Lifelong fans of true crime stories Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite tales of murder and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans.
Thu, 16 Mar 2023 07:01
This week, Georgia covers "The Bandit Queen" Pearl Hart and Karen tells the Mount St. Helens eruption survival story of Dave Crockett.
For our sources and show notes, visit www.myfavoritemurder.com/episodes.
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And welcome to my favorite murder. That's Georgia Hardster. That's Karen Killgareth. And we're here to report the news. How does it go? Breaking. Today, yeah, you're right. That's 50s news today. Actually, what's funny is right before we got on, my sister called me and was like, did you hear Gavin Newsom just made a move where California will not have contracts with Walgreens, drugs anymore because they're not selling the abortion pill. Amazing. Amazing. We're making big, big, big moves against the nothing. We'll fucking tell them what's up except their bottom line being fucked with. So we got to fuck with bottom lines. We got to not be consumers at places that don't treat humans like humans. And that are trying to kill women. Yeah. We cannot this, this idea that someone else's moral judgment is somehow going to dictate medical terms for women in this country is absolutely ridiculous. And if you are a woman, you got to fight it. And if you're a man who gets women pregnant, you got to fight it. And if you're the kind of man who's not interested in women, could you please help us fight it because it's absolutely dire to this point where over in South Carolina, they're trying to actually execute women for not only having abortions, but for miscarry. Yeah. And you cannot control a thing that happens in your body. And they're trying to execute women for it. Just the suggestion of it is so craving and disgusting. But the pure ignorance too of thinking that somehow we are responsible for what our bodies automatically do. But also these just like, and somehow men aren't fucking responsible as well for the predicaments that these women who need abortions get themselves into. How is it? How are you that fucking stupid? It's this very convenient editing that has always happened in this conversation. It's women's health, women's bodies, women's this, women's that pregnancy is a, it takes two to tango in that situation. Men are involved. They're responsible. They need to fucking stand up. What a time. It just feels like the crunch is the crunch is on. But at least, you know, in California, they're actually taking steps. I really, that makes me feel really good. I can't imagine living in one of these states where I am being targeted, you know, by, by my own government. I can't imagine how fucking scary that must be. There's poor women in South Carolina. Although. So if we're going to, you know, that's a tough thing to start this podcast off with. But let's actually talk about good news and true crime. Oh, which at this point, everybody, not, not just people who listen to true crime, not just, not just us. But like people that I've like, wait, what are you talking about? Everyone now knows Alex Murdo. He's going to fucking jail for the murder of his wife and his son. So crazy. And. Yeah. Hey, what's up, Mandy Matney? I bet it feels pretty fucking good to be you right now and Liz Farrell. Yeah. Congratulations to Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell who have been reporting on this and trying to break the story and breaking the story since day one. That's right. There are podcasts. There are murderers, right? And I'm sure they have a lot to say about it. So go listen to that. Check that out. Check it out and gigantic high fives to them because oh my god. Yeah. Like they must be elated and thrilled and they had a piece of that. There are a reason, a reason it happened. That's so fucking cool. I'll have a book recommendation real quick if we're. Yeah. So I'm listening to this book and I can't put it down. It's called A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James and it takes place in Jamaica in the 70s. So all this crazy turmoil is going on and it's written from a bunch of perspectives including like a ghost and like Bob Marley and people who are trying to kill Bob Marley and like in the CIA maybe and all this like the stuff that I had no I didn't know about because there's a lot of factual stuff in it. It's really fascinating. Oh good. I'm listening to it. I highly recommend it. A history of seven killings. Great. But Marlon James. Awesome. That's a good recommendation. Yeah. That's nice. Are you first? Yeah. Are we ready? Oh, we have to do exactly right corner. I'm sorry. That was so fast. Hey, over on I saw what you did, they recently released their 100th episode and this week their double feature includes close encounters of the third kind, incredible movie and all that jazz. So check out. I saw what you did and see what the connection is between those two movies. I've seen both of these movies and I would love to know what the connection is between both of them. And then this week over on I said no gives Bridger's guest is comedian and actor Ginger Gonzaga who's currently part of the She Hulk attorney at law television show over on Disney Plus written by friend of the show Jessica Gow very talented a wonderful woman who it's just exciting when someone gets her gets to run her own show. So rad. And over in the MFM store we have restocked the fuck you. I married joggers that are just a fan favorite. I have a pair that are really comfortable and they make you laugh every time you put them on. So go to my favorite murder.com to get yourself a pair of those if you want or you can get my fuck you. I'm single, fuck you. I'm blank and you can sharpie in whatever you want. We have all those. You can do fuck you. I'm on the fence. Fuck you. I'm in a situation ship. It's your life. It's your life. Did you pick that up just now? No, oh god no, no, no. Oh, I've never heard that. I love it. No, that's me copying the children's TikTok. Ah, got it. 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I have so much peace of mind when I can just pull up a camera that's pointed outside in various places and check and see if there's actually a threat going on or a cookie's just losing her mind. Yeah, it makes me feel so good. I just feel safe at home now easily. It's awesome. So customize the perfect system for your home in just a few minutes at SimplySafe.com slash Fave. Go today and claim a free indoor security camera plus 20% off your order with interactive monitoring. That's SimplySafe.com slash Fave. There's no safe like SimplySafe. Goodbye. Life is short and it's full of a lot of interesting questions. What is happiness really mean? How do I get the most out of my time here on Earth? And what really is the best cereal? These are the questions I seek to resolve on my weekly podcast Life is short with just and long. If you're looking for the answer to deep philosophical questions like what is the meaning of life? I can't really help you. But I do believe that we really enrich our experience here by learning from others. And that's why in each episode I like to talk with actors, musicians, artists, scientists and many more types of people about how they get the most out of life. We explore how they felt during the highs and sometimes more importantly the lows of their careers. We discuss how they've been able to stay happy during some of the harder times. But if I'm being honest, it's mostly just fun chats between friends about the important stuff. Like if you had a sandwich named after you, what would be on it? Follow Life is short wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen to ad free on the Amazon Music or Wondering app. All right. Yes, I am first. That is correct. Okay. So sit back, hold on to your bridges. Here we go. Today I'm going to tell you the story of a very unique woman who stands alone in the history of the American West. This is the story of one of the last stage coach robbers of the Old West Pearl Hart, the lady bandit. Thank you. Do you know her? No, this is just what this is what I wanted to hear right now. This is going to do it for me. Sit back. Like I said, if you got bridges, hold on to them. Like I said, the main source using today's episode is the book Wild Cat by John Bois Necker. This book seems to be the most comprehensive and factual biography of Pearl Hart that's out there because there's a lot of misinformation that she herself spread. So even her Wikipedia isn't completely true. So this book Wild Cat is the best. The other sources are in the show notes. So little background on Pearl Hart. Pearl Hart is born actually as Lily Naomi Davy on April 19, 1871, your favorite year. Oh, that's when all the great sasperulas were being brewed. She was born in Lindsay, Ontario in Canada. So she's a Canadian. Sure. For the sake of our story, I will refer to her as Pearl throughout, but she doesn't start using that alias until