Friday, March 30, 2012

Colton Harris-Moore and Barefoot Bandit Updates

It appears that Colton will be serving the first part of his sentence in a maximum security Washington State prison.

Aside from the pun, I doubt Colt is really a "flight risk." He walked away from a no-security juvenile halfway house in 2008, but there's a huge difference between that and attempting to escape from an adult prison. I don't think Colt would even consider a breakout because when he ultimately got caught again he'd face losing an entire decade locked in a box.

Colt certainly has a sky-high offender score due to all of the felonies he pleaded guilty to, but with no shortage of murderers and rapists around, it seems like a non-violent offender would be taking up valuable space in max when there's no need for him to be in there. Colt deserves to be in prison, and he's going to serve a big chunk of time... but maximum security seems like overkill to me.

A reminder for those who've read or are reading my book, The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, make sure to check out for story updates, photo galleries, links, maps and a Google Earth tour of all the sites in the story.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Release Day: The Barefoot Bandit

March 20 is the official release date for The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw, my new book from Hyperion. Finally.

It was a long time coming and I appreciate everyone's patience as we waited for the wheels of justice to slowly grind this thing out to a conclusion before we released the book.

My new website includes maps, Google Earth tours, photo galleries and links. It will also host updates as I continue to report on the story, and any news that arrives about the movie.

The book is getting some press already:     

New York Post ran a feature in Sunday's paper. Not so much a review as a recounting, but they gave it a page and a half in the paper and three pages online, which is a lot of ink.

Dispatches gave a real nice review. Our favorite part is probably: "The Barefoot Bandit is one of the finest and most entertaining true crime books that I've read in a long, long time."

And to mark the release, I'll be on The Bob Rivers Show tomorrow, March 20 at 9am PST. The show will be available online and podcast as well as live on KJR 95.7 in Seattle.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nelson DeMille on The Barefoot Bandit

I’m thrilled to have Nelson DeMille provide the first cover blurb for The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw.

Nelson DeMille
DeMille is one of the true giants of American writing, with a string of New York Times bestselling novels, like Plum Island, Gold Coast, The Lion’s Game and many others. 
(I'm really looking forward to The Panther, coming this October).

Getting cover blurbs from prominent authors is very difficult, especially for a writer living on a rock in the way-out west who is about as distant and disconnected from New York literary circles as you can be. The idea is to get an early version of your book in front of the author any way possible, and then hope that he or she will, first, somehow have the time to read it, and second, actually like it.

Nelson DeMille was naturally on my wish list of top writers. So huge thanks to him for taking the time to read the galley version of the book and responding with such nice words. We’re putting part of this right up front!

“I doubt if even the best fiction writer could create a character like Colton Harris-Moore, the Barefoot Bandit. This is an incredible, but true story of chase-and-escape that will keep you on the edge of your seat... Bob Friel is a gifted reporter and very fine writer.”  Nelson DeMille 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Colton Harris-Moore Transferred to WA State Custody

With the federal judge having agreed to let Colt serve his time in the state prison system, Colton Harris-Moore has transferred out of Seatac FDC, and will now be held, for a time, at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, WA.

The WCC at Shelton serves as an intake prison where inmates are screened, tested and classified before being sent to the facility where they’ll serve out the balance of their sentence.

According to the WA State Dept of Corrections:

“The Initial Classification process takes four to six weeks. During this time, the offender must comply with having a physical and dental examination and psychological evaluation if needed.

During the physical examination, offenders are screened for HIV, TB, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and any other contagious diseases.”

The psyche evaluation includes testing the inmate’s potential for “suicide, victimization, and violence,” and checks for any psychiatric diagnosis and substance abuse issues.

Once an inmate is sufficiently poked, prodded and analyzed, the DOC picks a suitable facility based on placing the offender “in the least restrictive custody level designation while providing for the safety of the public, staff, and offenders.”

Colt and his defense team are hoping for a medium-or-lower level security prison where Colt will have the greatest access to educational opportunities and least amount of contact with violent offenders.