Hyperion Books Announces publication of The Barefoot Bandit

**Optioned for film by 20th Century Fox**

What happens to a child growing up poor with an abusive, heavy drinking mom, ex-cons and addicts as father figures, and no help from the authorities? Enter Colton Harris-Moore, who, as the teenage “Barefoot Bandit,” went on a twenty-seven-month-long crime spree that included stealing and flying five airplanes without ever taking a lesson, and stretched from the misty islands of the Pacific Northwest all the way to the Bahamas, where his run ended in a midnight boat chase and a hail of gunfire.

Journalist Bob Friel moved to scenic Orcas Island seeking a peaceful place to write. The following year, though, Colton Harris-Moore escaped a Seattle detention facility and decided to make Orcas his hunting ground. Friel, first involved simply as a concerned resident trying to discover who was tearing apart his tight-knit island community, soon became absorbed in the story of a troubled kid who’d somehow risen from the ashes of a wretched childhood to become a calculating, stone-sober crook with a burning desire to fly.

In his new book, THE BAREFOOT BANDIT: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw, Friel presents a sweeping, cinematic narrative that combines an amazing adventure story and a journalistic memoir with the tale of Colton Harris-Moore. Friel details the outlaw’s tortured past and reveals for the first time the facts behind the spectacular events that made Colt world-famous, prompted Time to name him “America’s Most Wanted Teen,” and ended with him sentenced to prison for dozens of federal and state crimes.

Friel tells the inside story:

• Accounts drawn from hundreds of interviews with crime victims, witnesses, law enforcement, and locals who tried to capture Harris-Moore, as well as Colt’s friends, family, teachers, and prison buddies.

• Friel was the first writer to get the view from inside the decrepit trailer where Colt grew up, and he includes much from his many interviews with Colt’s infamous mother.

• Colt swept across woodsy Orcas Island like a tsunami, stealing identities and breaking into homes to live like a 6’5” Goldilocks armed with pistols and pepper spray. It was on Orcas that Colt stole his first plane and landed two others, where he was chased by the FBI, SWAT teams, and Homeland Security Black Hawk helicopters, and where his outlaw legend was born. And Friel was there for all of it.

• Friel discovered numerous missteps by law enforcement that allowed Harris-Moore to remain at large much longer than anyone thought possible.

• After learning that Colt was researching him at the same time he was following the fugitive’s trail, Friel began communicating with Colt through Friel’s blog. Remarkably, when Colt finally left Orcas Island, he traveled thousands of miles to the Bahamas—islands that have been like a second home to Friel for thirty years. Friel’s extensive Bahamian contacts enabled him to be the only reporter on the right island at the time of Colt’s final chase and capture.

• Friel details his contact and exclusive communications with Colton Harris-Moore himself.

 Visit www.bobfriel.com for the book’s large collection of enhanced content.

THE BAREFOOT BANDIT is the in-depth and entertaining account of an American outlaw, a story for the new millennium: the underdog survival tale of a neglected kid who became a world-famous fugitive lionized by more than 100,000 Facebook fans—and hated by just as many for his daring disregard for the law.

About the Author

Bob Friel is an award-winning writer who has authored hundreds of articles for magazines such as Outside, Islands, Boating, Philadelphia, Sunset, Caribbean Travel & Life, and Smithsonian Air & Space. He lives on Orcas Island in Washington State with his wife.

 

 Publicity Contact: Megan Vidulich/Hyperion

Megan.G.Vidulich@abc.com/917-661-2055