Dark Side of the Mountain

John Benson was a family man.  The truck driver from Tacoma was a father of five.  And, every once in a while, he liked to get away. He liked to go hunting.

In October of 2000, John was braving the frigid and unpredictable weather just outside Mount Rainier National Park.  It was prime hunting season for deer and elk.

John had been hunting his whole life, and he knew how to do it right.  That’s especially important in an area that can get down below freezing at night with gusting winds and sometimes even an early autumn snowfall.

Although, he wasn’t exactly ‘roughing it.’

His large, walled tent was outfitted with a cot, a pellet stove and even a kitchenette.

John was just looking for some alone time. He had driven several miles along winding dirt and gravel roads at the base of the mountain, through dense forest, until he found a little clearing. It was the perfect spot for his cozy ‘home away from home.’

Imagine his surprise when, early one evening, a stranger came knocking on his canvas door.

A stranger who would offer John a little liquor and conversation.  A stranger who would be the last person to see John alive….

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