“Jerry McGahan knew how to create a new variety of apple. He knew how to hunt with an eagle. He knew how to catch a porcupine. But most of all, he knew how to live well, which meant he knew how to die well.”
For nearly a decade, a fugitive allegedly terrorized cabin owners in the Utah mountains. The story of what drove him into the mountains, and the months leading up to his capture:
“Knapp launched his first experiment in criminal solitude in September 2000: He stole a Toyota pickup, pointed it west, and didn’t stop driving until he hit Big Pine, California, on the eastern edge of the Sierras. Toothy granite peaks rim the town, a gateway to some of America’s most popular backpacking. Knapp ditched the truck on a dirt road, stripped it of its tools – and two pairs of binoculars – and walked into the backcountry.
“A few days later, a local hiker reported a suspicious man carrying a rifle near the Owens River. A warden from a nearby fish hatchery went to investigate, but while he was gone, his truck and a hatchery building were broken into. Missing were his boots, $3 in change, and maps of the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley National Park. Local cops were put on alert.”