The 20/20 two-hour episode “Evil in Eden” tells the tragic story of two brothers, Steven Stayner and Cary Stayner. When Steven was 7 years old he was kidnapped, abused and held captive by a pedophile for seven years. At the age of 14, he became a national hero when he help another child escape from their captor. (Steven’s story of survival is told in the TV movie I Know My First Name Is Steven.) Steven’s older brother Cary Stayner (who was 11 when Steven disappeared) went on to become a handyman at Cedar Lodge right outside of Yosemite National Park.
Steven Stayner tragically died in 1989, at the age of 24, in a motorcycle accident. Ten years later, in 1999, Cary Stayner became a serial killer at age 37. He eventually confessed to murdering four people (two women and two teenage girls) near Yosemite. FBI Agent Jeffrey Rinek was credited with pulling the confession out of Stayner. He later wrote the book In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent’s Relentless Pursuit of the Nation’s Worst Predators (see link below). The book includes excerpts of Rinek’s conversations with Stayner. Immediately after his confession, knowing he would receive the death penalty, Stayner told Rinek, “Never got to see Star Wars.”
In 2002, Stayner was sentenced to death and is currently on death row at San Quentin Penitentiary. He is 57. Note: There have been no executions in California since 2006, incidentally, the year Rinek retired. Prior to that, the state has executed 13 prisoners in 40 years, while more than 100 other prisoners have died on death row. 20/20 airs Fridays at 9:30 pm on ABC.