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Episode 20 - Craigslist Scams and the Bike Batman
craigslist.com, you know it, I know it. It’s one of the largest sites in the world and I would bet that most of us, have bought or sold items from craigslist or at least know people that have. Internet marketplaces like this are a great resource. Need affordable furniture? Craigslist. Need a magician for a party. Craigslist. Need a job, concert tickets, a car, that rare, 1st pressing vinyl of Brand New’s 1st record? It’s all on craigslist. But with everything good, simple and convenient about craigslist, there’s also that small voice in the back of your head. What if this is a scam? What if this faceless person is selling me something stolen?
Because it’s so easy and accessible, so much could go wrong. For example, there’s this guy Robert, lives in Jacksonville, Oregon and he came home from work one day to a line of cars at his house and about 30 people on his property, packing almost everything he owned into their cars. Someone had stolen tools, his swing on the front porch and even his horse. He started confronting people, screaming what are you doing? This is my stuff! This is my house. He was told about this ad, on craigslist that had his address on it saying that robert was being forced to leave and everything had to go. For Free. First come first serve. If you can take it, it’s yours. Robert had never been on craigslist and knew nothing about it, but thousands of dollars in property was taken that day. The legal team at Craigslist was able to trace the ads and a couple was arrested 5 days later. Turns out, this married couple had actually earlier that week stolen horse saddles from Robert’s barn and to cover up their robbery, they posted the ad on craigslist. It was a pretty sinister hoax, but robert ended up getting most of his stuff back by the people that unknowingly stole from him that day.
Today on the show, stories like this one, going deep into craigslist to find the scams, hoaxes, criminals and the people that aren’t putting up with it
This is PNWcast, you’re listening to Episode 20
Episode 16 - What I saw at the Bernie Rally
I have a few quick disclaimers before I start this episode: PNWcast is a region specific podcast covering history and culture in the Pacific Northwest. The story I'm bringing you today is technically political and current, so it's a little different, but I think it's relevant. To be clear, this episode is in no way making a political statement or telling you who to vote for, but strongly encourages you vote and have open conversations about this year's election. Also, the scene this story draws from is in Spokane, Washington which is technically the inland northwest. I've already received emails correcting me geographically when it comes to what's included in the Pacific Northwest, so if you were about to shoot over another email, you don't have to, we're good. Also, this episode includes some pretty heavy material that might be triggers for some people along with brief uncensored language and strong derogatory phrases.
In this election we have Kasich, Cruz and Trump running for the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic. The presidential hopefuls have been making their rounds around the country, stopping in most large cities holding these rallies where supporters can get together and hear the candidate speak. The democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders made his stops through Washington last week and I wanted to see what he was about so I attended the Rally in Spokane, Washington....along with 10,000 other people.
The scene was unreal. Bernie Sanders was scheduled to speak at 9pm, but the people at the front of the line showed up at 7am. I showed up at around 4pm and had to walk down the line through riverfront park a little over half a mile. Eventually the line would be close to a mile long. There was this energetic vibe through the whole park, there were performers, there were cheers and singing, there was music, and everyone felt something, like something big.
Among the 10,000 attendees, was this guy. His name is Adam Gregory, he's a photographer in spokane. He went down to the Bernie Rally to take some pictures and witness the spectacle. He had no idea that he about to capture some of the most real and raw photos of his career.
Episode 14 - The Golden Spruce Tree
There was a forest in Port Clements on the Queen Charlotte Islands off the Beautiful British Columbia shoreline. This forest was home to the only Giant Golden Spruce in the world. This tree was sacred to the natives and it was the source of many myths and stories. The locals on the island embraced the tree and it brought tourists from all over. It was even part of the town’s logo. Walking through the forest by the Yakoun River you would be surrounded by green sitka spruce trees all around you, with just one towering above the rest that, because of a rare mutation was glowing a bright gold. As if each branch were a string of holiday lights. People who have seen it have called it a real life fairy tale tree. This is the story of the man who cut that tree to the ground and has been missing for almost 20 years.
His name is Grant Hadwin. If you get lost in the comment sections of some of the articles written about Grant Hadwin, you’ll see people refer to him as eccentric. An unstable, loud, drunk. An unemployed loser. An asshole. However, there’s a side to each story. Looking at Grant, you would see a tall, fit, chiseled man who came from an educated family in West Vancouver. A man that has outran grizzly bears, gone swimming in thirty five degrees below zero weather, he even once disappeared without telling anybody
Now, just to be clear, it's not like Hadwin just lost his cool one day and arbitrarily cut this tree down. He spent a long time writing letters and appealing to every public outlet, government agency, he contacted everyone up certain chain of commands that he could. He wrote to the Vancouver Sun to try and create awareness, Greenpeace to ask for help, even the police. Ultimately, after his letters went nowhere, falling on deaf ears.
