Real Name: Stephen Leslie Wilson
Aliases: John Hardin, John Hardy, John Stephen Harden, Michael Eisenberg, Glenn Moyer.
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: August 3, 1984
Details: Steve Wilson worked as a handyman on a ranch in California, later getting involved with a twenty-two-year-old woman named Callie Thornburgh of Olancha, California. Callie's father, Bill Thornburgh, owned the ranch. With Bill's blessing, Callie and Steve Wilson later married in Reno, Nevada. The marriage was a disaster; Wilson was abusive and often threatened Callie. Just two months after the wedding, she left him and moved back in with her father. A few days later, she told him that Wilson was making threatening phone calls to her. He claimed that he would hurt her, take everything she loved away from her, and ruin her life.
Three weeks after the breakup, Wilson returned to the ranch in an attempt to get Callie back. He and Bill got into an argument, which escalated when Wilson grabbed a crowbar and began to smash Bill's truck. Bill grabbed his gun and planned to fire at him, but Callie stopped him because she didn't want her father to end up hurt by Wilson.
At 6 am on May 29, 1979, Bill left the ranch house to his work around the ranch; he never returned. When Callie went to search for him, she found his morning coffee sitting on his truck and his truck still warm. Around the same time that Bill disappeared, Wilson vanished as well. Seven months later, on Christmas Eve, 1979, a teenager riding his dirt bike forty-five miles from the ranch found the skeletal remains of Bill Thornburgh.
Wilson was charged with Bill's murder, but remained on the run until in 1981 when he was arrested in Las Vegas. He pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to twenty-five-years-to-life in Folson Prison in California. He soon became friends with some officers and other workers at the prison. He eventually got the shipping clerk job at the prison, which had the least supervision of all inmate jobs. It also allowed him to move more freely throughout the prison.
At 8:30 am, on August 3, 1984, while he was working at the loading dock, he put a detailed escape plan in to effect. While two other inmates created a diversion, he quietly entered the back of a truck that was being filled with boxes. The boxes covered him from the officers' view. The truck was then closed and driven away. Investigators believe that he then cut a hole in the roof of the truck and escaped.
Two months later, he called prison guards to boast of his successful escape, proclaiming he will never be caught. Police know his arrogance and contempt for the law and human life demands his return to jail. While he is on the run, Callie is convinced she will never be safe.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 30, 1991 episode. Wilson was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Results: Captured. In 1992, a woman watched the broadcast and was shocked to find her boyfriend, Glenn Moyer, looked like Steve Wilson. After Wilson saw his face on TV, he fled. His girlfriend contacted the FBI and told Wilson of his alias. Wilson, meanwhile, had fled to London, England. The FBI contacted the British authorities, where they tracked Moyer down to a hotel. Moyer was subsequently arrested and positively identified as Stephen Leslie Wilson. Wilson was extradited to the USA and is now serving a life imprisonment for the murder of Bill Thornburgh.