Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Excerpt of The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw in Outside Magazine

The current issue of Outside Magazine includes an excerpt from my new book on The Barefoot Bandit. Outside published the first national magazine story on Colton Harris-Moore, and caps their coverage by running part of the book where Colt steals a plane in Indiana and, incredibly, flies it to the Bahamas, beginning a whole new round of chase-and-escape to add to his outlaw tale.  

Due to magazine space constraints, the 4,500-word excerpt is condensed from an 18,000-word section of the book. It includes much of the wild action--the crash landing, several boat thefts, and the final chase--but book readers will have to wait just a little longer to get the full story. One of my favorite anecdotes that we had to cut out was how a Bahamian on Harbour Island had such a strong premonition that he was going to meet Colt on a certain night that he texted a local police sergeant, asking what should he do? That was just a few hours before Colt arrived at his dock, Walther PPK in hand.

Book readers will also get the complete story of how I managed to make it all the way from Washington State's San Juan Islands to the Bahamas (and to the right island, while all the media were on a different Out Island) in time for the final boat chase and showdown.

Shameless plug: Read the Outside excerpt now, and then pre-order The Barefoot Bandit from your favorite bookseller.


  1. Hey! The website's up (pretty much) too! Congratulations. Lots of great pictures. No offense to you or your wife but I have to say that my favorite pictures of your family are the ones of Murphy.

    Mr. Smale's photographs are spectacular. How on earth did he get access to certain people who have been known to NOT want their pictures taken?? And has Der Spiegel published anything about Colton?


  2. Thanks Ned. It's been a lot of work, and as you can tell, I'm still loading content. Just finished Colt's Rides and hope to get another gallery or two up tomorrow. And we like Murphy pictures best, too. I should probably give him his own gallery.

    To answer your first question: Der magazine showed her der money. As far as I know, no US magazines or print journalists have done that.

    The Der Spiegel story appeared a couple of months ago. Last I checked they had not put it online, and it'd be a copyright infringement for me to put a pdf up. I had a German-speaking friend read it for me... she says they used the story to make us Yanks look, shall we say, provincial, which they get a kick out of.

    Best part of the story, though, are those Brian Smale pics, linked to his site through the People photo gallery at

  3. Interesting to know that he actually wanted to be chased, he was pretty cocky and bold. Makes it hard to believe that he's actually this really shy kid everyone makes him out to be, I guess he really did like the attention for a bit. Shameless self promotion for a mintue there? haha. The excerpt was great though!

  4. Yep, you'll read a lot more about that in the book. There's a lot that doesn't fit the public story on either side.

  5. Ah, Bob... I'm sure Colton would be thrilled to know you posted that "surprised-look/pop-collar" pic on your website! Haha. (But I still like it much better than the picture of Fake-Colt with a gun used to illustrate the article.)

    The book excerpt was a great read. And to Anonymous: I think it's possible to be both shy and cocky. Or to be cunning and genuine, or serious and hilarious. Having a complex personality is part of what makes a person so interesting. Plus, a hint of bravado is the trademark of most great artists and adventurers!

  6. Hahaha! I enjoyed seeing the "surprised-look/pop-collar" picture! What a goof!

    I also enjoyed reading the excerpt! Can't wait to read the whole thing! :)

  7. Loving the new website for the book, especially seeing all the photos of the "players" in Colt's story. I thought the same thing as Ned; how on earth did that photographer convince Pam Kohler to allow her picture to be taken?! Aaahh, money talks.

    Can't wait for the book; I'm literally counting the days until it arrives in the mail!

  8. Thanks Kate. Working real hard on the website... not sure if it's overkill, but I know we've got some people really interested in this story, and wanted to give as full an experience as possible. I'll be putting up more photos over the next couple of weeks.