Texas Is the Go-To Place for Fugitive Pennsylvania Murderers, Apparently

Categories: Crime

JosephLewisMiller.jpg
Joseph Lewis Miller, found by U.S. marshals in Mineola 33 years after allegedly killing a man in Pennsylvania.
Texas has much to recommend it. Friendly people, a robust economy, no state income tax, etc. It's easy to see why someone would want to settle down here. That goes for ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and it goes for cold-case murder suspects from Pennsylvania.

Twice in the past six months (and two counts as a trend, right?), law enforcement officials have tracked down suspects in decades-old Pennsylvania slayings living on the rural fringes of Dallas-Fort Worth.

In October, it was 67-year-old Richard Keiper, who moved to Wise County after allegedly killing a steel executive in 1968. Upon his arrest 45 years later, he told investigators that he'd moved there to join a traveling carnival but wound up marrying and starting a family.

See also: 45 Years After a Cold-Blooded Pennsylvania Murder, the Law Catches Up With Richard Keiper in Wise County

He was working at the wastewater treatment plant in Boyd when Texas Rangers showed up.

On Monday, U.S. marshals arrested a disabled 78-year-old living in the East Texas town of Mineola under the name of Roy Eubanks, an alias for Joseph Lewis Miller, a man wanted in the murder of a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, man in 1981.

According to The Associated Press, he'd arrived in town in the 1980s and established himself as an upstanding member of the community, marrying twice, becoming a deacon in his church and serving on various town boards and commissions.

He told his wife about the killing, saying it was an accident that happened when he was "trying to help his brother." It's unclear whether he mentioned the life sentence he received for a 1959 murder of another Harrisburg man, a sentence that was later commuted.

U.S.marshals told the AP that Eubanks/Miller confessed to the 1981 killing upon his arrest Monday.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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8 comments
MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Ever watch an episode of the Fugitive from the 60's? David Janssen hitchhiking across the country and getting decent jobs with made up names.  The one when the Sheriff asked him for ID when he was a witness to a crime, he said he did not have any and the Sheriff says no problem cracked me up.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Back when these guys fled to Texas, it was much easier to assume a new identity (or even maintain your identity) and blend in with the local people.


If you keep your nose clean and don't get pulled over for traffic violations (the number one way fugitives are often found), it is pretty easy to stay under the radar.

bryanr01
bryanr01

Reminds of the beginning of "Django Unchained" where the German bounty hunter shoots the sheriff...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

All his exes LIVE in Texas, but he killed the others in PA

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Texas, like Florida and California, tend to attract fugitives because they are the three largest-population states making them attractive for obvious reasons.

The Pennsylvania angle is also fairly obvious - most, if not all Pennsylvanians are lawbreakers.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

fleeing the Pennsylvania Murder Tax.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@MikeEastWest

Back in the day, you could get away with having drivers licenses from multiple states, there was no reciprocation, and it was easy to maintain a perfect driving record.

Nowadays, everyone is a walking black box.

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