European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - July 27, 1999, Darmstadt, Hesse
THE STARS AND STRIPES
Tuesday, July 27, 1999
Handyman admits slaying
Confesses to killing woman, suspect in 3 earlier deaths
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A motel handyman confessed to the beheading of a naturalist at Yosemite National Park, the FBI said in an affidavit filed Monday.
Cary Stayner, who was arrested Saturday, provided details about the slaying of 26-year-old Joie Ruth Armstrong that only police knew about, the affidavit said.
Stayner, 37, also has become the prime suspect in the slayings of three Yosemite sightseers in February, the FBI said, even though he originally was questioned and ruled out as a supect in those killings.
Stayner caught the attention of park rangers again last week after someone spotted his sport utility vehicle near Armstrong’s residence an hour after she was last seen there Wednesday night.
Armstrong's decapitated body was found Thursday nearby. Her head wasn’t found until later.
FBI agents had questioned Stayner after the body was found - even searching his backpack for her head - but let him go. They decided to take him in again after learning that he had failed to show up to work at the Cedar Lodge in El Portal.
He was arrested Saturday at a nudist colony near Wilton after someone there heard news reports and called authorities.
FBI special agent in charge of Sacramento, said Sunday that Stayner also is believed to have played a role in the killings of Carole Sund, 43, her 15-year-old daughter,
Juli, and family friend Silvina Pelosso, 16, of Argentina.
The three were last seen alive in February at the Cedar Lodge.
Carole Sund’s and Silvina’s bodies were found in the trunk of their rental car. Juli’s body was later found hidden off a lightly traveled highway.
“We have developed specific information linking Stayner to the Sund-Pelosso murders,” Maddock said.
FBI agents wondered whether they might have prevented Armstrong’s murder if they had linked Stayner earlier to the three killings in February,
“I struggled with that issue for the last 24
hours, and I continue to do so," Maddock said. “I’m confident we’ve done everything that reasonably could have been done,”
Stayner previously was questioned in the slayings but ruled out as a suspect, Maddock said. He did not elaborate.
Investigators in that case haa focused on a loose-knit band of ex-cons in Modesto who have histories of sex and drug offenses. Authorities had said they were confident that most of those responsible in the sightseer
killings were already in custody on unrelated charges.
Maddock said there is no evidence linking
Stayner to the other people who have come under scrutiny.
Julie Sund “We are looking at whether (Stayner) is solely responsible (for the sightseers murders) or if others are involved,” Maddock said.
The parents of Carole Sund, Carole and
Francis Carrington, w«re at the FBI’s news
“We're happy that it looks like maybe the case is over,” Ms. Carole said afterward.
“It brings some closure, no question,” her husband said.
Brother was kidnapped child
MERCED, Calif. (AP) - The FBI’s suspect in the brutal slaying of a woman at Yosemite National Park is the brother of a young man who shocked the nation with his story of being kidnapped.
Murder suspect Cary Stayner is a brother of Steven Stayner, who in 1972 was snatched off a Merced street at age 7. He remained missing for seven years,
Steven Stayner was reunited with his family in 1980, hailed as a hero
for finally going to police when his abductor kidnapped another boy. But as if he lived his short life under a cloud, he died in 1989 in a collision with a hit-and-run driver.. He was 24.
It was as if Stayner’s life was split in three - his early years growing up in a working-class family of seven, his lost years with kidnapper Kenneth Parnell and the time back with his family.
Parnell, a convicted child molester,
kept his hold on Stayner by showering him with gifts and telling him his parents could no longer afford him.
Steven’s siblings ranged from age 4 to 12 when he was kidnapped and lived their own ordeal.
“When Steve came home, everybody else all got shoved in the background and here’s this hero,” said his mother, Kay,
When Steven died, Kay Stayner said she felt like her son had been “loaned to us.”
AP fils photo
Steven Stayner testifies about his abduction and captivity.
IN THE STARS AND STRIPES
10 YEARS AGO
July 27,1989 - A study by the Institute of German Economics in Cologne said a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from West Germany would mean economic disaster for several regions.
20 YEARS AGO
July 27, 1979 - Retired NATO commander Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr. Urged the Senate to postpone approval of the SALT II treaty until its-serious flaws were resolved.
30 YEARS AGO
July 27, 1969 - Meeting in Manila, President Nixon and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos agreed American bases should remain in Southeast Asia.
40 YEARS AGO
July 27, 1959 - Defense Secretary Neil McElroy said the Soviet Union might have already beaten the United States in the race to supply combat units with the first intercontinental ballistic missile.
50 YEARS AGO
July 27,1949 - In the face of a mounting economic crisis, Britain informed the Organization for European Economic Cooperation that it needed an additional $400 million in 1949 to carry out its national recovery program.
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Launch analysis suggests leak
SPACE CENTER, Houston ^AP) - Photographs taken seconds into space shuttle Coluni-TIRED OF INFLATION?
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bia’s launch suggest that hydrogen escaped from one or more cooling tubes in its right engine, the space agency said.
Such a fuel leak could have caused the shuttle to shut down suddenly if more hydrogen had escaped, forcing the first-ever shuttle emergency landing, either in Florida or West Africa, NASA said Sunday.
In spite of the suspected malfunction and an unrelated electrical short five seconds into launch Friday, Columbia and its cargo -the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope — safely reached orbit under the control of Air Force Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a U.S. space flight.
The suspected problem will not affect the rest of the flight, said Wayne Hale, NASA’s mission operations representative, because the three main engines are not used after propelling the shuttle into orbit, Columbia is scheduled to land in Florida tonight.
Early Monday, Collins and her crew continued to work on science experiments while ground controllers kept track of the free-flying Chandra X-ray Observato
ry, successfully executing the second of five rocket burns to adjust the telescope's orbit.
Hale said as yet there is no proof of a hydrogen leak. But such a leak could have been the reason Columbia's engines shut down a second or two early during the 8V2-minute climb to orbit, leaving the shuttle seven miles lower than expected. Columbia’s engines will be inspected after landing.
“Obviously, when you’re dealing with main engines, and they have a lot of energy flowing through that system, you want them to operate exactly down the middle of the pike because bad things might happen,” Hale said. “We don’t think this is a case that even approaches that.”
On a couple of other shuttle launches, hydrogen has leaked from cracked tubes in engine nozzles but at a smaller rate than appears to have happened this time, Hale said,
The cooling tubes, if split, would have begun leaking one or two seconds before liftoff and continued throughout the ascent, he said.