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The Disappearances: A Story of Exploration, Murder, and Mystery in the American West
by Scott Thybony
University of Utah Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-1-60781-484-9 | Paper: 978-1-60781-483-2
Library of Congress Classification HV6762.U5T47 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.76

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In 1935, during the wind-swept years of the Dust Bowl, three people went missing on separate occasions in the rugged canyon country of southeastern Utah, a place “wild, desolate, mysterious.” A thirteen-year old girl, Lucy Garrett, was tricked into heading west with the man who had murdered her father under the pretense of reuniting with him. At the same time, a search was underway for Dan Thrapp, a young scientist on leave from the American Museum of Natural History. Others were scouring the same region for an artist, Everett Ruess, who had disappeared into “the perfect labyrinth.” 

Intrigued by this unusual string of coincidental disappearances, Scott Thybony set out to learn what happened. His investigations took him from Island in the Sky to Skeleton Mesa, from Texas to Tucson, and from the Green River to the Red. He traced the journey of Lucy Garrett from the murder of her father to her dramatic courtroom testimony. Using the pages of an old journal he followed the route of Dan Thrapp as he crossed an expanse of wildly rugged country with a pair of outlaws. Thrapp’s story of survival in an unforgiving land is a poignant counterpoint to the fate of the artist Everett Ruess, which the New York Times has called “one of the most enduring mysteries of the modern West.” Thybony draws on extensive research and a lifetime of exploration to create a riveting story of these three lives.

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