Found: A Fugitive of 48 Years, Outed by His Social Security Application - Atlas Obscura
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Found: A Fugitive of 48 Years, Outed by His Social Security Application

It was a good run.

Stackowitz when he was arrested. (Photo: Georgia Department of Corrections)

Forty-eight years ago, in 1968, Robert Stackowitz was in a low-security prison work camp in Georgia, serving a 17-year sentence for a 1966 robbery. He had a number of long years ahead of him, and one day, in the infirmary, he saw an opportunity. He escaped.

Now 71, Stackowitz was arrested in Connecticut this week, the Associated Press reports.

Georgia investigators reopened the cold case five months ago, according to the AP. They found that Stackowitz had started using his real name again and were able to match a photo from his driver’s license to an old picture. The U.S. Marshals Service also told the AP that Stackowitz’s Social Security application help them locate him, without specifying how, exactly.

Stackowitz had been living in Sherman, Connecticut, where he was arrested, for at least 26 years, the Hartford Courant reports. He had connections to the state before the arrest: it’s where he was married, three years before the robbery. For many years after his escape, he’d been using the name Robert Gordon, and was known around town as “the boat repair guy,” who’d work on boats in the town marina.

The arresting officers told reporters that Stackowitz was calm when they showed up. ““He did say he knew this would come someday,” one told the Courant.

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