Colton Harris-Moore's Facebook fans (there are over 80,000 of them) have been expressing their disappointment that the teen fugitive, also known as the Barefoot Bandit, was captured and pleaded guilty, after two caper-filled years on the run.
The guys like him because he escaped from a halfway house, evaded police, stole cars and boats, and crashed planes. The women like him because he's a bad boy. And he's hot. And sensitive. Who wouldn't want to be Bonnie to his Clyde?
If you need to catch up on this real-life Catch Me If You Can character, here's the skinny: Harris-Moore escaped from a halfway house in 2008. Since then he's been suspected of stealing (aforementioned cars, boats, and planes) and committing a string of burglaries. Police dubbed him the "Barefoot Bandit" because he allegedly committed some of his crimes without shoes. (He wasn't wearing any when he was captured.)
And despite the lengthy manhunt, which culminated in a super-cool high-speed boat chase in the Bahamas, even the authorities had some respect (and maybe a bit of envy) for the Barefoot Bandit. Ellison Greenslade, commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, told the AP that Harris-Moore was "very eloquent, obviously a very intelligent young man."
This afternoon, the Barefoot Bandit pleaded guilty and is expected to be deported to the US to face prosecution.
Harris-Moore is likely to go down in history -- and up on the big screen -- like these other riveting young outlaws, who captured our attention.
- Clyde Barrow and his partner-in-crime (and in the bedroom) Bonnie Parker robbed banks and killed anyone who got in their way. They were dramatically killed by cops in a hail of bullets. Played by Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (Faye Dunaway played Bonnie).
- Butch Cassidy (real name Robert LeRoy Parker) and The Sundance Kid (real name Harry Longabaugh) were notorious bank and train robbers, and members of the Wild Bunch Gang (Cassidy was the leader). They stole lots of money and fled to South America, and were never captured. Played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- Billy the Kid (real name Henry McCarty) was an American frontier outlaw who was relatively unknown during his lifetime. He catapulted to fame when the sheriff who killed the 21-year-old desperado wrote a sensationalistic biography of his life. Legend has it that he killed 21 men, historians say it was more like 4. Played by Emilio Estevez in Young Guns.
- Jesse James and his brother Frank took up the Southern cause and joined a confederate guerrilla. Their exploits included looting a train, killing 22 of the 23 unarmed Union soldiers on board and scalping several. Robert Ford, another gang member, shot and killed Jesse and claimed a $10,000 reward. Played by Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James.
The difference between all these bandits and Harris-Moore, of course, is that he allegedly never hurt anyone. (His crimes all involved property.) But despite all his fine qualities, he's looking at 4 to 12 years in the slammer.
The Barefoot Bandit will be coming soon to a theater near you.
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