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Escaping the Arroyo

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  780 ratings  ·  91 reviews
On April 5, 1981, two college coeds were kidnapped from a residential street of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The next morning, the girls were found in a desolate mountain arroyo; one raped and murdered, the other savagely stabbed 33 times and left for dead. As fear engulfed the University of New Mexico's quiet campus, police had few clues to assist them in tracking down the ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 248 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Joyce Nance (first published June 4th 2012)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Vicki Willis
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a horrific tale of true crime. It is amazing anyone could have the will to live through this kind of attack. The book was very fast paced and had short chapters. It did tend to jump around from person to person and place to place in the beginning which made it hard to figure out what was going on. It was very descriptive and graphic which really made me feel for the victims in this crime. The book moved quickly through the crime, the trial and the punishment, but still had enough detail ...more
This is the gripping story of a young woman victimized in a vicious attack that left her best friend dead and her own life changed in ways she would never have chosen. Colene Bush was stabbed 33 times, her throat slashed, and yet she climbed up two embankments and across three highway lanes until she was seen and saved. Eventually, her attacker was caught (he turned himself in), tried and found guilty.

The writing in the book is serviceable and the story of the abduction powerful. The trial is
Ms BookAholic
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Escaping the Arroyo is based on a true crime committed in 1981 and is a dramatization of events that occurred before, during and after the crime. This story is told in four parts and focuses on the surviving victim. Escaping the Arroyo was a bland read for me. I'm usually interested in any true crime book. This one was just tedious and I couldn't wait to be done with it. I downloaded this onto my Kindle a while ago and recently decided to read it. I just have to say that I was not satisfied. The ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A True Story

Two young men on a trip found a half nude girl bleeding to death on highway I-40 east of Albuquerque near Tijeras canyon. Because she felt so cold, the men wrapped her in their heavy sleeping bag and then attempted to flag down someone for help. This was before the days of cellphones. Finally a trucker stopped and radioed on his CB to other truckers until one said he could call 911. The medics finding the girl covered with multiple stab wounds and a very faint pulse quickly loaded
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Drawing on court documents, interviews, five years of research and Colene Bush's first hand account, Escaping the Arroyo combines fact with considered conjecture to create a compelling account of an unspeakable crime.

Escaping the Arroyo is based on the tragic true story of college coeds, Julie Jackson and Colene Bush who were kidnapped at knife point by Michael Guzman from Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1981. Nineteen year old Julie was raped and murdered while twenty year old Colene was stabbed 33
Lynda Kelly
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This was an amazing and shocking true story but was marred by the amount of mistakes through it, many of them very sloppy indeed which spoilt it. I do hope she'll revise all the errors and tidy it up. It doesn't seem respectful putting it out like this.......
Jody foster is spelt Jodie for starters and the dates were wrong in a couple of places stating it was April 6th 1981 when it was still the 5th. That was pretty careless, I thought. Then 1981 ended up written as 198 !!
The most common mistakes
Georgia Roybal
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book and I were meant to be together. First of all, I won it as a First Reads book. That always makes me happy. Then, when I got it, the author Joyce Nance said I had a copy with some errors; would I like a cleaner copy? After 20 years of writing educational materials, a few small typos doesn't bother me much. Another reason the book and I were meant for each other is that I moved to New Mexico a few months after the murder and attempted murder happened. Not only that, the murder happened ...more
Tammy Caceres
The true story is gripping, but the writing wasn't up to it. Additionally, the book is riddled with typos that should be corrected. The aftermath story of Colene's life for the 30 plus years since the attempt on her life is glossed over. It doesn't make much sense because crucial details were left out. This is a letdown because after reading what she went through you come to care about her story. I have read much better true crime authors.
Bettye McKee
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime-books
A terrible, tragic story

Two University of New Mexico students, Julie Jackson and Colene Bush were kidnapped off the street, forced at knifepoint into a car, and driven to a secluded place where they were stabbed.

