The chilling details of the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping come to light again in CBS’ ’48 Hours.’ As Ray, the bus driver was transporting kids of the Dairyland Elementary School, on July 15, 1976, a van stopped the vehicle. Three masked and armed men halted the progress, and while one held a gun to Ray, another drove the bus. The third followed in the truck. They hid the bus in Berenda Slough, before herding everybody into two vans.
The kidnappers drove around for 11 hours before taking the driver and the kids to the quarry at Livermore. There, they had a buried moving truck that was stocked with mattresses and some food. The driver and the kids were transferred to the vehicle. It allowed them the opportunity to stack the mattresses, and reach towards the top of the truck. It was weighed down with a metal sheet and industrial batteries. Ray and the oldest boy, Michael Marshall, who was 14 at the time, wedged the lid open and dislodged the batteries. They started digging at the other debris soon after, and sixteen hours following their abduction, Ray and the kids walked to the quarry’s guard shack, gaining their freedom.
However, the survivors of this traumatic incident carry the memories of the kidnapping to this day. Some have even spoken up about it. One of the more vocal survivors is Jennifer Brown Hyde, and you might be wondering where she is at present.
Where is Jennifer Brown Hyde Today?
Jennifer is currently a wife, mother, and executive assistant. She was nine years old when the kidnapping took place and effectively ended her childhood. Speaking to CNN in 2013, Hyde said, “You couldn’t just go on and have a normal childhood when you faced a life-threatening situation like that. You just can’t go on and be carefree.” She maintained at that time that she slept with a nightlight on, and could not ride the subway or go anywhere underground. However, CBS reports that in recent times, she’s been able to overcome the need to leave the nightlight on while going to bed.
Nonetheless, the trauma from the incident is undeniable. Jennifer spoke of her experiences years later, saying that she felt like an animal going to the slaughterhouse. At present, reports suggest that she resides in Nashville, Tennessee. That said, Jennifer maintains quite a low profile, which why not much else is known about her current conditions.
Understandably, she’s tried to move past the horrific incident in her childhood, and make a new life for herself. However, some memories have remained, which makes it hard for her to acclimatize to life like others. One must respect Jennifer’s desire for privacy, but at the same time, we are extremely fascinated by the firsthand account of the kidnapping that she’s provided. [Cover Image Courtesy: CBS News]
Read More: Where Are the Chowchilla Kidnappers Now?