One prison escapee caught, 'Bonnie and Clyde' still loose: What we learn from escaped killers

Tracy Province, one of two escaped murderers running rampant since July 30, was caught Aug. 9 after attending services in a small town Wyoming church, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

Province

Some may say it was an act of God he was nabbed after a visit to the Meeteetse, Wyo., house of worship. Others may say he’s simply an idiot for hanging out in a public place.

One church-goer recognized Province at the Sunday service and reported his whereabouts to authorities. They moved in on him the next day, but not before the church’s pastor hired him to mow the church lawn for $40 and a new jacket.

Province, 42, is one of the original trio who reportedly cut a hole through the fence at a privately operated Arizona State Prison in Kingman and took to life on the lam. We’re wondering how someone smuggled fence cutters inside a cake.

Renwick

Escapee Daniel Renwick, 36, was caught in Colorado the next day.

Escapee John McCluskey, 45, remains on the loose with alleged accomplice Casslyn Welch, 44, who was initially described as his fiancée but is now being noted as his cousin. Perhaps she’s both.

As expected, the duo are already being dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde,” although we much preferred Bonnie portrayed by Faye Dunaway.

What we learn from escaped killers

The escape teaches us a lot. Like how Arizona needs some beefed up prison security. We also learn what escaped killers do during life on the lam.

They reportedly kill people. While no convictions or charges have yet gone down, McCluskey and pals are thought to be responsible for the murder of Gary and Linda Haas, both 61, an Oklahoma couple vacationing in New Mexico. Their charred remains were discovered in a singed camper in Santa Rosa. Their truck was discovered back in Albuquerque.

They hijack semis. McCluskey, Province and Welch first targeted a semi as their escape vehicle, which they hijacked outside of Kingman, forcing the driver to take them to Flagstaff. It was initially reported there were two truck drivers, but now only a single driver is being noted.

They take in the sights. In addition to the desert area surrounding the Kingman prison, the escapees took in the views around Yellowstone National Park, which covers parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho; various cities in New Mexico; and various states in between. Authorities put their life-on-the-lam tour at about six different states. No word on if they sent postcards.

They suck others into their web. In addition to fiancée-cousin Welch, two other women connected to McCluskey have worked up some charges for allegedly helping him. His mother Claudia Washburn, 68, who doubles as Welch’s aunt, is being charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy to commit escape. His ex-wife, Diana Joy Glattfelder, faces the same charges.

Bonnie and Clyde/Photo courtesy Flickr: miss_rogue

They treat it all as fun and games. As noted, McCluskey and Welch are already being dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde,” officials say complete with the “Ain’t life grand” attitude.

“They’ve taken the persona that this is some type of a movie and this is some type of a joke they are living,” David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for Arizona, told the Republic. “No good is going to come out of this.”

Enhanced security

With such a hot topic screaming through the headlines, some elected officials are equally hot to jump on the bandwagon.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has sent out several news releases on the issue, so many we’d think he was running for governor or something.

One of his most recent calls on Gov. Jan Brewer to implement a five-point plan.

Goddard’s “Five Immediate Steps to Increase Prison Security”:

(1) Order the immediate review of the location of and security risk posed by all violent prisoners in Arizona.

(2) Order the immediate re-assignment of violent prisoners currently housed in minimum and medium security prisons.

(3) Order an immediate security review of all private prisons in the state, including a reassessment of their security classification.

(4) Place a moratorium on the assignment of future violent prisoners to private prisons pending that review.

(5) Appoint a Blue-Ribbon Commission to investigate the circumstances at the facility where the escape occurred and fine the company commensurate with the severity of all security violations found.

Grand ideas – but they seem like they cost money. Maybe Arizona can just close all the highway rest stops again. Or perhaps just shut down a few more schools.

[tnipoll]

McCluskey and Welch are still on the loose, considered armed and dangerous. To report sightings or info, call 911 or (877) WANTED2

WANTED: John McCluskey/submitted photo

WANTED: Casslyn Welch

What do you think?

