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YUCCA VALLEY–A Suicide Bombing at Giant Rock, a Brown Bag Lunch Lecture at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum
November 15, 2018 @ 4:00 am – 5:00 amFree
YUCCA VALLEY– In the summer of 1942, a fifty-seven year old engineer and local eccentric by the name of Frank Critzer was known for two things; as the owner/operator of the Giant Rock airstrip in Landers in the Mojave Desert and as the man who lived alone – under a rock. The Giant Rock.
As part of a criminal investigation, sheriff’s deputies had an encounter with Critzer inside his “home”, under the Giant Rock in July of that year. Believing that he was about to be arrested, Critzer announced that he was not going to be taken alive – just as he caused a quantity of dynamite, stored in his home, to explode. Critzer was killed immediately while the three deputies suffered non-fatal wounds. But why? The facts of this case will focus on forensic evaluation and post-blast investigation yet still address the many rumors and inconsistencies about this most bizarre case.
Speaker Mike Digby retired as a detective/bomb technician after serving 34 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and seven years with the United States Army. He has provided bomb training to police and military organizations around the world. He has also authored two books; The Bombs, Bombers and Bombings of Los Angeles (2016) and A Bombing in the Wilshire-Pico District (2018). Digby is an advisor on our project, “Our Giant Rock.”
This is an ADA accessible event and light refreshments will be provided. The event is free for museum members and $5 for non-members. The event is part of the programming for a California Humanities Grant received last December, “Our Giant Rock: a Community Touchstone in the Mojave.” Karyl Newman (project director) and Hi-Desert Nature Museum staff will launch the interactive archive exhibit in Fall of 2019.
Please park around the community center complex in Yucca Valley, CA at no cost.
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum
57116 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Yucca Valley, CA