On Point On Point

Support the news

But Is 'Barefoot Banditry' Any Fun?

This article is more than 10 years old.

Like it or not, Colton Harris-Moore has himself a cult following. Over 92,000 people  "like" a Facebook page devoted to him — and that's just one of several Internet hubs admiring the 19-year-old runaway.

"Let's hope he remains free, healthy and at-large for a long time!" posted one of our guests from Monday's show, Zack Sestak, in the introduction to his own Facebook group.

The Cult of Colton, if you will, seems to take it for granted that Harris-Moore had liberated himself, living a real-life adventure tale in which he controlled his own fate.

Paul Schneider wrote a book on legendary bandits Bonnie and Clyde, and he said that banditry gets popular when it seems someone is having a little fun with their adversity.

"We're able to say, 'These are hard times, and he made a run for it,'" Schneider said. It's something people can empathize with — and even envy. "(People think,) 'That could be me, if I had those guts,'" Scheider said.

But Schneider's research suggests that, in reality, there's little to envy about life on the run. In fact, he said, it's "miserable."

"Colton Harris-Moore probably had moments of euphoria, when he stole a plan and took off and whatnot, but the life of being on the run is not for everybody," he said. "It's not all fun and games."

What do you think? Was Harris-Moore living out every kid's dream? Or was his life on the run simply desperate?

This program aired on July 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Support the news