Outside magazine, August 1996
Concluding a chain of events that resembles something out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, U.S. marshals have finally located fugitive river guide William Stoner in Sydney, Australia, and are now pressing for his extradition. Stoner, you may recall, was the leader of the so-called Quartzite Eight, a rather quixotic outfit that in 1993 used 144 pounds of explosives to obliterate the natural rock ledge at Quartzite Falls on Arizona's Salt River-thereby reducing the dramatic Class V rapid to an anonymous Class III ripple. Claiming he merely wanted "to make the river safer," Stoner pleaded guilty to felony destruction charges in December 1994 and then fled the country while awaiting sentencing. Before he left, however, Stoner allegedly bilked several banks out of an estimated $100,000, which was perhaps the start of his undoing: Australian officials nabbed him at a Sydney bank last April for attempting to withdraw cash using false identification.
Open a World of Adventure
Our Dispatch email delivers the stories you can’t afford to miss.