New technology was key to arrest of fugitive for 35 years - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

New technology was key to arrest of fugitive for 35 years

Linda Darby as she appeared 35 years ago. Linda Darby as she appeared 35 years ago.
Linda Darby as she appeared this week. Linda Darby as she appeared this week.
It took three working days for a computer program to narrow down possible suspects in Darby's escape. It took three working days for a computer program to narrow down possible suspects in Darby's escape.

Phil Scott/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - State investigators say the very things that helped a convicted Indiana murderer stay under the radar for more than three decades were what finally got her caught.

When Tennessee police officers saw the 1970s prison photo, they knew Linda Delaney, a well liked, small town grandmother, was in fact Linda Darby, an escapee from the Indiana Women's Prison. She was a wife convicted of settling a family financial hardship by shooting her husband and setting him and their Hammond home on fire.

The interviewer from Eyewitness News' sister station in Nashville asked her if she felt she had been living a lie all these years.

"Uh huh. But when do you stop? Where do you go back to?," said Darby.

Darby will soon be headed back to an Indiana prison to finish her life sentence. The key to her eventual capture, like so many long unsolved crimes, new technology.

"We had multiple analysts who worked on this case," saind Monte McKee, Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center.

McKee runs the Fusion Center under the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. It was just ten days ago its state and federal analysts re-entered the data from the cold 1972 escape case of Linda Darby. 

In less than the equivalent of three workdays they were focused on a retirement aged Tennessee wife and mother of two. A woman who shared the first name of Linda, whose registered birthdate and social security number were just a few digits off their suspect's. Those were changes that might be easy for a fugitive to remember and avoid attracting attention.

McKee adds, "It was her undoing in this case as well."

Darby never got another driver's license, another red flag used to pick her from a database of millions of people. Officials hope to follow up this closed case with others. The Department of Corrections brought the Fusion Center analysts another 300 cases of missing prisoners and parolees.

Powered by WorldNow