Retired agent Jeff Rinek served in the FBI for 30 years, two years as a support employee and 28 as a Special Agent. During his career, he primarily investigated cases of missing and murdered children. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Jeff Rinek reviews how he obtained a confession from serial killer Cary Stayner, responsible for the Yosemite Park Murders, the brutal slayings of two women and two teenage girls. He also discusses the mental toll working child predator and murder cases had on him, and how his family helped him cope with case related  PTSD and attempted suicide. While assigned to the Sacramento office of the FBI, Jeff Rinek assisted police and sheriffs departments’ throughout Northern California in active and cold-case investigations involving missing children, child kidnappings, and the abuse, exploitation, and murder of children. He also served as a certified profiler for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. In 2003, he was named Investigator of the Year by the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association, and in 2006, received an Award for Excellence from the International Homicide Investigators Association. He was also a member of the SWAT team and, and a co-pilot in the Sacramento Office’s aviation squad. He has been featured on numerous TV documentary crime shows, including A&E’s American Justice, TruTV’s Crime Stories, and Investigation Discovery’s Real Detective. Jeff Rinek is the author of In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent’s Relentless Pursuit of the Nation’s Worst Predators, his personal account of child predator and murder investigations. Each chapter is dedicated to the victims of the cases he worked, including a chapter for his wife and sons.


Special Agent (Retired)

Jeff Rinek

1/12/1976 – 5/31/2006














The following are links to newspaper articles regarding the results of Jeff Rinek’s investigation of the Yosemite Park murders of Carole Sund, Juli Sund, Silvina Pelosso, and Joie Ruth Armstrong:

CBS News – Photo Gallery of Victims and Family from Yosemite Park Murders

New York Times – 7/28/1999:  Suspect at Yosemite had Fantasy of Killing Women

Deseret News – 12/13/2000:  Details of Yosemite killing given



FBI missing persons flyer for the Yosemite tourists Carole Sund, Juli Sund, and Silvina Pelosso.

















Pre-arrest photo of Cary Stayner taken just before he confessed to Jeff Rinek regarding the murders.


















The true crime book by Jeff Rinek – In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent’s Relentless Pursuit of the Nation’s Worst Predators – can be purchased here.





















Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for subscription on Apple Podcast/iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and other popular podcast apps. Her novels—Pay To Play and Greedy Givers—inspired by actual true crime FBI cases and featuring temptation, corruption, and redemption, are available at 


This episode was sponsored by – the only on-line directory made available to the general public featuring “retired” FBI AGENTS / ANALYSTS interested in showcasing their skills to secure business opportunities.

  Aug 02, 2018

Author and Podcaster


This was such an important show…I have listened to them all and my fascination with Law Enforcement comes from my Dad who was in Law Enforcement for over 30yrs and retired as a Police Chief in our small town in Alabama. There were many stories he would share but sooo many more that he could not. He is such a compassionate man and like Jeff people were drawn to him and sometimes that is a Heavy Burden to carry. PLease Thank Him for sharing the the Real World of how these awful events can effect the men and women in Law Enforcement and their Families.
If you are ever looking for unsolved cases there are a few from my home town that the FBI were heavily involved in. Thank you for your service and continuing to promote the truth about Law Enforcement.
PS I never have left a comment but I felt very strongly about this!

Thank you Kathy. It means a lot for everyone in law enforcement to know that they are supported in their mission to keep us safe.

The story of Carol and Julie Sund, Silvina Pelosso and Joie Armstrong have haunted me since I was a child. I camped with my family in Yosemite when I was just a kid and always loved the peace and beauty of the park. It felt like home. To hear what happened to Carol and Julie and Silvina horrified me for years. Now that I’m a single mother of two daughters, the horror of what they went through still chills me to the bone. What a brave and human soul is Jeff Rinek. I can’t wait to read his book. He and his family are indeed survivors of Cary Stayner. The story also resounded with me because I remember so well the story of his brother, Steven. Their story is an American Nightmare. Thank you for this episode. Jeff Rinek made the victims come alive for me. I think of them often. Thank you for your great work.

Thank you for listening. I’ll share your comments with Jeff.

Thank you both for this interview. Brave, necessary, so very necessary to hear—for many more people to hear. Some of the other interviews with retired FBI agents I’ve listened to on this podcast have brought up (for me) everything that’s blind about law enforcement in general—blindness that is a nearly inevitable result of generations of arrogance and power. But this one (2-part) interview wipes away much of my lack of trust in them. (Respect I have, absolutely, but lack of trust in their skill in the field, due to overall narrow views of the world, of human beings, of those involved in their cases, etc.) and sometimes shocking arrogance about these views.

While I understand that case-entrenched law enforcement need to be able to keep their emotions in check in the field and keep their focus on the cases, what that has meant historically is that too many have become emboldened by the social and financial rewards they receive in being *tough*. But don’t think those tough guys don’t act out and often hurt and traumatize others, too. Not by killing (other than sometimes themselves, so it seems), but with abuse and neglect of family, addictions, rage, suppressed emotions, immaturity, etc. And at the same time, demonize the “criminal.” This interview, though, helps break the news that actually, we’re all on a spectrum, as human beings among other human beings.

(And agreed, thanks to Esther Ludlow at Once Upon a Crime for leading me here!)

Thank you for expressing your views, past and present, so well. Jeff said he was sharing his story to help people understand the sacrifices made by those who investigate violent crimes. It looks like he was successful.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.