Escaped Murderer Captured after Nearly 40 Years of Freedom

Crime Scene GraphicI 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 Jonesblogpost 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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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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2 Responses to Escaped Murderer Captured after Nearly 40 Years of Freedom

  1. Jane Risdon says:

    What a nightmare life he must have led all those years. I cannot imagine it. I read also that a black man has just been released after 40 years in a US prison for a crime he never committed an has been released when it was proven he was nowhere near the crime scene at the time the murder was committed. Just think about his life behind bars for 40 years wondering if anyone would ever believe him and let him go. Two sides of the same coin in a way. Thanks for your wonderful blog, really enjoy it when I get chance to pop in and read it through. I like t take my time with it and so visit not as often as I would like, but when I do it is always well worth the time. 🙂


  2. danagriffin says:

    I’m surprised the CIA or someone didn’t snatch him away on his way back to Leavenworth. If this guy could break from a maximum security prison and remain free for four decades, he should be a spy planted on foreign soil.

    But then knowing how unpredictable this guy is, plus he’s not a young pup any longer, that probably wouldn’t work. Hmmm….. But what if he had remained free for a decade and was in his thirties? The novelist gears in my head are turning.

    Thanks for posting.


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