Sacto 9-1-1
August 22, 2011
El Dorado County fugitive captured after 36 years

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

On the run from authorities since escaping from an El Dorado County correctional facility in 1975, William Walter Asher, 66, was arrested last Friday in the town of Salida in Stanislaus County, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Asher was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after participating with two accomplices in the 1966 robbery of a San Francisco bar during which a bartender was killed, according to an FBI news release. He escaped in January 1975 from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Growlersburg Conservation Camp, according to the release.

He then proceeded to elude authorities for 36 years, FBI agents said Monday, adopting at least two aliases and moving to areas of Alaska and northwest Canada before returning to California and settling in Salida, where he apparently worked for trucking companies and lived with a woman who knew nothing of his previous life.

A 2006 tip helped lead authorities to the Salida residence where they arrested Asher last Friday.

KCRA: Man caught after decades on the run - Aug. 23, 2011

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