On January 20th 1997, Grant Hadwin swam across a river with a chainsaw, walked up to the Golden Spruce and fell the revered tree. This act left the entire local community stunned. There was outrage, threats, tears and Grant was arrested at first.
Hadwin was given a court date to plead his defense on February 18th 1997 in Masset, British Columbia. There were rumors going around that he wouldn't live to see his hearing, that some people wanted him dead. Because of that, he told acquaintances that he didn't feel safe riding the ferry to Masset and he wanted to take his kayak. After he left Port Clements in his boat heading north up the inlet, he was never seen again.
In June 1997, the wreckage of Hadwin's kayak was found on Mary Island, 70 miles northwest of Prince Rupert. Because Hadwin was known to be an expert in wilderness survival, some believe that he faked his own death and vanished into the wilderness. His ultimate fate is unknown.
Grant Hadwin's case is still considered open, and people still have very strong feelings about what he did 20 years ago in one way or another. What do you guys think? Can we justify Grant's actions or is what he did worthy of punishment and hatred? Let me know what you think.
Episode 13 - 26 Dresses
This whole adventure started when one man saw a stranger dumping boxes of wedding gowns, ball gowns, and bridesmaid dresses into a dumpster. He took the dresses and being a photographer, started taking incredible landscape shots with himself as the subject wearing these dresses. The pictures were a big hit and people started sharing them on Facebook, and buying prints of the shots. The Facebook page he made for his photography had a good number of followers, people liked this art, a dude in a wedding dress. He decided to use that base as a platform, seemingly out of nowhere thought to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and he told his followers, "I’ll do it in these wedding dresses." People loved it, they supported the trip and even donated some dresses for him to wear, in one case a $3,000 used Vera Wang. He set out with 26 dresses and planned to wear each one throughout the 2600 mile walk.
This is the story of a man that goes by the name of Train.
Click Here for more information on The Pacific Crest Trail Association.
Episode 11 - The Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist
In 1963, over $160,000 worth of ore—easily half a million dollars in today’s currency—was stolen from under the nose of one of the largest mining companies in Canada in a massive Yukon silver heist. The theft would lead to a costly year-long investigation by the rcmp, and a series of expensive trials of record-breaking length for the territory. One of the two men ultimately charged with the crime—Gerald “Gerry” H. Priest (1927-2006)—would never admit to his guilt publicly, not even to his own daughter. A Rock Fell on the Moon is a rollicking memoir from that daughter, journalist Alicia Priest. In spirited prose, she relates her own investigation into what really happened all those years ago. In its heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, Elsa, yt—300 miles north of Whitehorse— was the site of the second richest silver mine in Canada. Gerry Priest, Chief Assayer for the local mine, was a clever man who could as easily carry the role of refined gentleman as he could rustic cowboy, and was adored by his wife and two daughters. In June of 1963, Gerry inexplicably uprooted his young family from their bucolic life in Elsa to a cramped basement suite in East Vancouver, promising it was just a pit stop on the way to an idyllic life on a ranch in the Alberta foothills. Two months later, Gerald would be arrested by the RCMP.
You can find information about Alicia and the book by visiting www.aliciapriest.com or www.harbourpublishing.com/author/AliciaPriest
All author proceeds from sales of A Rock Fell on the Moon: Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist will go to two organizations that Alicia Priest enthusiastically supports. ALS Canada will receive funds for continued research into finding a cure for ALS. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society will receive funds to further conservation efforts in the Yukon. If you buy a book, please indicate which of the two causes you wish your purchase to support.
Episode 6 - Nobuo Fujita
Finn J.D. John tells us the story of the man who conducted the first and only wartime aircraft-dropped bombing on the continental United States in 1942.
20 years later, this man would be brought back to the city he tried to destroy to become an honorary citizen. This is the story of Nobuo Fujita.
Episode 5 - York
When you think about the history of The Pacific Northwest, you might think about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This the story of the only African American on the tour and his incredible impact to the exploration of the Northwest.
Episode 4 - The Three Kichi
Three young sailors from Japan boarded a rice merchant ship for work in 1832. After being stranded at sea for over a year, they find themselves washed to shore on what is now Cape Flattery, Washington. This makes them the first Japanese people to step foot on the Pacific Northwest.
But that's just the beginning.
Episode 3 - The Tea Bus
This episode was a pleasure to make. Talking with Giuseppe was refreshing. His views and practices are nice to hear about. Plus, I just love old buses and free tea. So win-win.
Episode 2 - Helga Estby
My friend Steve is walking across the country with his goat and I think that's awesome. There are alot of people who do this but on today's show, I want to tell you about Steve, his goat and Helga. I think you'll like it.
Episode 1 - PNWcast
This is a short tale to introduce the podcast. It might not be a great idea to start the whole show with a different format than the rest of the season. But who cares? I barely know what I'm doing here. :)