'Most Wanted' Fugitive Couple Recaptured

Blane and Susan Barksdale were caught in remote Arizona
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2019 7:28 AM CDT
Fugitive Couple Wanted for Murder Recaptured
These booking photos provided by the Tucson Police Department show 56-year-old Blake Barksdale, left, and his 59-year-old wife, Susan Barksdale.   (Tucson Police Department via AP, File)

(Newser) – The Barksdales are back in custody. Authorities in Arizona caught Blane Barksdale, 56, and his wife, Susan, 59, after their bold escape from a police van last month, reports the Arizona Republic. Both are suspects in the murder of a Tucson man. While being transported from New York state back to Arizona, they duped prison guards with a medical emergency, overpowered the guards and tied them up, and got behind the wheel before ultimately abandoning the van. A US marshal tells the Washington Post that the couple was caught at a residence in Arizona's Tonto National Forest. Authorities had previously said they thought white supremacists might be helping the couple—thanks to associations Blane made in prison—but it was unclear Thursday morning whether that was the case.

The arrest comes just two days after the US Marshals Service put Blane Barksdale on its 15 most-wanted list. Rewards for information leading to the couple's capture totaled $35,000. Police believe the couple killed 72-year-old Frank Bligh in Tucson in April and stole a large cache of guns from his residence before setting the residence on fire. Authorities say they fled to upstate New York and were arrested there. Marshals say Susan Barksdale pretended to have stomach issues and an urgent need to go to the bathroom while being shipped back to Arizona. "It was compelling enough that [the guards] felt the need to pull over," says a marshal. (Read more fugitives stories.)

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