7-year-old Steven Gregory Stayner was kidnapped on December 4th, 1972 in Merced, California, by Kenneth Parnell. He was able to escape when he was 14 years old and he saved another kidnapping victim, Timothy White.
RECAP: On December 4th, 1972, 7-year-old Steven Stayner left his school at 2 PM to walk home. Ken Parnell and his friend Murph were handing out gospel tracts to some children and Ken decided Steven would be his new son, so they kidnapped him and brought him to a cabin. When Ken was younger, he flashed a fake deputy sheriff’s badge at some young kids, and he sexually assaulted 9-year-old Bobby Green. Once he was caught, he freely admitted to everything because he was told he would be sent to a hospital instead of a prison, but he was sent to Kern County Jail and his mother bonded him out. As we begin our story, we’re going to jump back into Ken Parnell’s childhood.
On April 20th, 1951, Ken appeared before Kern County Superior Court Judge William L. Bradshaw and formally pled guilty to a lesser charge, “The crime of felony to wit: lewd and lascivious (la-siv-ee-us) conduct on and with the body, members and private parts of a male child under the age of fourteen years.” Judge Bradshaw canceled the bond and ordered him to be held in the Kern County Jail for examination by three psychiatrists: Dr. Louis R. Nash of Camarillo (Cam-a-ree-o) State Hospital, Dr. Richard D. Lowenberg of Bakersfield (who had already examined Ken 6 times starting with his stay in juvenile hall when he was 13), and Dr. Joseph E. Brackley of Bakersfield.
All three psychiatrists spent several hours examining Ken and filed their reports with the court and Judge Bradshaw held a hearing on the findings on May 11th. Dr. Brackley said Kenneth, “apparently had very little parental control or disciplinary supervision from the family unit.”
***Skip ahead 2 minutes if you don’t want to hear what he did to the boy
Ken told the doctor he ejaculated into the boy’s mouth, but he did not get sexual satisfaction from this, but the doctor noted that he appeared somewhat nervous during the exam, and he was not overly willing to communicate his troubles, but matter-of-factly volunteers the details of his erotic acts. “this patient is a sexual psychopath and it is our opinion that he should be committed to an institution for such unfortunate patients.”
Dr. Nash said, “Prisoner states that on March 20th of this year, while driving around the vicinity of the county hospital in Bakersfield, he enticed an 8-year-old boy into his car and took the youngster out of the city toward Kern Canyon, where he committed sodomy upon the boy and then had the youngster accomplish the act of fellatio on him.” “It is the examiner’s opinion that this prisoner is a definite psychopathic personality with well-defined homosexual drives, and as such has a tendency and predisposition to commit sexual offenses to a degree constituting him a menage to the health and safety of others, and it is recommended that he be commited to a suitable institution for the care and treatment of this disorder, namely psychopathic personality and sex psychopath.”
Dr. Lowenberg was able to use all of his previous records and assessments and knew about things that the other doctors weren’t privy to. Such as; Ken pulling out his teeth when he was 5, shining a bright light in his eyes and trying to blind himself when he was 8, and he jumped off a shed into a pile of lumber that had nails sticking out because he was trying to end his life when he was 13. Dr. Lowenberg wrote, “While driving a stolen car one night, he was conscious of a desire to drive it directly into oncoming lights of other cars. he has repeatedly thought of suicide (oftener than once a year, not so often as once a month) and usually thought of plans involving gunshot or knife wounds in the abdomen, rather than less unpleasant ways of committing suicide.” The doctor said that there was an incident that happened in Mary’s presence. Ken had taken the safety catch off a loaded .22 pistol and held it against his abdomen and threatened suicide in front of his mother.
