Madera County DA questioning motivations behind Chowchilla bus kidnapping victim testimony

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At least one of the victims of the Chowchilla bus kidnapping is being investigated after she argued for the release of one of her kidnappers. (KFSN)

At least one of the victims of the Chowchilla bus kidnapping is being investigated after she argued for the release of one of her kidnappers. The woman testified at the parole hearing for Frederick Woods last November. Rebecca Dailey said he should be released. Now, questions have been raised about why she supported Woods.

The allegations of a cozy relationship between Frederick Woods and one of his victims is nothing new, but now the Madera County District Attorney is concerned that relationship may have been financially motivated.

The two women who came to speak on behalf of letting Woods out of prison angrily scooted away from the California men's colony after his parole request was denied last November. One of the women, Dailey, was among the children kidnapped by Woods and brothers Richard and James Schoenfeld in 1976. Madera County District Attorney David Linn believes those who argued on Woods behalf may have been improperly motivated. "I think they were persuaded to give that kind of testimony in an inappropriate way. Now, have I tied that to an actual code section that prohibits it? Not yet. We are looking into it."

Linn acknowledges it may be tough to prove. "Do I believe we have a factual basis to say, yes that actually happened? No, we are investigating it."

The alarm was raised by another Chowchilla kidnapping victim, Linda Labenderia, who claims she was approached by a former detective who was hired by Woods family and told there was money to be had. She said no thanks because she wants Woods to stay locked up. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Jill Klinge alerted the parole board to the allegation during the November hearing.

Woods is up for parole again in less than three years. Linn said he wants to get to the bottom of this and will be happy to argue once again to keep Woods locked up. "It makes me feel good because I know I will be there and I think I can keep him in again."

According to Linn, Woods has a trust account left by his parents with more than a million dollars in it. But the attorney who represented Woods, Gary Dubcoff of San Francisco, told the Associated Press the bribery allegations were completely unfounded. And again, no evidence has been produced that any bribery occurred.

Those who argued for woods release said they simply wanted closure.
Related Topics:
newscourt casekidnappingparolemadera countyChowchilla
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