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Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison

– tekijä: James W. Clarke

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
193881,006 (3.92)-
In 1978 convicted murderer Gary Tison escaped from an Arizona prison with the help of his three sons. Over the following two weeks, Tison and his gang roamed the Southwest, murdering six people before confronting police in a bloody shootout near the Mexican border. Next to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, this is the most sensational crime story in Arizona history.… (lisätietoja)



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näyttää 3/3
Hard to put down. An awful story. Four stars means "really liked it" which isn't really possible here. Strongest argument I've ever read against abolishing the death penalty.

Carolyn Kennedy wrote a book (that doesn't appear to be on Goodreads, the first time that has happened for me) about each of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights. Her approach with the book was to avoid the usual stuffy and impersonal tone that affects most works on this subject so she chose private sympathetic individuals like you and me who get trampled on when the Bill of Rights is abused. Naturally enough when she got to her chapter on cruel and unusual punishment she took off after capital punishment and then the murder-felony rule. And the two individuals she chose to illustrate this were the two sons of Gary Tison sitting on death row.

Perhaps if she had read this book first she would have picked someone else to make her case. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
In late July, 1978 Gary Tison and Randy Greenawalt, both convicted killers, escaped from the Arizona State Prison during broad daylight with the help of Gary's three sons. Before being captured less than three weeks later the pair had brutally murdered 6 people, one a small baby. Up until the prison escape Gary's sons had never been in trouble, yet they stood by and watched as their father shotgunned a family and honeymooning couple. Why?

This is one of the fundamental questions asked by James W. Clarke in his narrative of the Tison escape: Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison . The book is also a searing indictment of the Arizona Penal system during the seventies. Warden Caldwell had been warned of the planned escape on several occasions, both by Gary's brother, Joe, and the Texas police authorities who discovered the escape plan after capturing a pilot during a drug bust. The pilot revealed he was supposed to fly the escapees to Mexico after the breakout.
Everyone who knew Tison agreed he was a calculating and manipulative individual who could be very persuasive and a master of sycophantic attention to those in authority he needed something from. Here was a man convicted of several armed robberies who had killed a prison guard unnecessarily during an escape (with a gun undoubtedly provided by his wife) and who was suspected of killing several inmates, yet who was allowed to transfer to the minimum security wing of the prison. The family, who saw Tison only briefly for a few months when he was out on parole (promptly violated), created a melange of myth and fantasy nurtured by his wife Dorothy. She always maintained he was imprisoned unjustly, that it was all a frame-up, and that he could never hurt anyone. Gary was totally solicitous toward the boys during that brief time and despite overwhelming evidence they could not see his sociopathological personality. They mistook "his shrewdness and manipulative skills for intelligence and sound judgment; his impulsiveness and independence they mistook for courage and integrity; his lack of empathy and toughness they mistook for strength of character." Only when Gary blew the head off the baby did the boys discover how wrong they were. They still failed to leave or stop the bloodletting. Clarke speculates that it has something to do with a trait inherent in most of us: an unquestioning obedience to authority. He cites the 1963 Milgram studies done at Yale where 65% of subjects continued to administer what they believed to be lethal electrical shocks to innocent victims "for no other reason than Milgram told them to." It was not a question of right or wrong but subjugation to an authority figure. The situation controlled behavior rather than an individual's morality. An individual's guilt transfers to the authority figure. The boys knew their father was in charge and he was responsible for the killing; they therefore felt no guilt or remorse. I suspect many Nazis felt similarly.
Ironically, the Tisons probably would have escaped had Gary not been so obsessed with wanting to kill his brother, Joe (another unsavory character), who had informed the authorities about Gary's second attempt to obtain an airplane. By wasting time looking for Joe they gave police time to set up a roadblock (actually not intended for the Tisons) which they stumbled on and tried to shoot their way through. The book is an interesting study in motivation and corruption. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
The Last Rampage is a book about Gary Tison and the murdering rampage he and his sons went on in the 1970's. The book centers around convicted murderer Gary Tison, and his devout sons Donny, Ray and Ricky. Gary, his three sons, and fellow prison inmate Randy Greenawalt, spent many months planning a daring escape from the Arizona State Prison located in Florence, Arizona. After their successful and dangerous escape, the group went on a murdering rampage that started with a murder of a young family just outside of Quartszite, Arizona. This moment in the book is the most intense. I found myself gripping the book, pleading for mercy for that young family. That moment incapsulated the true Gary Tison, for he was definitely a psychopath that needed to be stopped. Shortly after the murder of the young family, the state seemed to go into a full out panic. The Tisons and Greenawalt escaped the state, entering Colorado, where more victims fell to the violence of Tison and his gang. Eventually the chase came to an end just outside of the Mexican border. Donny was shot and killed by law enforcement while Randy, Ray and Ricky were captured and eventually sent to death row. Gary Tison escaped, but eventually succumbed to heat exposure. The book was written by James W. Clarke, a political science professor at the University of Arizona.
  chris.coelho | Oct 24, 2011 |
näyttää 3/3
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In 1978 convicted murderer Gary Tison escaped from an Arizona prison with the help of his three sons. Over the following two weeks, Tison and his gang roamed the Southwest, murdering six people before confronting police in a bloody shootout near the Mexican border. Next to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, this is the most sensational crime story in Arizona history.

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