Terror in the North Country  by Trooper Ed Twohig, Vermont State Police  ( Page 2 )

her in the past and she was frightened of what Drega might do. When she saw the bullet riddled New Hampshire State Police Cruiser pull up in front of the building she took note. When she recognized Carl Drega get out of it, she began to run through the building screaming to other people there, warning them to run. Drega pursued her throughout the building and shot and killed her. In the process, newspaper editor Dennis Joos tried to take the gun away from Drega. A struggle ensued and Joos also was executed.

The Mind of a Maniac

     Drega then left town in the stolen police cruiser, and drove to his home. During the incident, he had been wearing a full beard and once at his home he shaved it off and changed his clothing in a move calculated to confuse law enforcement. He poured some gasoline over his front door in a calculated effort to start a partial fire. It was later learned that the front door had been rigged to trigger an explosive device similar to the one used to destroy the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. This was an attempt to lure rescue workers to the door and kill the firemen and police officers that responded to his home in a huge explosion. 
     After this incident was concluded, the house and barn were the object of scrutiny by law enforcement officers. Over eighty pipe bombs were discovered and a great deal of the components needed to build powerful bombs were discovered in that portion of the home and barn that could be searched safely. In addition, many firearms were also stockpiled. The house and barn, riddled with tunnels and secret compartments, 

were so booby trapped that the decision was made to burn the house and barn down rather than risk more law enforcement lives in an effort to collect evidence.

Flight to Vermont

       After leaving the home, the gunman headed west towards Vermont. Law enforcement in both states were scrambling to respond. As New Hampshire Troopers and Game Wardens surged toward the border area, so did Vermont Troopers, Game Wardens and Border Patrol Officers. Troopers from Derby, St. Johnsbury and Bradford, with minimal information sealed off every bridge along the Connecticut River looking for a stolen New Hampshire Cruiser. 
     On Vermont 102 in the town of Bloomfield, Vermont, New Hampshire Game Warden confronted the gunman in the stolen New Hampshire Troop car. The gunman shot warden Saunders through the windshield of his Fish and Game pickup truck. Luckily, the bullet struck Warden Saunders on his badge and did not penetrate his body. Unfortunately, the badge fragmented on contact and the pieces of badge and bullet wounded the Warden. Warden Saunders truck crashed and the murderous gunman continued his flight. In true north country spirit, Warden Saunders was assisted by local residents George Nugent and Harold Stinson who helped Warden Saunders at the scene and drove him to the hospital. 
     The gunman drove to the nearby town of Brunswick, Vermont and parked the cruiser on a secluded logging road. He turned the cruiser's police radio up loud so that it could be heard 

from a distance. He staked out a spot on the adjacent hillside which proved a clear field of fire toward the roadway surrounding the stolen cruiser. In a final attempt to confuse and gain a tactical advantage over law enforcement officers, the gunman donned the bullet proof vest assigned to the cruiser and also one of the slain Trooper's Stetsons. Then he waited for the officers that would inevitably come to find the cruiser. 
     Brunswick Constable K. Dean Hook, Jr. and his son, Daniel Hook aided the search for the vehicle and located it on the logging road. They returned to the command post that had been set up on Dennis Pond Road. Due to the fact that Vermont State Police cars cannot communicate with each other, one car from each Department was parked next to each other so that the commanders at the scene could exchange information. Lieutenant George Hacking of VSP St. Johnsbury and Lieutenant Leo Jellison of NHSP Troop F were both on hand to direct the manhunt for the gunman. 

The Ambush

        After speaking with the Hooks, a scout team was assembled from law enforcement officers from multiple agencies. Trooper Russ Robinson and K-9 "Major" and Trooper Eric Albright from Vermont were joined by New Hampshire Troopers Jeff Caulder and Robert Haase, along with U.S. Border Patrol Agent John Pfeifer and Essex County Sheriff Amos Colby. The group was briefed on the suspect's description. 
     This team entered the logging road and approached the stolen  [ Page 3 ]

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