The Kims and Their Doomed Trip

The SAR Effort: Bungled or Undermined?

Who Was Responsible?

Lessons to Learn

Afterthoughts: Summer 2007

Media and Official Reports Archive

Media and Official Reports Archive

Local newspaper's report of Kati Kim's Jan. 15, 2007 interview with Klamath County, Oregon Sheriff Tim Evinger. In this interview, she recalls their decision to take an unmarked logging road, hoping to reach Gold Beach.

CNET tribute to James Kim. This article, written by Mr. Kim’s fellow trade journalists, struck a tone adopted by most media outlets that covered the tragedy.

Lessons of Kim tragedy

An emergency preparedness foundation says, “ … the bottom line is that if you are prepared and react with common sense before things become an emergency, you will either avoid the emergency altogether, or it will be a lot less life threatening.”

Spencer Kim: The Lessons in My Son’s Death

Calls for wilderness access restrictions and weakening of credit card privacy laws. Criticizes National Guard, local SAR efforts. Condemns media overflights of search area.

Salon.com: Who’s to blame for James Kim’s death?

Salon magazine, an Internet magazine, published this account of the tragedy. It emphasizes personal responsibility, but passes along some of the factual errors contained in other media reports.

First warning sign on Kims’ route

Second warning sign on Kims' route

Third warning sign on Kims' route

Intersection of Bear Camp Road (FS23 - left) and a logging trail (BLM34-8-36 - right). Kim's car was found 21 miles down 34-8-36 from this intersection. Note fourth warning sign in background on Bear Camp Road.

Close-up of fourth warning sign seen by Kims.

Governor’s timeline

Released Jan. 5, 2007, this timeline offers a sketch of government SAR activity. It suggests a conflict between Spencer Kim and authorities over private agency helicopter flights in the search area, and details the revival of Josephine County’s SAR effort after intervention by an Edge Wireless employee and an Oregon State Police officer.

ABC Television's "20/20"
report, produced by Firecracker Films, based in London, England, aired Feb. 11, 2011. I consider it the shoddiest media account of all. Kati Kim's account directly contradicted her Jan. 15, 2007 interview by Klamath County, Oregon Sheriff Tim Evinger. New elements were introduced, including her claim to have been asleep for much of their drive into the wilderness -- a drive whose details she had reported four years earlier. Comments attached to the story were sharply critical of ABC, Firecracker Films, and Mrs. Kim. I don't expect the link to be active for very long.

Rogue River Float Guide BLM publication. Maps of Bear Camp road area on pages 6 & 7, maps of each section of the Rogue in Bear Camp area; photos of river canyon; much rafting-oriented info. Page 31 shows Big Windy Creek, Black Bar Lodge, and BLM 34-8-36, the logging road where the Kims were found. The Kims were found downriver from Black Bar Lodge on 34-8-36. Rafting tips for navigating the river are very detailed.

James Kim's Path Google map images with markings of path, etc. added. Page #1 shows corrected car position; other photos show incorrect original car position.

This map shows the immediate area where the Kims were stranded.

OSSA Report

Released Jan. 18, 2007, the exhaustive Oregon State Sheriff’s Association report includes interviews with participants, analysis and recommendations for changes in SAR procedures.

OSSA: Report Parts I & II

OSSA: Report Part III

OSSA: Part IV: Timeline of Events

OSSA: SAR Timeline

OSSA: Kim Family Timeline

OSSA: List of Participants

OSSA: Josephine County After-Action Review

OSSA: Flight Log

Portland Police Dept. Missing Person Report


©2007, 2011 Charles Wilson, all rights reserved