Thanks to the magic of television, over 260 of the cases featured on Unsolved Mysteries over the years have been solved. We may be able to add one more to the list soon enough, due to hundreds of leads that have been pouring in from viewers who have watched the “Death Row Fugitive” episode of the show.
Since the series’ second season premiere on Netflix on October 19, Unsolved Mysteries showrunner Terry Dunn Meurer says he has gotten hundreds of tips regarding the whereabouts of Lester Eubanks, a convicted child murderer who escaped from custody in Ohio in 1973 while on furlough.
Mary Ellen Deener was just 14 years old when she was living in Mansfield, Ohio in 1965. During a trip to the laundromat one evening, she was shot and bludgeoned to death by Eubanks who was quickly identified as the killer thanks to records kept at a local gun store. Eubanks was also a local from Mansfield and had been arrested twice for sexual offenses, and he was out on bond after an attempted rape. He confessed to the murder immediately.
When he was convicted of the murder, Eubanks was sentenced to the Ohio State Penitentiary and was awaiting an execution that was delayed numerous times until the death penalty was abolished in Ohio in 1972. Eubanks’ friendly relationship with his prison guards gave him the opportunity to join a trustee program allowing for a furlough. On December 7, 1973, Eubanks was allowed to go to a mall to shop for Christmas gifts unsupervised by guards. Eubanks took that opportunity to escape and hasn’t been seen since.
Dunn Meurer says that the show has passed along any credible tips to law enforcement. TMZ reports, “The U.S. Marshal Service has concurrently announced that they believe Eubanks is alive and they are getting closer to tracking him down. They’ve also doubled the reward for information leading to his capture from $25,000 to $50,000.”
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