Friday, May 21, 2010

Note about Comments and Lack of Posts

I welcome comments. You agree, you disagree, you love, you hate -- all fine. You write me threats, you say that I "better hide" because you're coming to get me... Nah, I'm not going to publish those. If you can, write your issue in reasonable, non-obscene language and I'll publish it. If not, then start your own blog called "Anonymous Threats I've Written" and you can write whatever you want.

Also a note to those who've expressed disappointment that I haven't been posting much: Sorry about that. The reason is simple, though: I don't want to feed the beast. All there is right now is speculation about Colt, and the newspapers are doing a fine job with that. Every burglary or theft in the San Juans and Island County now gets Colt's name attached to it as a possible suspect. Frankly, every rustle in the woods has people wondering if that's him -- I know he's got me thinking that way. Last night, there was a sound under my cabin at dusk. When I went to investigate, I found... a peacock. After two years of Colt being on the run around here, I would have been much less surprised to find him under my cabin then I was to find a big ol' male peacock. Apparently there are a couple running wild here on Orcas these days.

Or maybe Colt had this one as a pet and when he (possibly) took off island-hopping in stolen boats from here to San Juan Island to Lopez and then to Camano last week, he left the bird here. If so: Colt, what the hell should I feed him?

Anyway, I don't want to post Colt news every day. As I've explained, I'm totally against sensationalizing this story because I believe there's a lot of tragedy in it. If I had to write something here every day then I'd naturally have to speculate and pontificate, and that would just add to the senseless chatter that surrounds this. There is an important story here, though, and a lot of important issues that Colt's story brings to light. What I am doing every day is examining things such as child development issues, mental health issues, the school system, Child Protective Services, State versus parental versus child rights, foster parenting, the juvenile justice system, etc.

I'm not looking at these issues to make excuses for Colt. He's made his decision to run outside of society, and for that he has the law on his tail. But his tale IS important because there are plenty of other, younger, Colts out there, and unless we want more of them out here breaking into our homes and businesses, we need to make sure the systems we have in place give every kid the chance for a normal life -- and the chance to find his place IN society, even if it's on the eccentric, anti-authority, alternative fringe.

All my reporting on these issues will be in a book (yes, it's now official) for Hyperion, which will be out sometime next year. It may be titled "Taking Flight" or maybe "COLT"... not sure yet. And yes, once I have all the facts or as many as I can gather, it will tell about Colt's life and the important issues it illuminates. Of course since not enough people read books these days and the last thing I want is a boring book, it will also tell the true story behind Colt's amazing ability to boost boats, planes and to elude law enforcement for over two years, along with the reasons behind the remarkable worldwide response to his story.

Hopefully -- and most importantly -- it will also tell how this all came to a peaceful conclusion, with no one hurt (despite all the wishes from anonymous commenters rooting for the ugly death of a 19-year-old property thief).


  1. Hey, Bob! I'm never commenting, but I'm always here. You're trustable and wise, I really admire your work.

    I would love to read your book! It's problably going to be a little bit hard for me to get one - hugs from Brazil!

    Don't need worry about your frequency here! Thank you very much for the blog. I hope Colton is doing well.

    And Bob, please, feed the peacock!

  2. Hi Marina,
    Thanks! Wonderful to hear that you're out there. Don't worry, I think the book will be distributed in Brazil, too. So far no one has bought the rights to translate it to Portugese, but it will be available in English.
    Corn... apparently that's what the peacock likes. Corn and sprouted whole grain bread. The peacock is doing fine.

  3. Since your post on May 10th asking Colton to contact his mom. Has she heard from him? If police and FBI are on this case and they know that Colton speaks with his Mom - are they not watching her 24/7 and would they not have her phone/cell tapped?

  4. I don't know the extent of surveillance on Colton's mom. The FBI is involved, and they have a lot of tools at their disposal. With all the press attention surrounding this story, though, one thing that's often lost is that at the end of the day, most of Colton Harris-Moore's offenses are legally defined as crimes against property. Local, State, and Federal law enforcement have cop killers, serial killers, terror suspects, drug dealers, etc, who they're also chasing.

    There is a constant level of "hunt" for Colt, and he's crossed some lines that make that hunt a very serious and dangerous game for him, but I believe law enforcement only pulls out all the stops when they think they have a higher percentage chance of catching him. The big manhunts like we've seen on Orcas this year burn through a lot of money, with off-island SWAT, canine teams and helicopters, along with lots of deputy overtime that's a killer for the county budget.

    Approval for wire taps, pen registers and trap-and-traces also expire and have to be re-approved by court order, which requires probable cause. Colt had been in regular contact with his mom last year, but then went quiet. After several months, I don't know if a judge would continue to approve surveillance.

    The recent activity -- the boats taken from San Juan and Lopez Island, ultimately leading back to Camano Island -- has Colt's mom believing that he is alive and physically okay even though, as far as I know, he has not been in direct contact.

  5. I can't wait for your book and I also hope for a peaceful resolution. I love your writing, too.

  6. Hi Bob,

    I just happened on your article in Outside Magazine and of course, that led me here. Your article opened my eyes, so to speak, to Colt's background. Although I believe he should turn himself in, I'm not quite the harsh critic that I was before. I still don't agree with those that hail him a hero; that's just wrong. If you've ever had your home broken into (I have), then you don't feel much sympathy for the thieves.

    One thing that really struck me in your article was when Colt gave the social worker the plants and thanked her for being nice to him. That said volumes about his life and how he has been treated. It also made him more human in my eyes. His mom? Not so much. I think she is a huge reason for who he is, and not in a good way.

    I have subscribed to your blog and will read with great interest what happens next. I hope that this all comes to a peaceful conclusion.

    And Colt, if you're reading this, a few years of jail time is much more preferable over the cold, hard ground. Turn yourself in. Please.

  7. I really enjoy your blog...keep up the great work!

  8. So curious to hear your take on the $50k that's been offered to Colton to turn himself in. Think he'll do it??

  9. Wow! I've never gotten any death threat comments on my blog. But then I don't live the Wild Pacific Northwest. The whole saga is fascinating. I'm staying tuned for the peaceful conclusion.