Where is Lester Eubanks from Unsolved Mysteries now?

In 1965, Eubanks was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener. In 1973, he escaped from police custody and has been on the run since. Here's all the theories behind his disappearance.

Lester Eubanks

Volume Two of Unsolved Mysteries has got armchair sleuths going to town on the six new cases recently released by Netflix.


One of the episodes, titled Death Row Fugitive, looks at the devastating crimes of Lester Eubanks – who killed a young girl, then escaped police custody years later, and is now on the run.

In 1965, Eubanks was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener from Mansfield, Ohio. He was found guilty and was scheduled to be executed on several occasions.

However, the US Supreme Court later ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, changing his sentence life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Due to good behaviour, Eubanks was granted furlough and was allowed to go outside of the prison to go Christmas shopping.

He was dropped off at a shopping mall along with three other inmates, however, when it came to the time when Eubanks was meant to return, he didn’t, and instead used the opportunity to escape. He has been on the run ever since.

Since the Netflix episode dropped, Unsolved Mysteries have received hundreds of tips on Lester Eubanks.

Series co-creator Terry Dunn Meurer  told TMZ they’ve received multiple reports about his whereabouts, and all credible tips are being passed to law enforcement for further investigation, which could help to finally tracking down Eubanks after almost half a century.

Authorities have also increased the reward for information leading to his capture, from $25,000 to $50,000, in the hopes that this could also help drum up some fresh leads.

Here’s everything you need to know about Lester Eubanks, including all the theories of his whereabouts.

What did Lester Eubanks do?

In 1965, Eubanks brutally murdered 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deneer. At the time, Deneer was helping her mother with chores and decided to stop by a laundromat to get changed.

Eubanks spotted Deneer walking and pulled her behind a house and attempted to sexually assault her.

Deneer put up a fight, however, and it’s at the point Eubanks pulled out a .38 revolver and fired the gun, shooting her twice in the stomach.

He then fled the scene, but came back 20 minutes later to check on her.

Realising that she was still breathing, Eubanks picked up a brick and threw it at her, instantly shattering her skull.

Mary Ellen Deneer Unsolved Mysteries
Mary Ellen Deneer as shown in Unsolved Mysteries

Was Lester Eubanks arrested?

He was arrested, and he confessed to killing Deneer.

He was found guilty and scheduled to be executed three different times.

However, in 1972, the US Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional so his sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lester Eubanks Unsolved Mysteries
Lester Eubanks Unsolved Mysteries

How did Lester Eubanks escape?

In December 1973, Eubanks was granted furlough due to good behaviour along with three other prisoners.

He was allowed to spend some time out of the prison to do Christmas shopping.

After being dropped off a the Columbus shopping mall at 10am by two guards, Eubanks was left to do his shopping unsupervised while dressed as a civilian.

Instead of sticking together as a group, the inmates split up and two to three hours later, when they were meant to return to the agreed meeting place, Eubanks didn’t show.

Following that, a local warrant against him was issued, which was upgraded to a national one when the FBI got involved a short while later.

However, the extensive manhunt that ensued led to no leads about his whereabouts.

The police have no idea how he managed to escape, but what they do know is that it was preplanned.

Official prison records show that Lester’s visitation skyrocketed in the weeks prior to his escape – from once a month, to be once a week.

Where is he now? – All the theories around Eubanks’ disappearance

Eubanks is still on the run today. Authorities believe he is still alive and there are a number of theories which speculate on his whereabouts.

In December 2018, he was added to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives. This was on the 45th anniversary of his disappearance.

Authorities received thousands of tips after Eubanks’ story went live on America’s Most Wanted TV show.

Here are all the theories surrounding his disappearance.

Theory one: “Eubanks is living with family”

Deputy US Marshal David Siler believes that Eubanks was picked up by a close friend when he escaped and driven to Michigan and then hopped on a bus to California.

In September 1994, after police featured Eubanks’ case on America’s Most Wanted, authorities got a tip that he had been living in Los Angeles with his cousin’s widow, Kay Banks.

Banks was then paid a visit by detectives and she confessed everything as she was worried she’d be charged with harbouring a fugitive.

She told the detectives that Eubanks did live with her up until a few years ago, but because he was a bully, she scared him off by implying that people were looking for him in the city.

After fleeing Ohio, Eubanks went to Michigan for a few weeks because he wanted to see the extent of the search against him.

Then, realising that it was somewhat safe, he got somebody to pay for his bus ticket to California. The bus that he was on was stopped by law enforcement officials on the interstate lines, however, these officers were only looking to see if illegal substances were being trafficked, and so Eubanks got lucky.

He later showed up at Kay’s door with a bag in hand.

Theory two: “Eubanks now goes by the name of Victor Young”

It’s believed that Eubanks had a lover in north Hollywood while identifying himself as Victor Young in oil paintings he was working on.

According to Banks he assumed this name and got a hunting license, which didn’t require fingerprints, as his ID proof.

The last she knew, she admitted, Eubanks was in Gardena, working in a mattress manufacturing factory as Victor. Upon looking into it, it turned out that Eubanks was there, but only until the mid-80s.

Theory three: “Eubanks has been in contact with his father”

It’s believed that Eubanks was in contact with his father, Mose, who lived in Mansfield, OH, during the summer of 2003, but authorities were never able to confirm that.

He has friends and family across the United States, including in Michigan, Florida, Texas, Alabama, California, and Washington, so it’s thought he could be in any of these locations.

Professionals believe his family and his associates know exactly where he is and are helping him in keeping his real identity a secret.

In 2003, authorities tried to question his father, but he refused to talk about Eubanks but said that sometimes people could change and move on with their lives.

Theory four: “Eubanks is in Alabama”

In 2003, an informant helped the police in figuring out that Eubanks was in Alabama shortly before that. He was said to be in a centre for troubled people, and was working as a house painter.

Theory five: “Eubanks fathered a child by rape”

In November 2019, authorities seemed to have a break in the case when a man came forward claiming he believed his late mother had been raped by Eubanks, leading to his birth.

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, provided his DNA in hopes of helping to bring Eubanks to justice.

However, FBI policies prohibit the use of a relative’s DNA in a search of the organisation’s DNA database, which prompted legal hurdles for using the man’s DNA to catch Eubanks.

To this day, Eubanks’ whereabouts are still unknown and the US Marshals are offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to his arrest.

Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 is available to stream on Netflix on October 19th. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.


Find out more about the Unsolved Mysteries cases including JoAnn Matouk Romain, Jack Wheeler, Lester Eubanks, Jennifer Fairgate and the Stolen Kids.