Authorities Believe Lester Eubanks, Fugitive Who Escaped in 1973, Is in Los Angeles


Authorities said they have recently obtained photos of Lester Eubanks working and socializing in Los Angeles.

Authorities believe they know that highly sought-after fugitive Lester Eubanks is somewhere in or around Los Angeles. Eubanks has been on the loose since 1973, when he escaped while on a shopping trip in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the prison program he was in. Eubanks is on the Marshals Service’s list of the 15 Most Wanted fugitives.

Now authorities said they recently obtained photos of Eubanks in L.A., working and socializing. One of the photographs places him at a former waterbed factory in Gardena, which the Marshals Service have begun investigating, CBS News reported.

Eubanks murdered Mary Ellen Deneer, 14, when she was walking to the laundromat in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1965. He confessed to the crime after police tracked him down by searching shops to see if anyone had purchased a gun that matched the bullets that had killed Deneer.

Eubanks, who was 22 at the time, was sentenced to death for the crime, after which he received two stays of execution. In 1972, U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional and his sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Authorities discovered that after his escape, Eubanks had gone by the alias Victor Young during the time he has been free. The recently obtained photographs came as a tip after ABC News ran a segment about Eubanks for the podcast “Have You Seen This Man.”

According to Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler, authorities believe he worked as a janitor at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood in the late 1980s or early ’90s.

“We believe that he may have never left the Greater Los Angeles area,” Siler said. “We know that he has a footprint there, we know that he has associates throughout the area, we just need to talk to those people.”

Eubanks is in his mid-70s now. At the time of his disappearance, Eubanks was 5-foot-11 with black hair and brown eyes, and weighed approximately 175 pounds.

A $50,000 reward is available for information that directly leads to Eubanks’ arrest, which is the biggest reward offered for any Top 15 Most Wanted fugitive in the history of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-492-6833.