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Monday, September 6, 2010

Camping With Murderers

Whitewater State Park is alluring and worthy of your visit. It's not known for murderers, really, to camp in it; except for the two men who knew how to choose a great place to enjoy on their last day of freedom.

Of all the places in the whole country, the murderers of the Florida family were enjoying their last day of freedom in the majestic Blufflands of southeastern Minnesota, camping in Whitewater State Park, where we just camped.

We arrived Thursday evening at the Park. The ranger pulled out a Press Release and informed us that earlier that day at 1:40 a.m., the Florida fugitives were arrested when the U.S. Marshals and Winona SWAT team had stormed their camper, throwing in two concussion grenades, breaking windows and doors. In terror and confusion, the sleeping campers were awakened by the commotions (I later spoke to one of them who had been slumbering thirty feet away when the bombs went off).

The good news is that no one was hurt and the fugitives were apprehended. Only one family left the park that same night. Shaken and unable to sleep for the remainder of the night, the rest of the campers stayed:
They were in a good spot for Labor Day and were not going to lose it for a small war breaking in their midst. Minnesotans are hardy and have a record to prove it.

Despite the excitement, we had a wonderful experience camping there for four days. Had it not been for the ranger telling us what had happened that morning, we would not have known that a quiet, sensitive, and magnificent a place was the scene of such ugliness.

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