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Gavin Newsom

Kidnapper in infamous Chowchilla school bus case offers new details at parole hearing

LIVERMORE, Calif. Before he hatched a plan to kidnap 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver for ransom, burying them in a Livermore quarry in the infamous 1976 crime, James Schoenfeld read a newspaper headline. In 1974, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan had announced a $5 billion budget surplus for California. The community college student and part-time busboy wouldn't admit to his affluent family that he was deep in debt and thought the state could spare $5 million, Schoenfeld told the state Board of Parole in April, according to a transcript obtained by the Bay Area News Group. The 158 pages of testimony reveal previously unknown details about the decades-old Chowchilla kidnapping, a case...

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