'Fugitive Mom' to Hit National Spotlight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LeFevre lived under the name Marie Walsh since her 1976 escape from a Detroit prison.

    The so-called "fugitive mom" from San Diego, who escaped from a Michigan prison in 1976, is telling her story to Oprah Winfrey.

    Susan LeFevre, 56, married and with three children, was living a comfortable life as Marie Walsh in Carmel Valley before she was arrested in April 2008, more than 30 years after climbing a fence at a prison in the Detroit area.

    'Fugitive Mom' Exhausted, Happy to be Home

    [DGO] 'Fugitive Mom' Exhausted, Happy to be Home
    The so-called "fugitive mom" pulled into her Carmel Valley home with daughter Maureen Walsh at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. (Published Thursday, May 21, 2009)

    A state trooper testified that LeFevre was the ringleader of a Michigan heroin enterprise.

    Her prison-break plan, as she explained it, was simple enough: She escaped notice of the guards, climbed over a barbed wire fence, and then located a vehicle. Inside the automobile, her grandfather and another relative said a rosary while they waited for her.

    'Fugitive Mom' Finally Home

    [DGO] 'Fugitive Mom' Finally Home
    The so-called "fugitive mom" pulled into her Carmel Valley home with daughter Maureen Walsh at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, May 20, 2009)

    U.S. Marshals tracked her down in 2008 and sent her back to Michigan to finish a prison term for a drug conviction.

    When LeFevre was released 13 months later in 2009, she said prison was "really terrible."

    The Michigan Parole Board voted to release her from prison on the drug sentence, saying she had led a productive and crime-free life in California.

    LeFevre's husband, Alan Walsh, and two daughters apparently knew nothing about her criminal past.

    "The Oprah Winfrey Show" website says LeFevre will appear on the show on Thursday to talk about her life and her book, "A Tale of Two Lives."