Authors: Mike Echols
"This is not the first time that this F.B.I. agent has been involved in controversy," continued Grassley. "Mr. James Maddock was also involved in the F.B.I. crime lab fiasco, and had the primary responsibility of containing the allegations of whistle-blower Fred Whitehurst (a former lab employee).
Grassley summed it all up by saying, "I think you can safely say that they're looking into this right now in Washington. Incidents like these by the F.B.I. tend to undermine public confidence in federal law enforcement."
But on July 28, 1999, the only statement from Maddock's office in Sacramento was a recorded telephone message from Agent Nick Rossi, who said: "To respond to criticism, we would have to discuss details of our pending case. If we are forced to choose between defending ourselves against critics and preserving the integrity of our case, we will always choose preserving the integrity of our case."
According to Peter Keane, Dean of Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco, "The danger is, you may be mistaken, and by ruling out other possibilities, you are allowing other trails to go cold. An investigation should always remain open until a jury comes back with a verdict."
With what it now knows about Cary Stayner, the F.B.I. has assigned a team of investigators to search California for unsolved crimes, particularly ones in which the victims were beheaded (as Cary Stayner has confessed having done to Juliana Sund and Joie Armstrong). Although Stayner says that his killings only began in February, 1999, experts who study serial killers say such a sudden, late debut is unlikely. Therefore
authorities are looking at Cary Stayner's whereabouts over the past two decades in an attempt to solve half a dozen unsolved murders, including that of his uncle, Jesse "Jerry" Stayner, who was murdered in the home he shared with Cary on December 26, 1990.
In reference to Cary's claim that he only began his 'career" as a serial killer at the age of 37 on February 15, 1999, a San Jose State University sociologist who studies the minds of multiple murders said, "It's very rare for a seven-year-old kid to fantasize about killing women. The average age is 35. Almost all serial murderers have low-paying jobs that don't seem to be going anywhere. Thirty-five seems to be about the age that they crack and can't handle the strain of knowing what their lives are going to be like. Plus, they're afraid that maybe they're losing their sexual attractiveness."
As to Stayner's claim that his fantasies began at age seven, Dr. Scott W. Allen, a senior staff psychologist with the Miami/Dade County Police Department, agrees that Stayner's claim of violent fantasies in early childhood is suspect and thinks that it is an attempt to establish a classic legal defense for himself with his confession. "This fellow is extraordinarily manipulative," said Allen. "This is the nexus for an insanity plea, that he had irresistible impulses. He may just be making it all up."
Adds Dr. Reid Meloy, a San Diego forensic psychologist and author of
The Psychopathic Mind,
"My hunch is there's a high probability these were sexual homicides. Women were targeted who were unknown to [Stayner]. Violent fantasy plays a predominant role in
these killings. These fantasies can precede the actual killings by a long latency period. Typically these fantasies start in adolescence. They are subterranean fantasies, not discussed with anyone. The perpetrator will masturbate to them, but doesn't act on them for years."
Robert Ressler—who developed the F.B.I.'s Behavioral Sciences Unit, which profiles criminals, as portrayed in
1991 motion picture
The Silence of the Lambs
—said serial killers' fantasies do typically start early in life. "It becomes sexual violence when it's played out in fantasies, and they are fantasies about taking a matter of authority and control over an individual. If he is 37, I'd start when he was 25 or 26 and look for homicides and sexual assaults in areas where he lived," Ressler said. "You have to go back [and] look for evidence of moves toward that behavior."
And what about Cary Stayner's years as a good worker, albeit in low-paying jobs? Michael Rustigan, San Francisco State University Professor of Criminology, cited the case of Ted Bundy, who confessed to committing 31 murders and was executed in Florida in 1991. "He was a charming, good-looking guy. [And] I could rattle off the cases of many serial killers who worked by day and crept by night."
But all of the experts did agree that, if Stayner had not been caught, he almost certainly would have killed again and again.
Traveling in a dark blue government van, on Thursday, July 29, 1999, federal marshals drove confessed Yosemite serial killer Cary Stayner from the state capi
tol of Sacramento south down California 99 right through the very middle of California. They traveled through his hometown of Merced and on south to Fresno, a city of over 400,000 in the same agricultural San Joaquin Valley of California, an area where his brother's kidnapper had been raised and where Cary had grown up the eldest child of a loving, hardworking blue collar family, and where his brother Steven had returned home on March 2, 1980.
On arrival at the Fresno County Jail, in downtown Fresno, news photographers jostled each other and even climbed atop a nearby roof to try to get pictures of the 37-year-old motel handyman as he arrived at the facility's rear entrance.
Once inside, Cary was placed by himself in an 85-square-foot cell with only a steel toilet, a sink, a desk, and a bunk. And a suicide watch was established for him after a medical evaluation.
This isolated cell will remain his home for the foreseeable future, except for one hour every other day for a shower, twice a week for a 30-minute visit, and a total of three hours each week for exercise.
"This inmate is a celebrity," said Fresno County Sheriff Richard Pierce. "That alone and the type of crime [he committed] can cause other inmates to want to harm him."
