Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison

Overview

When convicted murderer Gary Tison broke out of an Arizona prison with the help of his sons in 1978, it was an embarrassment to the state. Then it became a nightmare. Tison and his gang murdered six people before they were stopped near the Mexican border. Clarke's story of that manhunt is a chilling account of both cold-blooded murder and astonishing corruption within the state penal system. Last Rampage is a tale of criminal ruthlessness that has been called the In Cold Blood of the American West. Twenty years ...

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Overview

When convicted murderer Gary Tison broke out of an Arizona prison with the help of his sons in 1978, it was an embarrassment to the state. Then it became a nightmare. Tison and his gang murdered six people before they were stopped near the Mexican border. Clarke's story of that manhunt is a chilling account of both cold-blooded murder and astonishing corruption within the state penal system. Last Rampage is a tale of criminal ruthlessness that has been called the In Cold Blood of the American West. Twenty years later, overtaxed law enforcement and overcrowded prisons can only make us wonder if such an incident could happen again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tison was serving two consecutive life sentences for murder when, accompanied by another killer named Randy Greenawalt and aided by members of Tison's family, he broke out of Arizona State Prison in 1978. The two escapees and Tison's sons Donny, Ray and Ricky left a trail of corpses in their wake as they eluded law-enforcement pursuit across Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. The chilling trek came to an end in a shoot-out near the Mexican border: Donny was killed; Tison fled but later died of exposure; sons Ray and Ricky, and Greenawalt are now on death row. Clarke, a political-science professor at the University of Arizona, explores the legacy of lawlessness Gary Tison inherited from his grandfather and father; his marriage (his wife adored him); and the misplaced confidence his sons placed in him. He also examines the ways Tison took advantage of the prison system. Warden Harold Cardwell considered him a model of the rehabilitated hardened criminal, choosing to overlook his history of escape attempts and even detailed reports of the final escape plan. This is a riveting account of a bloody crime spree and a first-class study of a cunning sociopath in action. Photos. (September)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816519675
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1ST UNIVER
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,444,210
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James W. Clarke is Professor of Political Science at the University of Arizona. He is also the author of American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics; On Being Mad or Merely Angry: John W. Hinckley, Jr. and Other Dangerous People; and The Lineaments of Wrath: Race, Violent Crime, and American Culture.

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