Newly Freed Hiker Bauer Back Home In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two weeks after walking out of an Iranian prison, Shane Bauer is still adapting to freedom — and trying to figure out what to do with it.

Bauer and his fiancDee, Sarah Shourd, were spending time this week at his mother’s rural Minnesota home, taking long walks, singing songs around a fire and cooking meals together. They aren’t spending a lot of time talking about the time Shane lost to prison, Shane’s mother, Cindy Hickey, said.

“His biggest task is not to get too overwhelmed with things to do, and trying to enjoy the simple fact that he’s free,” Hickey said Tuesday.

Bauer, Shourd and their friend Josh Fattal were arrested by Iranian soldiers in July 2009 as they hiked near the Iraq-Iran border. Shourd was released after 14 months, but Bauer and Fattal were held more than two years before being freed on bail on Sept. 21.

Bauer and Fattal, both 29, have said they believe they were held simply because they are Americans. They described an existence in prison that included solitary confinement, tiny cells, and the screams of prisoners being beaten.

Shourd has been living in Oakland, Calif., since her release. Bauer, a freelance journalist, grew up in Onamia, Minn., and Fattal, an environmental activist, is from Elkins Park, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

On Tuesday, Hickey said that Bauer and Shourd were not doing interviews. Messages left with the Fattal family in Pennsylvania weren’t immediately returned.

Bauer and Shourd arrived Sunday to spend a few days at Hickey’s rambling property in a valley south of Pine City, about an hour north of Minneapolis, where she keeps horses, dogs and other animals. Hickey lamented that they hadn’t had time to ride horses, something she and Shane used to do together.

Both Bauer and Fattal were noticeably thin on their release from prison. Hickey said her son was recovering from anemia and an ulcer, but he was “not as gaunt” as he had been. On Tuesday, he went out in the morning for a three-mile run, she said.

Bauer proposed to Shourd while both were in prison. Asked whether the couple had firmed up wedding plans, Hickey said no.

They have been exploring their options for when they will speak in detail about the imprisonment, Hickey said.

She said Bauer has described periods in prison where he felt like he was losing time, but he doesn’t appear to be angry.

“Shane has ambition, he has voice, he wants to continue doing things for other people,” she said of her son, who worked as a freelancer journalist before his imprisonment. “He wants to take this experience and do something positive.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Dale Gribble

    Soon he can get back to being an America-hating liberal, like he was before his misadventure. Welcome back to the land of Freedom and Liberty, you treasonous swine.

    • Bethea

      Easy…..these two are beyond being “liberal”. I think people on both sides are annoyed with the ungracious attitude these people have. Funny how there is no sense of irony form him that he was imprisoned by the government he has sympathy for, and his release was garned by the government he so strongly opposes. Should have left him on his own.

  • snoman

    I hope these two fool don’t produce any offspring, i also hope that no movie is made that fills these imbeciles pockets as a reward for being so lacking in cranial grey matter. I think the us government should send them a bill for time and resources expended on their behalf.

    • markH

      Would it also accompany bills to certain demographics that ruin our cities, commit the most crimes per capita, and consistently produce the lowest test scores in our schools? I just want to know how far your “logic” extends. Peace.

  • Mike Hunt

    Please tell me where in Pine City he’s at so I can go slap this boarder crossing idiot.

    • markH

      Hey, that sounds like a threat to commit assault-perhaps someone should notify WCCO that you’re making terrorist threats? Watch what you write-you may find yourself explaining it to a judge.


        You an ambulance chaser markH?

      • JMJ

        MarkH, Needs to get a job and a life.

        Hey mark if that idiot has the right to his opinion then so do the rest of us who actually have a brain.

        • markH

          Issuing threats is substantively different than voicing an opinion-can you appreciate the difference? I always enjoy when my opponents hurl personal insults ( “..then so do the rest of us who actually have a brain.”) because it demonstrates the childishness of those who have run out of meaningful arguments. Peace.

          • Jake

            Hey, markh, from what planet are you transmitting from? Are you fully aware that this trio cost our gov’t MILLIONS and MILLIONS of DOLLARS, just to go ‘hiking’ near one of the most anti-AMERICAN places on EARTH?? If I were the president of the united states (small caps on PURPOSE), I would have the passports of these there IMMEDIATELY REVOKED, they would be REQUIRED to pay back ALL of the ‘BAIL MONEY’, i.e. RANSOM in a reasonable period of time, say, 6 MONTHIS, and any profits from films, books, etc, would go directly to the U.S. Treasury.

