Jackson Holtz

writer, journalist, traveler, marketer, Barefoot Banditologist

Fly, Colton, Fly is commendable for its scope—the Harris-Moore odyssey has more twists, backstories, and seething, snarled-tooth side players than, well, The Odyssey—and for its details, thanks to a reporter who’s been on the case since the beginning.” — SeattleMet

“Holtz has written a well-measured and -researched account of the young man’s life, and it seems the author understands the collective impulse behind rooting for the outsider. But he shows us the stark truth of Harris-Moore’s existence: “He spent his first decade being abused, his second decade committing crimes, and will probably spend the third decade of his life locked up.” — Good Men Project

“Thank you for joining AWC Seattle … Many writers do not make good speakers, but you provided an engaging talk about Fly Colton Fly, while sharing what lead you to write the book. I greatly appreciate the way you tailored your material to show our audience of professional communicators the career path that lead you to this point,” — Tina Christensen, President, Seattle Professional Chapter, Association for Women in Communication

Jackson Holtz is an award-winning writer, communicator and marketing professional. He’s known for his  journalism at The Herald of Everett, Wash., and as the author of “Fly, Colton, Fly: The True Story of the Barefoot Bandit.” (NAL, April 2011) Since 2018, Holtz is a public information officer for the University of Washington.

Holtz developed a national following for his coverage of Colton Harris-Moore, the so-called “Barefoot Bandit.”  He was among the first reporters to cover the story when it first broke in 2007, and since has penned more than 100 stories, chronicling every step and misstep along Harris-Moore’s extraordinary crime spree.

As a member of The Herald’s crime team, Holtz wrote about grisly murders, fatal fires and the scourge of drunken driving. He covered floods, snow storms and tragic avalanches, including a retrospective on the 1910 Wellington Disaster, the country’s worst avalanche that killed around 100 people near Stevens Pass.

Holtz also covers more uplifting topics, including healthy living, the arts, good eats and, on occasion, he can be found hanging upside down during a circus arts class on aerial acrobatics.

Prior to The Herald, Holtz wrote for The Associated Press in Seattle where he covered the Capitol Hill Massacre. He also worked for The Oregonian in Portland and The Tri-County News in Junction City, Ore.

Prior to journalism, Holtz worked in public relations for more than a decade. He was a vice president at Edelman in Seattle where his clients included some of the best-known companies in the Northwest. For three years, Holtz worked for Internet leader Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, Calif., as director of consumer PR. Holtz began his PR career at Edelman in San Francisco where he won a Silver Anvil for crisis communications work for Odwalla.

Holtz received a master’s in journalism from the University of Oregon. He earned a bachelor of fine arts from Emerson College.

He grew up in Brookline, Mass, and West Falmouth, Mass. Holtz now lives in Seattle  with his husband of more than 20 years, Jeremy Moser.  They share their home with their cat, Billee.

In early 2003, Holtz joined an effort to start a new progressive Jewish community in West Seattle. Today, Kol HaNeshamah is a thriving Reform synagogue with more than 150 members.

Holtz is an avid reader and an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys running, biking, hiking, tennis, sailing and skiing. He’s completed more than a dozen half-marathons and competed in the Victoria and Chicago marathons.