I Know My First Name Is Steven

I Know My First Name Is Steven is a 1989 American television miniseries about kidnap victim Steven Stayner. The two-part miniseries was first broadcast by NBC on May 22 and 23, 1989. Screening rights were sold to a number of international television companies including the BBC, which screened the miniseries in mid-July of the following year; later still, it was released as a feature-length movie. It was nominated as Best Miniseries or Television Film at the 47th Golden Globe Awards and received four Emmy Award nominations.[1]

I Know My First Name Is Steven
I Know My First Name is Steven.jpg
Written byMike Echols
J.P. Miller
Cynthia Whitcomb
Directed byLarry Elikann
StarringCorin Nemec
Luke Edwards
Arliss Howard
Cindy Pickett
John Ashton
Theme music composerDavid Shire
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2
Executive producerAndrew Adelson
ProducerKim C. Friese
EditorsDavid Ramirez
Peter V. White
Running time180 mins.
Production companiesAndrew Adelson Company
Lorimar Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original networkNBC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseMay 22 (1989-05-22) –
May 23, 1989 (1989-05-23)


Steven Stayner, a seven-year-old boy, is kidnapped by Kenneth Parnell, a sexual predator. Once he, with the help of his partner in crime, Irving Murphy, manages to follow through with his plan, he immediately begins to "groom" and bribe Steven to desire to stay with him. Steven, however, despite protesting against Parnell, saying that he wanted to go home, had no choice in the matter. As the sexual abuse happened for the first time, Steven moaned, "leave me alone", and Parnell responded by continuing his acts saying, "Don't be afraid". These acts of molestation, child rape, and holding photos of Steven naked, continued for seven years.

It wasn't until Steven was 14, that he was rescued from his perpetrator and the abuse was disclosed. Because Parnell kidnapped another young child, a boy named Timmy, Steven built up the courage to prevent Timmy from going through the same thing that he went through when he was Timmy's age. He brought Timmy to the police, and when he did, he was questioned and pressed until he confessed that he was the victim of a kidnapping by his "dad", Parnell.

Steven later painfully testified in court on Timmy's behalf, and then later, in a hearing for accusations of the crimes committed against himself. Parnell spent five years of a seven-year sentence in prison for the kidnapping and sexual abuse against Steven, while his accomplice spent less than two years in prison.



Viewership and ratings per episode of I Know My First Name Is Steven
No. Title Air date Timeslot (ET) Rating/share
1 "Part 1" May 22, 1989 Monday 9:00 p.m. 21.6/35 31.3 [2]
2 "Part 2" May 23, 1989 Tuesday 9:00 p.m. 27.3/42 40.3 [2]


  1. ^ "I Know My First Name is Steven". Emmy Awards. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Everybody loved ABC's Baby". USA Today. June 1, 1989. p. 3D. ProQuest 306225180.

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