Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cary Stayner and the Yosemite Murders

Odds & No Ends

FBI Under Fire

When questioned further by the press about the FBI's error in not identifying Stayner as a suspect earlier, as well as what finally led them to Stayner, Maddock replied, "I do look forward to the day I can share the details of the investigations from start to finish."

That answer, however, was not good enough for many, including two attorneys representing some of the previously mentioned four men behind bars who are still considered as suspects in the Yosemite killings. Some of these suspects have already passed lie detector tests, say their lawyers, and have even offered to give blood samples to support their innocence. One suspect, it has been recently learned, had conclusive proof he had been working out of state at the time of the killings, but remains under scrutiny just the same. And meanwhile their perturbed lawyers see their clients as patsies forced to wait in the side lines while the FBI struggles to makes up its own mind.

"I don't understand how such a large investigation with such experienced investigators missed the trail completely," says Ramon Magana, representing two of the men. "They put so much time, energy and resources into an investigation of people that appear to be unrelated and unconnected to the case."

A brother—in-cause to Magana is Stanislaus County public defender Tim Bazar who claims, "I have never heard any evidence that ties (anyone) to these slayings. Not only did (the FBI) arrest everybody, over the last several months they attempted to put pressure on one or the other to turn the others in the group in...It actually appears they had nothing against anybody."

None of these voices is more entreating, however, than that of Mrs. Raquel Pelosso whose daughter Silvina perished in Yosemite: " I just cannot understand how so many people...didn't realize that maybe (Stayner) was the man, since I heard that he was interviewed some time ago."

Stayner escorted by police (AP)
Stayner escorted by police
Did Stayner Act Alone?

In defens

e of the FBI's hesitancy to speak and commit, they and many others cannot believe that Stayner acted by himself. Accounts conflict. In the meantime a grand jury continues to look into whether or not others were involved, including the previously listed suspects. "(No one's) off the hook yet," an unidentified source has told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Quoted the Modesto Bee: "In El Portal, a number of residents are convinced that no one person could have created so much horror, especially in the Sund and Pelosso slayings. "'The logistics of it say it had to involve more than one person, said Letty Carolyn Barry, owner of the Yosemite Rosebud Lodge, west of Cedar Lodge. "Privately, some members of the Sund-Pelosso task force are saying the same thing, sources have told the Bee. Those sources say it is difficult for some investigators to believe Stayner could have gotten the jump on all three women without any help, let alone dispose of their bodies."

And on the flip-side, the same paper notes another unconfirmed source that maintains Stayner did act alone, with the help of only a weapon. "Stayner," says the source, "used a gun after gaining entry to the motel room of the Sunds and Pelosso, and tied them up."

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There have been many developments in this case since this story was written. To review them all go to our archive on the Cary Stayner case and select from the updates we have.