Terror in the Adirondacks: Serial Killer Robert Garrow

Lawrence P. Gooley has published another outstanding chronicle of Adirondack history, Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow. The book chronicles the story of Garrow, an abused Dannemora child, turned thief, serial rapist and killer who admitted to seven rapes and four murders, although police believed there were many more. Among his victims were campers near Speculator in Hamilton County where Garrow escaped a police dragnet and traveled up Route 30 through Indian Lake and Long Lake and eventually made his way to Witherbee where he was tracked down and shot in the foot.

Claiming he was partially paralyzed, Garrow sued the State of New York for $10 million for negligence in his medical care. In exchange for dropping the suit, Garrow was moved to a medium security prison. He was shot and killed during a prison escape in September 1978 &#8211 he had faked his paralysis.

Gooley, who lived the story in the 1970s, says the book tells &#8220a remarkable story, with repercussions locally, statewide, and nationwide.&#8221 &#8220For climbers like me, it was a terrible time in the mountains,&#8221 he said. &#8220Seeing the evidence of what he did to some of his victims confirmed for me that we were right to be wary three decades ago.&#8221

&#8220I researched his entire life story from birth to grave, and it really is an amazing story, Gooley told the Almanack, &#8220there has been much misinformation on parts of his story, and it has been repeated on many websites and in newspaper stories over the years.&#8221 Gooley says he used multiple sources in order to &#8220get the story right,&#8221 including about 2,000 pages of official court transcripts. &#8220That gave me proof that even Garrow’s attorney changed the story,&#8221 the author said, &#8220telling tales 35 years later that directly contradict the official court record. He may not like certain parts of my commentary, but he’ll know I’m right.&#8221

Two years ago, Gooley won the Adirondack center For Writing’s Award for Nonfiction for Oliver’s War: An Adirondack Rebel Battles the Rockefeller Fortune. He actually interrupted his work on Terror in the Adirondacks to tell that story of Brandon Civil War veteran Oliver Lamora’s battle with William Rockefeller, brother of John D. Rockefeller. Gooley optioned the movie rights to a New York City company, which is still seeking funding for the film. &#8220Several interesting things happened in connection with that book, including a call from a NY Times editor and a visit from a member of the Rockefeller family,&#8221 Gooley said, &#8220It certainly has been interesting.&#8221

The book was published by Gooley’s own Bloated Toe Enterprises and can be purchased online and at smaller stores in the Clinton-Essex-Franklin county area.

One thought on “Terror in the Adirondacks: Serial Killer Robert Garrow

  • November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I was on vacation at our place in Speculator during the entire two weeks that went into capturing Garrow and this book not only did an excellent job of recounting the facts leading up to his capture, but provided a very rare insight into the life of mass murderer before the acts took place. It was the only book I have ever read in 24 hours.


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