‘You cannot outrun your past’: Fugitive arrested in Michigan nearly 50 years after escaping custody

Leonard Moses convicted of first-degree murder in 1968

Leonard Rayne Moses
Leonard Rayne Moses (FBI)

GRAND BLANC, Mich. – A wanted fugitive was arrested in Grand Blanc on Thursday after escaping custody nearly 50 years ago.

On June 1, 1971, Leonard Rayne Moses escaped the custody of law enforcement officials while attending his grandmother’s funeral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Moses was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder after being convicted on April 6, 1968. He was convicted of throwing Molotov cocktails at a house during the Pittsburgh Riots. A woman inside the house was injured in the fire, got pneumonia and died.

“I hope this arrest brings some closure to the family members of Mary Amplo, who was killed back in 1968,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “Mr. Moses will now have to face justice for her murder.”

The FBI said Moses assumed the identity of Paul Dickson. He has been employed as a traveling pharmacist in Michigan since at least 1999.

He was arrested earlier this year on Michigan state charges and his fingerprints were entered into a nationwide database in October. Those prints matched with prints taken after his arrest in 1968.

“The arrest of Leonard Moses brings a measure of closure to the family of the victim, Mary Amplo,” said Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen. “The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the FBI has steadily worked this case throughout the decades. We are thankful for the combined efforts of the involved law enforcement agencies who were involved in bringing Moses to face justice. It proves the axiom that you cannot outrun your past.”

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.