CRIME: Escape from an Earthen Cell

In 90° heat one afternoon last week, the yellow school bus lumbered along the flat roads near the small San Joaquin Valley farm community of Chowchilla, 150 miles southeast of San Francisco. At the Dairyland Union School, Driver Frank Edward Ray Jr., 55, picked up 31 children who had just finished their six-week summer program. Ray dropped off five of them and still had several stops to go when he noticed a white van on the road ahead and slowed down to swing around it.

Three white men wearing nylon stocking masks leaped...

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