adulthood. She's one of nine children and her childhood is chaotic and traumatizing. Her father is in the abuse of alcoholic and is in and out of prison, repeatedly for violent crimes. Her mother is like all accounts of very kind and loving parent who cares a lot about her kids. But when you have nine of them and you're raising them on your own, there's not a lot you can get to, you know? You know, it's hard to get to each one every single day. That's right. You know, my dad is one of nine. Wow. Home gym had eight brothers and sisters. Yeah, pretty legendary. Yeah. That's why the volume level is so high above normal people. It's necessary yelling all day long. Right. You have to go one app every time you want to like get louder than someone else and you have eight of them to speak above. Jesus. Yeah, you have a din of eight all the time naturally. Yeah. So you just have to get it. You have to really expand your diaphragm and really get your voice, sir. Wow. Okay. So Pearl and her siblings quickly figure out how to take care of themselves. They learn that petty theft means more food on the table. First of all, Pearl is arrested for the first time when she is just 11 years old for this crime. It's brilliant. She steals a cow, sells that cow for $9, steals the cow again from the first buyer and then sells it to another buyer for $30. So, you know, it's just profit. That's how Bitcoin works. Just profit over profit. You know, stack those dollars. OG pyramid schemes. Hell yeah, this one more point in Pearl's column. That's right. I'm not going to say that's the only cop because her brother who helped her pull off this scheme is discovered stealing a watch a few days later and identified. She doesn't get in a major trouble yet, but the scene is set. Pearl is clever, confident and not too bothered by a life of crime. Wait, are you saying her brother snatched on her to get out of his thing? Maybe or he got he got recognized as one of the two kids who did this and they made the connection that it was also his sister. Oh, got it. You know what I mean? Yes, got it. We're not going to call him a snitch automatically, but I just really do adore the idea of stealing a cow, selling it and then stealing it. It's really funny. During one of the wars, my family on my hardster side in Poland, one of the brothers would steal a horse and sell it to the other side. Yeah, the other army steal it back and sell it back to the other like the exact same thing. Yes, that's how you got to get food into your siblings mouths. You do what you got to do. You do what you got to do. So, as Pearl grows up, the family bounces south into the US, eventually landing in Rochester, New York, when Pearl is a teenager and life's super hard still for the large and pobbersh family in the 1880s and the girls and women especially can't catch a break. Almost every woman in the family is subjected to sexual abuse at some point, including Pearl. Mm-hmm. There's so much trauma baked into the fabric of this family, but for the siblings, especially the sisters, these hardster. No. Sorry. Terrible. These hardships bond them together, of course. Sure. Yeah. Pearl's relationship with her siblings are some of the most important in her life. In fact, when she's 13, she and her younger sister decide they want to run away to Buffalo, New York for better job opportunities since child labor was common at the time. So, like, a fucking 11 and 13-year-old can get a job, we'll say. This has been Pearl's first figures out that passing as a boy can keep her safe from unwanted attention and sexual advances. She cuts her hair, steals her brother's clothes, and it speaks under a boat dressed convincingly as a boy. Pearl and her sister immediately find work at a factory and they work on their own for two months. Wow. And then their mom tracks them down and drags them on home. But this story shows us how quickly Pearl figures out that gender norms at the time are not only restrictive but a liability and how easily she can slip between the worlds to get what she wants. These are some of my favorite stories of women basically making the best of bad circumstances and being like, fine, I will go fight in the war or I will go do all these things, just dress as a man because it's going to be that much easier. Yeah, absolutely. By age 16, Pearl is married to her first of many husbands. I all accounts, everyone who meets her is obsessed with her. She's very attractive, a great dancer and very funny. My researcher Sarah Blair Jenkins pointed out that she in the photos, she kind of has an Aubrey Plaza vibe. Oh. Just like that. Look in her eyes. She kind of looks like her. She's very pretty, that vibe, you know? She's like, she's pretty but she's staring at you like, I dare you to fuck with her. Yeah, exactly. You're like, oh yeah, I can see her robbing a fucking stage coach. That makes for a sense. She also falls in love really easily, doesn't have great taste in men. Hello, hi. It's, I'm the problem. It's me. Hi. Hello. What's up? She seems to have a thing for drinkers, gamblers and criminals. What's up? They're hot. I mean, and often gets caught up in their schemes or sufferers from abuse at their hands. But again, at the end of the day, Pearl is a woman who's determined to be in control of her own life. So she continues to fall for losers. She always though eventually leaves them typically to reconnect with her siblings. I mean, speaking of TikTok, I just saw a video on that of when we find those people, if we had rough childhoods, what we're finding is familiarity and affirmation of things like, it almost makes us feel normal again. Absolutely. So it's not your fault when you do stuff like that. imprinted into you of like, this is standard. This is what normal feels like. This is love, I have to earn love, and this is the only way through these negative things when it's just not, it's just been imprinted on your very young mind. Yeah, it's really sucks. Yeah. In 1887, Pearl and her sister had west for the first time to Chicago on a train car dressed in men's clothing. They get in trouble with the law, basically the whole time getting caught for petty theft, but also getting a lot of attention for their whole pretty girls dressed as boys thing, because people figured them out. They eventually end up back in New York, and from this woman forward, Pearl is always trying her best to head west. That's her goal. In the 1890s, Pearl officially takes on the alias Pearl Hart. At this point, she's doing sex work in Buffalo, New York, in part because there are so few jobs for women at the time, and the jobs that are available are usually meant for women that are more educated than Pearl. At the turn of the century, according to a quote pulled from the main source that I used, Wildcat, the book Wildcat. Buffalo is considered quote, one of the roughest and most dangerous towns in America. It is sewn with saloons and the Irish longshoremen love nothing more than a fight and the quote prostitutes numbered in the hundreds. Sure. I mean, everyone's doing what they need to do. Yeah. Fight or fun? Man, that's right. It works. Everyone is drunk. Everyone is smoking cigarettes now because they're a new thing, which I didn't know. Some people are starting to use opiates regularly. These people are called morphing eaters. Pearl Hart was the name of a popular madam who ran a brothel in Buffalo at the time, and it's possible that our Pearl, aka Lily Davy, might have been working for her and just like the sound of the name and took it on herself. But eventually, she's just too well known by police to continue living freely in the way she wants. So she finally starts her journey west via Ohio and Illinois, and she's not even 20 years old at this point. Oh, wow. So a life of adventure. It sounds like Pearl Mary's again in 1891, another second, abusive alcoholic, and then she's finally able to leave him for good. And so in 1893, she saves her money for a train ticket to Colorado and at 22 years old, finally takes off west. Nice. So the wild west is happening currently in this moment, and it's pretty fucking wild. So territories are turned into states. There's a real boom or bust mentality in areas that are being settled. Often, people are poor, hustling, and moving around a lot to hitch their wagon to the next big thing or town that's being built. Infrastructure can't keep up. Roads between cities and towns, which see a lot of traffic are poorly maintained, they're dangerous. And at the same time, the U.S. is still waging an unofficial war on indigenous people living in these areas. So there's not much comprehensive law enforcement, so bands about laws are basically running the show. And remember, almost everyone is fucking drunk because the alcohol is probably better than the water. Yeah, safer and more fun than the water. Yeah, exactly. So when it's drinking, smoking, and getting high all the time during this period. I mean, you'd kind of have to because like literally your feet are in three inches of mud all the