A California parole board has once again denied parole for one of the three men convicted in a crime that remains one of Chowchilla’s most notorious. In 1976, James Schoenfeld and his brother Richard, along with their friend Fred Woods, hijacked a school bus filled with 26 children, and burying them alive, along with the driver, in a rock quarry. The kidnappers were demanding $5 million in ransom money. The victims were able to escape after being held in a van underground for 16 hours thanks to the help of bus driver Ed Ray.
After the board’s decision to deny Schoenfeld pale for the 17th time, he will remain in prison along with Woods, who becomes eligible to go before the board again in 2015. Richard Schoenfeld was granted parole last June after being denied 20 times. Ed Ray died a month prior to Schoenfeld’s release.