John McCluskey and his fiancée-cousin Casslyn Welch, on the lam since the devoted dame helped break McCluskey and two others out of an Arizona State Prison in Kingman July 30, were caught around 7 p.m. Thursday, according to a report in the Arizona Republic. [Read more…] about Caught: Prison escape duo 'Bonnie and Clyde' arrested at AZ campground, Welch grabs for gun, McCluskey laments not killing ranger
Escaped killer John McCluskey and his fiancée-cousin Casslyn Welch, dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde, ” have changed their appearances, according to a news release and photo composites from the U.S. Marshals Service.
McCluskey, 45, is thought to have gone darker, dying his hair black, and grown a beard.
Welch, 44, may have gone blond and has reportedly lost some weight, making her thinner than in her smirking Motor Vehicle Department photo.
Perhaps Welch’s weight loss could be attributed to the possible diet of Cheetos and beef jerky one would expect from life on the lam.
Or perhaps it was the stress of helping three convicted murderers escape from the Kingman prison July 30. Yes, the prison was operated by a private company. Yes, Gov. Jan Brewer is getting blasted from all angles, with frequent news releases from gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Terry Goddard and others.
More details on the escape reported by The Arizona Republic say Welch simply climbed over a berm to reach the fence perimeter, where the convicts were waiting. The inmates got from their dorm-style lockup to the prison yard through a door with a busted alarm.
Welch then allegedly threw a pair of wire cutters over the fence, which the convicts promptly used to cut a hole in it. So much for our wire-cutters-in-a-cake theory.
The three inmates then crawled to freedom.
Two of the escapees are already in custody – Daniel Renwick, 36, was nabbed in Colorado the day after the escape and Tracy Province, 42, was caught in Wyoming Aug. 9.
That leaves the made-over “Bonnie and Clyde” on the loose.
Where are they now?
Obviously, no one knows or they would be in custody. A hot tip did come in soon after the makeover photos were released, the Associated Press said, putting the duo in Arkansas.
Coincidentally, a couple matching McCluskey’s and Welch’s descriptions pulled off an armed robbery of Kut and Curl beauty salon in Gentry.
No word on the items taken, or if the booty included a beard trimming kit or black and blond hair dye.
Although authorities in Arkansas scrambled to follow-up, all they hit was a dead end.
While it is possible the couple could have traveled the 1,600 miles from their last sighting on the eastern edge of Glacier National Park on Sunday, Aug. 8, to Arkansas by the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 11 – it is not probable.
All movement so far has largely hinted at a hop over the Canadian border.
While McCluskey’s changed appearance does do him justice – the beard covers much of his face – Welch has it all wrong.
Her coloring is simply not suited for blond, especially with those stark, dark eyebrows. Her haircut, too, only serves to elongate her already-thin face, leaving her with something that resembles poodle ears hanging lank by her shoulders.
Get rid of the bangs.
Welch could improve her appearance instead if she went with a deep auburn and a layered cut – and wiped that dang smirk off her face.
The reward now stands at $40,000, The Republic said, and anyone with info is urged to call ASP Kingman Escapees Task Force at 602-542-1212. You can also call the U.S. Marshals line at (877) WANTED2
What do you think?
What is your prediction on how long it will take to catch this couple?
Will they be taken dead or alive?
What hairstyle and color would you recommend for Welch?
Some may say it was an act of God he was nabbed after a visit to the Meeteetse, Wyo., house of worship. Others may say he’s simply an idiot for hanging out in a public place.
One church-goer recognized Province at the Sunday service and reported his whereabouts to authorities. They moved in on him the next day, but not before the church’s pastor hired him to mow the church lawn for $40 and a new jacket.
Province, 42, is one of the original trio who reportedly cut a hole through the fence at a privately operated Arizona State Prison in Kingman and took to life on the lam. We’re wondering how someone smuggled fence cutters inside a cake.
Escapee Daniel Renwick, 36, was caught in Colorado the next day.
Escapee John McCluskey, 45, remains on the loose with alleged accomplice Casslyn Welch, 44, who was initially described as his fiancée but is now being noted as his cousin. Perhaps she’s both.
As expected, the duo are already being dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde,” although we much preferred Bonnie portrayed by Faye Dunaway.
What we learn from escaped killers
The escape teaches us a lot. Like how Arizona needs some beefed up prison security. We also learn what escaped killers do during life on the lam.
They reportedly kill people. While no convictions or charges have yet gone down, McCluskey and pals are thought to be responsible for the murder of Gary and Linda Haas, both 61, an Oklahoma couple vacationing in New Mexico. Their charred remains were discovered in a singed camper in Santa Rosa. Their truck was discovered back in Albuquerque.
They hijack semis. McCluskey, Province and Welch first targeted a semi as their escape vehicle, which they hijacked outside of Kingman, forcing the driver to take them to Flagstaff. It was initially reported there were two truck drivers, but now only a single driver is being noted.
They take in the sights. In addition to the desert area surrounding the Kingman prison, the escapees took in the views around Yellowstone National Park, which covers parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho; various cities in New Mexico; and various states in between. Authorities put their life-on-the-lam tour at about six different states. No word on if they sent postcards.
They suck others into their web. In addition to fiancée-cousin Welch, two other women connected to McCluskey have worked up some charges for allegedly helping him. His mother Claudia Washburn, 68, who doubles as Welch’s aunt, is being charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy to commit escape. His ex-wife, Diana Joy Glattfelder, faces the same charges.
They treat it all as fun and games. As noted, McCluskey and Welch are already being dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde,” officials say complete with the “Ain’t life grand” attitude.
“They’ve taken the persona that this is some type of a movie and this is some type of a joke they are living,” David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for Arizona, told the Republic. “No good is going to come out of this.”
With such a hot topic screaming through the headlines, some elected officials are equally hot to jump on the bandwagon.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has sent out several news releases on the issue, so many we’d think he was running for governor or something.
One of his most recent calls on Gov. Jan Brewer to implement a five-point plan.
Goddard’s “Five Immediate Steps to Increase Prison Security”:
(1) Order the immediate review of the location of and security risk posed by all violent prisoners in Arizona.
(2) Order the immediate re-assignment of violent prisoners currently housed in minimum and medium security prisons.
(3) Order an immediate security review of all private prisons in the state, including a reassessment of their security classification.
(4) Place a moratorium on the assignment of future violent prisoners to private prisons pending that review.
(5) Appoint a Blue-Ribbon Commission to investigate the circumstances at the facility where the escape occurred and fine the company commensurate with the severity of all security violations found.
Grand ideas – but they seem like they cost money. Maybe Arizona can just close all the highway rest stops again. Or perhaps just shut down a few more schools.
McCluskey and Welch are still on the loose, considered armed and dangerous. To report sightings or info, call 911 or (877) WANTED2
What do you think?
What would you do if you escaped from prison?
Any other ideas on how to keep prisoners in prison?