Nokes first wrote about the murders of Chinese miners in 1995. His article, "A most Daring Outrage, Murders at Chinese Massacre Cove, 1887," appeared in the Fall 2006 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. His reporting on the subject has resulted in a formal designation of the massacre site as Chinese Massacre Cove.

Nokes retired in 2003 after 43 years in journalism, including 25 years with The Associated Press and 15 years with The Oregonian in Portland. While with The AP, he was stationed in New York, San Juan, Buenos Aires and Washington, D.C., where he served as both an economics and diplomatic correspondent. He traveled to more than 50 countries during his career. Nokes graduated from Willamette University and attended Harvard University as a 1972 Nieman Fellow. Since retiring, he has embarked on a second career as a writer and lecturer on the experience of immigrant Chinese in the Pacific Northwest. He lives with his wife, Candise, in West Linn, Oregon.

“Greg Nokes' diligent and persistent historical research creates in "Massacred for Gold," both a local and national context for the murder of thirty-some Chinese men dear Deep Creek, Oregon, in the spring of 1887. It also makes clear why all the young murderers went free. Nokes describes two tragedies, then, one of rapacity; the other, of a community's willful denial of its past. Nokes' book, therefore, is an act of citizenship as much as it is a commendable work of history.”

—Barry Lopez