This is a story of crime and death but also one of courage and survival. The sheer determination to live exhibited by one of the victims was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

If I had proofread this book, I would have made 58 corrections.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Criminologists as well as general readers
Good book. As a sociologist, I found it a wonderful insight into the criminal tendancies of an individual as well as the victim. It is too often that we focus on the crime and the criminal and not the victim. This book tells the story of the crime but more importantly the victim. Overall a good read. A great start for an author I personally hope to see more out of in the future.
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting account of a horrific crime and a sad tale of the aftermath. However, I did not like the writing style and the author did not seem to be able to decide on a documentary-style or novel. It read almost like a police report at times and at others like amateur fiction with a smattering of bad metaphors.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
True story, great read, very fast, and personal. Made you feel like you were right there with her through everything. I would recommend this book to others.
Lady ♥ Belleza
Forced to review

I freaking hate! Being forced to review books here. I much prefer reviewing books on GR orl my blog. Fork u anazon!
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book as I live in the area where everything took place. What happened to those women was awful and I can't believe that guy wasn't put to death.
Most of this didn't seem too much like a book to me. It seems like a recounting of actual events. Some of it was tough to get through and not because it was gory. I actually think that maybe the part about the stabbings and killings should have affected me more, but what really got to me was the last chapter about what happened after the Guzman's trial. Juile's fiance got no help and just turned in on himself. Colene was outcast and picked on by members of the community. She tried to do ...more
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't typically go for the true crime novel, as simply turning on the evening news can tell you all you need to know about man's inhumanity to man. However this book caught my attention because of the location. I spent half of my childhood in Farmington NM, visiting my grandparents, then as an adult moving there, and then moving down to ABQ. Tijeras Canyon is a place I have been to many times "rock hounding" and passing by on my way up to Sandia Peak to spend the day in the mountains. New ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book I got free for my Kindle Fire. It is a fictionalized (for the most part) tale of a crime which took place in 1981. Apparently, the documentation on the case was either lost or destroyed, and the author had to use many old cassette tapes to get the story, in addition to news articles, etc. It is a pretty interesting story, showing how, in my opinion, monsters among us are made, not born, and also shows the will to survive can be extremely strong in certain individuals. The defendent in ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
The title tells nothing of what this book will be about. In fact, the cover itself might not be anything one would even take a second look at. It’s the synopsis which drew me in.

Michael was an angry young man who grew up with his mother admittedly hating and beating him for infractions of his own and of his siblings. Despised at the way he was looked down upon by whom he calls the Anglos, he wanted a way to channel that anger and sought revenge. The way he sought to channel that anger and the
It is hard to give a true crime novel five stars in my humble opinion. It almost feels then like you are condoning the crime. So I am giving the book four stars because it is just too tough to say any book based on this kind of horrific even simply can't be "amazing" if only for the fact that you know that someone out there had to struggle with these events, and that is not amazing, it is a tragedy.

I can say with a clear conscious though that this book details these events in an honest manner
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can a GoFundMe account be established for Colene Bush?

This story blew me away. I'm surprised that I had no knowledge of Colene Bush prior to reading this book. This woman was a happenstance victim of THE most horrific attack I've ever heard of. I don't know how she survived. I cannot imagine the physical and psychological trauma that she has to face every single day of her life. Her heroic perseverance to triumph over "man's inhumanity to man" deserves to be celebrated, and often.

It makes me
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first question is, what is an arroyo? Well it's a dry creek bed in the canyons of New Mexico. There in 1981, 19 year old Michael Guzman murdered and raped one University of Mexico student and brutally stabbed dozens of times her friend. He thought he had left no witnesses but the second girl, mortally wounded and having lost most of her blood, managed somehow to crawl out of the arroyo and up on the highway to get help. She miraculously survived after hours of surgery but physically and ...more
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-life-crime
Another true crime book where the criminal blames his miserable childhood for the horrendous crime he commits. This is author Nance's first book and she did a pretty thorough job of it. I didn't feel it necessary to go over and over the details, she presented them well the first time so why belabor the point. How could one forget them after reading them the first time as they were so horrific. Innocent victims, one of whom escaped the arroyo but has paid a price nonetheless. My heart just goes ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I acquired this book as a freebie and I'm so glad that I downloaded it! This is not for the faint of heart or the terribly tender-hearted. And I wouldn't recommend it for young readers. It is the true story (somewhat fictionalized in areas) of the kidnapping, rape, murder, and attempted murder of two young women in New Mexico in 1981.

