I Know My First Name Is Steven (TV Mini-Series 1989– ) Poster

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I cried my eyes out!!!
melz2cool29 August 2002
I first saw this movie around 1994. At the time, my sons were ages 6,5, and 3. It was a holiday and my husband took all three boys out of town to visit his mother. So all alone I pulled up a chair in front of the television and became completely engrossed in this movie. I sat there in my chair and absolutely cried so much my face was swolen afterwards.It is now 2002 and I have seen that movie at least 9 times. Throughout the years, I have taught all three of my boys to never to go with strangers, they know their address, and phone number. A few years after this movie, I was reminding my oldest son about what to do if a stranger approached. He angrily said " I know ! I know !" Because I had told him repeatedly what to do after watching that movie. So I grabbed his shoulders and replied " GOOD, then you will know what to do if it happens to you!" I truly felt that if I ever would meet Kenneth Parnell that I would want to kill him. I want to assure you that I would never do anything like that, but the anger that I felt towards him was justified at the time. How can this kind of thing happen? It is now 2002 and Steven Stayner is still in my thoughts. I think every parent should see this movie and cry their hearts out and feel the pain that Dell and his wife went through. I know not to give away the ending of the movie, but I want to say that I was relieved when I heard what happened to Steven. I knew then that he would never have to suffer any longer. In closing, I want to say, peace to you Steven,your wife, children and family. I also want to say that the casting of the movie was perfect. LOVE MELZ
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10/10
I remember this movie!
hisangel09200210 June 2005
I remember so much of this movie even though I was only 9 at the time, it was that good. For 15 years now all I had to go by was I knew the title was something like "I know my name is Steven" but didn't really go into looking for it. I'm so glad that I just happened to look up Luke Edwards because of another movie he was in or else I wouldn't have come across one of the most unforgettable movies I've seen in my childhood. Hopefully now I'll be able to buy it and add it to my collection. I highly recommend this movie to anyone even if you don't have children and if you do have children, make sure that they see this movie so then they are aware of how dangerous is it to walk alone even if you think the street is safe. It never hurts to have someone with you just in case. The most memorable part of this movie is when Steven paints his name on the garage and when his father is washing the garage door after he gets kidnapped..... well it's a part of the movie that no one should forget. Excellent movie!
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9/10
Disturbing to think this is a true story
Mel J29 April 2004
This film revolves around the true story that begins in 1972 with the abduction of seven-year-old Steven Stayner, who was snatched on his way home from school by a known paedophile Kenneth Parnell. Steven was then kept as the man's son for seven years and forced for endure systematical sexual abuse at the hands of his kidnapper. He finally managed to escape when Parnell abducted a five-year-old boy whom Steven was determined would not suffer as he had. However, upon his return to his real family-- who never gave up that he would be reunited with them one day-- Steven found it hard to adjust as he had no understanding of what it was to be part of a loving family. I have since read that he was killed in a car accident when he was twenty-nine, tragically snatched away from his family for good this time.

I first watched this when I was about ten so the abuse went right over my head but even then, at that age, I was saddened by how this boy suffered when he was torn from his family only to be reunited after the damage has been done to his mind and soul. When I watched the film again as a teenage, my sadness was mixed with disgust and anger that the perverted monster that was Parnell was allowed to wander around unchecked despite having a criminal record for offences against children. It was also horrifying to see what little was actually done to either help Steven, as not only when he did try to tell a teacher of his abduction, he was accused of lying and being ungrateful but Parnell was able to freely go from town-to-town with a child who was not his own and with no-one challenging this. This film depicts both the trauma Steven faces as he grew up in such horrifying circumstances and the grief of the parents he left behind but it also shows the courage of the Stayners, who all remained strong through everything.

As true stories go, I think this has to be one of the best films out there and I recommend it to everyone. Do be prepared for your blood pressure to soar though when it is revealed that, infuriatingly, Parnell was let off with a light sentence for kidnapping and abusing Steven. It certainly shattered my illusions that the US has a great criminal justice system that the terribly lax system in the UK should take lessons from. This is one piece of filth who surely deserved a trip on 'Old Sparky' to fry for those vile acts to a little boy who almost loved him as a father to some degree.
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Heartbreaking
dtucker8630 August 2003
I read a book on Stevens ordeal and the author said that the Stayner's of Merced were as cursed as the Kennedys of Massachusetts. I cannot believe that so much horror could happen in one family. Steven was abducted for seven years and came home maimed mentally for life and died at 24 in a terrible accident. I think in a way death was kind to him and then in the last few years his brother Cary was convicted of murdering four women in Yosemite National Park. What got me is that Cary tried to use Stevens disappearance as an excuse. He said he was so traumatized by it.
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10/10
Don't Pass This One Up!
BarefootBoy20 January 2002
This well-crafted, well-acted made-for-TV movie breaks the mold of your typical docu-drama.

