Earl Shumway, the notorious pillager of Anasazi burial sites in Utah, has been convicted of looting. Shumway had built a record of illegal pillaging of historic sites since 1984, bragging that he was untouchable (HCN, 12/26/94).
When asked by The Salt Lake Tribune to describe
Shumway, Utah state archaeologist Dave Madsen was brief:
"Pothunter. Looter. Or just scumbag. You probably can't print any
of the other words I'd use."
escaped a conviction in 1986 by testifying against his friend Buddy
Black in the high-profile Basket Case, in which the two looters
excavated a collection of Anasazi baskets. That strategy kept him
free for a while - Shumway got away with probation. Now, a Moab
helicopter pilot has testified in federal court that Shumway
offered him thousands of dollars worth of Anasazi baskets to
pinpoint certain sites from the air, including one within
Canyonlands National Park.
But pilot Michael
Miller said he realized Shumway wasn't going to split the proceeds
from artifact sales with him, much less pay for any of the
helicopter's gas. Law enforcement officials expect Shumway's Nov.
13 sentencing to be stiff: he was convicted of four violations of
the Archaeological Resources Act. Shumway's offenses could net him
up to 15 years in prison.