‘Our Prayers Have Been Answered'

The fugitive mom's husband talks about learning that his wife will be released from prison soon.

On Wednesday, a state parole board voted unanimously to release Susan LeFevre on May 19. She was captured last April while living in an upscale neighborhood in Carmel Valley under the name Marie Walsh. The now-54-year-old was in prison for a heroin sale in 1976 when she escaped after about 14 months.

"Our prayers have been answered, and our family is relieved and very happy that we will have our -- my wife -- and mother home very soon," Alan Walsh said.

Walsh is counting the days until his wife comes home. She has been behind bars for nine months now. Walsh spoke with her by phone on Tuesday.

"She was very, very excited, relieved and is looking forward to coming home," Walsh said.

In the decades since her escape, LeFevre married and had three children.  At the Walsh family home on Wednesday, yellow ribbons flanked the door as family and friends wait for LeFevre's return.

"Very happy, very pleased," neighbor Wendy Ramseyer said. "I think it was the right decision, and she deserves to be out."

"We have been missing Marie in this neighborhood as her family has, and we're just really, really excited and happy that she's going to be released," another neighbor, Karl Schwenkmeyer, said.

Legal expert Gretchen von Helms said that before someone is released on parole, the board questions how the person will behave in society. She said that in LeFevre's case, the answer was already there.

"She was a productive member of society," von Helms said. "So they get to look basically at her past to predict her future. And this was absolutely the right call in this case."

LeFevre's prison conduct will be monitored closely. She has 11 misconducts since her capture, and if she gets any more, her release may be delayed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us