We were still at home, trying to find out what was going on by
telephone when the police arrived. In several cars, blue lights
flashing everywhere. Then others showed up, civilian vigilantes
after the Wild Bigfoot Threat to Decent Folk. Soon there must
have been 50 people there, most of them with guns. It got
The story got pretty twisted as well. We heard different versions,
such as that Adam was attempting to rape Melly and Peter had
heroically defended her honor and of course who could fight a monster
like that without a gun? The most common supposition being that
Adam was jealous of Peter and had come to Big George's for a
showdown and that Peter had grabbed a "luckily handy" pistol in
The only consistent feature in the stories was the gun: there HAD
been a gun fired. There were also several reports of blood dripping
from Adam, confirming that it was he who had been shot.
The police were saying that Adam had resisted arrest, assuming that
he was therefore guilty of something. But they weren't sure of what,
perhaps the attempted murder of Peter--or even Melly!
Elaine was trying to call Melly's cell phone, but there was no
response there. I was telling reporters "No comment". Police were
walking around with high-powered rifles. A shot went off behind
the house and everybody ran around to see what had happened.
It was a deputy with a shotgun. He was flashing a light into the
woods. "I thought I saw him," he said with excitement in his voice.
I went up to that deputy and kneed him in the crotch. He went down
and I took the shotgun as he fell. "You son of a bitch!" I
screamed at him, "What if it HAD been him? You're no jury! Get
out of here, all of you! Get! Go!" Then I noticed that the
other policemen had their weapons pointed at me, so I unloaded the
shotgun and tossed it from me.
Chief Chesterson considering arresting me for obstructing the law,
but he agreed that the officer had been completely out of line by
firing at anything that moved and we all tried to cool down.
I then reminded them that they had no warrant, that Adam was my
legally adopted son and a human being, not some wild animal, that
they were behaving like wild animals themselves and were a danger
to the safety of my family. I threatened to sue the policeman
who fired the shot and alluded that the IPR Center would back me
up with legal clout and ordered all of them to leave immediately.
"Well, what if Adam comes back here tonight?" Chesterson asked.
"If he does I don't want any gun crazy sasquatch hunters hanging
"You know, Art, if Adam has gone bad, you and Elaine could be in
"Not from Adam. He's my son! I don't believe any of this shit
I've heard tonight, everybody's just GUESSING. If he's wounded,
he'll be scared, he needs help and we want to give it to him. But
if your goons hang around he'll never come in. So go away!"
I tried to sound very calm, reasonable and logical. "Look, if he
does come in, I'll bring him in myself. He'll come, he's a good
kid. I wouldn't be surprised if someone scared him into running by
overreacting in the first place. Go home everybody, we'll handle
it from this end. Thank you, good night."
Melly finally called us from the hospital. It was hard to
understand what she was saying, she was crying so much and seemed
confused, as if under the influence of a drug. We picked up that
she had been at the party and Adam showed up, looking into the
window at her and Peter having sex. She was obviously feeling so
guilty about what had happened that she was being ruthlessly
honest about it all.
You've read her version of the incident in the precious chapter,
so you know more than we did after trying to decipher her story
through all the sobbing and babbling. But we managed to comprehend
enough of it to get the major points of what had happened: that
Peter had deliberately shot Adam; that Adam had hit Peter, who was
maybe dead; and that Adam was gone, his blood everywhere.
Melly was almost hysterical, so we didn't press her for details
over the phone just then, even though Elaine was getting just as
upset as Melly. We concentrated on worrying about Adam, stayed up
Every so often I would go out and call his name. I wasn't sure
that there weren't some police hiding in the woods, or worse yet
some vigilantes, so it was with mixed feelings that I called him,
afraid of leading him into a trap.
The next day the news media went insane:
BIGFOOT BERSERK! WILD WILDMAN OF THE WOODS!
There were television crews out here to interview us. I carefully
spoke with them and the police about establishing a sane approach
to the situation. I took leave from work, spent the whole day
trying to find out what I could about what had actually happened,
Peter's condition and about the gun.
"If Adam is the villain here," I was asking everyone, "why did
Peter just happen to be ready with such a high-powered pistol?"
I was busy, functioning with a purpose, but all the time, in my
mind, I was Adam: bleeding and hurt and frightened, clawing my way
through brush and berry vines, staggering faster than a normal man
can walk or even run, but hurt, hurt. Up into the cool Cascades,
that's where I'd go. Not to Hacienda Forest, that's where they'd
look for me. Up to the snow line, I'm a sasquatch, I like the cold.
Up to where it's clean, away from stinking lying humans and their
Back at our end of the world, Peter did not die after all, so Adam
was not a murderer. And Melly gave sworn testament that it was
Peter who had deliberately planned to kill Adam with the pistol
he had hidden under the bed, unknown to her. She also swore that
Peter had aimed at Adam as he was leaving, not attacking, so that
Peter began beating her to provoke Adam into protecting her and
then Peter shot Adam in cold blood. He would have finished Adam
off with a shot in the head if Melly hadn't distracted him and
then Adam hit Peter once in self-defense. It was Peter who was
guilty of attempted murder, not Adam.
The pistol was a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle Mark II, one of the most
powerful handguns available, registered to Felix Sinsley, who had
to admit that Peter had borrowed it for the weekend, but only for
target practice. However, once the police found extra bullets in
Peter's jacket pocket, each scored on the tip for maximum lethal
spread, there was little doubt of premeditation.
