenfeld got parole, and James Schoenfeld followed in 2015. Woods faced his 19th parole hearing in March 2022. Surprisingly, despite objections, he got parole in August 2022.
While in prison, Woods ran businesses, like a gold mine and a car dealership. He inherited a $100 million trust fund and even got married three times in prison.
|July 15, 1976
|Woods, along with James and Richard Schoenfeld, orchestrates the kidnapping of a school bus in Chowchilla, California.
|Woods, convicted of kidnapping for ransom and robbery, receives a life sentence without parole, later overturned and re-sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.
|Woods faces his 19th parole hearing, leading to a panel’s recommendation for parole.
|August 7, 2015
|James Schoenfeld is paroled.
|Richard Schoenfeld is released on parole.
|August 17, 2022
|Despite Governor Newsom’s request for reconsideration, Woods’ parole is granted.
|Woods reportedly runs various businesses from behind bars, including a gold mine and a car dealership. He inherits a trust fund and marries three times while in prison.
|Frederick Newhall Woods IV, a central figure in the Chowchilla kidnapping, remains a subject of intrigue and controversy as the community grapples with the impact of his actions.
A: Woods, along with others, kidnapped children, thinking it would make the state more likely to pay a ransom.
A: The court changed their sentences to life with the possibility of parole, leading to debates and discussions.
A: Remarkably, Woods ran businesses, inherited money, and got married while behind bars.
A: The community, still affected by the kidnapping, felt shock and disbelief when Woods got parole, bringing back old memories.