068 The Colebrook Murders Part IV – Featuring Counselor Paula Booth

Counselor Paula Booth has been working with law enforcement officers and other clients for over 35 years with the state of New Hampshire. Her unique knowledge of critical incidents and trauma response has made her a valuable asset to many agencies. She is also the director for the New Hampshire Employee Assistant Program. Paula has a masters degree in clinical social work from Boston University, is a member of the National Academy of Certified Social Workers, and is nationally certified as an employee assistance professional. Additionally, she has served as the president of the Grant State employee assistant program. Paula works on the governor and attorney general’s commission on domestic violence, and is an advisor to the state government’s decision makers. Her lectures at conferences, community events, and state sponsored events are well renowned. To Wayne, Paula Booth was his counselor after the critical incident that took place in Colebook in which he was shot.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Introduction to Paula Booth
  • Counseling is very different in today’s world
  • Wayne’s breaking point
  • Counseling is for everyone
  • Everyone has a critical incident in their life
  • Healthy people get help
  • Education on counseling to law enforcement
  • We ask for help all the time, why not this?
  • Affects officers, family members, peers
  • Academy program: stress management in law enforcement
  • Traumatic experience from those that were on vacation
  • Critical incident tools
  • Simple, briefs directives
  • Eat something simple
  • Don’t fill the silence
  • Look into programs
  • Supervisors and peers watch you
  • Don’t use a cookie cutter approach
  • Connection is important
  • I’ve got the best job in the world
  • Make it palatable
  • If I didn’t have counseling, I wouldn’t have finished my career
  • Horrible week for New Hampshire
  • Approach it from a problem solving perspective
  • Make the appointment, you can always cancel it
  • Give and take
  • Uniform represents so much
  • Partners and supporters take the journey too

067 The Colebrook Murders Part III – Featuring Kevin Jordan

Colonel Kevin Jordan has worked for the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game for over 20 years. After the Colebrook Murders, he became a critical incident specialist. In this episode, Wayne discusses the Colebrook Murders with Colonel Jordan and how each of them experienced the situation.  

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Field day in Quebec
  • Weren’t aware two were murdered
  • 5 crime scenes, many different units
  • Couldn’t talk on the radio, too much chatter
  • I could hear Wayne screaming
  • Went to grab two deer rifles, raced to confront
  • John had his fingers embedded in my dash as I went 100 mph
  • I was livid he shot you, I wanted to kill him
  • The troopers had a look about them
  • Dispatchers were crying on the radio
  • He went home to change and shave
  • Laying across the dash, looked like he committed suicide
  • Both shoot at the same time; Drega wearing campaign hat
  • If you engage him, you’ll have to kill him
  • I know what type of guy I am now
  • You can train someone, but you don’t know how they’ll react in fight or flight
  • He was on the bank; changed our plan
  • 98 shots fired
  • Drega was dead 
  • I decided I needed a cigarette
  • Both sides of the road were lined with cruisers
  • I thought I was gonna get fired
  • His house had bombs in it
  • Ran to the bathroom and threw up
  • Some will defend Drega; there will be funerals
  • Went to visit Wayne in a packed cruiser
  • Cheers when Wayne came back; brought to tears
  • Ordered to go to counseling
  • New equipment after the event

