Thanks to Chris C from the UK who got in touch with some typos and spacing errors he spotted in the new Kindle version of The Barefoot Bandit. Great to see the international readership! And the close reads. He was nice enough to mention that “the typos didn’t detract from a great story.” I’ll get those fixed next time I open up the Kindle text. Converting from my draft docs to a Kindle book once the rights to the book reverted back to me was a month-long chore including adding all the updates. But I appreciate all the new readers!
The owner of the Sea Ray Sundancer that Colton stole to blast from Marsh Harbour to Eleuthera got in touch and let me know the name of his boat was Bobcat 2. He has quite a tale of trying to get his boat back to the States for repairs.
May 17, 2016: Pam Kohler, Colton’s mom, passed away from lung cancer. As recounted in a couple of posts on Outlaws & Outcasts, Pam’s Lung Cancer 1, and Pam’s Lung Cancer 2, Colton worked very hard from inside prison to get his mother care and treatment. When the prognosis turned grim, he even tried a last-ditch effort to have her cryonically preserved.
I spent quite a bit of time with Pam while I wrote my articles and book on Colton. She was gruff and volatile, and a distrustful misanthrope with questionable taste in men. She could switch from jokes to threats in a slow blink. But we did have a few laughs. Colton loved her, and his main goal for the future was to make her hard life better.
A police report that finally came to light after the hardcover went to press caused me to add this footnote to page 45 (the footnote does appear in the original E-book version). The footnote refers to the pepper spray story at the “Brody” home on Orcas Island:
*A third version of the story comes from the police report of the incident, which San Juan County declined to release despite multiple public records requests. I was able to see the report only after it was included in a defense filing for Colt’s federal sentencing in January 2012. In his report, the deputy admits he was sitting in the living room when the tall suspect spent “10-15 seconds attempting to unlock” the open door. He writes that after the suspect finally entered the home, “I stood up, announced myself by stating ‘Police officer, get on the ground’ and began to train the department issued taser on the subject while taking the device off safe.” He says the suspect—who Colt’s defense team agrees was Colt—immediately turned and “bolted” using “great speed and agility.” In the official report, the deputy says he didn’t see Colt fire the pepper spray, but that he noticed it irritating his eyes and throat when he reentered the home after watching Colt run off.
On the last page of the book as it refers to Colton Harris-Moore’s sentencing: Colt’s attorneys now tell me that if he gets the maximum credit for good behavior, he will leave prison when he is twenty-five years old, if not slightly before. He may even be eligible for a work release nine months before his sentence is finished.
Another difference between the first-edition hardcover and the e-book are these passages which were inadvertently cut from the very last page of the book as it went to press. They belong at the top of the final section that now begins, “Sandi, Murphy and I…”:
UP HERE IN SAN JUAN County, Sheriff Bill Cumming decided not to run for another term. After a tough, mudslinging election, voters chose new blood in fifty-one-year-old Rob Nou, who says his policy is that deputies should collect forensics from every crime scene possible.
Unsurprisingly, the crime rate on Orcas Island dropped after Colt left. I suspect that it might remain even lower than what it was before he arrived. Because of Colt, residents are much more conscious of the potential for crime. Many homes and almost all businesses are wired with burglar alarms and surveillance systems.
Unfortunately, the relaxed, open-door atmosphere is a thing of the past.
Sadly there are two in-memoriams: Jimmy Pettyjohn, the colorful, kind-hearted “indoor barbecue king of Camano Island” passed away. Jimmy had been slowed down a little by some heart trouble when I met him, but Geof Davis and I had a nice long visit in his man cave where Jimmy told all his stories, both about his brushes with Colton and about his own flying days and time in the military. He’s definitely missed down on Camano.
Also, Dr. Rogelio “Roly” Hernit, a highly regarded expert on child psychology who dealt with thousands of incarcerated and dependent youth over his long career in Pennsylvania, passed away from cancer shortly after he’d retired to the Philippines. Although not directly quoted in the book, Roly provided great insight into the pathology and treatment of kids who wind up in trouble.
Aiko Barkdoll, one of Colton’s early parole officers in Island County, is inadvertently identified as a “he.” Aiko is female.
D’oh! In an anecdote of an early morning takeoff, I described the color of the taxiway lights instead of the runway lights.
A good friend says I got the timing wrong for a party with a big bonfire that might have gone against Orcas Island’s burn ban rules. We still haven’t nailed it down, but I changed the language in the Kindle version to remove mention of the burning season to make sure there’s no chance it reflects poorly on Orcas Island’s remarkable fire department.