Ken told Dr. Lowenberg that he was sick after committing the acts on Bobby Green and he said, “I confessed to my wife, and I wanted to see you. I did not get any thrill out of it.”Dr. Lowenberg said,“The defendant is cooperative and sincere in his statements. His sex activities may be described as polymorphous perverse; they are not fixed in any one undesirable pattern. His intellectual capacities, his memory, his knowledge, and general grasp are probably slightly above the average. It is necessary to review this defendant’s peculiar life history and emotional development, at least in its highlights, to understand and evaluate his present condition.” “Upon reviewing the lengthy history and my various observations and examinations over the last six years, it cannot be overlooked that we are dealing with an extremely unstable emotional personality whose instinctual anxieties and insecurities work themselves out periodically in both car thefts and sex offenses. Gifted with good intelligence, his deeply rooted disturbances are grounded in an impulsive character. They seem to imply a search for trouble and punishment. His present predicament is especially tragic because of his young, apparently congenial marriage, which resulted in the birth of a daughter a few days ago. When the undersigned brought him a letter from his wife, who had just delivered their first baby, he showed genuine excitement and asked most anxiously about ambulatory treatment possibilities after his release.”
“As used in Chapter IV (4) of the Welfare and Institutions Code paragraph 5500, he must be considered a sexual psychopath who is affected in a form predisposing him to the commission of sexual offenses and in a degree constituting him a menace to the health or safety of others, due to a character neurosis legally called a psychopathic personality, with marked departures of his sexual activities. In view of his youth, it is hoped that he might benefit from a systematic treatment and rehabilitation program in a state hospital.”
Judge Bradshaw agreed with the evaluations that all three doctors submitted and found “the said Kenneth Eugene Parnell to be a sexual psychopath” he was ordered to Norwalk State Hospital in Los Angeles “for observation and diagnosis for a period not to exceed ninety days.”The staff at Norwalk State Hospital did not use the full 90 days to complete the evaluation. On June 14th of 1951, Acting Superintendent and Medical Director Dr. Human Tucker wrote to Judge Bradshaw saying, “His case was reviewed by the medical staff on May 29th, 1951, and was diagnosed as a sexual psychopath without psychosis. He is considered legally sane. The staff has recommended that he be returned to the court and committed as a sexual psycopath for an indeterminate period.”
Ken was returned to Judge Bradshaw for a hearing, and he was committed to Norwalk State Hospital for an indeterminate period on June 22nd. On July 11th, Ken decided to write a letter to the judge where he complained about the lack of treatment opportunities there and asked that the judge consider returning him to Bakersfield for outpatient therapy and supervision. Judge Bradshaw did not reply to this letter and on September 11th, Ken sawed a lock from a clothes room window at Norwalk State Hospital and escaped. On September 24th, he was arrested and returned to the hospital and placed in a maximum-security ward. Three weeks later, he escaped again and this time, he was missing for 3 months. He hitchhiked to Albuquerque, New Mexico and got a job as a short-order cook in a downtown café. On February 22nd of 1952, Albuquerque police walked in and arrested him.
He was sent to Kern County Jail and while he was in custody, Judge Bradshaw tried to have him readmitted to the hospital, but this was blocked. He had already escaped twice and blew his chances. Ken got himself a new attorney, John M. Narin who actually argued to get Ken sent back to the hospital, but it was too late. On April 22nd, Judge Bradshaw said, “it is the order of this Court that the defendant, Kenneth Euguene Parnell, be committed to the California Institution for men at Chino for the period prescribed by law [5 years-to-life]. There is no alternative in a case like this. I don’t think it was the intent of the Legislature that our hands be tied, and we just couldn’t do nothing because some recalcitrant (Ree-cal-si-trent) defendat didn’t want to behave himself, so that is the order.”
“This defendant has been a consistent violator ever since he was very young. He is obviously homosexual of the more or less dangerous type, and it is the recommendation of this Court that his sentence be for a long period of time.” Assistant District Attorney Farell was so upset with the way this was handled that he refused to sign the sentencing documents and left if for Deputy District Attorney J.F. Meeks to sign several weeks later.
On April 25th, Ken was sent to the California Institution for Men at Chino, a minimum-security prison 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Since he was a convicted child molester, prison officials felt that he would be a big problem if they put him in general populations, so he was transferred to medium-security Soledad Correctional Training Facility. After prison officials reviewed his files and saw that he had a record for escapes, he was transferred to California’s maximum-security prison at San Quentin on August 30th, 1952.
