After almost 56 years on the lam, Frank Freshwaters, a fugitive from justice, has been apprehended after a pretty well-crafted scheme by law enforcement. They procured his signature, and lo and behold, they had their man. But after so many years, they couldn’t just grab him and run:
A convicted killer escaped from the Ohio prison used to film Shawshank Redemption in 1959, then was allowed to slip away from law enforcement in 1975, and disappeared until a ruse to get his fingerprints led to his arrest in Florida this week, investigators said Tuesday.
Former Akron, Ohio, resident Frank Freshwaters, now 79, admitted his true identity when authorities confronted him Monday, according to the U.S. Marshals Service and deputies in Brevard County, Florida.
Marshals in Ohio had sought help from deputies there, and they created a ruse to get him to sign papers so they could check his fingerprints, which matched the decades-old arrest, said Major Tod Goodyear.
‘We couldn’t go with a picture and see if it’s that guy,’ Goodyear said. ‘You look different than you do 50 years ago.’
An old picture of Freshwaters came into play, when, after a week of surveillance, they confronted him with a question as he left his trailer in a rural area near Melbourne: Have you seen this man?
‘They showed him the pic, and he said he hadn’t seen that guy in a long time,’ Goodyear said. ‘Then he admitted it and basically said, ‘You got me.”
The man sent to the Ohio State Reformatory in 1959 had short, dark hair in his black-and-white mugshot. Now he has a white beard, a ponytail and glasses and lived in a weathered trailer in a remote area surrounded by palmettos and very few neighbors.
‘It’s a nice place to kind of hang out by yourself if you don’t want people to know you’re there,’ Goodyear said.
He had retired from a job as a truck driver and was living off Social Security benefits, Goodyear said.
He’d left clues about his identity over the past 56 years, and investigators traced those to his Florida doorstep, said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott in Cleveland. He wouldn’t discuss specifics.
I guess there is no escaping jail, really. You will always live in the shadows and watch behind you. As the song says, “I fought the law and the law won”. Sorry Freshwaters, looks like the law won.
H/T: Daily Mail
Written by Katie McGuire. Follow Katie on Twitter @GOPKatie, on Facebook, or email the author at KatieFMcGuire@gmail.com
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!