‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Episode Draws Hundreds of Leads for Most Wanted Killer Nearly 50 Years After Escape
As the latest installment of Unsolved Mysteries continues to spark renewed interest in old cases, it’s very possible that one episode could lead to the capture of a convicted child killer who has evaded authorities for nearly half a century.
Showrunner Terry Dunn Meurer told TMZ that since airing the “Death Row Fugitive” episode of Volume 2 of the recently revived series on Netflix, his team has received hundreds of leads regarding convicted murderer Lester Eubanks, who infamously escaped authorities back in 1973.
Meurer said that they have been passing along any leads on Eubanks’ whereabouts that appear credible to law enforcement. Meanwhile, the victim's sister, Myrtle Carter, told the publication that she hopes the episode will lead to Eubanks’ capture so her family can find closure.
On Nov. 14, 1965, Eubanks shot and bludgeoned a 14-year-old Ohio girl named Mary Ellen Deener. The following day, on Nov. 15, he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted rape. In May 1966, a jury found Eubanks guilty and he was sentenced to death row. Six years later, his sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Dec. 7, 1973, prison officials allowed Eubanks to shop unattended, as a reward for good behavior, during a holiday trip to a shopping center in Columbus, Ohio. However, Eubanks never returned to his scheduled pick up location. He has since eluded capture for 47 years and his disappearance is regarded as one of the most notorious U.S. convict escapes of all time.
In 2018, on the 45th anniversary of his disappearance, the U.S. Marshal Service added Eubanks to their 15 Most Wanted list. “The U.S. Marshals are not deterred by the passage of time when it comes to cases like this one,” U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio said in a press release at the time. “We are fueled by one thing, and that is justice for 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener of Mansfield, Ohio, the innocent victim in this case.”
According to TMZ, as of 2020 the U.S. Marshal Service believes Eubanks is still alive. The reward for any information leading to his capture has also been doubled from $25,000 to $50,000.
If indeed alive, Eubanks would be 76 years old today. He is described as a 5-foot-11 male with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Eubanks’ whereabouts is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102, or submit a tip via USMS Tips.
Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2 aired Oct. 19.