Teen Fugitive Colton Harris-Moore Appears Headed for the Big Screen. But Will He Cash In?

It’s already been established that there’s potentially a lot of scratch to be made from a Hollywood treatment of the Colton Harris-Moore saga—the likely reason behind Fox’s purchase of the rights to Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw, Orcas Island scribe Bob Friel’s planned book on Harris-Moore.

But even if Fox green-lights the flick, the Barefoot Bandit isn’t likely to see any profit from it.

The famous “Son of Sam” law prevents criminals from profiting in any way from their crimes. A number of states adopted similar laws after its inception in 1977, including Washington. But the original New York law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. And Washington state’s own law was successfully challenged in 2000 by none other than convicted statutory rapist Mary Kay Letourneau.

Ten years ago, Letourneau’s lawyers persuaded a panel of judges from the Washington State Court of Appeals to follow the Supreme Court’s lead and allow her to take a French publisher up on its bid for her tell-all. The court did. In return, she gave the world Un Seul Crime, L’amour.

In light of Letourneau’s success, it behooves Harris-Moore to take the next, most convenient opportunity to turn himself in. By doing so he’ll be giving himself one hell of a bargaining position, as no one is likely to make a movie without Harris-Moore’s input if they can make one with it.

Conceivably he could charge a truly disgusting amount of dough for his participation. And as a reportedly money-conscious dude, can Colton really afford not to consider it?

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