American Indians •  American West and Southwest

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The Case of the Indian Trader: Billy Malone and the National Park Service Investigation at Hubbell Trading Post

Paul Berkowitz

Winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Regional Non-Fiction (Mountain West)

2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award Winner

This is the story of Billy Gene Malone and the end of an era. Malone lived almost his entire life on the Navajo Reservation working as an Indian trader; the last real Indian trader to operate historic Hubbell Trading Post. In 2004, the National Park Service (NPS) launched an investigation targeting Malone, alleging a long list of crimes that were "similar to Al Capone."" In 2005, federal agent Paul Berkowitz was assigned to take over the year- and-a-half-old case. His investigation uncovered serious problems with the original allegations, raising questions about the integrity of his supervisors and colleagues as well as high-level NPS managers.

In an intriguing account of whistle-blowing, Berkowitz tells how he bypassed his chain-of-command and delivered his findings directly to the Office of the Inspector General.


Paul Berkowitz is a retired criminal investigator for the National Park Service. He finished out his career working as a supervisory special agent in Chinle, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation.


"Mr. Berkowitz peels back the luminous outer skin of the Park Service to reveal a dysfunctional culture, one that by his accounts has more than a few times placed itself above the law."


National Parks Traveler

"This case is a glaring example of what can happen when sloppy investigators, a cult-like federal agency and powerful people combine forces against a humble man."


High Country News

"This is an amazing, astonishing book. It is history, anthropology, true crime, exposé, morality play and cautionary tale, all rolled into a well-documented, well-written narrative that is impossible to put down."


Tucson Weekly

"This inside look at how a great American institution actually undermines its own public image is as disturbing as it is necessary reading."


Indian Country Today

6 x 9 in. 376 pages 25 halftones, 1 map