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Use a Shovel, Go to Prison

Outside magazine, March 1996

Use a Shovel, Go to Prison
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta (with Brian Alexander and Steve Law)

It was, the prosecution said, a message to those who feel it is their "special right to destroy, loot, and plunder this nation's resources": Last December, notorious grave robber Earl Shumway of Moab, Utah, was handed a six-and-a-half-year prison term. Shumway, long considered the Al Capone of artifact plundering, helicoptered into remote sites with radio-packing lookouts in tow and claimed to average $5,000 a day in black-market sales. A federal trial jury found him guilty of, among other things, removing an Anasazi ceremonial blanket from the skeleton of an infant at Dop-Ki Cave in Canyonlands National Park and scattering the remarkably preserved bones.

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