Cary Stayner’s Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 1st, 2008


Cary Stayner (above) is the Valentine Weekend Yosemite Killer who said he had an encounter with Bigfoot. He later used his hunt for Bigfoot to get closer to one of his victims, the park ranger he beheaded.

A relative of Stayner’s ~ named Jeff [last name on file] ~ has written to me via Cryptomundo, and sends along these observations of Stayner:

I would like to add as a family member to Cary Stayner, as long as I can remember, Cary was out running and climbing mountains.

I remember when he first had told me and my brother of what he had seen. He would go very blank in the face as if he was being very serious or like somebody was watching him.

He would tell us about the smell the creature had and that it was alot bigger than him. We were very young but we knew he wasn’t playing a joke on us. I remember when I went to Camp Green Meadows in the 6th grade, he told me to stay close to all the teachers and no matter what don’t go out at night.

He never really seemed the same to me after he saw Bigfoot.

So to me, maybe that’s what drove him mad? You never know.

In 2002, Cary Stayner was sentenced to death after being found guilty of four counts of murder. Stayner is housed on death row at San Quentin Penitentiary in California, from where he sent me drawings of the Bigfoot he said he saw.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “Cary Stayner’s Bigfoot”

  1. CamperGuy responds:

    “He never really seemed the same to me after he saw Bigfoot.

    So to me, maybe that’s what drove him mad? You never know.”

    He may have seen Bigfoot though to me unlikely the source of being driven mad. I find it more likely the stories he told was just
    a fore-runner of future manipulations. Consider, he seems to show fearful concern for others concerning Bigfoot but he himself spends considerable time on the mountain. If he were afraid of Bigfoot it is unlikely he would do so. Projecting fear to others while not being afraid himself seems inconsistent to me. It seems very consistent with serial killer behavior.

    Sociopaths that become serial killers are incredible personality chameleons. They are often very attuned to manipulating how people perceive them. They frequently can project any persona as the situation dictates. Much like other people change into appropriate clothes for the occasion. Serial killers are often predators that use manipulation as camouflage. These traits as well as others often show up at an early age.

    Why do serial killers do what they do? Doubtful even they really understand.

    Can’t imagine how difficult all this is for the relatives. Best wishes to them.

  2. Scrumpy responds:

    Cary Stayner’s life was cruel and ironic. Beyond his alleged Bigfoot encounter, Stayner’s brother was kidnapped by a child molester and held for 7 years before escaping. Books and a movie about the ordeal followed along with massive publicity. That same brother was killed in an accident 9 years later. The uncle with whom he lived was mudered just one year after the death of his brother. Nothing can excuse or justify Stayner’s horrible crimes, but one wonders how much the mind can take before it fractures. The if’s of life. Would Stayner have become a serial killer if he hadn’t sustained such trauma at an early age or that tragedy hadn’t visited so regularly? Or was Stayner programed from birth with a desire to commit such violence? Nature or nurture ? There are no easy answers. Could the guy next door or the coworker be a killer? Such questions are why, I believe, such stories draw our attention and debate.The debate and scientific investigation will go on.

  3. JGreg responds:

    The Nature vs Nurture debate is founded on a myth. It is simply the product of the human tendency to reduce every problem, no matter how complicated, to an either/or equation. (Witness very nearly every political commentator or talk show windbag in existence.)

    The behavior of any human being is the result of the cumulative effect of all they have experienced in their lifetime, good and bad. This includes everything from their genetic makeup to prenatal influences (i.e. side effects from exposure to drugs or alcohol, intentional or otherwise, for a start.), to upbringing, to a nearly endless litany of life experiences. Everything pushes a person one way or another, and therefore everyone is different. What is nothing but a minor irritant to one person who has been dealt mostly positive influences, can be the final straw for another person. The closer you are to the edge of a cliff the smaller a shove it takes to push you over.

