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Parole recommended for 1976 California school bus hijacker

School Bus Hijacking
Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 20:08:19-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Parole has been recommended for the last of three men convicted of hijacking a school bus full of children for $5 million ransom in 1976.

Two parole commissioners acted Friday in the case of 70-year-old Frederick Woods.

Frederick Woods background 2021.jpg
Frederick Woods

Gov. Gavin Newsom can send the decision to the full parole board for review, but he can't block it.

Woods' accomplices, brothers Richard and James Schoenfeld, were paroled years ago.

All three were from wealthy San Francisco Bay Area families when they kidnapped 26 children and their bus driver near the Central California community of Chowchilla.

They held the children and bus driver in a ventilated underground bunker east of San Francisco.

The victims dug their way out more than a day later.

School Bus Hijacking
FILE - This July 24, 1976, photo shows the inside of the van that was used as a prison for the 26 kidnapped Chowchilla school children and their bus driver in Livermore, Calif. (AP Photo/Jim Palmer, File)
School Bus Hijacking
FILE - Officials remove a truck buried at a rock quarry in Livermore, Calif., in which 26 Chowchilla school children and their bus driver, Ed Ray, were held captive on July 20, 1976. (AP Photo/James Palmer, File)
School Bus Hijacking
FILE - Two Dairyland Union School District students, who were among the 26 school children, and their bus driver who were abducted and buried in a truck underground, walk to the family car clad in blankets after release and early morning arrival in Chowchilla, Calif., on July 17, 1976. (AP Photo, File)
School Bus Hijacking
FILE - In this July 17, 1976, photo parents and families of the Dairyland Union School District children and their bus driver who were kidnapped, wait anxiously inside the Chowchilla police station as the students unload from the chartered bus that returned them from Livermore, Calif., where they were found. (AP Photo, File)
School Bus Hijacking
FILE - Chowchilla church-goers give a prayer of thanks for the safe return of their 26 school children and bus driver, during a service at the Chowchilla Baptist Church, in Chowchilla, Calif., July 18, 1976. (AP Photo/Jim Palmer, File)