News

Kidnapper of Woodside High student may be paroled

 

After serving a little more than 25 years of a life sentence in state prison, parole may be ahead for Octavio Godinez Valdiosera Sr. He was convicted in 1990 of the kidnapping for ransom of a 16-year-old student at Woodside High School.

At his 12th hearing before the Board of Parole, a two-person panel found him suitable for release, saying that he is "not an unreasonable risk of danger to the public," according to a report by San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The decision now goes to the office of Gov. Jerry Brown for review, prosecutors said. Mr. Valdiosera is currently in the California State Prison at Solano in Vacaville.

Mr. Valdiosera kidnapped the Woodside student in March 1990 and took him to Los Angeles, where he was kept in handcuffs at gunpoint for two weeks, prosecutors said.

Mr. Valdiosera demanded $100,000 in ransom from the student's father, allegedly to pay off a debt to the Medellin drug cartel, prosecutors said.

His life sentence, handed down by a San Mateo County judge in January 1991, included the possibility of parole. Inmates are released to the county in which they were convicted.

Asked to comment, Mr. Wagstaffe said in an email that his office "believed the defendant remains an undue risk of danger to the community if released."

"But," he added, "even though we did not agree with it, the decision of the parole board was a reasonable one under all the circumstances."

The Almanac was unable to reach an attorney who could speak for Mr. Valdiosera.

Dave Boyce

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:38 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Release this arch criminal on parole?!? No way!!! What is the Parole Board thinking of?!? : (


12 people like this
Posted by Disturbed
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Really, we are going to welcome this guy back into San Mateo County where we live! I currently have a high school student in this county. Really???

Oh my!


12 people like this
Posted by On the face of it
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:13 pm

On the face of it, the parole board must be insane. Release a kidnapper, who holds a 16 year old for $100,000 ransom to allegedly payoff a Medellin drug cartel. Do we not have amazing amounts of unemployment, ever increasing costs to live in our area and a more vigorous than ever drug cartel at our very borders?! I do not think that only parents of a high school student should be worried, anyone can be kidnapped.

Even the most liberal of prison reformers would have to see that this is a set up for failure. Perhaps we should release the parole board of their duties.....


12 people like this
Posted by Disturbed!
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Web Link
Contact Gov Jerry Brown with your opinion on this! He needs to know how you feel. Easy to do! Take action!

Include this link: Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Concerned neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Please write Gov Brown to overturn the decision for convicted kidnapper Octavio Valdiosera parole!

Web Link

Gov Brown has a choice to do the following:
1) overturn
2) sign it
3) refer it to a larger panel of board of prison term commissioners


8 people like this
Posted by Jaded
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Unfortunately, Governor Brown is quite likely to give this criminal parole whether or not we write and ask that no parole should be granted. The words "kidnapping, ransom, Medellin cartel" are enough to give me serious concerns about our safety should Valdiosera Sr. be paroled. If this criminal is "not an unreasonable risk of danger to the public," what is a 'reasonable' danger? Would it be that he kidnaps again? Or, would it be merely that he re-establishes his connection to a drug cartel?

Additionally, the idea of this thug running loose again must be a concern for his victim and family.


2 people like this
Posted by Margo
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

I will speak to the other side from all the nay comments. If the parole board believes this man is rehabilitated, then I think we should allow that process to go through. We hire them to make the tough determinations. The board can put restrictions on his movements. The most important thing is that he needs to be given the opportunity to work and live as normal a life as he can. None of the commenters, including me, seem to know this man. The parole board does. People do stupid things in their desperation. Rather than keeping him caged up for life, give him the opportunity to make a positive contribution to our society. That should be part of his parole agreement.


10 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Here's the link to the online form you can use to contact Governor Jerry Brown asking him to NOT approve the release of Octavio Godinez Valdiosera Sr., who was convicted in 1990 of the kidnapping for ransom of a 16-year-old student at Woodside High School, and who has served only a little more than 25 years of a life sentence in state prison.

Web Link




8 people like this
Posted by ThrowAwayTheKey
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Here's a link to the 1990 story, as told in the Lodi News: Web Link

Three kidnappers, kidnapping for ransom, didn't bother to hide their faces from the kid they kidnapped, so he figured he would be killed.

Don't let this guy walk free. Ever.


9 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm

pearl is a registered user.

At ThrowAwayTheKey:

Thanks for the link to the news article telling of the kidnap and rescue of the Woodside High School Student. The article says kidnapper Octavio Godinez Valdiosera Sr. is a RESIDENT OF MEXICO!!! Why is he not then being deported back to his country?!? He is here ILLEGALLY in the United States!!! Have the ICE guys pick him up and drive him back to MEXICO, and charge him for the cost of gas!!!


8 people like this
Posted by R
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Feb 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm

@Margo I respectfully disagree with everything you stated, especially your opinion that "The most important thing is that he needs to be given the opportunity to live a normal life".

Margo, seriously think about what you are saying here. The VICTIMS had/have a right to live a normal life, and by no fault of their own the boy and his family were traumatized and their lives changed forever by that sociopath.

And rehabilitated? From what? Being involved with a drug cartel? Being a kidnapper? I do not know him, and I do not ever wish to know him.

Write Gov. Brown everyone. Your thoughts on this DO matter!


2 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm

How quick to condemn you all are -- Margo excepted, obviously -- with no information whatsoever on what this man must have done to change his life and convince the parole board, after 12 previous hearings, that he is an acceptable candidate for release.

Here's a question for you all: What would Jesus do?

Are some of you Christians? Perhaps you're of the muscular Christianity persuasion, wherein a ripped Jesus with sword in hand preaches the wisdom of getting on top and staying on top and letting the losers look after themselves. That Jesus might indeed throw away the key.

What do you know about the people on the parole board? Are you so ready to discount their understanding of their profound responsibilities?


4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Whoa, I never knew that the victim was part of the Chavez family.

Thank you for the info on how to protest this parole.


4 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 27, 2015 at 7:46 am

Robert is a registered user.

I cannot find anywhere that the parole board thinks he is rehabilitated, only that he does not seem to have an unreasonable risk to the community. I have said this before - those who think he should be released into the community should allow this person to stay at their house, or at least next to their house.
Violent Criminals like this, I believe should stay in prison and I will do my part on the protest of the parole.


2 people like this
Posted by wwjd
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Feb 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Ask yourself.

25 years ago.

Allegations of cartel are not facts, in fact sounds like a defense strategy.

Cheers,
Sammy


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: Child Loss, "No U-Turn at Mercy Street"
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,029 views

Which Cocktail Has the Least Calories?
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 706 views