tornow story captivates the youth, community

For more than a century, historian have debated if Tornow was a Villain or a Victim.

Participants in the July 24, 2021, tour of Tornowland gather at the gravesite of John Tornow in the Grove Cemetery.

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Villain or Victim? The Debate Rages a Century Later.

To many, John Tornow was an infamous outlaw. He’s accused of killing his nephews a century ago. He led pursuers on a 19-month manhunt and killed four deputies who chased him down through the dark and muddy woods of the Wynooche, with the tragic story ultimately ending in an ugly shootout in 1913 with Tornow now dead...


Scene of the Crime, Caroline Ossorio, March 6, 2020, 36 mins. Bill Lindstrom chats about Tornow and Villain or Victim? For this podcast about Northwest criminals.

Coffee with Ken Balsley , March 30, 2019 , 47 mins. Bill Lindstrom chats on Olympia radio station KGY FM 95.3 with commentator and Thurston County historian Ken Balsley.

Schmidt House History Talks, April 25, 2019, 56 mins. This podcast is from the historic Schmidt House (the founder of the Olympia Brewery. This noon-hour talk by Bill Lindstrom discusses John Tornow’s life from birth to death, plus Q&A period before an overflow crowd.

Washington our Home, Dec. 20, 2019, Erich Ebel, 59 mins. This podcast is from Ebel’s interview with Bill Lindstrom regarding John Tornow’s life as a Northwest legend. The website has wide-ranging appeal throughout Thurston County and the Northwest.

Books By Author

Author Bill Lindstrom blends history, mystery, tragedy and the beauty and solace of the wilderness to tell the story of an enigmatic wilderness man accused of heinous crimes.


A 12x12, full color coffee-table book that includes all that has occurred in the Tornow story from archived photos to the tombstone and memorial dedications, plus much more.

Let's Go Edventure!

Visit the victims' memorial to mark the 103rd anniversary of the killing of John Tornow and his victims

Join with other enthusiasts of the John Tornow story to remember the 103rd anniversary of the killing of John and his victims. We will meet at the memorial site on Saturday, April 16, about 4 p.m. The killing took place at 4:45 p.m.

Six openings for July 24, new tour Aug. 14

The pandemic might have put the brakes on book...

Six openings for July 24, new tour Aug. 14

The pandemic might have put the brakes on book...

Six openings for July 24, new tour Aug. 14

The pandemic might have put the brakes on book...



Thanks to Dana and Faaea Anderson, the tree that fell acrosss the memorial is now cut up and mostly cleared away. The path to the memorial is now clear all the way. This photo is one Bill Lindstrom took in early April.Thankfully, the memorial emerged unscathed due to its solid construction. The plaques also didn't appear damaged. The only tree in the area to fall and of all the directions it could have fallen, it hits the memorial. We expect to erect a permanent laminated brochure to identify the cedar posts soon. ..

Welcome to John Tornow’s guestbook. “We appreciate your comments. If you signed the guestbook at the memorial site, please comment here. Thank you.”

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