Book takes deeper look at Colton Harris-Moore

Come April, the full story of the “Barefoot Bandit” will be laid bare.

Colton Harris-Moore, the Camano Island man indicted after an international crime spree, is the focus of a new book, “Fly, Colton, Fly: The True Story of the Barefoot Bandit.”

The book was written by Herald reporter Jackson Holtz, who has covered the case from its inception.

Harris-Moore, 19, is scheduled to stand trial in federal court July 11. He was arrested in the Bahamas a year before.

The book took Holtz about a month to write, he said. He wanted the opportunity to tell the full story from beginning to end — beyond the constraints of a daily newspaper.

The story of the Barefoot Bandit begged to be told in the context of the Pacific Northwest, he said. He sees Harris-Moore as an original Northwest criminal.

Holtz was one of the first journalists to write about Harris-Moore as the then-boy went from backyard nuisance to American outlaw folk hero, he said.

That first-hand experience made Holtz the perfect author for the topic, said Mark Chait, a senior editor at New American Library, a branch of the Penguin Group. There was a lot of interest in the story, but he picked Holtz for his objective writing style, Chait said.

“I have personally been fascinated by the Colton case for years,” he said. “The project appealed to me so much because (Holtz) is really just closer to the story and more knowledgeable than any other reporter in the country.”

While writing, Holtz said he strived to be fair to everyone involved in the case, including Harris-Moore himself, his victims and those responsible for bringing him to justice.

The book also explores the bigger social themes within Harris-Moore’s rise to fame and what his notoriety says about America today.

“I believe the book is top-notch crime journalism,” Chait said.

“Fly, Colton, Fly: The True Story of the Barefoot Bandit” goes on sale in bookstores nationwide in early April. Preorders are available online.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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