066 The Colebrook Murders Part II: My Badge Saved My Life

In this episode our two hosts become an interviewer and an interviewee. In 1997, a rogue gunman began a violent rampage in the town of Colebrook. One of the responding officers, Warden Wayne Saunders of New Hampshire was injured in an attempt to apprehend the subject. The badge he wore on that day deflected the bullet shot by the suspect and saved his life. In this episode Wayne tells his personal account of that day and how it affected his life.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Episode dedicated to Senior Corporal Jeff Neal of Hope, Arkansas
  • Dedicated to Scott Phillips and Leslie Lord, New Hampshire State Police
  • Survived a critical incident in a small town
  • A regular day with a field day the next day
  • Report of a stolen cruiser, possibly by a kid
  • “Turn off your blue lights”
  • Jurisdictional issues in mind
  • Dust hanging under a bridge pass
  • Man with a campaign hat pointing a gun 15 yards away
  • Cover and concealment
  • Everything was in slow motion, yelled at people in a restaurant to leave 
  • Backed up slow, then fast into a tree
  • I didn’t know what was going on
  • Center of the badge was shot off
  • Ricochet of the 7 rounds
  • Don’t my boots; sorry I wrecked the cruiser
  • Shredded my bicep, scarred to this day
  • Found out what happened from the news
  • Staying in the fight even when injured
  • From the hospital to funerals 
  • Brothers holding me up
  • Improving communication, switched rifles
  • New York response team
  • It takes a horrible incident for improvement
  • The only woman that made me cry: physical therapist breaking down scar tissue
  • Negative comments made me transfer
  • Critical incident fallout; learning experience
  • Worse for your partner to get shot than to be the victim
  • Physical and mental pain
  • I always wanted to be the cowboy in the woods, no one would take that for me
  • Brought game wardens to state police with shooting pay support
  • We’re always on duty
  • More tools available now
  • Pack of wardens
  • Usually not next to cruiser
  • People hide and hide things in the woods
  • Educate the public on what we go through

065 The Colebrook Murders Part I – Ft. Richard Adams Carey

Richard Carey is the author of the book “In That Evil Day” in which he discusses the events of the violent 1997 shooting in Colebrook, New Hampshire in which Wayne Sanders was shot. Richard grew up in Connecticut and attended Harvard. He moved around the country while writing various books that are acclaimed by The New York Times, Alaska Magazine, and more. In this interview, Carry explains his background, research for the book, the community around Colebrook, and much more.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The Colebrook Murders
  • Putting the puzzle pieces together
  • Not enough exposure on the event
  • Listings in a telephone book
  • Went about the book stupidly
  • Battle between burying the incident and opening up
  • Expected to “suck it up” after incidents
  • Challenge: freedom of information
  • Dissecting the documents; generosity of agencies
  • No sense of competition in law enforcement
  • Not a typical true crime book
  • Mindset of those in the community
  • Flirtations with militia groups
  • National problem with little reporting
  • Breakdown of the incident
  • The good out of the incident
  • Civilian heroes 
  • Outsider looking in to insider looking in
  • Book title

064 Lonnie Sushil – Florida

Lonnie Sushil is a game warden with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (SA), and is the Commander of the SA Special Operations Group (SOG). Florida’s SOG group was created after 9/11 and focuses on homeland security as well as public service. Lonnie commands 14 operators in the alpha south region of the state. 

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Merging of Thin Green Line into Warden’s Watch
  • Lonnie’s background
  • Creation of SOG in Florida
  • Duties of the group
  • Diversity of warden training
  • Ecosystem differences within Florida
  • SOG is a collateral duty
  • Collaborative training
  • Picking out the oddities
  • Academy and training
  • Female officers
  • Assess people up front

062 Todd Vandivert – Washington Part I

Todd Vandivert was a game warden for 34 years with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and now writes books about his experiences. He worked both as a uniformed officer and an undercover officer, making multiple cases in each position. Todd’s work as an author is well-known, especially his book Operation Cody in which he breaks down his role in the operation. In this episode, Todd discusses his upbringing, work as a warden, and life as an author. 

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • 34 years as a game warden
  • Born in California
  • Love of the outdoors while raised in Virginia 
  • Plan was to go into the Navy; failed color vision test
  • Flying career came to an end, went into oceanography
  • Rethought decisions and went into forestry
  • Started working in a habitat area
  • Cameras everywhere
  • First posing
  • Work as an undercover
  • The issues with informants 
  • The case: hound hunting with lions
  • The “Kill ‘Em All Boys”
  • Conference
  • More exposure = more hazardous
  • Each state has different laws
  • Built a fake business: website, posters, business cards, etc
  • Best of the wild
  • Lawful stuff close to unlawful
  • Poacher within two days
  • Misrepresenting product is still illegal
  • Taking DNA
  • Rotted mountain lion and a paycheck
  • Dried dates as a decoy to Hong Kong
  • Growing operations and money laundering
  • Interior decorator setup
  • Entrapment debate

057 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part IV Featuring Guest Interviewer Ty Gagne

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light hear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later.

