In ‘Sasquatch,’ David Holthouse searches for monsters — real and imagined — in NorCal

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Journalist David Holthouse calls a source in the Hulu documentary series “Sasquatch.” Photo courtesy of Hulu.

For years, David Holthouse plotted to murder the man who sexually assaulted him as a child. This wasn’t just a fantasy.

As Holthouse revealed in a 2004 article called “Stalking the Bogeyman,” he bought a gun and worked out an alibi.

His plan was derailed when his parents discovered his childhood journal in which he wrote about the attack, perpetrated by the son of family friends. At that point, Holthouse’s rape was no longer secret. Instead of killing his monster, Holthouse decided to confront him. 

Holthouse wrote about how his attacker admitted the rape but swore that Holthouse was the only person he ever assaulted. Hoping that was true, Holthouse did not name his assailant in his article. But everything changed when Holthouse learned that he was far from the only victim. At that point Holthouse wrote another article, “Outing the Bogeyman,” and named his attacker.

Holthouse now sees his childhood trauma as one impetus behind his career as investigative reporter. He has practiced some pretty gonzo journalism — hanging out with street gangs and going undercover with neo-Nazis. He also started producing documentaries, including the Amazon series “Lorena.” 

Holthouse’s newest project is the Hulu documentary series “Sasquatch,” which came out in April. In 1993, Holthouse briefly worked on a cannabis farm in Mendocino County — Bigfoot country — in Northern California. At the time, Holthouse caught wind of  a triple homicide that had been blamed on a Sasquatch. 

The series follows Holthouse as he tries to figure out who really committed the murders, or if they even happened at all. 

Holthouse tells KCRW about the “darkness” he found in the so-called Emerald Triangle, why violence in the area has gotten worse in the age of pot legalization, and why not everything he learned could make it into the documentary. 

Credits

Guest:

  • David Holthouse - Investigative journalist; playwright; documentary producer

Host:

Kim Masters

Producer:

Kaitlin Parker