A man wanted in the decades-old double murder of a young hippie couple camping on a Vancouver Island beach was involved in a gunfight late last week with New Mexico police that left both him and a police officer dead.
Joseph Henry Burgess was the prime suspect in the 1972 murders of Ann Barbara Durrant, 20, and Leif Bertil Carlsson, 19.
The couple was camping at Radar Beach, just south of Tofino, B.C., when they were shot and killed.
Their bodies were found together in a sleeping bag on June 21.
At the time, Burgess was a 25-year-old draft dodger from New Jersey living on the beach.
After the murder, he left all his possessions behind at his nearby campsite, including a Bible with the name Job Weeks on an inside page.
The only item missing was his rifle.
Burgess had reportedly complained to people before the murder that he didn't approve of a young unwed Christian couple living on the beach together.
Fast-forward more than 25 years and Burgess -- known only as the Cookie Bandit -- was wanted by police in New Mexico for breaking into cabins in a mountainous area near Albuquerque.
For the past 10 years, the Cookie Bandit had been breaking into rural homes to steal snacks, canned goods, rain gear and other items needed for survival in the outdoors.
Last Thursday morning, though, he broke into the wrong cabin.
His chosen target was the same cabin from which two police officers from the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department were staking him out.
"The police were inside when he broke in," said Lieut. Eric Garcia of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
The two officers confronted Burgess, knocked him down and tried to arrest him, but Burgess fired a gun, fatally shooting one of the officers.
At some point during the struggle, the officers returned Burgess's gunfire, striking and killing him.
He was 62.
Police did not identify the Cookie Bandit as Joseph Henry Burgess until after his death.
Evidence linking Burgess to the 1972 Tofino double murder includes fingerprints found on torn and discarded documents belonging to the victims, Garcia said.
The RCMP did not respond Monday to an interview request.
Dan Creally, the initial RCMP investigator assigned to the Tofino-area double murder in 1972, spoke to the Vancouver Sun in 2007.
Creally said it was his only murder left unsolved when he retired in 1981.
"This was in the hippie days," he recalled of Long Beach in 1972.
At that time, it was populated by about 1,000 young people from all over the world living in lean-tos constructed of driftwood and plastic tarps.
"They occupied about 29 miles of beach," he said of Long Beach, which became part of a national park in 1970.
Durrant had been a student at the University of B.C. and Carlsson was a visiting student from Sweden.
Between the comments Burgess reportedly made about his disapproval of an unwed couple living together on the beach, and the fact he had been seen cleaning a semi-automatic .22-calibre rifle -- the same type of weapon used in the double murder -- only days before the murder, police were quite sure they had the right man.
"All the evidence pointed to this man Burgess," Creally said.
The only problem was that police had no idea where he was.