Ken was behind bars for 3 ½ years and in April of 1955, the board paroled him on the condition that he “receive psychiatric treatment while on parole.” He requested parole to San Francisco, and this was granted, but after a few months, he wanted to go back to Bakersfield and his request was denied. He decided to get crafty and asked his parole officer for permission to go to Bakersfield to visit his mom. Once he got there, he got a job and applied for a transfer of his parole, but this was a violation of his parole conditions, and he was arrested and sent to Kern County Jail. At his parole violation hearing, he was sent to Folsom State Prison, and he spent three months there before he was paroled on December 17th and this time, he was officially paroled to Bakersfield.
Remember Kenneth’s wife? We briefly talked about her in part one. In 1957, Patsy Jo divorced him. He hadn’t lived with her since 1951 and he had never seen his daughter. On August 8th of 1957, he married Emma Naoma Schaffer and she gave birth to his second daughter and he successfully completed his parole in December.
In 1960, Ken moved to Ogden (aahg-den), Utah and was unsuccessful in getting a job, so he went to Salt Lake City and held up a service station and got $150 from the station owner Scott Neilson. The police showed Scott several hundred mugshots, but the real break in the case came from Ken’s roommate. They brought him in for questioning about another crime and they brought Ken in as well and got a mug shot. When the police showed both pictures to Scott, he immediately identified Ken as the man that robbed him. He was charged with armed robbery and grand larceny. He was not able to post the $2,500 bail, so he stayed in the Salt Lake County Jail until his trial in February of 1961 and he was convicted on March 6th. District Judge Stewart M. Hanson sentenced him to 5 years-to-life for robbery and one-to-ten years for grand larceny and he was taken to the Utah State Prison. While he was serving his sentence, his second wife, Emma, filed for divorce.
Ken represented himself in the divorce proceedings and tried to argue for his legal right to be present in court in Salt Lake City. This was mainly a big nuissance for everyone involved and he didn’t get anything out of it. The divorce was granted and he was returned to prison afterwards. While he was there, he earned his G.E.D and he took some college-level accounting courses. He was released from prison in September of 1967, and he was told that he could never enter the state of Utah again. At the time, Utah used this to reduce their prison population, but it backfired when neighboring states started doing the same thing, so they had to appeal the law later.
In 1972, Ken went to Phoenix, Arizona and worked as a short-order cook at the greyhound racetrack, then he worked as a cook for the ABC Vending Company in the Adams Hotel for two months and later became the acting chef at the Phoenix Playboy Club, but this may not be true. On an employment application, he said that he was a broiler cook at the bunny club. He also claimed he worked and operated the Haynes Café on West Van Buren Avenue in Phoenix and this only lasted 6 months before it ended in financial failure.
In 1986, he got married for a third time, but this lasted less than a year and Ken refused to say who his third wife was and according to the book, there are no records of this marriage or divorce. He hopped around from state to state and ended up back home with his mother in Bakersfield in 1972. On March 7th, 1972, he drove from Bakersfiedl to Yosemite National Park to apply for a job with the Curry Company. He lied about his education and employment history and he failed to mention his felony convictions, time in prison, or his time in mental hospitals. He was hired on May 1st and started working as a night auditor for the Yosemite Lodge.
That brings us up to speed on him, but what about the other guy involved in the kidnapping? Ervin Edward Murphy, who also goes by Murph or Murphy, was born in Alcester (Al-ses-ter), South Dakota, on July 11th, 1941. He had 9 siblings, and his mother was very abusive. The kids weren’t even allowed to be too noisy when they played outside, or she would beat them with a belt. When Murph was young, around 3-years-old, his mother deserted the family, and his father was left to take care of all 10 kids by himself. They moved to Sioux City, Iowa and he worked at Chilly’s Ice Cream Factory. Murph dropped out of school when he was 16 and he headed to California on his own. Before he left, his older brother, Arnold was convicted of an attempted sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl in the Sioux City Public Library.
