Gordon Gulch Campground was thick with a cold, viscous fog. After an evening of meeting around campfires, drinking beer, eating stew and getting to know each other, it started to rain and hail. The campers drifted off to find shelter in their individual camping slots to get some sleep.
Sleep was not to come, though. About 10:30 p.m., the campers heard dogs fighting and then yelling going on between adults and then screaming. “Get off, get off,” and then just screaming. T.K. Sundvor of Rollinsville had just hitchhiked to the camper and was getting out of the vehicle when a black man with dreadlocks ran up saying he’d pay $40 for a ride to Boulder. He was covered in blood.
About this time, other campers had found a man and a woman, both slashed with a large knife and bleeding everywhere. The man had severe gashes in his abdomen and the woman had her throat cut. The campers loaded the victims into the back of a pickup truck and transported them to the Nederland Police Department.
As they headed down the highway, the Nederland Fire Protection District and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the NPD, responded to the Police Department. NPD Chief Jake Adler said it was like a horror movie when he arrived. Blood was everywhere.
Two Medivac helicopters arrived, landing in the shopping center parking lot. Ambulances and police cars arrived. The victims were treated and prepared for flights to St. Anthony’s and Denver General Hospital, both in bad shape.
The next step was to find the suspect and evacuate the campers for their own safety. At that time, it was not known if the man was still in the Gordon Gulch area. The Nederland Police and Boulder County deputies woke up the campers, many of whom were not even aware of what happened and told them to go to Nederland to be interviewed.
“We began a large scale manhunt,” Chief Adler said. “We didn’t know if he was still in the woods and armed or not.”
The person who drove the suspect to Boulder was contacted by law enforcement and he told the deputies where he had dropped him off, somewhere near Third and Pearl. A K-9 unit was sent to the area and the man, 38-year old Hilbourne “Win” Sutherland, was found in a dumpster about 2 a.m. He was arrested without incident and charged with two counts of attempted murder.
On Thursday, the fog had lifted and the campers had returned to their tents and vans and sat around their fires and talked about the events of the morning. Pixie, from Oklahoma, said she was a member of the Rainbow Family and had hooked up with other followers who came together in peace and harmony. When the fog came in the group dispersed until they heard the early morning knocking on their doors, telling them to leave.
Linda from Massachusetts said,: “When they woke me up, I got really nervous. It was foggy and scary and they wouldn’t tell us what happened. They said to get out and go to the Ned police station. I can’t just get up and go. You know, I had to dress and was kind of slow, but the officers were patient and kind.
About 25 campers were interviewed in Nederland. Most of them had not awakened during the attack. They returned to the campsite as soon as they were released. “Where else were we going to go?” said Pixie. “Now we are heading out to the hot springs in Montana and will wait to hear where the gathering site will be. We are just one big, happy family.”
TK Sundvor said he was up when the attack happened. The victims and the suspect were two camping sites down the hill from where he was camping. He is with High Altitude Timber in Rollinsville and often camps where he has been cutting wood for 10 years.
He said he had cooked lots of Angus rib steaks and corn on the cobb for dinner and was getting rid to settle in when the shouting began from the campsite below them. Patrick Filson, a camper from Minnesota said he too met the suspect who had a heavy Jamaican accent.
Both men said the police were polite and treated them well, but they forgot to bring them a happy meal. “Now they owe us Big Macs,” they said.
Under the joking around, the men were serious, knowing they had been a part of a tragic and horrific assault in the campground.
TK said that they weren’t all that scared. “It would have been different if the guy had come here. I am a former Marine.”
He advised that when people camp in the mountain areas, that they stay closer to the entrances. He said that people who don’t want to be found usually go farther back into the woods.
Chief Adler warned that it is just the beginning of the summer, a time when transients from all over the country seek respite and shelter in our forests. Gordon and Ruby Gulches have been the scene of many assaults, a couple of murders and a couple of suicides.
Adler advises: “Don’t pick up people hitchhiking up here. There will soon be a massive influx of out-of-state bad dudes, not just peaceful campers. It is not safe in the campgrounds anymore.”
Victims Released from hospital
Nederland CO Multiple Stabbing update
Nederland Police have confirmed that the victims of the stabbings at Gordon Gulch, have
been released from the hospital at this time.