time. Yeah. It's making me think of deadwood. It's pretty nasty. Things aren't pretty. This isn't back to the future volume three. No, this is deadwood season two. So violence, of course, goes with the territory. It's a way of life in the Old West, including with Pearl Hart. She ultimately ends up in Arizona, working as a sex worker again. After one of her ex-husbands comes out to Arizona looking for her, Pearl winds up falling back in love with him. So he introduces Pearl, the cigarettes and opiates, which will then from then on become a constant in her life. She also has two children with this man. They're raised by one of her sisters back east. She never reveals the names of her two children publicly. And our identities are still unconfirmed, which like what a fucking 23 and me DNA test reveal has that got to be? Oh, could you imagine? Right? You're just like some people are like, I'm Dutch Irish and it's like I'm fucking related to the biggest badass of all time. Seriously. So crazy. But one thing we know for sure, Pearl is still extremely close with her family despite her rough and tumble life out west and is in regular correspondence with them. Due to her crack down on sex work in some other more urban areas of Arizona and a desire to get away from her abusive husband again, Pearl heads to mammoth, Arizona in late 1898. And it's here in this small mining town where she gets really, really good at target shooting. Meth is also where she meets a man, another man called Joe Boot in January, 1899. I know. I knew that would be a Joe Boot in the Wild West. Oh, I'm stupid. Yeah. That's got to be a fake name. I know, right? Or like they just called him now because he had the biggest boots this side of the fucking Mississippi or what was his feet were super tiny? Oh, Joe Boots here. Hey, what's up? Hey, what's up? The booty. Oh, it says Joe Boot is not his favorite. He's real name. Oh, we guessed it. To this day, his true identity is not known. And there's really not a lot known about him. But we do know that he's 28 years old when he meets Pearl, who's also 28. And he and Pearl quickly become a couple. Joe Boot seems to have been the only man in Pearl's life who treats her really well. He's a little submissive and just does what she tells him to do, which is like, yeah, man, just fucking come on. There's not a problem. Yeah, go along with the plan. Yeah, can we have a moment? And they seem happy together for a time. So Pearl and Joe stick together. They bounce around mining towns in Arizona looking for odd jobs, eventually landing in a place called Globe. Here in the spring of 1899, Pearl gets a letter from her family back east telling her that her mom is really sick and maybe dying and that if Pearl ever wants to see her again, she better get home right away. And Pearl's own words she wrote quote, that letter drove me crazy. No matter what I had been, my mother had been my dearest, truest friend. And I've longed to see her again before she died. I have no money. I could get no money. From what I know now, I believe I became temporarily insane. And it seems that what she meant by temporarily insane is that she is about to make some really reckless choices to get quick cash. Yeah. So Pearl comes up with an idea to get that quick cash. It's not a check caching place. Is it trading a stolen cow twice? It's not that. Okay. 300 stolen cows. Oh. I'm not sure if you can get it. In May of 1899, the couple leave on horseback for Kane Spring Canyon between the towns of Globe and Riverside, Arizona. And here Pearl makes a consequential decision. She's going to rob a stage coach and Joe boot is gonna fucking help her. Yeah, Joe boot. Yeah. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit. Why don't we about stage coach robberies? Everyone's favorite pastime. In Arizona, there are at least 129 stage coach robberies between 1875 and 1903. And in most of these cases that the user never caught, a stage coach is probably what you're imagining when you imagine people traveling in the old west. They're kind of a wagon. But if you ever seen a Wells Fargo checkbook, there's a picture of a stage coach on it. Yes, please. It's that thing. I don't have to explain this to you. You guys are smart. Branding has taught you this already. That's right. You're not just a tanker's and you're smart and you know things. So that's what it is. But here's the other thing about it. So the driver of the stage coach who sits up to the top and makes the horses go, there's someone sitting next to him called a shotgun messenger. He carries a gun in order to guard any particularly like a valuable cargo. And that's why we call sitting in the passenger seat, sitting shotgun. Yeah. How can you believe it? I can. That's the best. I love that. It's from the old west riding shotgun. I love origins. What is it called? Yeah. Orgents. Oh, isn't there a special fancy language word for it? I bet so. Yeah. Language arenas would know. That's all right. Damn it. I know it. I want to say syntax, but it's not. Yeah. I know. I know you mean that Alejandra. Do you know? Alejandra, do you know? I wish I did. I got it. It's fresh. It makes me feel better that you don't know either. I'm going to keep thinking now. I'm going to reminate. Well, you go. I'm going to Google it. I'm going to go. Okay. Yes. Thank you. But don't say it before. I'm going to I want to pure guess before you give us the answer. Nomenclature? No. It's like that. Yeah. So if you're a bandit trying to rob a stage coach, you're going to want to target stage coach that doesn't have a shotgun messenger. So you don't get shot and killed. So Pearl and Joe, stakeout the stage coaches traveling through Cain Spring Canyon. And most of them don't have a guard on board. So they're in lock. The road they've chosen to stake out is described by a journalist of the day as quote one of the worst in the Southwest. It follows a creek bed. It's really steep and there's high clips around. On one cliff side, so many men painted the words, are you ready to meet your God? Oh, she says. Cool, dude. Very chill. Very chill. Hey, I'm just trying to go to Tempe. Jesus. Needless to say, this is a scary road. But on May 29th, 1899, it becomes even more frightening to a single stage coach when two seemingly male bandits step out from the roadside brush with their guns drawn. And with handlebar moustaches that are flapping in the wind because they're not real. Yeah. It's just has to be so obvious, right? I hope so. Obviously, it's Joe and Pearl. And she's dressed in her distinctive men's clothing. The robbery happens quickly. The driver stops. The three passengers climb out of the carriage when they're told Joe does most of the talking probably because Pearl's voice would give her away. One of the passengers later describes Pearl as wearing, quote, rough shirt and blue overalls. The latter tucked into core sputes that were plainly too large. Under the dirty cowboy hat, they showed a curler to of dark hair and the hands that definitely turned the pockets inside out were small and white. So they were maybe we're on to her. Yeah. She needs some gloves. Yeah. Work gloves. Yeah. That's right. So the thing throughout the robbery, when one of the men is slow to turn over his cash, she points her gun at him and says, cough up partner or I'll plug you. I'm sure she said it a lot better than that though. She said like this, like raising her shoulder a little time. Pro collects the money while Joe keeps his gun ready to shoot. She gets roughly $431 in total from the passengers, which in today's money, can I guess? Please. $431 in the late 1800s or as I like to call it, the turn of the century. $431. Today's money, $50,000? No. 14,000. Oh. And being greedy. After she robs them, she gives everyone back $1 so they can get something to eat at their next destination. Oh. Is that sweeter? Is that condescending? Here's $1 back. Well, but $1 back then was $99. That's right. And then Pearl and Joe right off into the hills and make their escape. They're caught almost immediately. Sorry to burst your mouth right over the right over the hill. Yeah, just people standing there. Oh, man. Damn it. The local, the local sheriffs on the hunt for the bandits as soon as the Rob Stage Coach makes it back to town, they follow their hoof prints, he syncs up on them and catches them while they're asleep. Joe goes quietly, but Pearl puts up a fight and then they're taken to jail. Pearl is furious about being captured, but she also quickly becomes famous. News of her arrests spreads and all over the country, people are enamored with this quote lady bandit. Journalists flock to the jail where she's kept writing article after article about her, making pictures of her, particularly of her dressed in men's clothes. And we'll put some in the photos on the social media post of this episode of this podcast here, this podcast episode. Pearl's on apologetic. She seems to love the attention. This is where she starts telling lies about her life and especially her childhood and spreading