’48 Hours’ on CBS brings back the horrifying events that played out in the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping. A school bus driver, and 26 kids aged between 5 to 14, were stopped on July 15, 1976. Three armed and masked men apprehended the Dairyland Elementary School bus, by blocking the way with a van. One individual held a gun to Ray, the driver, while the other drove the bus. The third followed in the van.
They went to the Berenda Slough, where a second van had been stashed. Ray, the driver, and the school kids were herded into the two vans before being driven around for 11 hours. Finally, they were taken to the quarry in Livermore, where they were transferred to a buried moving truck, stocked with some food, water, and mattresses. The captives used this opportunity to stack the mattresses and reach the top, only to find it covered with a metal sheet, and weighed down with industrial batteries. Ray enlisted the help of the oldest boy, Michael Marshall, who was 14 at the time. Together, they managed to wedge open the sheet and dislodge the batteries, before clearing the rest of the debris and escaping.
However, the harrowing encounter has left quite an impact on the captives. And many are still struggling to cope with it. Larry Park was just six years old when the kidnapping took place, and he’s bravely come forward to share his experiences. So, where is he now?
Where is Larry Park Today?
Larry spoke about his experiences during the kidnapping, saying, “Where their eyes were, it was like, it almost looked hollow. It was like looking at death.” Larry’s been severely traumatized by what transpired. He battled schizophrenia and addiction for most of his life. However, he’s sober now and counsels others. Larry worked as a group home director at Merced.
Speaking to People, Larry said, “After the kidnapping, I started to hear a voice in my head. When I was 11, it turned violent. I fantasized about killing my kidnappers. I’ve spent a lifetime blaming the kidnapping for everything that went wrong in my life. I don’t know if that’s fair. But the kidnapping blew all the problems I had before wide open.”
Currently, Larry lives in Mariposa and seems to work at Celebrate Recovery. He has a bachelor’s in Christian counseling from AMES Intl School of Ministry and has graduated from the Preston School of Industry. Here’s a recent picture of Larry, where he looks at peace.
He’s set a motivational quote for himself, saying that his past actions determine who he is in the present, while his present actions determine who he will be in the future. From his recent pictures, it appears that Larry has invested in a mobile home, which you can see here.
It’s clear that the survivor has had to struggle to move past the kidnapping, but Larry has come a long way and continues to show wonderful and heartening progress.
Read More: Where Are the Chowchilla Kidnappers Now?