Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison

James W. Clarke, Author
James W. Clarke, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-395-46721-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
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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