No spoilers here, but I assure you that you WILL empathize with the much-abused protagonist, whose life after the film ends proved to be equally tragic.

A true gem. Don't miss it when it replays on LifeTime, or if you can find it at a rental store.
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9/10
A Movie That Should Be Aired A LOT
overseer-329 June 2003
This powerful television movie on child sexual abuse, made in 1989, is still timely and incredibly important. Just this week alone the US Supreme Court ruled that hundreds of convicted and confessed child molestors could go free in California (the state where 7 year old Stephen Stayner was kidnapped and sodomized) by a legal decision throwing out legislation allowing prosecution of old sex-abuse cases. This would have affected Stephen's case since he was a teen by the time he escaped Kenneth Parnell, his abductor, and the statute of limitations would have passed for charges of sex abuse to be filed. So much for victims' rights!

Not only that but readers to this comments index may not be aware that now 71 year old Kenneth Parnell was arrested again in California in January 2003 for trying to buy a little boy!

Lifetime Cable TV should show this movie "I Know My First Name Is Stephen" at least once a month, to remind people everywhere that they have Kenneth Parnells living in their own neighborhood. No longer can parents leave their children alone for even a minute. The world is far too dangerous.

I would like to add that I think Corey Nemec's performance in this film was exceptional and effective. What a talented young man.
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Depressing and sad but true.
OliverGbyrne19 November 2004
What an incredible TV movie,it left me speechless and disturbed for days. Corin Nemek was amazing and very real as Steven,I have seen many of his film and was a Parker Lewis fan when I was little but this was one was his best performance. I think it's very hard to give this film a critic because I don't think this film was made to entertain us ,it was made to educate us on the subject of Child abduction,I don't know about you but as soon as I have kids,the first thing I'll teach them is "NEVER talk to strangers" Parnell is the devil impersonated , how can you take a sweet little boy and strip him of his innocence? I hope he wont get away with it this time(He has been locked up again last year). That scene(The most disturbing scene in the movie if you ask me) were you see Steven at age 9 , smoking a cigarette while watching TV made me very sad because you just knew that it wasn't the same boy,all his childhood was destroyed and he was a child no more.

People need to see this movie,it's an important life lesson.

God bless the late Steven Stayner.
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10/10
A movie that gives parents nightmares
Mike-DD17 August 2000
I thought Corin Nemec's portrayal of Steven was very commendable, given that he was only about 17 then. It was a very courageous portrayal of a boy who lived in ignorance and fear at first, then passivity, and finally resignation at his fate. Only when another boy, Timmy, was kidnapped did he finally break out of this existence. This film not only shows the dangers that are out there among strangers, but also among family and friends. It is heartbreaking to see what family and friends can say and do when they find out something 'bad' has happened to you, even when it wasn't your fault, even when you did 'it' out of fear and nothing else.

All in all, it is probably not a movie that parents might want to watch with a young child, but they should as it gives them the opportunity and impetus to talk to their kids about the evil things some people do and what they should do about it if it happens to them, better yet, what they should do to prevent it happening in the first place.
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Poignant
vwolak24 October 2003
One of those movies that really sticks with you due to the seriousness of the content.

Every parent, or everyone that will be a parent should see this one. It emphasizes the need to tell your children to NOT TALK TO STRANGERS.

This movie was made with a certain amount of class, they did not go for shock value by being more graphic about the sexual abuse going on. It became more apparent during the movie as it played out, yet thankfully the movie makers were more subtle about it in the midst of the movie.

Lifetime Network features a lot of these true to life movies, and kudos to them. I know it is all entertainment, but it is also informative to keep us on the defense of all of the sickos out there.

Steven in real life perished a few years after his escape, and that is tragic. Just as tragic is that Parnell recently tried to buy a child, like a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, for his sick needs. As a free man. Sad.

In closing, any parent or parent to be must see this movie. I know it is somewhat unpleasant, but in this day and age, it is really important to see the elements of a cancer to the innocent American way of life.

Thank you.
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10/10
Bad things can happen to good people.
dianastruck-117 September 2006
When I first watched the movie "I know my first name is Steven" I was really affected by it because he was such a young cute little boy and didn't deserve what he had to deal with. What really gets to me is that the police were so stupid that Steven had to save himself. I'm happy that he meet someone that loved him unconditionally and he was blessed with 2 children. He deserved good things to happen to him. He got a G.E.D., stopped drinking and always held a job. The saddest part of the movie is the end, when he was talking to his mom. Its a tear jerker. He may be gone but not forever. Much love 2 his family. If I ever get 2 California I would love to visit his grave and pay my respects to him. I hope his family is doing good.
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