The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dead at last...

Before Adam Walsh, there was another young boy abducted, stolen from his family. It was December 4th 1972, and Steven Stayner was just seven years old. He was walking home when a man kidnapped him- holding him hostage for seven years, subjecting him to unspeakable sexual and mental abuses.

Steven was abducted by Kenneth Parnell, a self-proclaimed protestant minister, multiple felon and convicted child molester.

Parnell kept Steven with him, telling people that the boy was his son, and calling him Dennis Gregory Parnell. "Dennis" and Parnell moved frequently around California with Parnell putting him into a series of schools. One of the few positive aspects to come out of Steven's life with Parnell was his dog, a Manchester Terrier whom Steven named Queenie. This dog had been given to Parnell by his mother (who never knew about "Dennis" during the whole period Steven was living with Parnell) on a visit he made a few days after the abduction, leaving the boy in the care of an educationally challenged co-worker of Parnell's, named Edward Ervin Murphy who had been an unwitting accomplice in the kidnapping of Steven and who Parnell had befriended and coerced.

Parnell repeatedly molested the boy, starting with oral sex and moving onto sodomy. Kenneth Parnell babysat for the parents of one of Steven's friends, Kenny Matthias. Kenny's mother, Barbara, who was always fighting with her alcoholic husband Bob, eventually moved in with Parnell and "Dennis." One evening, "Dennis" was invited into bed with Parnell and Barbara, and the nine-year-old boy was forced to have sex with her. Eventually, Parnell and Barbara separated, and Parnell's sexual abuse of Stayner was renewed. (Wikipedia)

Steven was held by Parnell for seven long, unimaginable years- until Parnell kidnapped another boy- five year old Timmy White. Steven's reaction likely saved his life, and Timmy's- as he was able to escape with the younger child, taking him to a police station.

From The Steven Stayer Memorial website:
Steven devoted much of his time upon returning home to telling his story, teaching parents, children and a whole nation how to protect themselves from what had happened to him. His story is told in the movie "I Know My First Name Is Steven".

In 1989, Steven was killed in a motorcycle accident, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

If the shocking nature of Parnell's crime wasn't horrible enough, Parnell only served a few years in prison- a quote from Steven on the subject:

"Before I was grabbed, my abductor had been convicted of child molesting. Throughout my abduction, he never stopped molesting other children. Even so, after taking me from my home, abusing me for seven years and abducting another 5-year old, he served only three and one-half years in jail.

To no one's surprise, Parnell's time in jail did nothing to sway him from his deviant desires, and he was again arrested (in 2004) after attempting to pay someone $500 to bring him a four year old boy. Thankfully, rather than deliver him another victim- the individual turned to police. Parnell was convicted and at age 72 sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

That sentence is now complete.

Kenneth Eugene Parnell, one of California's most notorious child molesters, has died of natural causes while serving a life sentence.

May he rot in hell.