misinformation that lasts on her Wikipedia to this day. Etymology. Etymology. Etymology. Etymology. Oh my God. Thank you. Thank you. I was trying to simultaneously actively listen and get that fucking word before I'll wait Alejandra. Was I right? I thought it was something else. What do you think it was? I thought it would be Etym. Oh. Oh, and Etym is like basically like slang for something. So that's like saying don't put the car before the horse. What the history of the saying? The history of it is the etymology of it. Yes. Etymology is the study of the history of the former words. But it's also an idiom. Sitting shotgun is an idiom. Got it. So basically the etymology of sitting shotgun is the story you told us. Got it. We all did it. We all did it. We figured it out. We just took three smart people and we completely stopped your story. Sorry about that. That's okay. Not okay. So America loves the lady bandit. The lady bandit. They love her. In fact, someone loves her so much. A local admire brings Pearl Hart a Bobcat cub as a gift. And she must be really charming because the jailers let her keep it in her cell. Oh. I know. I know. There's a photo of her with her Bobcat in her jail cell. It's pretty fucking unbelievable. She gets away with almost everything. She's also starting to share some feminist views with the press, notably sharing in a famous interview with Cosmopolitan quote, I shall never submit to be tried under the law that neither I nor my sex had a voice in making. Oh, a fucking man. Excuse me. I think we've got a quote that everybody needs to say. That's might be our new shirt for real. That's right. Seriously, like no fucking way. No way. No way. One day a jailer enters her cell to bring Pearl, her morning dose of morphine, which I guess was a thing that they brought you back then. You got that in jail? I don't know. Maybe she was like addicted. I don't think that it was an issue then. I have a good one. Yeah, that makes sense. It wasn't that bad. It was a deal. Yeah. When he walks in, he sees a giant hole in the wall and a letter on the cot, Pearl's gone, aided by a fellow prisoner who escaped the day before. Authorities are embarrassed, but also kind of amused. There's more media sensation. The public is love's pearl heart. People even start to really consider the statements Pearl has said about feminism. Why should women be indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced based on laws? They didn't help right. But almost immediately, she's caught again while trying to hop a train and is returned to jail to prepare for her upcoming trial. The media continues to report on her extensively and soon everyone has an opinion. There's a few hiccups with the court, but in the end, the trial itself takes less than a day. Pearl has the jury eating out of the palm of her hand. She plays into their sympathies and says that she only robbed the stage coach because she needed money to visit her poor, sick, and dying mom. Which is true. That's saying it like that makes it sound like a lie. It's like something you came up with after the fact, yeah. Right. It ends up that while Joe Boot gets sentenced to 30 years in prison, Pearl, which in today's years is life. It is probably life, actually. If you're like 30, you're not going to live to 60. That's right. Not if you're on all that opium. That's right. Pearl gets five years. He gets 30 and she gets five. That's right. They're both sent to Yuma prison, which is perhaps the most notorious prison in the West until it was shut down in 1909. When she arrives in November of 1899, Pearl's the only woman convict at the prison. Oh, shit. During her time at Yuma Pearl starts to write poetry and read from the books in the prison library. She's not thriving, but she's doing okay. The guards stowed on her and before long, there are other women that are incarcerated at Yuma and she bonds with some of them. During their prison sentence, Joe Boot actually manages to escape and vanishes into obscurity and has never seen or heard from again. Another check, your 23 and me DNA tests people. Joe Boots, my granddaddy. There's some grandpa. There's some boring grandpa out there, you know, in the 19, whatever's who his grandkids are the most boring man in the world. It's fucking Joe Boot who robbed a stage coach with Pearl Hart. He's never told anyone. He was keeping it mom and he's keeping his tiny, tiny little feet hidden in the slippers. And that's why we do hometown episodes. So you can tell us the story about your wild, great grandfather. And so is Pearl. No, she got caught again and tried and took everything. Right, right, right. So there are also stories of Pearl trying to escape by seducing guards or other inmates to help her, but they're unverified. But of course, out of the public mystique. And there's even a rumor that her sex appeal is what leads to her early release and pardoned by the governor. But it actually seems that there was a smallpox scare in the prison. So they released several prisoners on good behavior. Yeah. So she got out. So three years after her famous crime, Pearl Hart is released from prison and starts new life on December 15th, 1902. She heads back to Kansas City to be with her mother and family. And it turns out that even though her mother's illness prompted this whole crime in the first place, her mom completely recovers and lives a long life. Oh, so that could have been maybe a bit of a fifth. Yeah. It doesn't seem like that was a fifth, but it just didn't happen that way. It wasn't as bad as the letter. Yeah. Or she survived. I mean, she just survived and thrived. She beat it because she was the mother of nine and nothing would kill her. That's right. Yeah. She took enough opium in it and she was fine. At this point, Pearl's story becomes a little hazy. Some accounts say she becomes an actress. Some say she runs a cigar store. And some say she continues life of crime. And it seems that she quickly drops the Pearl Heart alias. So it's hard to track her for sure. But we do know is that roughly 20 years after Pearl's released from prison and middle-aged woman visiting Tucson, Arizona walks into Pima County, jail, the county jail. And she asked to take a look around. And this request is unusual. So the guards ask her why and she replies, quote, I'm Pearl Heart and spent some time here about 25 years ago and I would like to see my old cell. She just randomly shows up 20 years later. Ooh. I just wrote a little story that she hid something like she had mine. She hid it in the wall or something like that. It's not your cell. You were just held there. Like there's nothing. Yeah. Isn't a jail cell a thing you never want to see again. So why would she be like, can I just look around? Maybe she was showing her kids or something. This is where mommy spends some time with the Bobcat. You know, Pearl. As you do. Pearl. They let her look around. She leaves and this is the last time that Pearl Heart publicly admits that she is Pearl Heart. She spends the rest of her life in complete obscurity. Most accounts suggest that she suffers from heart and lung complications, obviously due to her heavy cigarette and opioid use throughout her young life. She dies in 1935, surrounded by family and is buried in Rose Hills Memorial Park near Los Angeles under her real name, Lily Naomi Myers. She did end up getting to the West. Wow. Yeah. Her biographer, John Boisnecker, describes Pearl like this, quote, the vast majority of women in the 19th century did not have sexual relations outside of marriage. They did not smoke and they certainly did not use opium and morphine. They did not wear men's clothing, ride a straddle or carry six shooters. Pearl Heart broke all these taboos and then some. She swore smoked, drank, robbed, road hard, broke jail and used men with a band in the Old West. Never saw another woman like her. And that is the story of the Old West feminist icon and stage co-trauber Pearl Heart, the bandit queen. Fuck. Yes. I needed that story today. Yeah. Are we going to wish I had gone second or is your story? No, I got a pretty good one for you. Oh, all right. But I just want to say, Hell yes to Pearl Heart and all those doing that Pearl Heart thing out there. That's right. Let's all try to be a little more like Pearl Heart. We're going to have to be a little more like Pearl Heart coming up. Minus the opioids, please. Well, the opioids are just going to get you all murky on what the plan is. We need to stick to the plan. That's true. They just muddle. Drugs just muddle. Especially if you did watch Deadwood and see how hard but the lead woman who was so good in that show, it wasn't Carrie Kuhn. I never watched the show. Oh, it's so good. I know who's the lead in it? Is it Timothy Olofman? Yes, it is. I don't like him. What? He reminds me of an orange county bro in every fucking role he's in. Well, he has played a lot of orange county bros. No, you're right, but I can't get past it. Well, you're just sample on like HBO plus, just go sample the first episode