Fred Woods: Where is Chowchilla Kidnapper Now?


Law enforcement officers in California had been left shocked after they realized in regards to the abduction of 26 school children and their bus driver near city of Chowchilla in Madera County. While kidnappers ambushed the varsity bus and demanded $5 million in ransom, a police investigation rapidly led straight to Frederick Newhall Woods IV, James Schoenfeld, and Richard Schoenfeld. ’48 Hours: Remembering the Chowchilla Kidnapping’ chronicles the horrifying incident and follows the quick police movement that launched the perpetrators to justice. Well, for those who’re intrigued by the small print surrounding the crime and want to uncover out the place Frederick Woods is at present, now we have now you coated.

Who is Frederick Woods?

A neighborhood of the San Fransisco Bay Area tales declare that Frederick obtained right here from a well-to-do family and didn’t have any crucial authorized historic previous sooner than the kidnapping. In fact, he was rarely in problem with the regulation, and most seen him as a typical 24-year-old who beloved hanging out collectively together with his buddies and was making an attempt to make it on his private. However, of us had no idea that Frederick would end up committing such a heinous crime alongside brothers James and Richard Schoenfeld.

Image Credit: CBS News

According to sources, 26 children had been being pushed residence from summer season school by their bus driver, Ed Ray, on July 15, 1976, when Frederick, James, and Richard ambushed them correct exterior city of Chowchilla. They armed themselves with weapons sooner than hijacking the automotive and threatened to harm anyone who dared to go in opposition to their orders. Seeing as how the kids’s lives had been in danger, Ed complied, and the abductors pressured the kids, along with the driving power, into two prepared vans. Incidentally, the survivors had been pressured to leap from the bus to the van because the abductors didn’t want to go away any footprints behind.

After forcing the survivors into the vans, Frederick and his accomplice drove for practically 12 straight hours sooner than arriving at a rock quarry in Livermore, California. Once on the rock quarry, the kids, along with Ed, had been made to go down a niche that put them inside an earlier truck trailer. With time, the survivors realized that they had been buried practically 12 ft underground and had no simple escape. Besides, although the trailer had meals and water for consumption, it was barely ample for the 27 of us cramped inside. Meanwhile, Frederick and the Schoenfeld brothers referred to as the State Board of Education and demanded $5 million as a ransom in change for setting the kids free.

Once the meals and water contained within the trailer began working out, the survivors knew they wanted to find a method to flee. That was when 14-year-old Michael Marshall and the bus driver, Ed Ray, managed to open the quilt blocking the doorway to the opening that they had been pressured to go down by the use of. With the opening accessible, Michael come what may dug a path to the best for the others to adjust to. Thereafter, the survivors sought help from the native quarry staff, and regulation enforcement officers organized for his or her journey once more residence.

Interestingly, authorities obtained an early breakthrough inside the investigation as they realized that Frederick’s father owned the rock quarry. That gave the police ample goal to look his property, the place they found proof indicating Frederick Woods was involved inside the incident. Furthermore, the search revealed a rigorously drafted ransom discover and pointed the police in the direction of James and Richard Schoenfeld. Subsequently, Richard Schoenfeld turned himself in whereas Frederick and James went on the run all through state traces. Still, it didn’t take prolonged for authorities to arrest the escapees, and the trio was made to face a lot of bills, along with eight counts of inflicting bodily harm.

Where is Frederick Woods Now?

When produced in courtroom docket, Frederick Woods pled accountable to all bills apart from that of inflicting bodily harm. However, he was convicted on all counts, and the select handed him 27 concurrent sentences of seven years to life in jail with out the potential for parole in 1976. Following the sentencing, Frederick made an attraction, and then-state Judge William Newsom lowered the life sentence and made him eligible for parole in 1980.

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Reports level out that sooner than 2022, Frederick appeared sooner than the parole board seventeen cases, solely to be denied launch and despatched once more to jail. However, in March 2022, two commissioners on the panel useful Frederick’s launch, and although Governor Gavin Newsom requested the board to rethink their willpower, it appeared like Frederick was on the best way wherein in the direction of freedom. Naturally, a lot of of us, along with the kidnapping survivors, objected to this willpower, and some insisted that Frederick had not modified his character in jail. Still, the parole board upheld the distinctive willpower, and he was launched in August 2022. Hence, although Frederick in the meanwhile prefers privateness, his standing as a parolee signifies that he nonetheless resides inside the state of California.

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