Cary Stayner

The Tournap Case

cary-stayner-mugshot Killed four women in the Yosemite area, dubbed the Tournap Case for "Tourist Kidnapping." This case is interesting because it is directly linked with the high-profile abduction of Steven Stayner, a boy who was held captive by pervert Kevin Parnell. Steven's story ended up as a made-for-TV movie, I Know My First Name is Steven.

Stayner sent a clue to the police, a map to the body of Juli Sund. But he sealed the envelope with a child's spittle, for which he paid $5.

FBI Agent Jeff Rinek felt it important to let Stayner's family know that Cary wasn't the "type of person" that would hold a boy hostage for eight years... no, he was merely the "type of person" who would brutally rape and murder four innocent women. It's a fine distinction, but one is better than the other.


13 Aug 1961 Cary Stayner born.
c. 1971 Cary Stayner is molested as a child.
4 Dec 1972 Brother, Steven Stayner, abducted at age 7 in Merced, CA walking home from Charles Wright Elementary School, and held by Kevin Parnell as a sex slave for eight years.
1980 Kevin Parnell's boy Steven is getting a bit on the old side, so he kidnaps Timmy White, age 5.
1 Mar 1980 Brother, Steven Stayner, escapes captivity with the second boy, Timmy White.
c. 1985 Kevin Parnell released from prison.
22 May 1989 Made-for-TV movie, I Know My First Name is Steven, with Corin Nemec as Steven.
16 Sep 1989 Brother, Steven Stayner, killed in a motorcycle accident at age 24 (some give the date as the 20th.)
1990 Jesse Stayner, Cary's uncle, murdered in a case that has not been solved. Cary lived with him at the time.
1991 Attempts suicide with carbon monoxide.
1997 Makes a stab at the medical marijuana business. Fails, mobile home is repossessed.
1997 Cedar Lodge hires Cary Stayner to do odd jobs.
15 Feb 1999 Murders Carole Sund and Silvina Pelosso, at Cedar Lodge.
16 Feb 1999 Kills Juli Sund.
18 Mar 1999 Carole Sund's rental car located in Tuolomne County. Two charred bodies are in the trunk, Sund's and Pelosso's.
25 Mar 1999 Juli Sund's body found based on information sent anonymously by Cary Stayner.
21 Jul 1999 Murders Joie Ruth Armstrong, a 26-year-old nature guide, at Yosemite National Park.
22 Jul 1999 Joie Armstrong's body found, decapitated.
24 Jul 1999 Cary Stayner arrested as a witness at the Laguna del Sol nudist camp, Wilton CA. The arresting officer, FBI Agent Jeff Rinek, observed that nearly all the women at the camp were "out of shape." Stayner requests a "good sized stack" of child pornography as a condition of his confession, which was surprising -- Stayner was not even a suspect.
24 Jul 1999 Confesses. "Lost control of myself and lost control of her, and when all this started out... I had no intentions of cutting her head off."
30 Nov 2000 Pleads guilty to the murder of Joie Armstrong.
12 Jul 2000 A judge rules the government may seek the death penalty.
Dec 2002 Cary Stayner asks for a new trial on the grounds that none of the jurors were molestation victims.
12 Dec 2002 Cary Stayner sentenced to death in San Quentin.
3 Jan 2003 Kevin Parnell arrested at his Berkeley home after he tries to purchase a young boy.
Aug 2003 The Sund family accepts a $1M wrongful death settlement from Cedar Lodge.

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