Fatal shootout ends decades-long hunt for killer

For nearly 40 years, Joseph Henry Burgess managed to elude the detectives searching for him throughout British Columbia and the American West.

A reclusive and accomplished outdoorsman, Burgess is believed to have spent the past 10 to 12 years in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, moving from makeshift camp to makeshift camp and breaking into summer homes and cabins to steal shoes, supplies and food.

But he was like a ghost.

"We never could get fingerprints from any crime entries, because he was pretty careful about leaving any trace of anything behind," Sandoval County, N.M., Sheriff John Paul Trujillo said Wednesday. "We just could never catch up with this guy."

That all changed last Thursday, when Burgess and one of Trujillo's deputies were killed in a violent confrontation inside a darkened mountain cabin during a stakeout set up to catch a serial burglar.

Now, authorities are looking into Burgess' movements over the past 37 years, hoping to tie him to four brutal slayings, including the August 2004 deaths of two counselors from a Christian youth camp, fatally shot as they slept on a Sonoma County, Calif., beach.

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