It's an easy read in the sense of the ease of's not labor intensive in the areas of vocabulary or comprehension. Where the difficulty comes in is
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. This horrendous crime was intimately and excellently told.
Colene is such a brave and amazing woman. What a crime that she was ostracized and discriminated against even though she is the victim. She should have been embraced and encouraged for her bravery and tenacity. The murderer on the other hand made a mockery of our justice system and idiot Anaya made sure she and others were victims over and over.
I think it is very fitting that Guzman thought
Lisa Tortorello
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce Nance takes a brutal subject and tells the story of two young women who were savagely attacked and beaten in 1981. One young woman was killed and the other, stabbed over 30 times, survived. Her will to live was nothing but amazing. I do not always read true crime novels, but this story captured my attention. I found myself turning pages hoping beyond all hope that when the bad guy was finally caught justice would be served. Unfortunately, this evil man is still alive. Though he is locked ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping and terrifying

A true story that takes you on a terrifying ride of horror and death. The superhuman strength of Colene Bush and her determination to survive despite the hurdles of the justice system and the victimization of her throughout the years following her horrific ordeal. This story is particularly horrific because it is a true story and details the mind of a killer from the dysfunction of his childhood to the violence he created in his life as an adult. Joyce Nance covers this
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
Shelves: first-reads
Received this book as a free Kindle from Book Basset ...
It is a true story about 2 young college students in Arizona. It tells about the Murder of Julie Jackson and the attempted murder of Colene Bush by Michael Guzman in 1981.
This is a true crime story - and I would say that it reading the booking and the trail scripts. I found this very interesting. I would highly recommend this book to every reader above the school grade 8th. It is very detailed in writing the crime scenes and how the
Allison Fetch
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
This is not a book I would normally have picked up, but I received it free off of BookBub and gave it a try. The story is remarkable, and much of the writing was very good. It jumped around a lot, though, and I found it difficult to follow at times. The aftermath section was also very unfulfilling, and I wish more detas had been given about both the victim and perpetrator's consequences. For example, you know the perpetrator was attacked in prison but that's it. And you know the victim was ...more
Rene Howard
Like Colene Bush, I was 20 in 1981. I lived on Stanford and attended UNM. I hung out at the Frontier. The cops came to our house and interviewed me and my two roommates. I remember this crime like it was yesterday because we were all so scared. After all these years, I had hoped for more answers from this book. I particularly wanted to understand why Ms. Bush came to be almost reviled for surviving. I'm sure the author did her best with difficult material, but I'm disappointed. Then again, maybe ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't know what my deal is lately, but I just couldn't finish this. I got halfway through it and I just wasn't feeling it anymore. I know it's a true story, but there's something off-putting about it being fiction-non-fiction. I know the author extensively interviewed the survivor of this brutal crime, and the parts about her and what she was thinking during the ordeal were fascinating. I just personally don't like the made up parts about the suspect's thoughts before, during, and after the ...more
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Q&A with Joyce Nance: Death Penalty vacated by Governors 1 3 Jul 14, 2012 07:55PM  
Q&A with Joyce Nance: Anglo/Hispanic Race Relations 1 1 Jul 14, 2012 07:28PM  

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“Colene had received no counseling, either, on how to handle the vague fears that crept into her thoughts or guidance on stifling the bad dreams that stole her sleep nightly. She was always on alert - heard everything . . . saw everything. Years later, she would be diagnosed with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but knowing that didn't help much and it even came to pass that others used it against her.” 0 likes
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