  4. wrath of the real responds:

    To assume the personality of a person is solely based on life events and experiences is very narrow minded, as well assuming the actions of an individual is based on genetic make up alone. The fact is “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get”.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    I think there is always a mix: I don’t think it is ever one thing…heredity or environment that leads to such things, but the combination of both that can create a serial killer. However there are definite precursors and most serial killers hit these markers, or those markers are always present somewhere in the chain. I need to get my facts straight before I start spouting, but I saw an FBI profiler when he came to town…can’t remember his name–Robert Ressler…he talked about the whole phenomenon…hate to say it, but it is fascinating in a way, but also very disturbing.

    Back to the subject at hand, no I do not believe at all that sighting a BF was what defined him and made him the way he was…seriously doubt it pushed him over the edge either, I merely think all of it was building and either BF was a line of patter to get to his victim, or it merely serves as a twistd link to BF to make it onto these pages:)

  6. coelacanth1938 responds:

    This sounds more like something out of Wendigo mythology.

  7. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    interesting posting and comments. i think there’s a lot of validity in most of what is suggested herein.

    i also noted like others herein how Styaner utilized the ‘confession’ in order to gain the trust of a victim, the park ranger. by offering the ‘explanation’ why Styaner was in the wilderness so often (“Oh, just tracking Bigfoot, sir… seen him once, ya know?”), it offers a cover.

    and sadly, a lure. serial killers often enact a false face in order to hide their psychopathology — i.e., Bundy pretending to be crippled in order to get attractive women to help carry his books to his car, etc.

    fact is, it’s very unlikely “Bigfoot Made Me Kill!” as the tabloid headlines might read.

    much more likely is that his (probable) false sighting of Sasquatch as a younger man was a preview of his psychotic nature being manifested before becoming full-blown and life-taking.

    this is NOT to say folks who are balanced and see a squatch are clinical. far from it.

    but it is to say each case is unique and should be viewed as such.

    Ian Brady, the notorious Moors Killer of UK, similarly bestowed “magical thinking” type scenarios to the moors of England when he visited them as a teenager. he wrote long loving poems in aggrandizement to the moors as well as himself, and how these black, empty places were holy to him.

    later, these would be the very same lands wherein he committed atrocities against helpless children and recorded the horrors on audiotape so he and his mistress could listen to them again and again.

    in other words, in Brady’s and (possibly) Stayner’s minds? the setting becomes crucial to the fantasy role-playing. after all, if he can ‘see’ things and creatures others can’t? isn’t he, de facto, imbued with a power others cannot possibly comprehend? that ‘norms’ like you and i are powerless to see? it plays into his sickness to believe as much.

    this is the very type of delusional thought processes that lead so many serial killers to retreat to abandoned areas such as Ted Bundy, Henry Lee Lucas, etc. they are, in their own illness, creating a shrine to their crimes and ‘marking’ their territorial limits as a sign to others — here lies my power over you; what can YOU do about it, puny human?

    it’s a madness beyond understanding and coldness beyond calculation if you’re genetically well-adjusted and/or nurtured in a loving home for 99.9% of us. most of us couldn’t act this way unless under significant stressors like a wartime scenario, etc., in which all social morality has been stripped away by the larger madness of wholesale slaughter ‘for a cause.’

    again, for those of you who have seen bigfoot, please DO NOT mistake my posting as questioning your sanity nor implying you’re disturbed. that would be a huge mistake and is not my suggestion AT ALL.

    but for those who are disturbed and later claim sightings against probable reality? it is yet another symptom of their mental disorder, a kind of latent preview of the acting out to come, in essence.

    i believe that the latter is super infrequent, btw, but too many folks who hear reportings DO question the sanity and judgement of those who are just ‘normal’ folks who had an ‘abnormal’ encounter.

    i recommend colin wilson’s books about killers and their magical thought processes, btw, in addition to loren’s book about copycats if you’re interested in gaining clarity into this kind of delusional thought process.

    as others have posted: it’s frightening but there is a dark place in all of us that can, however distantly, relate in a fragmentary way to the horrors of the human mind, however diseased and unlike our own they may be.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.