On September 6, 1992, two young hikers from Anchorage arrived at the old Fairbanks city bus #142, a makeshift shelter located on the Stampede Trail, twenty-five miles west of Healy. They immediately noted a stench emanating from the bus. A red leg warmer swung from an alder branch near the vehicle’s rear door. A note taped to the door terrified the hikers. It read:
S.O.S. I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU, CHRIS MCCANDLESS. AUGUST?
Krakauer, Jon. 1996. Into the Wild. Anchor Books. New York, New York.
Krakauer, Jon. 9-12-2013. How Chris McCandless Died. The New Yorker https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-chris-mccandless-died
Saverin, Diana. 12-18-2013. The Chris McCandless Obsession Problem. Outside Magazine.https://www.outsideonline.com/1920626/chris-mccandless-obsession-problem
Holland, Eva. 7-29-2019. Another ‘Into the Wild’ Pilgrimage Has Ended in Death. Outside Magazine. https://www.outsideonline.com/2400297/hiker-dies-into-the-wild-bus-chris-mccandless?itm_source=parsely-api
Holland, Eva. 6-28-2020. Alaska Airlifts ‘Into the Wild’ Bus Out of the Wild. Outside Magazine. https://www.outsideonline.com/2415017/alaska-airlifts-wild-bus-out-wild?
Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, Karluk Bones, and Massacre at Bear Creek Lodge. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.
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