After evading arrest from the police, a murder suspect alleged to have been on the run for 40 good years has been apprehended. The fugitive was responsible for a bloody attack in Florida before he mysteriously bolted out of danger, authorities and friends say.
The “wanted man” settled down in a North Carolina town where he started a new life–got married to a beautiful wife and even established a wallpaper business.
According to reports from AP, residents in the area got to know him by his new name James Manion. He and his wife were “cordial but quiet”. They fitted in perfectly well to thier new community in Reidsville [a town of about 14,000 persons] near the Virginia border.
Image shows William Claybourne Taylor’s home where he lived for 40 years.
One remarkable thing about the fugitive, he had a dog named Prancer whose hair he cut regularly. He portrayed himself as a responsible, kind and easy-going citizen. Maybe he really was before the “evil act”.
James was also active in politics, voting during elections as a Republican.
He was always working in a tree-shaded yard, according to residents in the area.
“I couldn’t say enough nice things about both of them. There was never an inkling of anything amiss,” said Preston Trigg [a friendly resident who grew up in the town].
Preston said the couple showed him kindness, and were really close after the fugitive bought his mother’s house in 2002.
But his life was part of a long deception dating back to a violent 1977 crime in Florida, according to the FBI. Authorities say the fugitive — real name William Claybourne Taylor — was the triggerman in an attempt to assassinate the then-mayor of the city of Williston. The mayor was wounded, but another government official died in the attack, NBC wrote.
Taylor was scheduled to have a court hearing in Greensboro, North Carolina, a week after his capture.
Authorities say he disappeared in 1980 after he was indicted on charges of murder and aggravated battery.
Almost every resident in the border town where they lived for many years, had good things to say about Taylor and his wife, Sheryl. They were well-liked in the North Carolina town.
Unfortunately, it seemed their wallpaper store went out of business and the couple started having financial problems before his arrest.
Kim Merricks, whose father was the couple’s neighbor, said the neighborhood was shocked by the news.
“I’m still kind of numb about it,” she said. “I’m still waiting on proof that it’s him because he was such a nice guy.”
Neil Hendrix, who lives several doors down, said he saw them about once a month at a local sports pub. He said the husband, who was quiet, worked there briefly as a cook.
“There wasn’t nothing out of the ordinary about him,” Hendrix said. “I would have never suspected, but you never know.”