Thursday, April 29, 2010



Colton Harris-Moore escaped the Griffin Home two years ago today. Since then he’s suspected of stealing four airplanes and several boats, and breaking into dozens of homes and businesses. We believe he’s been back here on Orcas Island since February, and the island occasionally buzzes with a possible new sighting: He’s in a resort hot tub, in a vacant house eating popcorn, paddling a kayak down the coast, fleeing out the back door of a home with Federal agents in hot pursuit, leaving a bare footprint in the mud near a chicken coop…

High-tech helicopters have searched the island repeatedly, while camouflaged SWAT teams stalked the forests. Black government SUVs appear and disappear. Still, Colt remains at large, an irritant to islanders, a frustration to law enforcement, a symptom of a flawed system to some, a hero or anti-hero to others.

So what’s Colt doing on his second anniversary of false freedom? It’s another beautiful day here on Orcas. Many seem to think he’s in survivalist mode in the woods, others believe he has a secret network of safe houses. In reality, though, he’s probably hunkered down in a vacant cabin. If the electricity and satellite service were left on, maybe he’s watching TV. If they left a computer, he’s surfing the web.

How long will this go on, Colt? How will it end? Do you have a plan or is your only idea just surviving and staying out of jail?

Even though he personifies the elusive needle in a haystack, it seems inconceivable that he can remain a phantom moving through the woods, living in other people’s homes, stealing from small businesses, forever.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



There’s a lot of press in the last couple of days, a lot of messages from newspapers, radio and television reporters asking about books and movies. Here are the facts:

My story about Colton Harris-Moore in Outside Magazine received a lot of attention from movie producers and book publishers — as a lot of magazine stories do, especially when they concern a topic as interesting as this one. A great many non-fiction books start life as magazine features. A great many movies are based on books… a circle of life that every freelance writer hopes for, especially any writer that’s been doing this professionally for over 25 years (ouch).

As soon as there are signed contracts, I’ll report the news here and lay out what the issues and angles that the proposed book will explore.

As for the current reports: Yes, it is 20th Century Fox and Rough House Pictures that want the story based on my article and book proposal. One of the principals of Rough House is director/writer David Gordon Green. I think David would be terrific for this story. If you only know him by Pineapple Express, then go rent George Washington, Snow Angels and Undertow.

As for one reporter who joked that he reached me at my “palatial estate” on Orcas Island… Bad joke. There are some palatial estates out here, but I live in a 400-square-foot rustic cabin — and a significant portion of that is taken up by my big ol’ dog, Murphy. And no, unfortunately neither a book deal nor movie option would earn enough to buy us that palatial estate -- Murphy is very disappointed.

As for actual Colt news: A helicopter was hovering less than a mile from my cabin two nights ago, searching the woods. That’s the first possible Colt action since the big St. Paddy’s night manhunt.

I’m still hoping that Colt makes a deal and turns himself in, safely. Colt, you’ve done it: You got all the attention you could ever want. There might even be a movie now. Why continue to risk so much? If someone ever gets hurt during any of this, then you’ll be facing a hell of a lot more trouble and time behind bars — and you’ll lose your supporters.