Tag Archives: Newhall massacre

Gary Kness: The Ultimate Badass Bystander

“Wait, you mean life ISN’T supposed to be like a Michael Bay film?”

~Gary Kness

gary kness medal

On April 5th, 1970, two career criminals named Bobby Davis and Jack Twinning were planning on using explosives to rob an armored car in California, since action movies had yet to catch up to real life at this point.  On the way to steal these explosives, Davis decided to performed an ill-advised U-turn, cutting off a military serviceman who he then threatened by brandishing a gun before fleeing when the serviceman told him that officers from the California Highway Patrol were in the area.  They weren’t, but they would be, since the serviceman immediately went to a payphone (before cell phones we used to call people by, you know what, no time to explain, just roll with it) to actually get the police there to track down the crazy dude brandishing a gun on the highway.  This little bit of road rage eventually lead to the Newhall massacre, a tragic event that took the lives of four young CHP officers, which at the time was the deadliest day in the history of California law enforcement, and lead to drastic overhauls in the way police officers are kept safe in this country.

We could talk about the Newhall massacre specifically, because it’s a very intense story, but it’s also a bummer to focus in on that, so instead we’re going to take a moment to tell you about the Newhall massacre through the eyes of Gary Kness, the 31-year-old former Marine who happened to drive past the shootout and think, “You know what, this is something I should probably stick my nose in.”  While it was a day that was filled with tremendous sacrifice (God, we’re going to have a hard time tossing in jokes about this without feeling like dicks) Gary Kness proves the American spirit of just, straight up not giving a fuck when it comes to putting punks in their damn place.

So with a lot of hemming and hawing, we present to you…

Gary Kness:  The Ultimate Badass Bystander

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