Wednesday, August 24, 2011


A DYING mom's wish led the FBI to capture her fugitive son, who had eluded capture for 36 years.
Back in 1966 William Walter Asher III was part of a four man crew who shot and beat a San Francisco barman to death during a robbery.
But although he was captured, convicted and given to life imprisonment, eight years into his sentence a woman helped him escape.
Agents believed he was in the Northwest Territories of Canada and near Alaska, but could not find him.
They later found out that he had assumed the name David Donald McFee, worked as a long-haul truck driver, married, and raised a family.
But when Canadian authorities and FBI agents interviewed his wife, they had separated and she could not help them locate Asher.
An FBI news release said: "Although the trail was cold over the years, investigators never gave up their hunt for Asher and recently got the break they needed."
In 2005, Asher's ailing mother Mable Welch "asked various family members to assist her in using the 'secret' number to call 'Billy,'" said the FBI report.
They later discovered that two days before Welch's death, two phone calls were made to a residence in Salida, Calif., owned by a Garry Donald Webb.
Checking his driving license the image "appeared to resemble an older, thinner Asher,"and after comparing Asher's fingerprint card to Webb's and found they had a match.
So on Friday morning, the FBI had Asher's house under surveillance as well as the trucking company where Gary Donald Webb allegedly worked.
When a man that looked like Asher exited the house, investigators swooped and although he initially denied it the FBI said "Asher admitted his true identity."
Officials say it appears that a woman who has been living with Asher for at least 10 years had no idea who he really was.
Agent Daniel Rodriguez told KXTV: "She was really surprised. She had no idea the person she had been living with for the past 27 years was somebody completely different."
Asher is currently being held in the Sierra Conservation Center is Jamestown and could face new charges as well as life in prison.

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