But no one knew why. Not even Felix Sinsley, who was quoted in
Newsweek: "My son knew that bigfoot had it in for me, but I never
thought he would go this far to solve MY problem."
Peter himself was not talking. He had been in a coma and remained
so for over two months. When he finally did awaken to the world
again he could not speak, nor did he appear to understand what was
being said to him.
He had multiple broken ribs and sternum, having been hit square in
the chest by one blow from a 527-pound sasquatch's fist. There had
been massive internal bleeding and he had not died only because
the hospital had kept him alive.
Peter was not exactly a vegetable when he was released from the
hospital. He was not speaking, although he seemed to understand
what was said to him. He could hobble along and he could eat
food. He was like a baby, or fate being what it is, an animal.
Melly came to see us. When she told us what had happened, we all
ended up crying. She spared herself no criticism for her part in
the episode. When she left Elaine and I were both concerned about
her, she wanted to atone and sacrifice so badly that we were afraid
that she might do something drastic to herself.
We missed Adam and worried about him, but none of us believed him
to be dead, although we had to admit that it was possible.
It was certain that he had indeed been shot, many witnesses had
observed that and there had been blood on his trail as far as the
local police could follow it. But then he had run up into the
Cascades, too far and too fast for anyone to follow or track him,
using creeks and rivers to throw off any pursuit. It didn't seem
like a dying man could do those things and since no one knew how
badly he had been wounded, we kept hoping that he was basically
We didn't understand exactly why Adam was running away until we
found out that other shots were fired that evening as well.
There were several guns at that party, Big George's friends were
the tough element around Monroe and they all knew that Adam was
there to cause trouble for Peter, so that made him fair game once
the shooting started. Big George fired at least three shots at
Adam, but couldn't take proper aim in the stampeding crowd and
missed. And when local police officers arrived to investigate
gunfire at the party, they were told that the local bigfoot had
gone crazy, so when they saw Adam staggering toward his car
parked just inside the city limits, they got excited and shot
at him too. Naturally, why not?
Several witnesses had also reported that Adam had actually tried
to surrender to the police when they called out to him, but that
at least one of the vigilantes had dropped to one knee and fired
at Adam, who was already standing still with his hands up. So
Adam ran again and then a few other policemen also opened fire
Of course Adam was running: he was being hunted by everyone, even
policemen, who were shooting first and asking questions later.
I really became an outraged citizen about then. Monroe Police
Chief Chesterson was also enraged about the incident, especially
after it was confirmed that Peter was the guilty party, not Adam.
I got pretty hot, tried to ascertain the names of all those who
had shot at Adam, civilian or police, but nobody was talking. I
was certain one of them had to be Felix Sinsley, but no, he was
working a night shift on the switch yard in Everett that evening,
so he was innocent for once.
The events of that evening became public entertainment on the
national level for weeks. Time, Newsweek, Sixty Minutes, all major
television networks wanted to do feature stories about the latest
Adam Leroy Forest drama.
They were especially after Melly--"the blond and beautiful
daughter of tragically killed Academy Award winning actress Sally
Rathers..." The scandal tabloids were quite interested in the
"jealousy" angle between Peter and Adam and speculated about an
"unnatural erotic" relationship between the "beautiful young
blond girl" and the "huge hairy half-human brute". What they
really wanted was an "exclusive expose" about something so
SHOCKING as a "bestial" inter-species affair. Fortunately, Melly
composed herself enough to stick with the "Big Twin Brother" story
line, for which there was so much confirmation, or they would have
made a big media scandal out of her feelings for Adam.
Even so, we did get some anonymous hate-mail from white supremists
who took umbrage about “reports” they had heard of how “That Hairy
Animal” had been seen being “naked and obviously intimate” with
Melly, making threats against Adam if he ever showed up again. It
seemed that someone in the Naked Lake crowd had said too much,
whether deliberately or by a slip of the tongue we never learned.
However, most of the mail we got was supportive.
I took advantage of the media's interest to get some air time and
make public statements to the effect that Adam was not a dangerous
animal but a large boy who had been shot, an innocent victim, who
was frightened and hurt. "Do not shoot him again," I insisted and
asked that any information be channeled to the IPR Center at the
University of Washington, which was sponsoring a search.
Again and again, I tried to call Adam's cell phone without result,
although after several weeks I hardly expected to come through,
his battery had to be dead long before then. But I thought: what
if he'd turned off his phone to save the battery, planning to turn
it on when he came near a relay tower again? Even though I knew
that if so he would have called us first thing. But I still kept
on trying anyway.
I found out that Felix Sinsley had taken two weeks off work and
gone up into the Cascades on a hunting trip. He had three friends
with him and they all had high-powered rifles. It was not hunting
season. I waited anxiously for them to return. But when they did
return there was no way of knowing if they had found Adam or not,
they certainly wouldn't tell anyone if they had.
But a week later, Elaine saw Sinsley prowling around our house with
a rifle in his hand. That frightened her, but he did not come
inside or bother her in any way. He only looked into the windows,
decided that Adam was not home and then left.
I called the police about that, took him to court for attempted
assault and trespassing, but could not press charges of armed
threat because he had not aimed the rifle at us. The court fined
him $50 and that was that.
But at least I knew that Sinsley had not found Adam on his hunting