because you will see he in this role. He is like the unwilling sheriff of Deadwood. And he has this kind of look in his eye. He is just, he's hotness, old West hotness personified. And then it's just a really good great show with some more swearing than this podcast. If you can believe it. Well, that's wild. We better try to beat that. We better ramp it up. Yeah, that's it. We've been secretly competing with Deadwood for the most swears. Yeah, for goal for year seven is to record. We're going to do it. I believe in us. That was great. Thank you. That was great. Thank you. I loved it. That was fun. Thanks Sarah for your research. Yeah, great job Sarah. Really, the only story that you could follow up that story with and you might agree is the story of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Yes, right? Yes. The perfect match. Wow. Yeah, I don't know a lot about this because that's here I was born. That's right. That's right. Really smart yet. I was 10 years old. Oh wow. So I think that's smartest I've ever been. It's where I peed. It was you were fascinated probably by it. So 1980, it was that time where truly we had four channels on our television. It was pre-cable. Right. I think it may have been pre-Atari. There was so little going on in the world that when this happened, it was the thing that was happening. Yeah. Especially on the west coast, I should say. Yeah. Insane, just a disaster beyond scope and it was what was on the news constantly and it was in the conversation for a very long time. So the main sources used in today's story are the 1990 documentary up from the ashes, which was produced by the Seattle news station, Como TV, which is a big part of the story, that news station. Also, the 2010 Como News report titled Relive Como Photographers Daring Story of Survival, and a Seattle Post Intelligence Sir, article by Natalie Guevara and Alex Halverson titled 42 years ago, Mount St. Helens woke up and blew her top. And you can find the rest of the sources in our show notes. It's the week of March 16, 1980 and we're about 50 miles north east of Portland, Oregon, just kind of just over the Oregon, Washington, state line and something bizarre is happening. In that week alone, 100 small earthquakes are clocked in the area. And then by March 20th, 20 earthquakes are recorded every hour. Oh, dear. Yeah. So geologists and volcanologists are flocking to this area because they think they know what it means. Mount St. Helens, the dormant volcano is waking up and they're excited for the chance to study it as it comes back from dormancy. The last time the mountain acted like a volcano was in 1857. Mount St. Helens, what they call, eruptive history dates back nearly 40,000 years. And long before it was given its current name by White Explorers in the late 1700s, it was known as La Wallachla, which is click-a-tat for what basically translates to smoking mountain. So the native tribes in the area knew that it was an active volcano and talked about it. So for everybody else that lives near the mountain, life just continues on as normal. And then on March 21st, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake is recorded near the mountain. This one's bigger obviously than the previous earthquakes. And at this time, residents nearby can feel it, but it's not big enough or scary enough to make the front page. In fact, the next day's Seattle Post Intelligence report on it, the story's three paragraphs long and it is on page eight. Wow. So they could have warned people like get the hell out of dodge or something, but they did. Yeah, but like it just didn't seem like they were at that point yet. Yeah. Six days later on March 27th, the mountain burps up a cloud of steam and ash. This eruption leaves behind a huge fissure on the top of the mountain. And even though this does garner more interest, there's still not a ton of concern. A scientist named Eric Wagner recently told the Oregon public broadcasting that quote, people just didn't take it seriously in the run up. They thought it would just be this interesting and funny thing. So while all this geologic activity starts happening, a 28 year old Seattle news photographer named Dave Crockett is paying close attention. Dave and the rest of the team at Seattle's Como TV believe that this has the potential to be a really big story. Dave would later say quote, I really wanted to be there to cover what I felt was probably going to be the biggest story of the decade. So Dave's put on a three person news team with reporter Ken Schram and sound operator Joe Ren and the three guys travel down to Mount St. Helens to cover the story. Of course, not even the best scientists can predict exactly what will happen next or when it will happen. So the days pass and the suspense just keeps building. Dave and his news crew try to provide the public with as much information as they can. And then on April 3rd, Washington's then governor Dixie Lee Ray declares a state of emergency. So she sends a very direct message to the public saying quote, don't go to Mount St. Helens. Don't try to get as close as to the mountain as possible. Man, people are so dumb. We have to be, I'm saying we as a people. Yeah, so we don't go near the active volcano. It's like in the message to the public, she's saying don't and then filling the rest in with what you should basically a suggestion of what you could do. Yeah. Don't go super close up to it and take a bunch of pictures. So this doesn't seem like the kind of thing that needs to be said. This volcano is literally spitting up ash clouds, but it's reported that hundreds of sightseers continue to visit the mountain each week, even as tremors continue to shake the area. Yeah. Could you imagine, first of all, like in Hawaii, they have beautiful volcanoes that go off all the time. I truly would not even fly over it in a helicopter. I would be so scared. Yeah. It's so powerful. Why would you mess around? You think you're better than the volcano? You think you're better than her? You're not. Some people wind up in Comon News segments, including one man who says quote, I want to see it blow. That'd be great. You'd only get one chance in a lifetime to see because you're dead. And also, sir, you can see it from literally hundreds of miles away. If it happens further away is a better view, actually. He's like, I want to get under it. So of course, they don't talk like that up there. So of course, the majority of locals are normal and they recognize the situation is becoming increasingly threatening and dangerous. On April 22nd, the mountain spits up another plume of ash and steam 13,000 feet into the sky. That's taller than the Eiffel Tower. Around the same time, a huge bulge appears on the side of the mountain. That's when I would move very, very far away. Very far. That bulge grows larger every single day. And by the end of April, it's ballooned to nearly 300 feet tall. The length of a football field. It's been created by magma pushing up towards the Earth's surface. And if that's not horrifying enough, those earthquakes just keep coming. Como news reports that throughout April, the mountain is, quote, rocked by more big quakes than California gets in 10 years. Wow. Yeah. So needless to say, there's a real sense of urgency around this. Many people living near Mount St. Helens have left their homes, but not all of them. So to get the remaining residents out of harm's way, Governor Ray signs an order on April 30, desigdating certain areas to be what they call a danger zone. And the people in this danger zone are forced to evacuate. But as soon as this announcement's made, scientists come in ringing alarm bells. They basically say this designated danger zone is way too small. And it leaves out big swaths of land that are very close to the volcano. The scientists believe that if Mount St. Helens does erupt, many people outside of this danger zone will also be at risk. It's widely reported that the evacuation zone is that small because Washington's leadership is trying to appease local logging companies. So these companies have a ton of influence in the region and they don't want their operations interrupted by a near volcano. So as April turns to May, our Como reporting team, the intrepid team, photographer Dave Crockett, reporter Ken Schram, sound guy Joe Ren, they continue showing up to cover the activity at Mount St. Helens. At this point, they've been on this assignment for weeks. They've been there for every single shake, boom, and blast coming from the mountain. And they've also heard every update from both public officials and the scientists. Joe Ren, the sound guy, later says that, quote, every time it puffed, we thought that the next one would be the big one. So in May, certain measures are put in place to ensure evacuation orders are being followed. And this includes roadblocks, which are set up in certain spots around the danger zone. But overall enforcement isn't super aggressive. As scientists, Eric Wagner points out, quote, the government response