A tense and layered true-crime story about an all-American soldier boy turned bank robber
Alex Blum was a clean-cut all-American kid with one unshakeable goal in life: to serve his country in the military. He was accepted into the elite Rangers regiment, but on the first day of his leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex got into his car with two fellow soldiers and two strangers, drove to a local bank in Tacoma, and committed armed robbery.
The Blum family was devastated and mystified. How could he have done such a thing?
Alex’s attorney presented a defence based on the theory that trainee Rangers are indoctrinated on a level akin to the brainwashing in an extreme religious cult, and Alex insisted that he had believed the robbery was just another exercise in the famously daunting Ranger program. But Luke Elliot Sommer, the charismatic soldier behind the robbery, maintained that Alex knew exactly what he was doing, and had, in fact, planned it all with him.
Who was lying? What had happened to Alex during those gruelling months of training? How accountable was he?