Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dougherty Gang: Amid Hail of Bullets, Fugitive Family Caught in Colorado

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dougherty Gang: Amid Hail of Bullets, Fugitive Family Caught in Colorado

Article excerpt

Guns blazing, the three Florida siblings of the Dougherty Gang embarked on week-long cross-country flight before crashing during a high-speed chase on Wednesday in Colorado, police say.

As the Dougherty Gang - three heavily-armed siblings from Florida's Pasco County - led police on a cross-country chase over the past week before being captured Wednesday in Colorado, America caught a glimpse into the unique dynamics of an outlaw family.

Police say the trio - part-time exotic dancer Lee Grace Dougherty, brother Ryan, and half-brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley - all had extensive rap sheets and lived together in a specially constructed underground bunker replete with lights, water, and a stockpile of weapons.

The sibling dimension of the Dougherty Gang touched a long-held fascination in the US with criminal families, ranging from the Gambino and Genovese mob clans in New York to the Menendez brothers, who in 1989 murdered their parents, to the sensational story of kidnappers Nathan and Richard Loeb of Chicago in 1924. As far back as 1912, the wildly popular research book, "The Kallikak Family," posited that criminal tendencies are hereditary.

"Americans are fascinated by cases that involve families, because it kind of challenges their assumptions" about the impact of child- rearing, says Richard Wright, a criminologist at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and author of the book, "Armed Robbers in Action: Stickups and Street Culture." "What is it about this particular family dynamic that caused so many of them to become criminals? Is it a biological thing? Is it an upbringing thing? We want to know."

The Doughertys' fugitive flight began on Aug. 2, the day after Ryan was forced to register as a sex offender for sending 400 sexually explicit texts to an 11-year-old girl.

The chase began when the trio, driving a white 2006 Subaru Impreza, allegedly outran a Pasco County sheriff's deputy, leading him on a four-mile, 100-m.p.h. chase. …

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