was kind of muddled. How scary just to be one of those residents, just like waiting. Yeah. And where are you going to go if you're like, have to be evacuated for weeks? How scary to have your government be like kind of moved by people who are like, yes, I decided it's not dangerous. So I won't wear a mask. Whoops. I'm talking about a different thing now. So in some cases, eviction orders are completely ignored with no consequence. And at the same time, public officials are dealing with a ton of pushback from some residents, accusing them of overreach. We've heard it all before. People love danger. So on May 17th, officers operating these roadblocks cave under public pressure and let people go back and visit their cabins on the mountain as long as they sign a liability waiver. These residents are required to leave their homes by a designated time that evening. So it's like one last run back up the mountain. On that same day, which is May 17th, Como News decides to hand its coverage of Mount St. Helens over to its sister station in Portland. And that makes sense because Seattle's two and a half hours north of this area and Portland is literally right over the state line. It's like right over a bridge if you've ever been there. It's like Portland is on this side at the very top of Oregon. And then you go over a bridge and now you're in essentially Vancouver, Washington. And it's very close 50 miles from there. Cool. So much further north that they're basically like we don't need our own team one that Portland team is there. Our three man team of Joe, Dave and Ken are taken off the story, but they've been so focused on this whole story for weeks straight. They're told to go home and get some rest. And it's really anti climactic for them. Dave is absolutely gutted. He believes the situation on Mount St. Helens is building to an inevitable conclusion and he really wants to be there when that happens. Yeah. And then the whole home is instructed because their boss is right ultimately and the team does really need some rest. Eventually when he gets home that day, he manages to dose off. But instead of sleeping through the night, his eyes pop open at 3 a.m. He is wide awake and he's feeling this pull toward the mountain. It's very intense. Basically he believes he has to get to the mountain now. He knows it's silly. Obviously it's a volcano notoriously unpredictable. I should think he's special enough to somehow know intuitively what's going to happen. So he tries to kind of put it out of his mind and shut his eyes and go back to sleep. When that doesn't work, he picks up the phone and he calls reporter Ken Schram. But Ken tells Dave just let it go. It's not only is it the weekend, it's the middle of the night. We were all just taken off the story. Ken tells Dave, quote, don't go to Mount St. Helens. That's an amazing quote. That's a good quote. So Dave hangs up, but he just can't shake this feeling. And even though his rational side is saying, listen to Ken, he's made up his mind. So he gets dressed. He grabs his gear. And without asking permission, he hops into the station owned news car. It says, Como TV along the side. And it basically looks like one of those big late 70s sedans, like real long and boxy sedans. He cranks the ignition, flicks the headlights on. And then he drives in the dark in the middle of the night, the two and a half hours back down to Mount St. Helens. So by sunrise, Dave is set up in a clearing near some woods eight miles west of the mountain summit. It's a quiet clear morning. He has a stunning view of the mountain. And many people say they remember this morning as being distinctly peaceful and calm. The sky is bright blue. Of course, the trees are gorgeous, deep green. You've ever seen any of the beautiful nature up in the Pacific Northwest. It's insanely green and verdant because it fucking never stops raining up there. So it is when you do go out into nature, it's absolutely magical. Yeah. And also in the middle of all that Mount St. Helens has this snowy white cap that looks like something from a postcard. So it's really beautiful. And it's possible that at some point, Dave may have second guesses intuition, but then just after 8 30 AM on May 18, 1980, Dave feels the earth violently shaking beneath him. Yeah, he was fucking right. He was right. Holy shit. Oh my God. In the weirdest way, he was right where he, it's like, what was it? Was it because he spent so much time there that he somehow was like in tune or he just knew there was so many indicators something was going to happen. Yeah. He's just like, I gotta get back for this story. It's like a fluke, but it's crazy. Yeah. So it's basically now it's a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. It shakes the earth so violently that the bulge on the side of Mount St. Helens slides off the mountain. Oh, no. And as it goes, it pulls a mile wide chunk of land along with it, causing a gigantic landslide. So according to a later University of Washington right up, it's quote, the largest debris avalanche ever recorded. Wow. People that are like locals and live near there will tell you, it's just like the top of the mountain blew off. It's what it is. What it ends up looking like. But that thing on the side, which was basically the indicator that things are happening, that thing blew. And so it's like some of the ash went up, but then these huge landslides came down. Yeah. God, how fascinating. They're watching. Hot rock and debris shoot out of Mount St. Helens at speeds of 300 miles an hour. According to the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, quote, the eruption produced a force equal to 10 to 50 megatons of TNT, which is the equivalent of 25,000 atomic bombs. Oh, my God. So then for good measure, Mount St. Helens shoots a dense plume of ash 16 miles into the sky. And they say they could see it from South Dakota. It's weird. I just started watching Chernobyl over the weekend. Oh, yeah. And it's like mirroring all this shit that I, that I was watching in that. But it's not nuclear energy. That's correct. That's not deadly. It's Mother Gaya's energy. Oh, she's even more serious. Praise me. Praise me to her. So now Dave's wishes come true. He's watching history unfold right before his eyes. And he's watching it from up close. And as he is starting to absorb all this, a bleak reality begins to hit him. He very well could die here. Yeah. And because once Mount St. Helens erupts, it begins to trigger these landslides of mudflow melted ice and snow, all rushing down the mountain toward him at one time. All around him, trees are being smashed to the ground. So without any time to think Dave runs to the car, jumps in, starts the engine, steps on the gas. And with tires squealing, he pulls into the road and basically enters a life and death race down this mountain. So as he's going, Dave's eyes flick from the road in front of him to his rearview mirror. And even though he can't really see anything behind him, he has this feeling he's being chased. So he steps harder on the gas, checks the rearview mirror, then checks ahead of him on the road, then back into the rearview, back onto the road. And in his next glance into the rearview mirror, he sees something absolutely terrifying. He would later say, quote, it was just a wall of debris. Mud, steam, rocks, boulders, and full-size trees just rolling along the entire valley's disappearing behind me. Oh my God. So he basically stands on the gas. After a coma news report would describe this moment as quote, a wild race through the valley, the man in his news car versus a 30-foot wall of death. There's a three-story building of landslide coming behind him. I mean, your dad immediately, that's just like an immediate death. If you even stop to think about how horrifying situation is that you're in your dad. Yeah. So that wall, that 30-foot wall of landslide is directly behind him. That's a big mistake in he's a goner. He unglues his gaze from the rearview mirror. And when he looks back onto the road in front of him, he has to slam on the brakes as he watches a huge wave of debris completely overtake the road in front of him. So it's coming from all angles, or both angles, I should say. With just milliseconds to spare, Dave swerves the news car onto an old logging road, and he basically narrowly avoids a head-on collision with another wall of debris. So just truly by a miracle, the odds of which you couldn't calculate, there's a logging road right there. And he just takes a right and gets out of the way. God. As he pulls to a stop, his heart's racing. It's a complete miracle he's managed to land on what might be the only patch of roadway untouched by these huge flows of debris. Everything around him's complete chaos. These are toppling mud, rocks, and ash are flying everywhere. The roadways are now gone, but Dave's still alive. And he's not sure what to do next. He knows driving out isn't going to be an option. And he knows he can't just sit there thinking about it or trying to figure