Monday, January 23, 2012

Glacier Park's Night of the Grizzlies

Iowa Public Television has uploaded Montana PBS' documentary Glacier Park's Night of the Grizzlies to their website and I highly recommend that everyone watch this! It is a stirring, emotional look at the inexplicable incident that claimed the lives of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons in 1967.

This was one of the first bear attacks I ever read about and I immediately felt a strong connection to both Julie and Michele, almost as if I knew them (Julie in particular - so much so that I named two characters in a recent short story of mine after them), and I've been researching it ever since. There are no easy answers about what happened that night and personally I'm not interested in asking those questions. The strong, almost spiritual, connection that I feel towards the victims (and I've heard a few other people admit to feeling the same) is what piques my curiosity about this event and it's what's compelled me to try to visit Glacier National Park this August for the anniversary.

Every day I check the stats on this blog. There I can see how many views I've received, what websites are sending traffic my way, and what search queries lead people to the blog. Every week I see at least a dozen or more search results relating to the night of the grizzlies and the names of the two girls so there is certainly a great interest in the incident and in the victims. If anyone reads this who feels the same or who knew Julie or Michele, please feel free to comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Below is the link to watch the film online. While it's not quite as in-depth as Jack Olsen's book, it's still an informative and heart-wrenching piece that never fails to choke me up every time.

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