Atherton kidnapper living in Mountain View | June 27, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - June 27, 2012

Atherton kidnapper living in Mountain View

by Nick Veronin

One of the three men convicted of kidnapping a bus full of children in Chowchilla, California, in 1976 is now on parole and living in Mountain View, police said Friday.

Richard Schoenfeld, 57, of Atherton, after being released this month from his nearly 36-year stint in prison, has been "transported to Mountain View, where he will reside in an undisclosed location," according to Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman with the Mountain View Police Department.

Richard Schoenfeld, along with his older brother John Schoenfeld and Fred Woods of Portola Valley, pleaded guilty in 1976 to kidnapping 26 Chowchilla schoolchildren and their bus driver and secreting them in a quarry in Livermore, from which they all escaped on their own without injury.

The men were sentenced to life in prison. John Schoenfeld and Mr. Woods have not yet been found suitable for parole.

Though he is a "high-profile parolee due to the notoriety of his crime, Richard Schoenfeld is not considered a high-risk offender by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation," Ms. Wylie said in her statement.

He must wear a GPS monitor 24 hours a day as a condition of his parole.

"The State and the courts have determined Mr. Schoenfeld no longer poses a threat to society," Mountain View Mayor Mayor Mike Kasperzak said in a press release. "I am confident of our police department and know they will appropriately monitor him to ensure the safety of our community."

The police were aware of the transfer for some time before it occurred, Ms. Wylie said.

His exact location will not be given out by police, she said. His parole is scheduled to last three years.


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