  • Mbougie

    Great, now the village has it’s idiots back!! Too bad Iran didn’t keep these anti-American slobs!!! Here is a link to their anti-American blog / rag.

  • quentin

    I imagine they will go walking in North Minneapolis around 2 a.m. on Saturday.

    • mll


      • Guy

        Nah – Canoe trip off the Somali coast would be better

  • hiker bill

    He looks special in that picture.


    D-BAG !!!!!!! LOOOOSER !!!!! GET THE MONEY BACK !!!!

  • Who cares?

    Hey ‘cco, that’s news we didn’t need to have. We don’t give the proverbial rat’s dupa about these village idiots. It’s just too bad Iran let any of them out. If Iran wanted to get rid of them, they should have sent them to Somalia to go hiking there.

  • This is a hoot

    Oh for funny! Look at the picture accompanying this story. Look at who is credited with providing it: MOHAMMED MAHJOUB!

    I might wet my pants! ROFLMAO!

  • Neko

    I’m really tired of hearing about these chuckleheads. I’m glad they’re no longer in Iraqi prison, but they clearly lack all common sense and don’t deserve to be splashed around the press like returning heroes.

    • melissa

      Um that would be an Iranian prison. Read the story.

  • Insider Information

    All three are/were CIA spies.

    • quentin

      Right. The CIA is going to recruit these three idiots, send them to the Iraq border, without equipment and on foot, to spy on the Iranians? To what end? To embarrass the Agency?

  • Gloria

    I am very glad they’re home and safe; however, I am disappointed by the anti-American rhetoric they have spewed since coming back to the U.S.

    We all know that many of the mid-Eastern countries do target Americans, but I don’t believe that we should free any of the Iranian prisoners at Guantanomo until more is known about their motives, etc.

  • Guy

    Iran charged a half-mil each to let these idiots out … I wonder how much MORE they would have charged to just KEEP them.

  • jschau

    Shane’s new tell all book, “I’m not Just Dumpest, I’m Dumperest! and Proud of It”.

  • Ferris Lind

    Send them back

  • MJ (a mom)

    Some beautiful fall Minnesota days to try to get back to a normal life and rebuild a relationship that has been severely interrupted! I wish them well and hope the hate-filled folks who comment here can give them the break that hey deserve – get a life folks.

    • Jake

      They don’t deserve ANY KIND OF BREAK, don’t you get it YET?? They are ALL IDIOTS, GET IT YET?? They had NO business being there, GET IT, YET?? THey put our country on the defensive diplomatically, GET IT?? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS STUPID INCIDENT THAT YOU DON”T GET, YET???? How may times does a tax-payin, vet, HONORABLE, DECENT, SANE, CITIZEN have to say it before you will BELIEVE THE TRUTH?? Send them all back to Kalifornia, NOW!!

  • captobvious

    The only person more clueless than these 3 wandering imbusiles is Mark H., Mark h. what is it like to not be respected at home at work and anywhere you go in life? You’re a walking d-bag.

    • j

      Yes…he is one in the same as these 3 dim-wits
      Most of his comments are bait for his “opponents” as he so delicately puts it.
      see one of his self righteous replies above

  • Jake

    I would be ashamed, as an American VET, to claim any one of these as my progeny…. I would ask my OWN GOVERNMENT to REVOKE their CITIZENSHIP, because they never EARNED IT, not do they DESERVE IT. Give them a ONE WAY TICKET out of the COUNTRY.

  • Jake

    If I ever see ‘shane’, he will get more than a few words from me.

  • Welcome Home!!

    Welcome home and welcome back to MN. We are glad to have you home safe and sound. Enjoy your time together!! I haven’t met a Bauer I didn’t like. Very hard working and determined. Not sure if you are of the same crazy zanny fun large, very large Bauer family but… They all loved their family and loved getting together and having fun with one another. May God’s healing hands help all 3 of you get back to feeling healthy again.

    • snoman

      They do reproduce……God help us!!!

  • mel

    I was going to say welcome back to the land of 10,000 lakes, but after reading these posts, I’m not so sure that would be appropriate. Did they really blast the US government? For what? Getting them out of an Iranian prison? I don’t understand. I must be missing something.

  • jg

    He wasn’t even back in the U.S and he was already taking shots at the U.S government / unjust imprisonment of “political” prisoners (terrorists) etc..

    These 3 precious snowflakes need to go back.

  • Dave Timmons

    I think WCCO overestimates our interest in these hikers. Don’t care, move one.

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