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John McCandless papers

 Collection — Container: Box 5981
Identifier: UA-17.413

Scope and Contents Note

This collection consists of photographs, press releases, articles, and wanted posters of Rodney Adam Coronado, all related to the arson attack at the Mink Research Farm at Michigan State University. Most of the photographs show the aftermath of the damage at Anthony Hall and the mink barn that took place on February 28, 1992. Since McCandless was the MSU lead investigator for the mink case, he was sent to investigate similar arson cases to help track down who was behind the attacks. Included are photographs of Rodney Coronado’s storage locker that he rented in Talent, Oregon and the aftermath of the arson of the Malecky Mink Ranch in Yamhill, Oregon that happened on December 21, 1991. There are also photographs of bagged and tagged evidence and an unknown storage shed. Along with the photographs, there are wanted posters of Rodney Adam Coronado with personal information redacted.

(Dates and locations sourced from "Operation Bite Back: Rod Coronado's War to Save American Wilderness" by Dean Kuipers, Bloomsbury, New York: 2009.)


  • Creation: 1987 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some materials are restricted. Consult the repository for details of restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

John McCandless began his career in law enforcement in 1984 with the East Lansing Police and then joined the Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety in 1990. During his time at MSU, McCandless served the department as Patrol Sergeant, Proactive Anti-Crime Team Supervisor, Detective, Detective Sergeant, and Lieutenant. In 1992, McCandless was assigned as the lead investigator after the arson attack at the Mink Research Center. He travelled throughout the United States and Canada to help investigate other similar incidents and several key suspects. McCandless received the Bennett J. Cohen Award from the Michigan Society for Medical Research for his services to biomedical research. McCandless worked for MSU until 2004 when he left the university to become the Chief of Police at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

John McCandless Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
J. Russell
March 8, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US