it out. So the first thing he does is he pulls a pen and paper out of his news bag and he starts to write a note. And he figures if he's going to die here, he hopes search crews will somehow find this message and they'll be able to piece together his last moments of what he was doing. So he leaves that on the hood of the news car and he realizes this guy that was just bright blue minutes ago is now blocked out by heavy ash and completely black. It's not even nine o'clock in the morning. It looks like it's the middle of the night. And here's what's amazing. You can go on YouTube and you can watch his footage from the, yes, from Mountain. It's really scary. And you click on it and you know that's what you're about to look at, but it's complete pitch blackness with a tinge of like red. And it's insane. It's like it's, he's on the side of a mountain, but it looks like he's in a closet or something like it's completely black. So all that luster rain is suddenly just black and completely alien and long streaks of blue and purple lightning are striking all around. Cool. He tries to hold it together. Of course, he's incredibly frightened. He's also filled with adrenaline and he's trying to process like what's just happened. So he does what he knows how to do. He takes his news camera from the bag and he starts rolling. And that's the footage that you can find on YouTube. As he shoots, he speaks to whoever might one day find his camera when he's gone. And he says, quote, dear God, whoever finds this, you can't see this. I'm sure it's too dark, but I left the car behind and you can't see anything. Oh, my God, I wouldn't get out of the car. I'd be too scared. Right? It's just like, what would you fucking do? But I think hearing this story with a situation like this, it's good to be out of the car. Right? It's so, well, I mean, maybe who knows? Maybe this is just like this insane, his insane magical experience and lots. So he starts walking under his feet. He can feel the ground is still shaking. The car alarms blaring. He feels a wind that's being sucked back up to the mountaintop and he can hear the mountain itself making as he describes, quote, constant rumbling, grinding and growling sounds. Very scary. There's ash in the air that's so thick that it's blacking out. He can barely see. He's also struggling to breathe. A few times on camera, you can hear him coughing violently as he tries to narrate the footage, saying, I can tell you one thing. This stuff is not made for humans to breathe. Even sitting down and resting, I just can't breathe. And it's hard to tell how much time is passing on the video, but what's clear is that this situation he's in is incredibly dire. And then often the distance, he sees a little patch of light. It's the only light in like 360. So he starts walking toward it. And as he does, he narrates. And as he narrates, the patch is like getting thinner and thinner. And he's coughing as he speaks, saying, I can feel the ash now in my eyes. It's getting very hard to breathe. I'm having trouble talking. Then as that last patch of light in the distance is closed in by the darkness, Dave says, this is hell on earth. I'm walking through. My God, this is hell. I just can't describe it. It's pitch black. So not only he can only feel, he literally can't see anything around him, but he can feel heavy ash falling on his shoulders and he's in a disaster zone just wandering blindly. Yeah. And he's also confused. He doesn't know what he's going to run into or off of like he just has no idea. At one point Dave talks through the possibility that he's lost his vision and injury from the blast. And then later he questions whether or not he's even alive. At one point he says, at this moment, I honest to God, believe I'm dead. Oh my God. So here's what Dave, so now we pull all the way out, zoom out, right? To the wide. And we see what Dave has just lived through. The volcanic eruption instantaneously blasts 1,300 feet off the mountain's peak, lowering the elevation from 9,700 to around 8,300 feet. Wow. The top comes off around 12% of the mountain is entirely obliterated. In a matter of seconds, the beautiful bucolic scenery is a gray cratered wasteland. In fact, after President Jimmy Carter surveys the damage in a helicopter and says, quote, someone said it was like a moon scape, but it's so much worse than anything I've ever seen in pictures in the moon's surface. End quote. Which was a hoax, he says, which Stanley Coober directs. So the landslides up follow the eruption that Dave out ran, pushed nearly 50 billion gallons of debris filled sludge down the mountain side. Because you have to remember there was snow up there and like ice and snow and things that when they got moved, like they were rolling, they were melting, it all became like mud. You've seen Dante's peak, you know what I'm talking about. I know you're like, the landslides level everything in their paths, including vegetation, animals, roads, buildings, the nearby Tutel River fills with tons of dangerous debris. According to Oregon State University, nearly 150,000 acres of public and private lands are destroyed, as well as 200 homes, 100 miles of streams, 63 miles of road and 13 bridges. 200 homes. And 13 bridges, holy shit. Yeah. Meanwhile, in the skies above, all of that ash has inundated the earth's atmosphere and is moving around. Nearby visibility is so low that nearly 5,000 cars are abandoned where they are on roads and highways. The roads remain unpassable until cleanup crews can come in and physically haul the ash away. It's reported that cities over 250 miles away from Mount St. Helens experience local ash fall. But it ends up traveling even further than that. The ash created by this eruption spends the next 15 days circling the entire planet. No. Yeah, big. That's a global event. It's global event. All in all, everything within a six to eight mile radius of Mount St. Helens Summit is totally obliterated in this disaster. Now remember Dave was eight miles away from the summit. If he had been any closer at all, he would have almost certainly been killed. So back on the mountain, Dave just continues wandering with his camera rolling in the dark. You can hear the fear in his voice as he narrates over a blacked out screen. At one point, he even addresses his colleague Ken Schram saying, quote, you know, Schram, you were right. When I saw that mountain go, I turned the car around and I could see in the rear of your mirror. I could see the stuff coming. There was no way I was going to outrun that. I just parked the car and I started running for high ground. That mud flow came down. It came within three feet of the car with trees, trees and boulders and things five times as big as that news car. Schram, all but 50 feet from me, my God, you were right. I never should have come up here. It's like on one hand, yeah, he was the only witness. His incredible thing and he followed his intuition and it happened. But on the other hand, it's like, yeah, but you might fucking die from it. Doesn't even survive it. The risk is like, it's beyond, it's 99.9% a death trap. Yeah. So incredibly, Dave ends his message to Ken with renewed optimism, saying, quote, I'm going to live to tell my grandchildren about this with God's help. So he's still struggling to breathe and he sits himself down on what he later describes as a cliff. He gives into this surreal situation. When he later looks back on this moment, he says, quote, I had a ringside seat for the rest of the day. I watched a mountain erupt right in front of me. The word awesome is overused, but it was awesome. It was just beautiful. And quote, I was going to add my own thing in the middle of that quote, which is, it was 1980. So the word awesome was seriously overused. So his time passes. A breeze picks up and it begins to break up the thick ash that's literally been suffocating and blinding him. So with every minute, his visibility improves. It's not great. Everything is washed in this greenish, yellowy glow. But Dave can now see a few feet in front of him. And this feels like a small victory. So he celebrates by attaching his wide-angle lens and he snaps himself a selfie on the mountain. Wow. This image has since become iconic. And Dave describes it later. He says quote, I had a smile on my face. I was covered in ash and my hair was sticking out. But I think you can tell from the expression on my face that I thought I was going to get out. Wow. And he was right. That night, a rescue helicopter scouring the area spots Dave. This is a very heavy moment for him and he becomes emotional. After everything he's been through, one near death experience after another, he realizes he's actually going to live. Dave says quote, I just started laughing. And screaming out loud and yelling at the mountain. Because I thought he was going to freeze to death too, like that night, right? Right. And if he's covered in this ash, which is every single thing is gray, how the fuck are those rescue helicopters supposed to find people up