Published: October 2008A Modern Western

The Strange Legend of the Four Corners Fugitives

Ten years ago, a band of survivalists roared through a small town in the southwest, guns blazing, then vanished into the wilderness. as David Roberts discovers, authorities may have closed the case, but its greatest mysteries remain unsolved.

Text by David Roberts
Photo-Illustration by Marc Yankus

Shortly after 9 a.m. on May 29, 1998, 45-year-old police officer Dale Claxton drove into Cortez, Colorado. A teletype bulletin had alerted him that the day before, a big white water truck had been stolen near Ignacio, some 65 miles to the east. Claxton realized now that the same truck was driving slowly down County Road 27, just ahead of him. The thieves had blacked out the Overwright Trucking logo on the door, but for some reason had not bothered to remove or change the license plates.

Claxton, a former tire salesman who had joined the force three years before after a religious conversion, radioed headquarters: "That Mack Truck that was reported stolen this morning? I'm behind it." Still, he did not turn on his siren or lights.

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  • Also, why did the fugitives steal a water truck? I think they did so that the law would come after t…
  • The article states that the police and the FBI thought the fugitives were planning something big, su…
  • What are the four continents called the four corners ?
  • I was trying to pass through Bluff right after the murder and what a scene it was. Cop cars, choppe…
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