THE BIGFOOT FILES / Chapter Twenty-Six: ‘Monsters Among Us’

The third and final episode of Hulu’s true-crime documentary Sasquatch brings its mythic metaphor full circle with the conclusion of an investigation into a 1993 triple homicide allegedly committed by Bigfoot.

If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two episodes, here are the links to EPISODE 1 and EPISODE 2.

Investigative journalist David Holthouse

The finale is titled “Monsters Among Us.” Unfortunately, for us Bigfoot enthusiasts, the monsters are not Sasquatches. They’re cannabis farmers in the Northern California region known as the Emerald Triangle.

Episode 3 continues the murder investigation conducted by journalist David Holthouse, who interviews suspicious cannabis farmers and law enforcement officials. Holthouse discovers hopeful leads and frustrating dead ends in his search for the truth.

When one of the more colorful characters named Ghostdance says he recalls a cannabis farmer nicknamed Bigfoot, I begin to see where the trail is leading. And when a law enforcement official confirms it, saying “that sounds like Bigfoot Gary,” I’m like you have to be kidding me.

Holthouse starts to question himself.

“I was thinking back to that night in the cabin in 1993,” Holthouse said. “And did I hear them say a Bigfoot killed those guys, or did I hear them say Bigfoot killed those guys? Because memory’s tricky like that.”

Holthouse focuses on finding Bigfoot Gary. He also ponders the high rate of missing person cases in the Emerald Triangle region.

“You hang out in these dope towns, and all around you are signs about missing people,” Holthouse said. “I mean, just dozens, hundreds of them. And all those missing person fliers are literally signs that there are monsters among us.”

After hitting another dead end with Bigfoot Gary, Holthouse finally tracks down the man who owned the cannabis farm where Holthouse originally had heard the Bigfoot triple-murder story back in 1993.

The farmer explains what happened, and whether you believe him or not is up to you, but the farmer’s tale is the most interesting part of the documentary. Did the story satisfy me? Not really, but it gave Holthouse some closure.

“There is this elusive truth that I glimpsed through the trees,” Holthouse said. “And it’s like the same obsession that drives Squatchers to spend half their lives in the woods. At least I have a story that I tell myself makes sense now.”

For Sasquatch enthusiasts, though, the story continues.

NEXT UP: Chapter Twenty-Seven: Bigfoot in the Bronx. I review the novel by Hunter Shea.

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Twenty-Five: ‘Spy Rock’

“Spy Rock,” the Episode 2 title of Hulu’s true-crime documentary Sasquatch, takes you deeper into the dangerous cannabis farming region of Northern California called the Emerald Triangle and further away from Bigfoot’s involvement in a triple homicide.

If you haven’t read my review of Episode 1, you can check it out HERE.

Episode 2 opens with an interesting interview featuring Bob Heironimus. He claims he wore the Bigfoot suit for the famous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film in exchange for “a thousand bucks.” He offers a detailed description of the experience. Bob Gimlin counters the claim, but Heironimus says, “Have him look at my right hip. I had my jeans on. It was my wallet. He knows it was me.”

And that’s it as far as Sasquatch goes.

The documentary returns to David Holthouse, the journalist investigating a 1993 triple murder allegedly committed by Bigfoot. Picking up where Episode 1 left off, “Spy Rock” focuses more on the violent history of the Emerald Triangle region.

After a fruitful interview with a cannabis farmer named Razor, Holthouse learns the three murder victims are Mexicans and the scene of the crime is near Spy Rock Road. Media coverage of the region shows past coverage of stabbings, shootings, and murders.

The narrative then shifts to the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), a multi-agency law enforcement task force formed in 1983 to eradicate cannabis cultivation and trafficking. The campaign wiped out cannabis farms, increasing the costs of marijuana and heightening paranoia in the region. The cannabis farmers who remained started protecting their crops with firearms and booby traps. In the 1990s, the violence escalated, and harder drugs increased in popularity.

Holthouse sets up a meeting with a cannabis farmer and uses a hidden camera during a tense drive into the forest. During the meeting, he learns about the tension between whites and the Latinos who were often hired as laborers.

Holthouse briefly addresses his own past demons, including when he was sexually assaulted at age seven. He said the incident left him with a diminished sense of self-worth, enabling him to take risks without much fear. However, Holthouse appears nervous as he gets closer to the truth.

Another meeting with a different confidential source surprisingly reveals the name of the prime murder suspect, a man who worked on a farm affiliated with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. However, Holthouse decides against releasing the suspect’s name out of fear for his personal safety. Even the intimidating Razor is afraid to discuss the suspect.

Holthouse manages to acquire the suspect’s phone number and makes the call. The episode ends with the suspect answering the phone.

NEXT UP: Chapter Twenty-Six: Sasquatch. I review the final episode of the 2021 Hulu series.

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Twenty-Four: ‘Grabbing at Smoke’

Hulu’s true-crime documentary, Sasquatch, begins its three-episode arc with a story “about a Sasquatch wasting three dudes in dope country.”

The series title feels like a bait-and-switch because it invokes the creature’s name to empower a metaphor rather than expose the mythic monster.

Titled “Grabbing at Smoke,” the first episode follows investigative journalist David Holthouse on a wild goose chase through his memory and the dangerous cannabis farming region of Northern California called the Emerald Triangle.

In the fall of 1993, Holthouse worked on a cannabis farm with a friend. The second night there, his friend received an intense phone call before two men arrived saying that a Bigfoot dismembered and killed three other men.

Twenty-five years later, Holthouse decides to return to the scene and investigate the triple murder.

Holthouse is a credible and compelling subject, and director Joshua Rofé effectively blends in creepy animation and an eerie soundtrack to create an atmosphere of anxiety and paranoia.

The first episode finds Holthouse at the start of his investigation and provides an interesting lesson on the dark history of the Emerald Triangle, including Native American massacres and the timber industry’s wanton destruction of ancient redwood trees.

However, the arrival of the hippies and back-to-the-landers in the 1970s fuels thriving cannabis farms off the grid and sets the stage for murder and mayhem in the shadows of the dense forest.

Back to the investigation, Holthouse fails to find any links to the 1993 Bigfoot murder story and hires a private investigator, hoping his connections will locate a lead.

The episode sprinkles in interviews with Bigfoot hunters and witnesses, including James “Bobo” Fay of Finding Bigfoot and Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University.

“I’m convinced Sasquatch exists,” said Meldrum, who estimates 300 Bigfoot live in Idaho. “It’s the evidence that convinces me.”

The most interesting interview is Bob Gimlin, the gentleman forever associated with the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of 1967.

The documentary shifts back to the investigation when Holthouse’s private eye provides an intriguing lead.

A cannabis farmer named Razor recalls a similar story about three Mexican nationals killed around the Spy Rock Road area in 1993.

The episode ends with Holthouse planning to meet the mysterious Razor in person followed by a texted warning from the suddenly skittish private investigator.

“You. Please be careful.”

NEXT UP: Chapter Twenty-Five: Sasquatch. I review Episode 2 of the 2021 Hulu series.