there? Yeah. Yeah. It's just crazy. And also he is no right to yell at that mountain. The mountains like, you know what? I didn't invite you here. I showed you. I was bulging. Yeah. Yeah. I like woke you up, bro. I don't know what to tell you. Shramp tried to tell you. Yeah. What if the intuition was just actually, you know, the universe saying, it's about to explode. Don't go there. Don't go there. He thought it was about to explode. Go there. And then I was like, dude, what the fuck? Dude, listen closer. Dave incredibly escapes this disaster with his life. Many people were not that fortunate. In fact, as many as 60 people died in the Mount St. Helens eruption. Wow. Aftermath, some due to his fixation, thermal injuries or trauma from the debris, there was a fatal car accident due to poor visibility. Two people had heart attacks while they were shoveling ash. Oh, no. Yeah. And that's not necessarily like about their personal health. It could have been because they were inhaling. So they were trying to shovel it and inhale it all at the same time. The exact number of deaths is disputed. It's usually put between 57 and 60 people. So here is this crazy story I was asking Marin about a specific story that I read in the sources. And then she found this. So there was a crop dust or plane that flew into power lines. And there are some people that attribute that to the ash fall and that he had no visibility and basically flew into power lines. But that actually happened before the volcanic eruption. Here's the craziest thing that Marin found. She said there were these college guys floating the Yakima River that day. And they witnessed the crop dust or accident. So they watched this crop dust or fly into power lines. They got out of the river. They tried to help the pilot. They saw he was dead. They stuck around at the scene until help arrived to rescue, like to get the plane out of the power lines and basically say what happened. They got back into the river. They keep on floating down the river and then Mount St. Helens erupt. Guys, guys, can you fucking, it's like put the beer down? How many of those dudes were like, I'm never going to drink again. Yeah. Most immediately, Governor Lee announces most people died inside the danger zone, suggesting these victims had defied eviction orders and the roadblocks. It's unclear whether she said this deliberately or if she was given incorrect information or she was just mistaken. But this fact is quickly debunked. In fact, only three of the 60 victims were even in the danger zone. Three, wow. And just a scientist had feared, most people were killed in those areas deemed safe by public officials. In the years since, many people have discussed how much higher the loss of life would have been if Mount St. Helens had erupted a day later, which would have been a Monday, which would have meant those nearby logging sites would have been fully staffed with workers. Fuck. But it was the weekend. So much, many less people were up there. So in the days and weeks after the eruption, Washington State leadership receives a huge amount of backlash for how they handled the situation. And Governor Lee would later lose her bid for reelection. Meanwhile, Dave Crockett's unlikely survival story turns him into an overnight celebrity. According to a report by Como News, Seattle, quote, religious fanatics hounded him. So did psychics and wackos. There were random marriage proposals. They all wanted a piece of Dave. They thought he was touched by God, which I'm sorry. I think he was. But he was touched by somebody. Yeah, whatever, whatever God do you want to believe in? Knocked on his door. Yeah. Sorry. Even his abandoned news car became a tourist attraction. No. Yeah. So they left it there. Wow. Yeah. Dave did not want this attention. Obviously he was understandably traumatized after surviving such a gigantic disaster. And he suffers from nightmares for years. Wow. He tells reporters, quote, I had dreams where I'd come back up here with rescue people. And I'd go through the trees and the ash and we'd find bodies. And the rescuers would ask me looking at these bodies. Why didn't you do something to help these people? I knew it wasn't my fault. But I think emotionally, I couldn't quite shake it. What a fucking nightmare. I mean, just horrible. Yeah. Of course, Dave isn't the only person emotionally affected by this disaster. Many people living near Mount St. Helens experience PTSD, depression, feelings of hopelessness, and insomnia after the disaster. Dave has since come to terms with the experience. On the 30th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption in 2010, he says, quote, to oversimplify it, I feel comfortable with the whole thing now. I feel very privileged to have been there that day, believe it or not. And quote, after being rescued, Dave goes on to have a long career in photography. He now lives in Montana and he's received multiple accolades for his work over the years. Since the 1980 eruption, life has returned to Mount St. Helens. There's a sense of rebirth in the area. There are new ponds, new lakes and new meadows. But as peaceful as the area seems on most days, it is also still an active volcano. And it woke back up in September 2004 and was active for a few years and then quieted back down in 2008. Scientists say they fully expect the volcano to erupt again, but it's unclear when. For now, Mount St. Helens continues to give volcanologists, geologists, and even laymen, an important, fascinating and extremely humbling look into our physical world. As a Como News report once pointed out, quote, Mount St. Helens is beyond our control. And perhaps that's why we find ourselves drawn to it to see the result of the awesome power on display here and a portion of our earth being recreated. And yet, as the lava dome rebuilds, what was once Mount St. Helens perfect peak, we're reminded that the 1980 eruption is only one of dozens and dozens of eruptions in the mountains 40,000 year history. And it will almost certainly happen again. So we wonder, will we live to see the volcano's awesome power again? And what story will come up from those ashes? And that is the story of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and the incredible, better than Dante's peak, survival story of photographer Dave Crockett. I can't wait to see his video pictures and I want to watch all of it now. The video's rough because it's fucking scary. It's that thing where you know what's scarier than like monsters and blood and stuff like that. Which blackness and like light going out. The fact that he could just walked off of a cliff to me is the scariest thing I've ever heard. He just had to do something who's like desperate. But then that selfie that he took is so funny. And so kind of like, yeah, best case scenario for a story like that. Yeah, he got so freaking lucky. It's a survivor story too. It's a nice survived. It is a nice survived. Dave did survive. Well, we're going to survive too. We're all going to survive. That's right. Got to survive this episode. Yeah, we did. We did it. High five on the survival. Hell, yeah. Well, thanks for listening. We really appreciate you. Get out there and protect your rights in any way that you can. Definitely. Should we do a donation? Yes, definitely. Okay. Should we do what's the abortion? To Walgreens plant parent. There's the narrow to Walgreens. And we want to donate. We're very concerned about Walgreens. Narrow approach us America. All right. Well, then let's give $10,000 to Narrow, pro choice America and basically start fighting with our money because that's what we can do today. That's right. You can anything you can let's fight for our rights. Their website is pro choice America dot org. Of course, there's also plant parenthood. If you live in South Carolina, I'm sure they're action steps that you guys can take. The information's all out there. I think it's just people. These bells need to start getting wrong because things are getting so dire. Yeah, terrifying. But guess what? We have each other. I do. I don't think women have ever been as empowered and as connected as they are right now. So don't forget that and you're not alone. Stay sexy. And don't get murdered. Yeah. Elvis, do you want a cookie? This has been an exactly right production. Our senior producer is Hannah Kyle Criton. Our producer is Alejandra Cack. This episode was engineered and mixed by Stephen Ray Morris. Our researchers are Marin McClauchin and Sarah Blair Jenkins. Email your hometowns and fucking arrays to my favorite murder at gmail.com. Follow the show on Instagram and Facebook at my favorite murder and Twitter at my favorite murder. Goodbye. Goodbye. Listen, follow, leave a survey on Amazon Music, Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, prime members, did you know that you can listen to my favorite murder early and ad free on Amazon Music? Download the Amazon Music app today. You can support my favorite murder by filling out a survey at Wondery.com slash survey.