Ty Gagne is the CEO of Primex, a public entity risk pool based in New Hampshire, and is also a certified wilderness first responder. He wrote the book Where You’ll Find Me about Kate’s experiences and those who were a part of her recovery. In this podcast, he interviewed Wayne and asked him about his experiences as a supervisor over the search and rescue mission for Kate.

Lieutenant Mark Ober is the Lieutenant for District 1 with the New Hampshire Fish and Game. He frequently responds to hikers in distress and develops search and rescue missions to find them. He is also a member of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team. In this episode, he discusses the mission to find Kate, the difficulties surrounding it, and his role as a supervisor.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Guest interviewer: Ty Gagne
  • The best learning is from the ground up
  • The game warden is in charge of the search and rescue
  • Pass on shortcuts
  • Own up to your decisions
  • Wind is a huge factor
  • Dragging my feet based on my instincts
  • Don’t call me at night – I don’t sleep
  • Continuation of interview with Mark Ober
  • Constantly on the phone
  • Ordered a command post
  • 5am to 8am is peak prepare time
  • Many acronyms in search and rescues
  • Would have never reached Kate safely
  • Intent is key
  • Everything was in her pack, not blown away
  • Sunny day, whiteout on the mountain peaks
  • There’s more people like Kate
  • I made mistakes that other people made
  • Continuation of Wayne’s interview
  • No intention of going home
  • Command posts were rocking from the wind
  • Great relationships with local departments
  • It’s easy to look at a map and make assignments
  • Even highly skilled people can get in trouble

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Social Media/Marketing: Morgan Day

056 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part III Featuring Mark Ober, Bob Mancini, and Matt Holmes

At 32 years old, Kate Matrosova hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later. 

Lieutenant Mark Ober is the Lieutenant for District 1 with the New Hampshire Fish and Game. He frequently responds to hikers in distress and develops search and rescue missions to find them. He is also a member of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team. In this episode, he discusses the mission to find Kate, the difficulties surrounding it, and his role as a supervisor.

Bob Mancini is an award-winning Conservation Officer in New Hampshire. He has been a member of the advanced search & rescue team, dive team, honor guard team and K-9 team. He was also a regular on Northwoods Law. He speaks of his role in the rescue for Kate.

Matt Holmes is a New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer. He was also a regular on Northwoods Law, and is part of rescue operations. In this episode, he discusses the attempted resume of Kate Matrosova with the rest of the rescue team.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The return of John Nores
  • Q and A on April 26th via Patreon!
  • Start of Lt. Mark Ober interview
  • Matt and Bob: goal to get to coordinates
  • Half mile off trail to get to coordinates, meet with MRS team
  • Too cold to function 
  • Matt and Bob stay for backup, MRS team moves in 
  • When she wasn’t found at coordinates, everyone moves back down
  • Start of Bob Mancini interview
  • Decided to patrol on snowmobile 
  • Raced back to get essential gear
  • Disbelief of how someone could be out
  • My “Oh Shit!” bag
  • Forgot to change my socks
  • We were prepared to do what was required
  • Utilized snowmobiles and then hiked
  • Fight the inner demons to try and save a life
  • Propane in stove froze 
  • Hot water would have been like hitting the lottery
  • Should have slowed down and been a better teammate
  • Matt’s headlamp
  • Wayne’s rule: don’t call me the night before
  • Stay on scene on the trail, MRS goes to beacon
  • Loud and steady wind
  • Even if we knew where she was, it might have been a critical incident
  • Kate was an accomplished hiker
  • Gear has became better
  • Start of Matt Holmes interview
  • Predicted to be bad weather for a while
  • On snowmobile patrolling all day
  • Coldest and most dangerous rescue
  • Eyes are on the mountains 
  • Wind blowing over the summits
  • Glad to be in my cruiser 
  • At first I was angry: salt in an open wound
  • Carrying gear for overnight stays
  • Sun goes down, temperature goes down
  • Glen’s issues: it wasn’t his night 
  • Matt was the leader of the operation
  • We had to function as a team to do things we usually did alone
  • One team to bushwack to point, another on the trail
  • Barely got stoves lit, water couldn’t boil
  • All layers were on
  • If something went wrong, will have to build a shelter
  • Nobody wanted to stop
  • MRS team stayed, the rest moved out
  • I feel good about what we did
  • Plenty of reasons to not send anyone that night
  • Feelings softened toward Kate over time
  • Perfect storm of cold and wind

