ABC News’ ‘20/20’ Presents Two-Hour Documentary on Cary Stayner, the Yosemite Serial Killer, 20 Years After Reign of Terror, Friday, July 19 (Rebroadcast)

ABC News’ ‘20/20’ Presents Two-Hour Documentary on Cary Stayner, the Yosemite Serial Killer, 20 Years After Reign of Terror, Friday, July 19 (Rebroadcast)

July 16, 2019




Features Interviews With FBI Agents Who Took Cary’s Confession and an Intended Victim Cary Described in His Confession


‘20/20’ Airs Friday, July 19 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC 


Cary Stayner made headlines in 1999 after he terrorized Yosemite National Park, murdering four women within six months. The “20/20” documentary dives into Cary’s past, the horror that he inflicted and features interviews with former FBI agents Jeff Rinek and John Boles, who together took Cary’s shocking confession; and with Lenna, one of Cary’s original intended victims he described in his confession. “20/20” airs Friday, July 19 (9:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC


“20/20” reports the chilling story about Cary’s younger brother, Steven, who was kidnapped as a child and escaped after seven years in captivity and how Steven’s disappearance may have impacted Cary’s behavior. It also includes audio of Cary’s confession and footage from the ABC News archives. The documentary features interviews with Trish Hautz, a former Yosemite Cedar Lodge worker who knew Cary; Des Kidd, former Yosemite medical director who discovered one of the victims; Mike Marchese, childhood friend of Cary; Martin Purdy, Cary’s childhood friend; Christine Hanley, former AP reporter who followed the Yosemite case closely; Pat Lunney, former Merced PD detective who investigated Steven’s disappearance; Alan Stenback, former neighbor of Ken Parnell, Steven’s captor; and Lori Duke, Steven’s high school girlfriend while he was being held captive. 


Cary worked as a handyman at Yosemite Cedar Lodge and mostly kept to himself. While working at the hotel, he brutally murdered tourists Carole Sund, her daughter Juli Sund, and friend Silvina Pelosso; and then five months later, park naturalist Joie Ruth Armstrong. When he was eventually brought in for questioning, he confessed in detail about how he killed his victims. He was sentenced to death and is currently on death row at California’s San Quentin State Prison. 


Steven was kidnapped from his home in Merced, California, at age 7. While in captivity, he was abused by captor Kenneth Parnell. At age 14, Steven escaped with Timothy White, another victim of Parnell’s. Upon his return home, Steven was hailed as a hero and his disappearance became the subject of books and a movie. He later married, had two children, and tragically died in a motorcycle accident at age 24. (Rebroadcast. ABC OAD: 1/25/19)


“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.


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