Murph hitchiked to San Joaquin (wa-qeen) Valley, then walked to Tulare (tuh-larry) and got a job in the fields where he chopped cotton, then he drifted around and hopped from job to job. At one point, he actually went back to Sioux City and tried to find his parents, but they were gone, so he hitchhiked back to California. He got a job at the Salvation Army and stayed there for 9 months, but in 1969, he heard there were good job opportunities with the Curry Company in Yosemite National Park, so he decided to give it a shot and he was hired on the spot and worked at a hotel, but transferred to the Yosemite Lodge in 1972. Ken and Murph met in the summer of 1972 and Ken started working him over right away. He could tell that his new friend was gullible, and he told him that he wanted a son, but instead of adopting one, he would just pick one from the streets and he wanted Murph to help him.
Murph said he would not be involved in kidnapping a child, but Ken really laid it on thick. Telling him that he was so lonely and he just wanted to raise a son in a religious way. Murph suggested that he get married and have his own children, but Ken said he really wanted a son that he could raise on his own. Murph thought that if he declined to help enough times, Ken would just stop talking about it. He was trying to be careful. Even before the kidnapping idea was brought up, he had been warned by another friend not to trust Ken.
A cook at the Yosemite Lodge, Charles Hudspeth said that Murph was a person who liked people and wanted others to like him back. He was lonely and easily influenced by others and he would do just about anything for his friends. Another employee Ralph Lerkin described Murph, “as the kind of person that if you needed twenty-five dollars, and he only had twenty, he would give you the twenty that he had and then go out and borrow another five dollars to give it to you.”
Station Cook Peter Gillespie said he was a good worker who did much more than what was required or expected of him. He was very generous and always bought small gifts for his friends. A hotel clerk that worked with him named Russell White said that several years earlier, an employee stole a brand-new pair of shoes from Murph. He found out that the man desperately needed shoes, so he let the thief keep the shoes. Murph had only planned on staying in Yosemite a short time, but he stayed longer because he ended up making some real friends and that hadn’t happened many times in his life. His roommate, Myron “Buzz” Colisimo said Murph is “a fantastic person who cannot do enough for other people.” He said that a person with a strong personality could convince him to do things by using their friendship to mislead him. He had a tendency to believe everything he was told.
Murph did not know that his friend Ken was an ex-con. When Ken told him he was a minister who wanted to help a poor, abused boy and raise him in a religious way, he believed him. On December 4th of 972, when Ken asked his friend to pass out gospel tracts to young boys that were walking home from Charles Wright Elementary School in Merced, he thought it was a little strange, but he was willing to help.
At daybreak on Monday, December 11th, 1972, Ken was going through the Yosemite Lodge’s guest bills. It was a little before 8 AM and Murph walked into the lodge’s lobby. Ken finished his shift and the two men walked to the third floor room in dorm F to check on Steven and they gently shook him awake. He was lead down the stairs and outside and quickly shuffled into the vehicle and they headed to the cabin. This became the daily routine and Steven’s father Del later said,“We could have met Parnell and them on the highway. We had so many people going up and down that road looking for Stevie....so many people looking. And that character just driving up and down the highway with Stevie sitting up front next to him.....Stevie said they never made him get down...had him sit right up there between them.”
On this day, Ken left Steven in the cabin to play with toys and “uncle Murph” as they began calling him, stayed to watch him. He drove straight into Merced where the whole town was still out looking for Steven. He stopped at a self-service gas station on Yosemite Parkway which was less than a quarter mile from the Stayner residence. He gassed up the vehicle and saw the flyers inside with Steven’s face. He studied it for a moment to learn his middle name, description, and date of birth, so he could use this to build a new identity for him. Steven Gregory Stayner was born April 18th, 1965 and he was described as having light brown, shaggy collar-length hair. He left the station and headed to Bakersfield to visit his mother, Mary. He talked about his new job in Yosemite and said he needed money, which she gave him, and she also gave him a six-week-old female puppy, which he gave to Steven that night and he named her Queenie.
