The tragic story of Steven Stayner's life is one of the most shocking, inspiring and sorrowful tales of any missing child. Many are familiar with the Steven Stayner case due to the movie "I Know my First Name is Steven" as well as the troublesome fact that Steven Stayner's brother Cary Stayner is a convicted serial killer on death row. Born on April 18, 1965, Stayner disappeared on Dec. 4, 1972, while walking home from school. A man named Ervin Edward Murphy lured Stayner upon the instructions of a convicted, child rapist
Kenneth Parnell. For seven years, Parnell convinced Stayner that he was his legal guardian. He changed his name, enrolled him in school and began an unimaginable journey of molesting and sexually assaulting the boy. Once Steven began to grow older and reached puberty, Parnell looked for another child victim.
On Feb. 14, 1980, Parnell abducted 5-year-old Timmy White. It was the abduction of White that caused Stayner to plan an escape for himself and the boy. Confused due to the lies Parnell repeatedly spoke to him, Stayner believed that Parnell was his legal guardian. Still, Stayner took White to the Ukiah, California police department and returned the boy. Upon investigation, Steven's true identity was learned.
While both Timmy White and Steven Stayner were returned to their families, their stories did not ultimately have happy endings. During Stayner's brother's murder trial, it was learned that there may have been sexual abuse in the Stayner household. Steven Stayner never received counseling and died on Sept. 16, 1989.
On April 8, 2010, Timmy White died of a pulmonary embolism, he was 35-years-old.
*(I'm not sure if you're familiar with Google Plus and how it sometimes adds "auto effects" to pictures. When I uploaded the picture of Steven Stayner and Timmy White it added hearts to it. I think that is fitting. I will include the picture below.)
Video: Watch "I Know My First Name is Steven"
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Auto Awesome photo: Steven Stayner and Timmy White