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July 22, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-22

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Thursday, July 22, 1976

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Reports claim bus case arrests near

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP)-A
"gun and drug cult" involving
wealthy members of San Fran-
cisco Bay area families may
have engineered the precision
abduction of 26 Chowchilla
school children and their bus
driver, published reports said
yesterday.
"The arrests of at least seven
sons of wealthy San Francisco
Peninsula families are immi-
nent," the Sacramento Bee re-
ported. A similar report was
published in its sister newspa-
per, The Fresno Bee of the
McClatchy Group.
AUTHORITIES said they did
have suspects but arrests were
not imminent.
Both newspapers quoted
sources as saying one suspect
was indirectly linked to the
California Rock and Gravel Co.
quarry near Livermore in Ala-
meda County, where the kidnap
victims were entombed in a
buried moving van for nearly
18 hours last week.
"We are looking very closely
to an individual named Fred
because the moving van was
sold ... to him personally," said
a source quoted by The Fresno
Bee. "That information has
been passed on to the district
attorney to see if there is
enough for a complaint."
TTHE SOURCES were quoted
as saying it would have taken
someone with ready access to
the quarry to bury a moving
van there "with impunity."
Lt. Gene Saper of the Alame-
da County sheriff's office said
earlier that quarry owner Fred
Woods III "and his boy are
being investigated routinely."
Reached by telephone at Cali-
fornia Rock and Gravel's San
Francisco office, Woods said,

I'm numb."
WOODS, WHO earlier had con-
firmed he has a son named
Frederick, said yesterday, "I
was told by the sheriff's office
not to say whether I have one
son or 10 sons.
On the southern end of the
San Francisco Peninsula, San
Mateo County Sheriff John Mc-
Donald said his office has been
asked to join the investigation
and to have a helicopter stand-
ing by.
Alameda County investigators
issued a statement saying "we
do have suspects but an arrest
or arrests are not imminent.
"I DON'T KNOW anything
about a group of seven, six,
or five people - a group of
wealthy kids. It's not to say
it's not true. I just don't know
about it," Madera County Sher-
iff Ed Bates told reporters in
Madera, 20 miles southeast of
Chowchilla.
"One source has indicated
suspects may be part of a 'cult
type' group, although a motive
for last week's kidnaping has
not been established," the news-
paper reports said.
The Fresno Bee said several
sources clairned suspects "in-
clude members of wealthy San
Francisco Bay area families in-
volved in a 'drug and gun' cult."
The busload of school chil-
dren vanished last Thursday on
the way home from summer
school. The driver and children
tunneled their way out of the
tomb-like prison where the ab-
ductors hid them.
Because fear lingers in the
small farming community of
Chowchilla, town officials can-
celed a celebration planned this
week in honor of the bus driver
who led his charges to safety.

'Do to them what they did
to us' says kidnap victim

ED RAY, DAIRYLAND school bus driver feeds his horse as he returns to his daily routine
which was interrupted last Thursday when he was kidnapped from his bus along with 26 school
children from Chowchilla, Calif.

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (') -
Jodi Heffington says she thinks
three men who kidnaped her
and 25 other school children
should be locked in a hot, dirty
van underground for 17 hours
- just as their victims were,
And' a sister-brother team,
who were on the school bus last
Thursday with Jodi, have sharp-
ly divided feelings what should
be done with their captors.
Eight year old Jennifer:
Brown said: "Kill 'em."
But 10 year old Jeffrey
Brown - who had never heard
of capital punishment until the
kidnaping, according to his
mother -- said in an interview
that killing the abductors would
not be right.
"I think they should punish
them badly, but I don't want
them killed," he said. "That's
like throwing a frog against a
wall to watch the blood spatter.
It's not nice. It's cruel."
Jeffrey thought for a mom-
ent and added. "Life imprison-
ment. That's what I think."
Jodi, 10, said she hopes the
men are caught. Their punish-
ment, she said, should be "do
to them what they did to us."
Bus driver Ed Ray also ap-
peared to favor long-term jail
sentences:
"I sure don't know. I've nev-
er been in this kind of trouble
before. But when they take 26
itle kids, it's right that some-
thing be done, If they aren't put
away, they'll do it again"
The three children and Ray
agreed that their lives are calm-
ing down and that they weren't
particularly frightened any

more.
Ray said he plans to drive the
school bus in the fall. "But if I
see a van parked down there
and there's a corner, I might
turn before I get to it," he
said.
Then, looking off over his
cotton fields he added, "You
know, the kids did their crying
on the bus. I did mine after I
got home. I walked down to the
corner of the field and it just
hit me. But I feel good now."
At least one of the children
taken that day is still frighten-
ed by her memories of the kid-
nap and entombment.
'Evely Reynolds said she call-
ed a doctor Tuesday when her
9 year old daughter, Rebecca
began screaming and became
hysterical. Her 13 year old
daughter Judy also on the bus,
has been "just quiet." Reynolds
said, "I hope it doesn't hit the
other children like it did my
youngest. It would be satisfying
if they would catch them.
"They should really have pun-
ishment-severe punishment."
We know
about keeping
cool
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(0OICES FROM MICHIGAN'S PAST)
THE WOUNDED VOYAGEUR WHO BECAME DR. BEAUMONT 'S
WALKING LABORATORY.
THE MAN WITH A
- . IN HIS STOMACH
July 23-11:00 a.m.
WUOM 91.7 FM
SUPPORTED BY A GRANT FROM THE MICHIGAN COUNCi FOR THE-ARTS

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PRESENTS
THEY'RE BACK
EXCERPTS FROM BOTH MAD MADONNAS AND
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July 21, 2, 23, 24
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Sponsored by U of M Women's Commission

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