Ken told him that he had gone to court that morning and the judge gave him full custody of Steven because his parents didn’t want him anymore and they couldn’t afford to take care of him. He told him his new name was Dennis Gregory Parnell and from now on, he could refer to him as dad. Steven said that can’t be true, he had three sisters and a brother and his parents wanted him to help out with them, but Ken said, “Well, I don’t think that they really need you right now.” Steven later said that he never forgot his real family, but at this point, he did start the transition into his new life as Dennis.
The following day, Ken decided to quit his job, so he told his boss that his mom had a heart attack and he was returning to Bakersfield to be with her. He cut Steven’s hair to get rid of the shaggy look and he dyed his hair dark brown. Once he was done, he brought Steven and the dog Queenie outside and they played in front of the cabin, less than 300 feet from the highway to Merced and it was within sight of Steven’s maternal grandfather’s trailer. He used the money he got from his mother to get a different vehicle so he wouldn’t be recognizable and while he was doing this, he learned that Steven’s grandfather had just moved a few hundred feet from his cabin, so he decided they needed to get out right away.
Murph grabbed Ken’s last paycheck and some blank signature cards to open a new saving account at the Wells Fargo Branch Bank in Yosemite Valley and he brought them to Ken. He was doing his friend a favor and had no idea that Ken was planning to blackmail him by threatening to identify him as the kidnapper unless Murph agreed to deposit a portion of each of his own paychecks into the new account. On Monday, December 18th, 1972, Steven climbed into the front seat of the car with his puppy and Ken and they waved to Murph as they drove off.
Ken made sure that Steven was terrified of the consequences if he ever talked about his family from Merced or the daily sexual abuse. He threatened him with severe spankings and told him he would be locked up in a children’s home if he ever said anything. After Christmas, Ken began working as a front desk clerk at the Santa Rosa Holiday Inn and Steven was registered to start second grade at Steele Lane Elementary School. Of course, he was enrolled under the name Dennis G. Parnell with a date of birth of April 18th, 1965. The enrollment stated that his former school was Yosemite Elementary, and this is just another part of the story that gets really frustrating.
Steven’s parents Del and Kay had sent out a letter and a copy of the missing flyer and it was sent to Bellevue Union School District Office in Santa Rosa. They asked that the bulletin be distributed to all primary schools in the district. Years later, they learned that the letters were thrown in the trash at the Bellevue Union School District Office, as well as at many other California School district offices. An anonymous Steele Lane Elementary School office employee wrote on the back of a form that was forwarded to Steven’s new school and it said, “Steele Lane did not receive any records from former school.” His new school didn’t request the records and they also didn’t request his birth certificate.
In late January, Ken went to the local office of the California Department of Human Resources and claimed he was underemployed, so he filed for financial aid, but the request was denied because he had a full-time job. In February, they moved from the Pelissier Motel to a rental house trailer at the Mt. Taylor Trailer Park on Santa Rosa Avenue. Steven was enrolled in Kawana Elementary to finish second grade. The teacher really liked him and thought he was a great student, but the school secretary thought that Mr. Parnell’s behavior was very strange. He called almost everyday to give her specific instructions. He would let her know if he was picking Steven up after school, if someone else was, if he should take the bus, or if he should go to the babysitters. Even though this was odd behavior, nothing was said or done about it and Steven was transferred to a new school, Doyle Park Elementary, for third grade and again, no one checked into his lack of records.
In 1973, a little boy’s cowboy boot, similar to the one Steven had been wearing when he disappeared, was found washed up on the bank of Bear Creek in north Merced. They started dragging the creek, looking for remains. The family was extremely upset, but they looked again and realized it wasn’t his boot. They wrote to Walter Cronkite at CBS-TV and Frank McGee at NBC-TV asking for help finding their son, but both of them wrote back saying his disappearance was old news and they couldn’t help. They tried sending the missing flyers to TV stations all over the US, but they didn’t get responses.
There was a supermarket on Yosemite parkway and the owners were two brothers who lived in the same neighborhood as the Stayners. When their business failed, they got into a huge fight and blamed one another. One of them started a rumor, accusing the other of killing Steven, cutting up his body, and dumping it into the sewer at the store. Del heard about this rumor and went to the police. They tried to go the accused brother to voluntarily take a polygraph, but he refused. The police did dig up the sewer, but they didn’t find anything.
