For those of you who have been following my blog since my first book, Rampage along Route 66, this blog post is for you. You may remember that my book was about a cross-country crime spree where a life-long felon fleeing a murder of a young schoolgirl in Los Angeles, killed two Arizona Highway Patrolmen near Houck, AZ, and then flagged down a young Missouri couple and ended up kidnapping them. They were driven to a mining area NW of Gallup, NM where they were both shot in the back of the head. The wife survived and, because she was able to make it to a farmhouse for help, a description of their stolen VW was broadcast and the Grants, NM police spotted and chased the car, ending the crime spree in a lava field southeast of Grants in a hail of bullets.
Just two weeks ago, I was contacted by Doug Fields, the nephew of the Gallup murder victim Jim Brown. He found out about my book and contacted me. Even though he was only eight at the time, he gave me a great accounting of what his dad and grandparents did when they were informed of his uncle’s murder. They had a police escort across four states to Gallup, and there they visited his aunt in the hospital, went to the morgue to identify Jim’s remains, and made arrangements for the body to be transported to Missouri for the funeral. The McKinley County Sheriff’s Office also took them out to view the scene of the crime just off of Mentmore Road north of the Puerco River.
I always wondered what happened to the bullet-ridden Volkswagen that, as one of my viewers described, had been converted from a German car to Swiss by the Grant’s officers. Doug told me that the family decided they did not want the car returned, nor did they want it to be put on display like the infamous Bonnie and Clyde death car. So, his dad went to Grants and made arrangements for the car to be crushed by a scrap metal recycler.