The Barefoot Bandit and Our Sense of Self

You’d never guess that the green-eyed teenager in the photo was a fugitive. The boy in the self-portrait that buzzed around the world’s media that day in 2009 stared up at you wearing Apple earbuds, resting his head on a knapsack in a patch of brush. You could have easily mistaken him for a Boy Scout. This was Colton Harris-Moore, an eighteen-year-old runaway who eluded authorities for over two years when he embarked on an adventurous crime spree that resulted in over one hundred cases of theft, burglary, and criminal trespassing. The world knew him as “the Barefoot Bandit,” a name he earned after a surveillance video caught him pilfering without shoes. He must have approved ...

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