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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Hunt of a Lifetime

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International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

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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“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

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International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

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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Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

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International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

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

063 Todd Vandivert – Washington Part II

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 also as 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. 

Our Sponsors: 

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Started with bighorn sheep
  • One toe in the water
  • Wildlife trafficker, cock fighting, and marijuana growth
  • Being a uniformed officer is more dangerous than undercover
  • Dangerous individual
  • Operation shut down early
  • Breaks to the media
  • The takedown
  • Detailing the cockfights
  • Didn’t write the book to make money
  • Small circles of people
  • Bigger busts undercover
  • Hard to kick a case down the road with a good case in your hands
  • Sturgeon caviar
  • Only would talk to Russians
  • Officer exchanges
  • 6 written books
  • Examine the crime scene: physical evidence but no suspect
  • The individual who didn’t lie
  • Rolled into a larger case
  • Put yourself in other’s shoes
  • Bear poop in my mouth

061 Chris Conroy, Scotland

Chris Conroy is the director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board and a water bailiff. He graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Applied Biology, and has over 25 years of experience working as an aquatic resource manager. Through his duties, he has developed an in-depth knowledge of freshwater, marine and estuarine resource management and the associated stresses, utilisation, and conservation demand. In this episode, we dive in to the lore around Loch Ness, the differences in enforcement, the specs of being a water bailiff, and more

Our Sponsors: 

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Cover the Loch Ness waters in Scotland
  • Loch means lake
  • Fishery bailiff = fishery enforcement officer
  • Sightings of the Loch Ness monster
  • 20 miles wide, 700 feet deep 
  • Don’t work for the government; statutory powers
  • Lots of fisheries 
  • Differences in laws
  • Don’t carry firearms; gear differences
  • Good cases
  • Thermal imaging 
  • Enforcement and management
  • Topography
  • Fish counts
  • Intervention of impacts 
  • Issues with stocking fish
  • Collecting evidence
  • 162 offenses last year
  • Pulley system case
  • American vs Scottish bailiffs

060 For the Fallen – Justin Hurst, Texas EOW: March 17, 2007

Justin Hurst was a game warden who worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A graduate of Texas A&M, he had a passion for the outdoors and worked to protect it. Even before he was a warden, he worked as a waterfowl guide and educated people on hunting. After 5 years of service as a warden, he was involved in an incident where a man was suspected of hunting illegally. While backing up another game warden on a pursuit, the suspect’s vehicle was spiked. As he got out, the suspect fired at the approaching wardens and deputies. Hurst was struck multiple times while returning fire, and was med-flighted to a nearby hospital. A day later, on his 34th birthday, Justin succumbed to his injuries. Justin is an example of an exemplary game warden with a strong work ethic and a desire to educate his community. 

His sacrifice will not be forgotten. 

Our Sponsors: 

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Chaplin Scott Mcintosh leads in prayer
  • Start of Justin’s love of wildlife
  • Dad, we need to help these hawks 
  • Love of duck and geese
  • Read the bands on geese
  • Went to Texas A&M, never went to a football game
  • Applied for the academy 
  • First of his class
  • Back home with people he knew
  • Make personal contacts with farmers and ranchers
  • A knocking at the door, a flashlight
  • Justin did not survive
  • His eyes were used as an organ donation
  • 25 game wardens at the house to support us
  • Kept the media away
  • 10 units involved in the incident
  • Dashcam video recorded
  • The pursuit 
  • Gets cornered at the cemetery and starts firing
  • Hits Justin; med-flighted to the hospital
  • I asked God “why did you take my son?”
  • Effects of a LEO death on the family
  • Weeks after, wardens were around 24/7
  • 500 law enforcement at Justin’s funeral
  • Cremated and released into the bay
  • Ashes put in Justin’s projects 
  • Offered life without parole; refused
  • Jury convicted him guilty of 1st degree murder with execution
  • All appeals denied
  • We pick the day he’s executed
  • A long process; very educational 
  • Only could bring a driver’s license the penitentiary 
  • He never said anything
  • Motorcycle groups revved engines during final statement
  • Parent groups for parents who lost LEO sons and daughters
  • Support of organizations
  • I want to make sure our wardens are supported
  • Justin wanted to educate and teach

059 For The Fallen – Arnold Magoon

Arnold Magoon was a game warden with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department for 18 years. He worked his way up from a field warden to a supervisor, and was known to be fair but firm in how he enforced laws. As a warden, Arnold was well liked within the community he patrolled and was a role model for those around him. In 1978, a call about a late night shot came in while he was at home. He responded, and a suspected deer poacher assaulted him with his own flashlight, bludgeoning him to death. Arnold is the only warden that has died in the line of duty with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. 

His sacrifice will not be forgotten. 

Our Sponsors: 

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • For the fallen/police week
  • Wayne’s formal Colonel as a guest
  • Dangers of being a law enforcement officer
  • Roll of honor – 51 names
  • Won’t give this up until I die
  • Most challenging group I work with
  • It has to be done right
  • It was a normal day and he never came back
  • Take the time to tell people what they mean to you
  • Moment of silence
  • Poem
  • Jeff Whipple 
  • Arnold Magoon is the only warden who has died in Vermont
  • Moving on from tragedy and remember
  • Warden to supervisor 
  • Ready to fry by the fourth of July
  • Heard a gunshot and went out
  • Goes to confront the poachers
  • Put an identification on the vehicle
  • Throwing out evidence 
  • Approaching the vehicle: 2 men and 1 women
  • Son’s friend and knows him personally
  • Disappointment and frustration
  • Lunged for the flashlight
  • Left to die
  • Not uncommon to not wear a gun belt
  • Could happen to anyone
  • Monument created

058 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part V – The Conclusion

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 interviewed Wayne and asked him about his experiences as a supervisor over the search and rescue mission for Kate.

Brett Fitzgerald is a member of the search and rescue team that located and recovered Kate Matrosova. He is an experienced climber and outdoorsman who takes clients up the White Mountains. 

Our Sponsors:

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Ty Gagne’s new book
  • High quality volunteers in NH
  • Embrace being a hero
  • Continuation of Wayne’s interview
  • Hasty team was important; other teams covered beacons
  • Covered lots of ground
  • Brett Fitzgerald interview
  • Out skiing during the day before the rescue
  • Telling clients “there is a 0% chance of reaching the summit today”
  • Had the kits ready to go
  • We weren’t sure if we could find her; she could be anywhere
  • Wind picked us off the ground
  • Kate was frozen solid
  • Can’t think of her as a human; need to get the load down
  • Felt like you were drowning 
  • Continuation of Wayne’s interview
  • Hard to communicate above treeline
  • Work to do after recovery
  • Inform next of kin
  • Accomplishments of Kate: calls from reporters from New York
  • Many rescues can be prevented
  • Preparation: more research, investigation, and paying attention to the weather
  • There’s a reason trees don’t grow up there
  • I got it in my calendar, I’m going to hike
  • Flexibility and knowledge is key
  • The finding of Kate’s mountaineering axe
  • Dedication to all search and rescue volunteers