wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Nutty Putty Cave Tragedy

Al Hartmann, Salt Lake Tribune https://goo.gl/1W8Xbh
Josh Jones, younger brother of John Jones who is trapped waits outside the portal of the cave Wednesday afternoon during the rescue operation. The mouth of the cave is a hole in the ground in the center of the photo.

In November 2009, John Jones, his brother, and a number of friends, went exploring in Nutty Putty Cave. Thousands of people visited the popular cave every year, but Jones was the last tourist to ever delve into its passages. Deep in an unmapped portion, Jones got stuck, and rescuers worked for dozens of hours to free him. Jones died in the cave, which was later permanently sealed. A new feature film tells the story of the Nutty Putty tragedy and Tuesday we’re talking about it.

Isaac Halasima's feature film about the Nutty Putty Cave tragedy is called The Last Descent. It opened last week at movie theaters along the Wasatch Front. Showtimes


  • Isaac Halasima wrote, directed, shot, and edited the feature film The Last Descent.
  • Michael Leavitt served as the cave access manager at Nutty Putty at the time of its closure. He was a member of the rescue team trying to save John Jones.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.