Netflix released their second volume of Unsolved Mysteries revival episodes earlier this week, and authorities are already following up on progress that’s finally being made in a decades-long case. It was an installment that I found particularly chilling, given that convicted killer Lester Eubanks was somehow allowed to leave an Ohio prison (where he sat on death row but had his sentence commuted to life when the Supreme Court declared the death penalty to be unconstitutional in 1972) to go holiday shopping. Naturally, he went on the lam and decided never to return, and an on-air investigator pointed out that there weren’t even warrants out for his re-arrest, 20 years later.
The details of the case read like a bad horror movie. Eubanks had been convicted of killing a teenage girl, Mary Ellen Deener. He raped and beat her, shot her twice, and then bashed her head in with a brick to finish her off. Yet someone still believed that it was a wise idea for Eubanks to take an out-of-prison break (while unguarded) because of “good behavior.” The justice system dropped the ball and repeatedly declined to pick it up again, but now, authorities believe their trail to Eubanks is getting warmer.
USA Today relays word from Brian Fitzgibbon of the U.S. Marshal Service, who said that Eubanks is not only “alive,” but “I feel like we’re getting closer.” Fitzgibbon also revealed that tips are pouring in, and as more people watch Unsolved Mysteries, hopefully that trend will only increase, and at least a few of those tips might lead somewhere concrete. Fitzgibbon insisted that all tips are valued, but mainly, “We’re looking for any information to his life on the run or the history of his life on the run.”
Eubanks would be 76 years old now. Yet as the capture and sentencing of Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo (now 74) proved, it’s never too late for citizen detectives to help lead authorities toward nabbing a murderer. Eubanks was 5-foot-11 and approximately 175 pounds when he embarked upon that “holiday shopping” adventure and evaporated without a trace. Unsolved Mysteries is circulating an age-progression sketch (from the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children) that depicts how Lester Eubanks might look today.
(Via USA Today)