U.S. Marshals have unearthed new photos of people who are believed to have worked and socialized with a man who was actually the long-missing fugitive murderer Lester Eubanks, and they are seeking the public’s help to identify them.
Authorities say Eubanks was living and working in Los Angeles under the name “Victor Young” after his 1973 escape from the Ohio State Penitentiary, where he was serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of a 14-year-old girl in 1965.
The manhunt for Eubanks spans five decades, and he remains one of the most wanted men in America, with U.S. Marshals posting their highest-ever reward for information leading to his capture: $50,000.
The pursuit, led by Deputy Marshal David Siler, became the subject of an ABC News podcast, “Have You Seen This Man,” which generated more than 300 new tips.
Among them were photos that Siler recovered showing employees at the Los Angeles mattress factory where Eubanks is believed to have worked during his early years on the run.
The woman who ran the factory, Joy Springer, recalled that Eubanks was hired “right in the beginning of the waterbed era and we were going big guns.”
“You had a heartbeat, we’d hire you and put you to work,” she said.
Springer knew Eubanks as Victor Young and said that he worked hard, kept quiet, and rode a ten-speed bicycle to work. She said that when it rained, she would sometimes offer him a ride — but never all the way to his home.
Another thing she remembered about him: “He wore a lot of cologne.”
“And it would give me a migraine,” she recalled.
The photos, taken by an employee, show the factory’s workers, many of whom socialized together.
Eubanks never appeared in any of the photos. But U.S. Marshals are hoping someone can help them identify some of those who did — including a woman who authorities say may have dated Eubanks.
Siler said the possible girlfriend is named Renee and went by “Sherm.”
Another man in the photos was known only as “Rick.”
“We’re hoping that the viewers in Los Angeles are able to identify some of these people,” Siler told KABC, adding that none of the people in the photos are in any trouble.
“We believe that he may have never left the greater Los Angeles area,” Siler said. “We know that he has a footprint there, we know that he has associates throughout the area, we just need to talk to those people.”
One person still hoping for a breakthrough is Myrtle Carter, the surviving older sister of Mary Ellen Deener, Eubanks’ victim. Carter said Deener was a typical 14-year-old, and news reports described her as a member of her middle school glee club who loved roller skating and harbored dreams of being a nun.
“She just always was giggling,” Carter said. “You know, a little girl. Always giggling and — and having fun.”
Siler described the case as one “that you go to bed with [and] that you wake up with.”
“It’s just so disgusting, so unjust,” he said.
The U.S. Marshals are asking anyone with information to call 1-877-WANTED2 (926-8332).
Los Angeles ABC station KABC has more on the manhunt, including what investigators have learned about Eubanks’ psychological profile that may explain how he’s managed to hide in plain sight for nearly half a century. Watch “Inside the mind of a killer: What investigators have learned about Lester Eubanks.”
This report is part of the ABC News podcast, “Have You Seen This Man?” hosted by “The View’s” Sunny Hostin. The podcast follows the U.S. Marshals’ ongoing mission to find Lester Eubanks, a dangerous convict who escaped from police custody in 1973 and has never been found.