7.8/10
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42 user 2 critic

I Know My First Name Is Steven 

The harrowing true account of Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped by a perverted pseudo-priest and his lackey during the 1970s. As he gets older, he realizes that he needs to try to make an escape and get back home.
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1  
1989  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...  Kay Stayner 2 episodes, 1989
...  Del Stayner 2 episodes, 1989
...  Dennis Parnell / ... 2 episodes, 1989
...  Steven Stayner (Age 7) 2 episodes, 1989
...  Irving Murphy 2 episodes, 1989
...  Bob Augustine 2 episodes, 1989
...  Officer Kean 2 episodes, 1989
...  Officer Scott 2 episodes, 1989
...  School Counselor 2 episodes, 1989
...  Cary Stayner (Age 11) 2 episodes, 1989
Stephanie Walski ...  Cindy Stayner (Age 9) 2 episodes, 1989
Sumer Stamper ...  Jody Stayner (Age 5) 2 episodes, 1989
Cassy Friel ...  Cory Stayner (Age 4) 2 episodes, 1989
Juney Ellis ...  Miss Rebecca 2 episodes, 1989
...  Victor (Age 7) 2 episodes, 1989
...  Deke 2 episodes, 1989
...  Pete 2 episodes, 1989
...  Bruce 2 episodes, 1989
...  Officer Dickenson 2 episodes, 1989
...  Timmy White 2 episodes, 1989
...  Fred 2 episodes, 1989
...  Selfides 2 episodes, 1989
Shane McCabe ...  Fat Clerk 2 episodes, 1989
...  Customer 2 episodes, 1989
Brenda Hillhouse ...  Barbara 2 episodes, 1989
Robina Suwol ...  Checker 2 episodes, 1989
Kenneth Zavayna ...  Man 2 episodes, 1989
Lyla Graham ...  Lady 2 episodes, 1989
Nell Heller ...  Mrs. Alpha 2 episodes, 1989
Anne Faulkner ...  Mrs. Ditschman 2 episodes, 1989
...  Mrs. Beta 2 episodes, 1989
Lynnsey Ryan ...  Secretary 2 episodes, 1989
Kenny McMurphy ...  Punk #1 2 episodes, 1989
...  Punk #2 2 episodes, 1989
Karl Wiedergott ...  Punk #3 2 episodes, 1989
...  Nettie 2 episodes, 1989
Anne Convery ...  Female Officer 2 episodes, 1989
...  Jodie 2 episodes, 1989
...  Officer Warner 2 episodes, 1989
...  Pat Hallford 2 episodes, 1989
...  Chief Johnson 2 episodes, 1989
Todd Eric Andrews ...  Cary Stayner (Age 18) 2 episodes, 1989
Hilary Morse ...  Cindy Stayner (Age 16) 2 episodes, 1989
Shantell Stebbins ...  Jody Stayner (Age 12) 2 episodes, 1989
Marice Leeds ...  Cory Stayner (Age 11) 2 episodes, 1989
Harold Pruett ...  Birch 2 episodes, 1989
Jonathan Perpich ...  Officer Severeid 2 episodes, 1989
...  Judge Sabraw 2 episodes, 1989
...  George McLure 2 episodes, 1989
James Ingersoll ...  Joe Allen 2 episodes, 1989
...  Dan Smith 2 episodes, 1989
Billy Ray Sharkey ...  Sheriff Suggs 2 episodes, 1989
Shannon Holt ...  Angela White 2 episodes, 1989
...  Jim White 2 episodes, 1989
...  Don 2 episodes, 1989
Whitney Rydbeck ...  Mr. Craft 2 episodes, 1989
Natividad Vacío ...  Vicente 2 episodes, 1989
...  Rosanna 2 episodes, 1989
Ron Tank ...  TV Journalist 2 episodes, 1989
...  TV Reporter 2 episodes, 1989
Jeremy McCollum ...  Kleekie 2 episodes, 1989
...  Boots 2 episodes, 1989
Robert Balderson ...  P.E. Teacher 2 episodes, 1989
...  Victor (Age 14) 2 episodes, 1989
Wendy Gordon ...  TV Newscaster 2 episodes, 1989
...  Debbie 2 episodes, 1989
...  Cashier 2 episodes, 1989
...  Official 2 episodes, 1989
Dan Kelpine ...  Court Officer 2 episodes, 1989
...  Reporter #1 2 episodes, 1989
Kim Maxwell ...  Reporter #3 2 episodes, 1989
...  Reporter #4 2 episodes, 1989
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Storyline

7-year old Steven Stayner is kidnapped a few days before Christmas by Kenneth Parnell. Under the belief that Parnell has been given legal custody of him, and that his family has moved away, he stays with Parnell for seven years, enduring repetitive sexual abuse the entire time. Finally, at fourteen, he returns home to his family. Written by Liz Jordan <c9310494@alinga.newcastle.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Language:

Release Date:

1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Missing Years  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Stayner's brother Cary murdered 4 women in and around Yosemite National Park. See more »

Quotes

Del Stayner: How'd you forget to come home?
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User Reviews

 
Disturbing to think this is a true story
29 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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