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Dead Run

The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West

Dan Schultz

St. Martin's Griffin

Evoking Into the Wild and The Monkey Wrench Gang, Dead Run is the extraordinary true story of three desperado survivalists, a dangerous plot, a brutal murder, and a treacherous manhunt.

 

On a sunny May morning in 1998, three friends in a stolen truck passed through Cortez, Colorado on their way to commit sabotage of unspeakable proportions. Evidence suggests their mission was to blow up the Glen Canyon dam. Had they succeeded, the structure's collapse would have unleashed a 500-foot-high inland tsunami, surging across the American Southwest and pulverizing everything in its path—crashing through the Grand Canyon, overflowing Hoover Dam, washing away downstream communities and crippling the water supply of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Diego.


Instead, the truck was pulled over by an unsuspecting small town cop and the outlaws opened fire. After shooting him twenty times, they blasted their way past dozens of police cars and vanished into 10,000 square miles of the harshest wilderness terrain on the North American continent. The pursuit that ensued pitted the most sophisticated law enforcement technology on the planet against three self-trained survivalists. Seventy-five local, state, and federal police agencies; dozens of swat teams; U.S. Army Special Forces and more than five hundred officers from across the country followed the fugitives into a landscape only they could survive. 

 

Nine years later the last of the fugitives was finally accounted for, but what really happened to them remained shrouded in mystery. The first in-depth account of this sensational case, Dead Run is replete with overbearing local sheriffs, Native American trackers, posse’s on horseback, suspicion of police cover-ups, rumors of vigilante justice, and the blunders of the nation’s most exalted crime-fighters pursuing outlaws against the unforgiving backdrop of the Utah wilderness.

More than a thrilling crime story, Dead Run is also an examination of the seductive allure of outlaw culture in the West and how it continues to inform national attitudes toward guns, authority and unfettered freedom. Exhaustively researched, Dead Run offers a stunning portrayal of an enduring Wild West landscape, where the American spirit is most boldly and confusingly, even tragically, lived.

Evoking Into the Wild and The Monkey Wrench Gang, Dead Run is the extraordinary true story of three desperado survivalists, a dangerous plot, a brutal murder, and a treacherous manhunt.

 

On a sunny May morning in 1998, three friends in a stolen truck passed through Cortez, Colorado on their way to commit sabotage of unspeakable proportions. Evidence suggests their mission was to blow up the Glen Canyon dam. Had they succeeded, the structure's collapse would have unleashed a 500-foot-high inland tsunami, surging across the American Southwest and pulverizing everything in its path—crashing through the Grand Canyon, overflowing Hoover Dam, washing away downstream communities and crippling the water supply of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Diego.


Instead, the truck was pulled over by an unsuspecting small town cop and the outlaws opened fire. After shooting him twenty times, they blasted their way past dozens of police cars and vanished into 10,000 square miles of the harshest wilderness terrain on the North American continent. The pursuit that ensued pitted the most sophisticated law enforcement technology on the planet against three self-trained survivalists. Seventy-five local, state, and federal police agencies; dozens of swat teams; U.S. Army Special Forces and more than five hundred officers from across the country followed the fugitives into a landscape only they could survive. 

 

Nine years later the last of the fugitives was finally accounted for, but what really happened to them remained shrouded in mystery. The first in-depth account of this sensational case, Dead Run is replete with overbearing local sheriffs, Native American trackers, posse’s on horseback, suspicion of police cover-ups, rumors of vigilante justice, and the blunders of the nation’s most exalted crime-fighters pursuing outlaws against the unforgiving backdrop of the Utah wilderness.

More than a thrilling crime story, Dead Run is also an examination of the seductive allure of outlaw culture in the West and how it continues to inform national attitudes toward guns, authority and unfettered freedom. Exhaustively researched, Dead Run offers a stunning portrayal of an enduring Wild West landscape, where the American spirit is most boldly and confusingly, even tragically, lived.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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CHAPTER 1
 

OUTLAW TRAILS
Contrary to one’s first mental image, Four Corners does not form a box. Life here is not constrained. Rather, the Four Corners of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah form a cross and the lines stretch outward to an infinite western horizon. Viewed from a southwest perspective, it is an “X” on a map marking the location of a hard country, part real, part illusion.
In the blurring of that reality and illusion, glimpsed through the schlieren of superheated air shimmering above red rock canyon floors, is a heritage of guns, desperados
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Dan Schultz

  • DAN SCHULTZ is an award-winning journalist and business writer. He received his M.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota and worked as a reporter and feature writer for daily newspapers in Minnesota and Oregon covering crime stories before he began writing for magazines and television. Dan currently resides in Aspen, Colorado, where he assists his wife, Lynda, in managing the world-renowned independent bookstore Explore Booksellers
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    Dead Run

    The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West

    Dan Schultz

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    St. Martin's Griffin

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