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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 21–22, 1989.[1] 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.[2]

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 language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2
Producer(s)Kim C. Friese
Editor(s)David Ramirez
Peter V. White
Running time180 mins.
Production company(s)Andrew Adelson Company
Lorimar Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMay 21 –
22, 1989



Steven Stayner, a seven year-old boy, is kidnapped by Kenneth, a man caught up in his isolation and loneliness, finding that the only solution to the problem is to claim a boy for his own. 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 Kenneth, 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 Kenneth 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 fourteen, that the abuse was disclosed, and he was rescued from his perpetrator. Because Kenneth 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," Kenneth.

Steven later testified in court on Timmy's behalf, and then later, in a hearing for accusations of the crimes that Kenneth committed against himself. After a painful testimony, Kenneth only received twenty months in prison for the kidnapping and sexual abuse against Steven.



  1. ^ A.P syndicated report printed in the New York Times September 18, 1989
  2. ^ "I Know My First Name is Steven". Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2018-03-08.

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