Americans became fascinated with the case of Vicky White and Casey White recently. Vicky, a corrections officer at an Alabama prison, aided in confessed murderer Casey’s escape. The two are believed to have been in a relationship, and Casey was apprehended in Illinois on May 9 after 11 days on the run.
Vicky died of a self-inflicted gunshot, and Casey returned to prison, awaiting further charges. The case shows escaping prison doesn’t always bring newfound freedom, as Andy Dufresne found in The Shawshank Redemption. However, some crooks and criminals elude capture for years and sometimes decades. Here’s a look at some of those on the run … and who just might be living next door.
1 – Larry Chism, bad guy record holder
This escaped convict holds the record for being on the run from authorities the longest. Chism has been featured on America’s Most Wanted and has a rap sheet a mile long – bank robberies, drugs, identity theft, hijacking an airplane, multiple bank robberies that included shooting a correctional officer, and more.
Chism was given a 40-year sentence for armed robbery and heroin distribution. His escape in 1978 reads like something out of a movie. After an earlier escape landed him back in prison a week later, Chism got better at staying ahead of cops.
While on a supervised reward trip to a bowling alley, an old college roommate had hidden a couple of sawed-off shotguns in the restroom. Chism and three other inmates engaged in a shootout with corrections officers injuring one.
The escaped convicts took a female employee hostage before going to a nearby municipal airport, where they hijacked a plane to Arkansas. Authorities believe Chism planned the escape for weeks. Despite getting close to an arrest in the early ‘80s, Chism remains on the lam.
Authorities describe him as charming, highly intelligent, and coming off as just a regular guy. However, that facade masks a deep criminal mind. He’s evaded authorities longer than any other U.S. Marshals Most Wanted list member.
2 – Lester Eubanks, a holiday getaway for a child murderer
Convicted of murdering a 14-year-old girl in 1968 in Ohio, Eubanks received a death sentence in 1972 (later commuted to life). Amazingly, he and some other inmates were granted an “honor assignment” for some Christmas shopping trip in December 1973.
Of course, Eubanks never returned and has been on the run for almost 50 years. The case was featured on the Netflix series Unsolved Mysteries, and the child killer remains on the U.S. Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted list.
In the years after his escape, authorities were close to catching up with Eubanks on several occasions. However, the escaped murderer stayed one step ahead of investigators, leaving before they could cuff him in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, California, and Ohio. Leads dried up in 2013, however, and as in all these cases, law enforcement awaits that one tip that will send him back to prison.
3 – Robert Fisher, murdered his family and fled
Law enforcement has searched for more than two decades for Fisher. In 2001, police believe the former firefighter murdered his wife and two daughters in their home in Scottsdale, Arizona. All three had their throats slashed, and his wife had a bullet wound in the back of her head.
Fisher then rigged the house to burn and was never seen again. His car was found in a forest near Payson, Arizona, but leads on his whereabouts have been few and far between.
In 2021, the FBI officially removed him from the department’s most wanted fugitives list because of so few leads or valuable information. However, agents promised that the investigation would continue.
4 – Joanne Chesimard, cop killer to Cuba
Known as “Assata Shakur” by the armed revolutionaries she hung out with, Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped by New Jersey state troopers for a motor vehicle violation in 1973. Chesimard/Shakur was wanted for several felonies, including bank robbery.
The group opened fire on the officers, killing Trooper Werner Foerster. One of her crew was killed in the firefight and one remains in prison today. Prosecutors convicted Chesimard of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and other crimes in 1977. She earned a life sentence but escaped from a New Jersey prison two years later. Authorities believe she fled to Cuba and has avoided punishment for almost four decades. In 2013, the FBI named Chesimard the first woman on its Most Wanted Terrorist list.
And while Chesimard may have resurfaced in Cuba, a 2019 report notes that she’s also believed to be underground on the island as well. The revolutionary fears a fellow Cuban may find a way to turn her in. A $2 million bounty on her head may be pretty tempting for citizens of the impoverished island.
5 – David Benjamin Creamer, child porn peddler
There may not be many crimes more disturbing than child pornography, and Creamer is alleged to have run a distribution “business” throughout the 1990s. In 1997, feds indicted him on the distribution of child pornography charges, firearms violations, money laundering, and income tax evasion.
Law enforcement alleges Creamer made big bucks with his child porn ring, which produced100,000 disks for worldwide distribution. Just from 1994to 1995, it’s believed the enterprise grossed $2.3 million. Officers confiscated 70 firearms, 80,000 rounds of ammunition, $120,000 in cash, a Cessna airplane, two cars, two trailers, a 19-foot boat, and seven acres of land in Pima County, Arizona.
Unfortunately, Creamer made bail and skipped out on his trial in 1997 and hasn’t been seen since. He was added to the U.S. Marshals Service Most Wanted in 2000. Reports surfaced in 2013 that the escaped criminal was living in Mexico, possibly in Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, Ajijic, or Guadalajara.