Students writing book on historic crimes of Madera County, sheriffs who tried to solve them

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Madera's Arbor Vitae Cemetery, the gravesite of Madera County's first sheriff, student historians from different schools presented their research for a book they are writing, "Outlaws and Lawmen: Crimes of the Century and The Madera County Sheriffs Who Solved Them."

The book takes you back in time, giving you a snippet of information on every single sheriff that has served, including Sheriff Jay Varney.

But along the way, you'll also learn about some of the historic crimes these men wrestled with and tried to solve.

Former Sheriff Ed Bates says it's an honor to have a book written about local law enforcement.

"I think we can learn from history. I hope of the kids that were here. I shouldn't call them kids, young adults that maybe one of these days some of them will become law enforcement officers," Bates said.

The book will be a year-long project, helping students improve their reading, writing and research skills.

In a video provided by the school district, one student says he's looking forward to seeing the book finished.

"Well, I feel excited that I'm actually going to make a difference and be part of a book and it's very exciting and just want to know what the outcome is going to be," said Gilbert Pimentel.

Historian Bill Coate is the driving force behind the project. He enjoys helping students dive into the archives of the past.

"I want them to understand they are participants in the drama of history and not just active recipients," Coate said.

The book will be on sale and available to the public next year.

This is not the first time students in Madera County have written a book. Coate explained each year students pick a topic to research. He said this project is called the Madera Method.
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