Using the payroll list provided by Shackleton, John M. Reed, Special Agent in charge of the F.B.I's Sacramento office, wrote to Shackleton on March 22, 1973, stating that fifty-six of the employees on that list had records of felony arrests and/or convictions, 14 of those for sex offenses.
Psychiatrist Joseph E. Brackley's 1951 report stated, "After [Parnell's] admission to Whittier School and his later admission to Lancaster"—another C.Y.A. facility—"he started to have irregular homosexual experiences. He speaks rather lightly of these procedures such as placing his penis in some other boy's rectum or taking some boy's penis into his own mouth or having some other boy take his (the patient's) penis into the mouth—as being practically normal procedures in these schools."
Curiously, Ken was—for him—quite honest about his background with Human Resources caseworker V. Holmes . . . even to the point of stating that he had a son, Dennis G. Parnell, living with him, and that he and his son had previously lived in Yosemite National Park, where he had worked for the Curry Company. Holmes wrote to Curry, and their employment manager, Derrick Vocelka, wrote back confirming Parnell's employment and stating that he had quit the job "because of illness in his family."
During 1983 and 1984, near Omaha, Nebraska, Airman John J. Joubert—then stationed at Offutt Air Force Base—was arrested, charged, convicted, and given a death sentence each for his brutal kidnapping-murders of thirteen-year-old Danny Joe Eberle and twelve-year-old Christopher Walden. During the late l970s—when police in Maine phoned Lt Bailey—Joubert was a teenager in Portland, Maine, suspected of having sexually assaulted several young boys. Such crimes against children occur all over the nation . . . a problem detailed in this book's Epilogue.
Years later, when Dennis told the author about this incident and the previous one in Santa Rosa, with his background in social work the author suggested to him that there might have been a connection between his fire-setting and Parnell's sexual abuse, but Dennis refused to even consider such a thing, dismissing his actions as simply "a kid playing with matches."
In the author's several interviews with Kenny in October and December of 1984, Kenny claimed that Parnell had only "tried" to molest him. However, in October of 1984, John Allen recalled that in 1978 Kenny had told him that Parnell had had sex with him on several occasions . . . and in 1980 Barbara reported the same—including Parnell's sexual abuse of Lloyd—to several law enforcement officers.
Over the past twenty years the commercial and private growing and use of marijuana has become rather acceptable in the coastal half of Mendocino County. In the 1980s the California Commissioner of Agriculture was quoted in
as estimating the street value of the Mendocino and adjacent Humbolt Counties' pot crop at over $3 billion, making it the largest cash crop in the state.
The author showed Dennis his sixth-grade class group portrait in July of 1984, and as he looked over the twenty-four young faces one by one, he pointed to four boys (all with dark blond, brown, or black hair) who, he said, were sexually assaulted, propositioned, or requested as weekend guests by Parnell. Dennis went on to say, however, that Parnell was not interested in any of the light-blond-headed boys, including one with whom he was close friends.
Steven had never before said anything to anyone about these sex assaults until he told the author about them in June of 1984, when he said that he wanted Parnell prosecuted for them. With Steven's concurrence the author phoned J. C. Skinner, Assistant Prosecutor for Izzard County, who stated that—since Arkansas' statute of limitations would not expire until July 1986—his office might be interested in prosecuting Parnell for these previously unknown crimes. However, Kay felt that her son had been through enough already and dissuaded Steven from pursuing the matter.
The identities of these young victims have never been established and the cases are still open.
In California, a charge of first degree kidnapping requires that the crime result in the death of the victim or that a ransom demand be made for the victim's safe return. Second-degree kidnapping is applicable wherein there is no ransom demand made and no bodily harm caused the victim (California law does not consider sexual assault of the victim "bodily harm").
In December 1984, Jim, Sean's brother, told the author that Mettier was still involved in "illegal dealings," and that "Hank" used Sean "to do his dirty work." Concerning his brother's relationship with Parnell, Jim spat: "He doesn't like Parnell. One time he said Parnell made him help to bury a couple of kids Parnell'd wasted."
When the author interviewed Parnell about this in December of 1984 the convict was quite upset to learn that the author had recovered the law book from the Mountain View Ranch.
The defense's investigator, Joseph Burger, phoned the clinic using the number provided him by Mettier. A person answered and confirmed Mettier's testimony, and Burger then dropped the matter. However, there has never been a "Holistic Health Institute," in Mill Valley. Also, Burger's records reflect the doctor's name as "Coslinkco," but no such surname can be found in Mill Valley telephone directories from 1977 to 1984, and there is no such name among the 1985 professional directories for all types of licensed California physicians, including holistic physicians.
Under California law, sentencing for each separate conviction (i.e., the kidnapping of Steven Stayner and the conspiracy-to-kidnap Steven Stayner) had to be merged. California law also prohibited Judge Sabraw from sentencing Parnell to more than twenty-four months for kidnapping Steven since he had already received the maximum sixty month sentence for his conviction on the second degree charge of kidnapping Timmy White.