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Deep in the Woods

The 1935 Kidnapping of Nine-Year-Old George Weyerhaeuser, Heir to America's Mightiest Timber Dynasty

It is a crime even the FBI must have considered fantastic and absurd.

In 1935, nine-year-old George Weyerhaeuser, heir to one of the wealthiest families in America, is snatched off the streets two blocks from his home. The boy is kept manacled in a pit, chained to a tree, and locked in a closet. The perps—a career bank robber, a petty thief, and his nineteen-year-old never-been-in-trouble Mormon wife—quickly become the targets of the biggest manhunt in Northwest history. The caper plays out like a Hollywood thriller with countless twists and improbable developments. Perhaps the most astonishing thing of all, though, is how it all ends.

Bryan Johnston counted network affiliate television as his employer for twenty-five years, earning eleven regional Emmy awards as a writer and producer. He is the author of several Northwest-centric books and has written for numerous magazines and websites. He is currently the Creative Director for a Seattle creative agency. He is a born and bred Seattleite and lives there still with his wife, two teenage kids, and one large goldendoodle. His loves are sports, movies, and books. He’s a middling golfer and used to have reasonable pop from the right side of the plate in his softball days. His favorite book is A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles; his favorite movie is Casablanca. Perhaps his greatest desire is to see the Seattle Mariners in the World Series in his lifetime. He is not holding his breath.