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Social Media/Marketing: Morgan Day

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055 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part II featuring Lt. Mark Ober and CO Glen Lucas

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later. 

Lieutenant Mark Ober is the Lieutenant for District 1 with the New Hampshire Fish and Game. He frequently responds to hikers in distress and develops search and rescue missions to find them. He is also a member of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team. In this episode, he discusses the mission to find Kate, the difficulties surrounding it, and his role as a supervisor.

Conservation Officer Glen Lucas of the New Hampshire Fish and Game is part of the snowmobile patrol and is an experienced outdoorsman. He was also a part of multiple storylines with the show Northwoods law. He shares his experiences on the day of Kate’s disappearance, including the struggles of preparing, the decision making of the day, and the lasting impacts it had on his life. 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • New addition the podcasting team: Morgan Day
  • Patreon event: live Q and A on April 26th at 8pm EST
  • The importance of speaking about painful memories
  • More of a recovery mission than a rescue
  • Cannot rely on personal locator devices
  • Bad weather day; snowmobile crash earlier
  • We have to at least try
  • Temperature at start of hike: -90 with wind chill
  • Three separate beacons miles apart
  • Glen comes down
  • Ty Gagne helped me answer questions I had myself
  • Everyone was hustling to get there
  • Game Warden wife mode
  • Not a normal rescue mission
  • My mistake: dressing normal
  • Legs start locking up, toes are freezing
  • Glen stays behind, the others continue up
  • Leans up against the tree to wait for other volunteers
  • This is how I find people
  • I felt like I had peg legs; I didn’t want to die here
  • Mother nature beat me that time
  • Game wardens promote drive, we don’t want to show weakness
  • I didn’t read the book, I gave it away
  • I wanted to distance myself from the story, but I read it
  • After the reports done, I’m done
  • The book signing was therapeutic
  • The supervisors decision at the base, the teams on the mountain
  • Kate is the first one I had a connection with

054 The Case of Kate Matrosova featuring Ty Gagne

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later.

Ty Gagne is the CEO of Primex, a public entity risk pool based in New Hampshire, and is also a certified wilderness first responder. He wrote the book Where You’ll Find Me about Kate’s experiences and those who were a part of her recovery. In this podcast, he discusses his own personal involvement in the outdoors, his perspective on Kate’s case, and how he wrote the book.

Thin Green Line Podcast

Copper Pig Brewery

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The book Where You Will Find Me
  • Ty and Wayne’s experience with hiking
  • The easy mistakes of hiking
  • The beginning of Kate’s story
  • The White Mountains
  • Challenges of winter hiking
  • The conditions of Kate’s hike
  • Her plan and the issues around it
  • Kate’s drive to succeed
  • The group that got her out
  • The issue with personal location devices
  • Ty’s interviews with on-scene wardens
  • The drive of law enforcement and how to keep them safe
  • Mental health of volunteers and law enforcement
  • The changes at altitude
  • Retracing Kate’s story for a book
  • The good out of a tragedy