Sometimes It Takes a Cowboy

In the showdown at Rocky Flats, Rockwell and Uncle Sam face the grand jury that won't go away

IT SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT PLOT for a western. A bunch of ordinary citizens, led by a reluctant but idealistic cowboy, tries to see that justice is done -- but ends up in a showdown with some barons of Big Business. This story, though, takes place in the new West, and while the cowboy is real enough, the business in question is nothing so benign as a railroad monopoly or a cattle cartel. It is the Rockwell International Corp., former manager of the U.S. Department of Energy's infamous Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, 15 miles northwest of Denver.

For nearly three...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!