The man who directed the Chowchilla bus kidnapping back in 1976 is going to be released from the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. 70-year-old Fred Woods masterminded the failed attempt to kidnap a school bus loaded with 26 kids in an attempt to extort millions of dollars in ransom. You may remember the bus driver helped free all the students after the school bus was buried in a rock quarry in Livermore. The driver was celebrated as a hero in Chowchilla. In 2015, the city named a park after Edward Ray.
At his parole hearing, the Madera county district attorney said, “I’m angry, frustrated and disturbed because justice has been mocked in Madera county. If you can kidnap a busload of school children, abandon them buried alive and still get out of prison after spending your time in prison flouting the law, breaking the rules and demonstrating that you have learned nothing since committing that crime, it says a lot about the state of our society and the state of California right now.”
While incarcerated, Woods broke several prison rules. He was caught with pornography twenty years ago and busted for having contraband cell phones 8 years ago. He’ll soon be released from the Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.