I would assume that when a prisoner manages to break out of jail, he probably spends nearly every moment looking over his back. Is this the day the authorities finally catch me? Will someone from my past life recognize me? But I also wonder if, after an extended period of time, an escaped convict might begin to let his guard down. After a decade or two of freedom, maybe there is the feeling that you got away with it. As was proven in Florida last week, though, individuals who escape from their prison sentence should never get comfortable.
James Robert Jones killed a fellow private in the U.S. Army forty years ago and was sentenced to time at Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas. Three years later, he escaped the maximum security prison and then spent the next thirty-seven years evading the law. United States Marshals recently followed up on leads that Jones was living and working in Florida under an assumed name and arrested him outside of his workplace.
Jones did not put up a fight when confronted by authorities and even admitted he thought his actions would catch up to him one day. He will be sent back to Kansas to finish his sentence and likely face additional time behind bars for the new charges stemming from his escape.
After the time I’ve spent with some of the amazing men and women who have pledged their life’s work to keeping us safe, I should not be surprised that authorities continued for so many years in their effort to bring Jones back to justice. This case is a testament to the diligence of detectives and forensic psychologists and others in making every criminal accountable. Congratulations on Mr. Jones’ capture and may those who came to know and love Jones as an entirely self-created and fictional man be able to find some peace after learning this ugly truth.
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