On another occasion, Kay’s father randomly picked up a mentally disabled young man who was starving. He fed him and brought him to meet Steven’s parents. They told him the story of Steven’s kidnapping and Del mentioned that it would almost be easier to bear if he had just gotten sick and died. They would be able to accept that as a part of life and they would have his body and know where to visit him at his grave. After awhile, this guy headed into the Salvation Army, tells the story, said he killed Steven and buried him in the hills. The Merced Police brought him back to Steven’s family’s house and he tells them he buried their son out toward Cathy’s Valley, so the police got a backhoe and started digging the place up. When they didn’t find anything, the man confessed that he made it up because he felt sorry for the family.
Kay said there were some sex workers in town there were saying they knew the man that took Steven and he had cut him up into little pieces and dumped him in the sewer system. Del would drive around town, looking for freshly dug holes or graves because he thought he would find Steven’s body. If he saw something in the backseat of someone’s car, he would follow them, just to make sure. Finding his son, was consuming his whole life.
In February of 1974, Ken lost his job at the Holiday Inn. He had been a lifelong chain smoker and they had changed to the no smoking at the front desk rule and he didn’t like that. He ended up taking an early morning motor delivery route for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Initially, he forced Steven to get up with him before dawn to do the rounds, but he talked him into letting him stay home and sleep in. He didn’t make enough money to afford rent though, so they ended up moving into the Holiday Motel and this put Steven back in Kawana Elementary.
Steven had made a friend named Kenny and he spent a ton of time at his house. The kid’s father was beating his mother, so Ken Parnell decided to step in and he got her a room at the motel for awhile, then he asked her to move in with him and Steven and she agreed. It was a single room with one double bed. Steven says that at first, the three of them slept in the bed together and one night, Ken and Barbara went out drinking. When they got back, the two of them had sex while Steven was in the room watching TV. HUGE TW for child rape. Ken made Steven get in bed with them. He rubbed his penis and Barbara put it inside of her and Ken coached Steven and told him what to do from there. Steven said he felt a lot of embarrassment because he didn’t want to do anything with Barbara and her son was his best friend. He felt like she was a mother to him, and he didn’t understand how she could do that to him.
In June, Ken got his job at the Holiday Inn back and he got a pay increase, so he moved to North Star Trailer Park and he brought Barbara with and the two adults continued to sexually assault Steven. Even though he had a “wife” as he called her, he wanted to kidnap another boy around this time. During the Christmas holidays, he drove Steven to the shopping mall and instructed him to walk up to a boy near his age. Ken had watched a particular kid for about 15 to 20 minutes. He made up his mind that this was the kid he wanted and he sent Steven to talk to him.
Steven walked up, asked if he had seen a kid around with blond hair and the kid said no. That’s what he wanted. He needed the kid to clearly say no and shake his head so Ken would see it. He walked back to Ken and said, he doesn’t want to go. They did this for two hours, but he did not take another child home that day. In the spring of 1975, Steven joined the Santa Rosa Boys’ Club. One day, Ken and Barbara arrived to pick him up and Ken told Barbara to lure a specific boy into the car and she said ok. She didn’t ask why and she didn’t hesitate. She walked right up to the boy, but he hesitated and Ken sensed a problem, so he called her back and they left. This incident really spooked Ken and they moved a few days later and yes, this meant that Steven was sent to a new school, Brookside Elementary. Just another district that Steven’s parents had sent their letter and missing child flyer, but it had been thrown away.
Ken was not able to find work in this new area, so he went to his mother and asked for money. She had been saving money for herself, most likely her retirement, but Ken had other plans. Knowing that she was super religious, he told her he wanted to open the Fort Bragg Bible Book Store and he needed a new car as well. She did give him the money, but it was doomed from the jump. Ken often left Barbara alone to handle the store, but she couldn’t figure out how to do receipts or give change. The two of them kept strange hours and didn’t adhere to their own opening and closing times.
