One of the greatest mysteries in the history of American law enforcement was solved July 13 in the backyard of a suburban home in Dartmouth, Mass. There, investigators found the buried remains of Donald Webb in the yard of his ex-wife, Lillian Webb, the Boston Globe reports. Authorities say Donald Webb vanished nearly 40 years ago after shooting and killing a police officer in Saxonburg, Penn., during a traffic stop on Dec. 4, 1980. Webb was charged with first-degree murder and on Dec. 31, 1980, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest alleging unlawful flight. In 1981 Webb was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Authorities believe Webb shot Chief Gregory Adams while planning a jewelry store heist. He was wanted at the time for an attempted burglary in New York.
The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office said the search of Lillian Webb's home was part of an ongoing illegal gambling investigation, the Washington Post reports. Last year investigators searched the property and found a secret room with a walking cane inside, arousing suspicion. Lillian Webb has not spoken to reporters since the discovery and the Globe reports that she received immunity for her cooperation. Donald Webb, who would have been in his 80s today, was a career criminal with ties to the Rhode Island mob. He specialized in robbing jewelry stores and was part of a gang of thieves in Massachusetts known as the Fall River Gang, which authorities say had ties to the Patriarca crime family, the Herald News reports. Authorities believe Webb died about 17 years ago; the cause of death is not yet clear but investigators say it does not appear he died violently, WTAE reports.