’48 Hours’ on CBS helps us refresh our memories about the terrifying Chowchilla kidnapping, which remains one of the largest kidnapping cases in US history. Ray, the school bus driver, along with 26 children between ages 5 and 14, was apprehended by three masked and armed men on July 15, 1976. One of them held a gun to Ray, while the other drove the bus, and the third followed in the van. They took the captives to Berenda Slough, hiding the bus, and moving them to a stowaway van. The two vans then drove around for 11 hours, before finally taking the kids and the driver to a quarry in Livermore.
There, they were transferred to a buried moving truck that had some food, water, and mattresses. Upon seizing the opportunity, the captives began to stack the mattresses to reach the top of the truck. However, it was covered with a steel sheet and weighed down with industrial batteries. Ray tried to move the sheet with the help of Michael Marshall, aged 14 at the time. They wedged open the sheet, dislodged the batteries, and moved the debris to find their escape.
One might say that Michael was instrumental in saving everybody’s lives in this precarious situation. So, where is he at present?
Where is Michael Marshall Today?
Marshall did gain some media attention for his heroics, and in 1999 he spoke to the Las Vegas Sun about his experiences. At the time, Michael was a rodeo rider, dividing his time between East Las Vegas and Phoenix. He resurrected his rodeo career, as his father was in the same line of work, and Michael also had a construction gig.
He recounted his experience, saying to LasVegasSun, “I just kind of knew everything was going to be OK. I didn’t really have that feeling until I went down in that hole, and you think it’d be the opposite. But when I got down there, it was like I was connected with God.”At the time, he revealed that he had a fiance, Sherry Bozek, and did not think too often about the kidnapping or his role in saving the children.
Marshall seems to maintain a low social media presence, so we don’t know much else about his recent whereabouts. However, CBS has reported that he is a father and long-distance trucker now. Michael has a therapy dog named Blue. He seems to have formed a great bond with Blue, and Michael says that he might have rescued Blue before he was a year old, but now, Blue saves him every day.
Like all the other survivors, Michael does his bit to move on from the horrific incident as well, but one must acknowledge the bravery shown by the then 14-year-old, in helping his schoolmates escape. [Cover Picture Courtesy: CBS News]
Read More: Where Are the Chowchilla Kidnappers Now?