Heroic school bus driver who rescued 26 children BURIED ALIVE in 1976 kidnapping dies aged 91 (Daily Mail)
the complete story, with many pictures, at DM link aboveFrank Edward ‘Ed’ Ray, a California school bus driver who became famous for helping rescue 26 students after three kidnappers buried them underground in 1976, has died at age 91.
In the last days of his life, Ray was visited by many of the former Chowchilla schoolchildren who owe their lives to his act of bravery 35 years ago.
On July 15, 1976, Ray was driving a bus full of children between the ages five and 14 when he had stopped to see if the apparently broken-down white van needed help. That is when he saw a man wearing a nylon stocking over his head and holding guns, according to TruTV.
After a few minutes, the hijacker pulled the bus into a drainage slough and cut the motor. The white van backed up to the front door of the bus and the men, later identified as brothers Richard and James Schoenfeld, and Frederick Woods, loaded Ray and the children onto two vans.
The bus finally came to a halt at a rock quarry in Livermore owned by Woods’ father, where the 27 hostages were forced into a moving van buried underground.
The Schoenfelds and Woods, who were from wealthy families, lost $30,000 in a real estate deal and devised a plan to kidnap a bus full of children in hopes of getting $5milion ransom. Thanks to Ray, however, the scheme failed.
The driver and two older boys were able to stack mattresses and climb out of the van. They then pushed open a metal lid, which was covered with two 100-pound industrial batteries, and freed the children who had spent 16 hours trapped.
About 36 hours after the bus was hijacked, the children were retunited with their panic-stricken parents.
Wow! I never heard this story before now.
God bless Mr. Ray for saving all those children!
RIP.....Heaven awaits you as a hero!
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous -
I had never heard of the case either! What a great outcome. R.i.p. Good sir!
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I'm sure I've seen a film about this case. It was years ago so I can't really remember the details or the name of the film, but I'm definite that there was a movie made about that case. I can remember the bus driver and a few of the older children desparately trying to pile mattresses up against the roof while they were all practically dying of dehydration.
This guy was a hero anyway, he should have won a medal. R.I.P. Frank Edward Ray.
I DO remember this story and doubt I'll ever forget it. As a parent, I cannot even begin to imagine how one would feel in such a situation. Going back to read the link and see if those *&^(( who did this are out of prison yet (hope not).
RIP Mr. Ray. You have earned it.
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May 15, 1920-May 24, 1941
I just remembered this story the other day. Just out of the blue. I think they made a movie of it, and I wondered if it was a true story. Maybe they were even singing if your happy and you know it. 91 years lived is wonderful!
I remember this story from when I was a kid -- about 13 years old -- living in So Cal. It was one of the earliest cases of child kidnapping that I became aware of and it was frightening to realize that such random acts of terror could happen to kids just like me.
Thank God for the busdriver. So busdriver dies and now this?
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I recall when this happened... I am so glad Mr. Ray lived a long life full of thanks and gratitude for his heroism that day.
On the other hand, I'm disgusted that one of the perps is being released this month. I'm not sure it's fair that his victims won't know when he's released and where he'll be residing-- I'd sure as heck want to know.
i was a teen when this happened and remember being stuck to the TV hearing for news. i also remember the movie. as a matter of fact i believe the movie is on TV this week or it was last week.
we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!
stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!
I remember watching this case unfold as it happened. I also remember the movie about it. The story made big news nationally.
Oh wow! I remember this story. It scared the bejeezus out of me.
Chowchilla bus kidnapper released on parole 35 years after he captured 26
schoolchildren and bus driver and buried them alive for $5million ransom (Daily Mail)
more, with pictures, at link aboveAfter more than 35 years in prison, one of three men who kidnapped a busload of California schoolchildren in a ransom attempt has been released.
Richard Schoenfeld, 57, was freed on Wednesday after serving time for his role in the 1976 abduction of 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver, Frank Edward Ray, in Chowchilla, California.
His two accomplices, Schoenfeld's older brother James, 60, and Frederick Woods, 60, were denied parole and remain in jail.
We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn. (Michel de Montaigne)
Fly high on those wings you so bravely earned, Mr. Ray. Our world is lucky to have had you as long as we did.
wow....I was 10 when this happened and remember it. I was terrified to ride the bus for a while! Fortunately, I lived close enough to school that I only had to ride the bus for field trips until the 9th grade. But that year, our bus driver pulled off course, cut the engine so he could have a talk with us. Turns out he just wanted to pray.
But my friend and I were terrified, remembering this kidnapping. She brought a knife to school in her purse the next day. Times were sure different back then! (Our bus driver was reassigned...he was Christian and half the students on our bus were Jewish. The come to Jesus talk didn't go over well with their parents.)