It was a Saturday when Barbara was working at the Bible Book store and Ken was out drinking. Steven got picked up with a friend for shoplifting. The two boys had been in the Ben Franklin five-and-dime, and Joe Gomes dared Steven to put Silly Putty in his pocket. As they walked out the front door, the store manager got them. The police brought Steven to the Bible Book Store and Barbara said she was his mother. Steven was extremely scared about getting caught for shoplifting and he knew he was going to get whipped good, so he wasn’t even thinking about telling them he had been kidnapped. Shortly after this incident, the Bible Book store tanked when Ken’s mother finally stopped giving him money for it.
In 1976, Barbara officially got divorced from her husband Bob, the one that was abusing her and she gained custody of her four youngest children: Lloyd, Kenny, Valerie, and Christy. Ken had no money and all of them had to cram into the trailer, so he ended up buying a school bus that didn’t have a motor and he converted this into a home and they parked it among some other campers and trailers below the Noyo River Bridge. One day, Steven, Kenny, and a few other friends went out fishing and they did not return by dark. Barbara wanted to call the sheriff, but Ken made her wait. He finally let her call and Steven showed up when the deputy was there. Nothing happened with this, but it’s just another instance where the police were right there, and the story didn’t fall apart or get exposed.
Now that Barbara had her children living with her, Ken had more children around him, and he was a pedophile. This part could get confusing, there is an adult, Ken and a child, Kenny. It was during this time that he first propositioned Barbara’s 11-year-old son, Kenny. One day, Steven was sitting on a dock with his friend Kenny and Kenny told him his dad was gay. Steven was immediately embarrassed and shocked by this, so he said he had no knowledge of this and didn’t know what he was talking about. Kenny said that adult Ken grabbed his balls and tried to get him to give him a blowjob. Steven didn’t know how to react, so he didn’t say anything, and this was never brought up to Barbara.
Around this time, the Bible Book Store went out of business and things between Ken and Barbara became very rocky. She got a job washing dishes at a restaurant and this is where she met John Allen, and she fell for him. One day, Steven got into a fight with Barbara’s daughter, Christy and this was the last straw for her. Christy accused him of stealing something and they got into a physical fight with hitting and kicking and Barbara packed up and she and her children moved out. So, Ken and Steven were alone together again.
Even though he and Barbara had been raping him, Steven said he would rather her abuse over Ken’s. Also, Ken needed sex on a daily basis and now that he wasn’t getting that from Barbara, he was back to Steven. The two of them did move out of the school bus and into a trailer which Steven was thrilled about because he finally had his own bedroom for the very first time. There was some sense of normalcy in his life over the next three years. Steven said that he went to school, he played on the football team, he had friends, he tried marijuana, and even went on his first date.
Ken liked that Steven was making friends because he wanted them to stay over at the trailer. On one occasion, Ken invited 12-year-old Kenny Matthias over. So, same thing as earlier, we are talking about adult Ken and a child, Kenny. Obviously, Kenny thought he was coming over to hangout with his friend, but that wasn’t the case at all. Adult Ken arranged for Steven to go to a different friend’s place that weekend and he went and picked up young Kenny and brought him over. Kenny gets to the trailer and realizes his friend wasn’t there, so he asked what was going on. Kenny said that the two of them talked for awhile and “it was getting late and I said I was getting kind of tired, and he said, Well, hit the hay. So I went in and took a shower and when I came out of the shower I had just my underwear on. And Ken picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and said, I want to fuck you! And I said, No you’re not! I won’t let you! You just let me down! And I was frightened. He put me down and I went in the other room and shut the door and sat down and thought about the situation while I smoked a couple of cigarettes, and finally went to sleep. The next day I told him to take me home and he did.”
Young Kenny said that the next time he went over there, he made sure that Steven was home. He told him what happened and Steven told him, “We’ve already had sex with each other.” He spilled his guts to his friend and this was the very first time he told anyone. He said that Ken had been sexually molesting him and he didn’t want to do it, he was being forced. Kenny asked why he didn’t turn him in and Steven said “I can’t. He’s my dad.”