Writer working on book about kindness shot while hitchhiking? Say it isn’t so!
It isn’t so.
Montanans were understandably upset by the report that a man hitchhiking the country to research a book on kindness was shot in our state. But boy, were we peeved when it turned out he shot himself as a publicity stunt. I’m sure others shared my gratification at how quickly law enforcement discovered the fraud and cleared the man falsely accused, although he was held on an unrelated charge of drunk driving.
The Missoulian reports that Valley County sheriff’s deputies didn’t find a gun or ammo in the pickup of the man accused–who was driving a pickup that matched the one described–and found his denial credible. They used his GPS to trace his route–which put him miles away from the shooting at the time the alleged victim claimed it occurred. So they went back to the scene and found a small pistol in a nearby field. They traced the gun to West Virginia, where the alleged victim had bought it days earlier.
According to an August 15 report in the Glasgow Courier, the alleged victim has now been charged with one count of felony tampering with evidence and two misdemeanor counts of making a false report and obstructing a peace officer. He pleaded not guilty. He was released on $10,000 bond and allowed to leave the state to live with a relative near a VA hospital where he can be treated. In typical western graciousness, the sheriff expressed hope that he get evaluation for mental problems
You can’t make some of this stuff up.
Update: Lee Newspapers report that Ray Dolin is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, October 29, and is expected to plead guilty.
This is weirdly funny, for sure. And definitely could be used to good effect in our stories. Thanks for the laugh of the day, Leslie.
Stupid yes. One question not answered; what part of his body did he shoot? Obviously not one where he damages and already damaged brain, or any place that would keep him from walking or he’d bleed to death. I have a feeling his book won’t be published unless he self-publishes it. Title? “How I Shot Myself Trying to Get Published and Make a Million Dollars.”
Gloria, I don’t know — but you’re right, it couldn’t have been a vital part. He did spend a couple of days in the local hospital, and will apparently be receiving more treatment at the VA. And yeah, I don’t think that’s the book he intended!