'Cookie Bandit' Joseph Henry Burgess
In 2009 the Jemez Mountains of Northern New Mexico were the scene of a fatal encounter with two Sheriff's Deputies setting a stakeout for a habitual cabin robber dubbed 'The Cookie Bandit'. Deputy Joe Harris was hit in the femoral artery and bled out during the next hour, while waiting for medical assistance in the remote National Forest. After being fatally wounded, Deputy Harris shot and killed Burgess in the scuffle.
Joseph Henry Burgess 62, the cabin robber had been prowling the Jemez National Forest harassing people for many long years. Our family cabin was broken into several times, as were many in the Horseshoe Springs group. Friends, who's cabin was robbed many times, were always 'prepared' while staying in their cabin at Horseshoe Springs. My son and his family were confronted by him during an outing at the family cabin. He became emotionally and physically agitated by a Beaver dam on the family property. Our son immediately realized he was dealing with a disturbed, unpredictable and violent individual. Son calmly back tracked into the cabin with his children and wife, locking the doors. During our random cabin visits to the beautiful remote mountainous area of Ponderosa Pines, knowing of the presence of a demented man, I remained Armed at all times and situationally aware of the remote possibilities of assault.
Burgess's long record as another violent, agenda driven environmentalist posing as a survivalist, included the suspicion of deaths of young hikers in Canada in 1972 during his documented time in the area and a strikingly similar occurrence in northern California. His presence in the Pacific Northwest during several unsolved disappearances, strongly suggest his involvement.
After the fatal encounter with deputy Joe Harris in La Queva, his identity was finally revealed and reported as a possible Serial Killer, with several unsubstantiated hiking and camping victims in several states he inhabited. Including the 2006 disappearance of David Eley, another Jemez Mountains hiker/camper who's .357 weapon mortally wounded Deputy Joe Harris. Eley's remains were later found by search teams, buried in the mountain forest area near the scene of his encampment. Burgess obviously through attack or deceit, forcible took possession of Eley's weapon.
During the cabin stakeout, Deputy Joe Harris and Deputy Theresa Moriarty were surprised by the middle of the night break in, at the cabin. Deputy Harris, a large man, handcuffed Burgess after a struggle, but Burgess had a weapon not discovered during the take down, and shot Deputy Joe Harris. Deputy Moriarty had Deputy Harris's weapon, but couldn't figure it out. Deputy Harris, although mortally wounded, grabbed it back and killed Burgess, reportedly shooting him in the head. One early report was that Deputy Theresa Moriarty had 'forgotten' her weapon she was familiar with, back in their truck (I wonder what she was thinking?). She also apparently did not understand even basic procedure to stem the flow of Deputy Harris's femoral arterial bleeding. Question.... was she frozen under duress? Despite reports of having a questionable past, as do many of us, Deputy Joe Harris was given full honors at his well attended funeral.
Now that time has passed and Theresa Moriarty has been released from the sheriff's dept, after not being able to do her duties, she is now bringing a lawsuit against the Sandoval County Sheriff's department. She claims she was not fully trained in 'undercover' stakeouts, weapons were not standardized, she was not supported by the department, not given backup, not given reliable radios or cellphones and not told they were possibly dealing with a deadly violent serial killer (they only learned who he was, 'after' the fingerprints confirmed his identity).
She also states that although she was a sworn and uniformed Sheriff's Deputy, she was normally assigned as a Sandoval County school system security officer with cushy assignments, not accustomed to violent confrontations.
Some of what she says is reportedly to some extent viable. Also apparent is she failed to even have knowledge of basic procedures to assist her partner in his last minutes of life. The most apparent mistake by the Sandoval County Sheriff's Dept was in hiring an unqualified deputy in the first place. Theresa Moriarty is also claiming PTSD, emotional and physical strains after the encounter, preventing her from returning to work. If I recall correctly, possibly mistaken, she came to NM supposedly experienced? from a law enforcement agency somewhere back east.
'Deep Pockets' is the term used by lawyers when they have an easy mark. Sorry Sandoval County, Looks like your taxpayers are going to be 'Easy'.