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Serial Killer Profile: Cary Stayner

Cary Stayner


Cary Stayner, was convicted in 2001 for the 1999 murders of four women in Yosemite, California.

Cary Stayner, like many serial killers, didn't have the easiest of childhoods. His younger brother was Steven Stayner who had been kidnapped by child molester Kenneth Parnell in 1972 and held hostage for more than seven years. He eventually escaped and the case of Steven Stayner became very well publicized and his story became the subject of a television film called I Know My First Name is Steven. However, Steven was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1989. Cary Stayner said that the attention surrounding the disappearance, the recovery and then the death of his brother had meant that he felt neglected by his parents.

Cary Stayner tried to kill himself in 1991 and was arrested possession of marijuana and methamphetamine but those charges were eventually dropped. Later that same year he started to work as a handyman at Cedars Lodge in Yosemite. It was whilst working this job that he killed four women between the periods of February and July 1999. The four victims of serial killer Cary Stayner were Carole Sund, her daughter Julie, Argentine exchange student Silvina Pelosso and park employee Joie Armstrong.

Cary Stayner had been interviewed by police about the first three murders but was dismissed as not being a serious suspect. However, when the fourth body was found he was questioned again and his truck was searched. The investigators found evidence in the truck linking him the the fourth victim. Eventually Cary Stayner admitted to being the serial killer that had killed all four Yosemite victims.

When his case went to trial, Cary Stayner pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but he was judged to be same and he was convicted of by a jury in 2001 of four counts of first degree murder. In 2002 he was sentenced to death but is currently working on an appeal.