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Chowchilla mass kidnapping mastermind Frederick Woods granted parole

By STEVE LARGE

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    CHOWCHILLA (KOVR) — Seventy-year-old Frederick Woods, the convicted mastermind of the 1976 Chowchilla mass kidnapping, has been granted parole.

Some of the survivors of his heinous crime are speaking out in response to the decision.

“It’s about time,” Reverend Larry Park said. “Forty-six years is a long, long time.”

He was just six years old when he and his 25 classmates on a school bus in Chowchilla were taken hostage, buried in a trailer, and covered with dirt by ransom-seeking captors.

“I mean 6-years-old, I mean 6-years-old doesn’t seem like the right age to ask if it’s going to hurt to die,” Park said.

“There is nothing that is going to bring closure for any of us,” Park said.

While Park advocated for parole, others fought it, including survivor Jennifer Brown Hyde, who issued a statement.

“My family is disappointed in the parole board’s decision. I am extremely proud of my fellow survivors, friends, and family members that continued to fight till the end.”

Park is now a pastor and life coach, overcoming 20 years of addiction he blamed on the kidnapping.

He has since met with each of his captors face-to-face and forgiven them.

“I am no longer a victim of this kidnapping and no longer a survivor; I am victorious over this crime.”

The CDCR is overseeing Woods’ release.

An agency spokesperson would not say when or where he will be freed.

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