The FBI has finally caught a killer on the run for the past 41 years. George Wright was taken into custody in Portugal. The U.S. is asking that the escapee be returned to finish the remainder of his 15 to 30 year sentence for murder.
Wright, whose been on the run for 41 years, was placed under a provisional arrest at the request of the United States. He had pled “no defense” in 1963 to the murder of a World War II veteran and Bronze Star recipient. During an armed robbery of a gas station in Wall, N.J., he shot and killed the vet. While serving his sentence in 1970 he escaped from Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J.
After escaping prison he made his way to Detroit were he joined up with the Black Liberation Army. In 1972, he was among five hijackers who, with three small children in tow, commandeered Delta flight 841 from Detroit to Miami, the FBI said.
Federal authorities said the alleged killer was identified as being the fugitive during the investigation. According to CNN, he was disguised as a priest and smuggled the handgun on board in a hollowed-out Bible. The hijackers demanded 1 million dollars for the passengers and wanted the agents to deliver the money wearing only bathing suits.
After receiving the money, Wright and the other suspects released the passengers and then forced the plane to fly to Algeria, after going to Boston to refuel, were they sought asylum. Authorities said though, the plane and money were returned to the U.S., the hijackers were released from Algerian custody after only a few days.
In 1976 four of the men were caught in Paris and faced the French court where they were convicted. However, the suspect was able to elude capture and remained as an escapee until now. In a statement, Michael Ward, special agent in charge of the agency’s Newark division, said the arrest should “serve notice that the FBI’s determination in pursuing subjects will not diminish over time or distance.”
The alleged killer was being held without bail by Portuguese authorities. After 41 years, the fugitive has been caught and faces extradition to the United States to serve the remainder of his time behind bars for his conviction. An agency spokesman could not comment on whether Wright would face additional charges for his role in the Delta hijacking.