DESERT INJUSTICE addresses many unanswered questions about one of the most celebrated crimes in Arizona history--the murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles in June 1976. It challenges the conviction of Phoenix developer Max Dunlap, identifies another suspect in the slaying, and rips into the ruling that Tom Sanford, Bolles' main editor, killed himself with his own shotgun six months after Bolles died. First rate reporting. A hard-hitting story. -- Earl Zarbin--reporter and editor at The Arizona Republic 1958-1988.
The 1976 murder of investigative reporter Don Bolles in Phoenix has haunted American journalism for 35 years. Now Robert Blair Kaiser, once a reporter in Phoenix himself, has brought the Bolles case up to date. It’s a fascinating horror story, full of lies, dangerous criminals, crooked politicians and reluctant cops, and even a suicide that most likely was another murder. Kaiser can’t solve this grim mystery, but he casts more light upon it than ever before. You will be appalled, transfixed and immensely grateful for his courageous pursuit of the perilous truth. -- Richard B. Stolley, Senior Editorial Adviser, Time Inc. (founding editor of People, editor of Life, editorial director of Time Inc.)
Kaiser scores the legal system that put the wrong man in prison for the bombing death of Don Bolles, and he has nothing good to say about The Arizona Republic, whose higher ups feared that an honest investigation would lead to Phoenix’s business and political elite. He says the paper was all-too-ready to look the other way when Bolles’ special editor, Tom Sanford, was found dead in the desert six months after the Bolles murder. Authorities called it a suicide. Kaiser demonstrates that Sanford was killed because he knew too much. DESERT INJUSTICE is investigative journalism of the highest order. –John Riley, former correspondent for Life.
With DESERT INJUSTICE, Kaiser has produced a shocking report that challenges an official version of the events that, frankly, never made much sense to me. At 80, Kaiser proves he is still a dogged researcher, and a better writer than ever. He grew up in Phoenix, and he worked at The Republic, so he knows who was really running the town during the Bolles era. His new evidence in this short book could lead to the first satisfying solution of a very complicated murder case. The whole story, as he tells it here, should also make a great movie. -- Dan Moldea, author of The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity.