Colton Harris-Moore Suspected of Going Sub-Tropical
Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to post much day-to-day stuff on Colton right now, especially when it’s speculative in nature, but this is just getting too interesting. The news that he’s a suspect in another theft of a private plane — this one flown from Indiana to the Bahamas — is remarkable... so I'll remark.
I know the Bahamas extremely well from travelling there often over the past 30 years. I’ve done something like 50 magazine articles on the country, and did a photo book called Underwater Bahamas. I have a lot of friends there, and hearing that Colt may now be visiting had me wondering if he’d hacked into my address book, or at least been reading my Bahamas stories extolling all the things he likes: boating, snorkeling, fishing, island-hopping, magnificent vacation homes, and lots of small airports.
Again, as far as I know at this point there is no direct evidence that this is Colt. Playing connect the dots with stolen vehicles, though, does provide some circumstantial support to the theory it’s him. If it is, why did he go to the Bahamas and what chance does he have of staying free in an archipelago made up of some 700 mostly small islands where the locals have all known each other for generations?
Most people only know the Bahamas from a cruise stop at Nassau or Freeport. The real Bahamas, though are the Out Islands — also known as the Family Islands — slow-paced, sandy and sunny cays where life revolves around the water. Details are coming in sluggishly so far, but from the Bahamian police I spoke to last night, it sounds like whoever splashed down in this plane (a high-performance Cessna 400 flown 1,200 miles), made it to the Out Islands. I’ll report exactly where as soon as I can confirm it.
The Bahamas have a long history of acting as refuge for fascinating characters such as the pirate Blackbeard, cocaine kingpin Carlos Lehder, fugitive financier Robert Vesco, and uber-rich recluse Howard Hughes. The capital island, New Providence, was even declared the “Pirate Republic” for a short, swashbuckling period of the 18th Century.
So is Colt the latest character to attempt to hide away in the beautiful Bahamian cays? Stay tuned. To answer the first question on many minds, though: Yes, the U.S. has an extradition treaty with the Bahamas.