What would you do if you escaped from prison?

Any other ideas on how to keep prisoners in prison?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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18 Responses to One prison escapee caught, 'Bonnie and Clyde' still loose: What we learn from escaped killers

  1. tuksonrider says:

    Other – The economy and jobs!!! :p

  2. Alan in Kent WA says:

    Here in the great NW, we put them on islands.  Not saying anyone couldn’t escape; in fact, the biggest danger of having someone  on the loose is one of the apologists in the P.R.S. (People’s Republic of Seattle) making excuse fore their bad behavior, and how it is our fault that they do bad things.

    • Rynski says:

      ha! thanks for laugh, alan in kent wa –
      yes, we know, all those in prison should be treated with kid gloves since it is sometimes not their fault they do what they do (hahaha).
      islands are a very good place for convicts – i’m thinking alcatraz – even shutter island even though the movie had SUCH a disappointing ending –
      but alas, we don’t have many islands here in arizona…

  3. azmouse says:

    McCluskey and his cousin/fiance must come from a family who have helped shape their views, considering his Mother is now under arrest.
    His Mom should have supported his college career, not his criminal career.

    C’mon….cousin/fiance!??!

    • Rynski says:

      hahahahah!
      i hear ya, azmouse – sounds like some REAL fine views are shared by the family, as quickly and easily as passin’ the gravy around the dinner table.
      good point on supporting college career over criminal – or ANY career over criminal…

  4. Oakland says:

    I agree with the marshal, this is going to end badly. I just hope no more innocent people have to get killed or hurt. As for them…. I’m not sure I care if they get kill in the process. I am not a big believer in an eye for an eye, but I’m also not opposed to stopping anybody by any means necessary, especially for the greater good of the public.

  5. Mikey says:

    So lets get this straight we hire private companies to run prisons and when they escape we the taxpayers foot the bill for the US Marshalls to pick them up? Whats wrong with that picture.  Here we go again, privatizing the profits but socializing the losses, ah isn’t Americka great!

    • kodiakbears says:

      Mikey  didn’ you read the paper? Directior Ryan said MTC is “on the hook” for all costs associated with this manhunt. Do you believe him? The governor does. He is the most incompentent man I ever worked for as his management stye [oxymoron] is pounding his fist on the table and yelling and screaming at his wardens with disrespect. No wonder nobody cares about quality control anymore. The prisons are suffering. By the time this is all over (from the moment of the escape to all the prosecutions by the AG and then the trials, the manhunt, helicopters, planes, rental vehicles. manpower and hours etc. you got a few millions just to start. I am sure MTC will be glad to fork over the money[NOT]. They would rather cancel the contract and tell the state to pick up its inmates in Kingman

  6. koreyk says:

    This case brings to mind the story of Gary Tison and Randy Greenawalt back in 1978.  Tison’s three sons broke the pair out of Florence, and the group went on a crime spree, which included slaughter of an entire family, and the murder of a newlywed couple.  The search for the Tison gang was the biggest manhunt in Arizona history, and lasted something like 13 days before it all came to an end.  I, as well as everyone I knew, was slavishly following every newspaper and TV report during the whole affair.

    There was a TV movie based on this case starring Robert Mitchum as Gary Tison.

    This one is right up your alley Ryn.

    • koreyk says:

      Just out of curiosity, I looked up the movie.  It was called “A Killer in the Family”, and came out in 1983.  It also starred James Spader, Eric Stolz, Lance Kerwin, Catherine Mary Stewart, and Stuart Margolin (“Angel” on the Rockford Files, and Jerry Riopelle’s songwriting partner), none of which I remembered.

      • Rynski says:

        thanks for info, koreyk and WOW, what a tale.
        you are def. correct that one is up my alley and i’ll but it on my movie queue pronto. geesh…that is truly sad, scary and disgusting.
        i am glad i learned long ago to never ask ‘why’ something happens – or at least never to expect an answer…

  7. kodiakbears says:

    The cops say he [McCluskey] may kill himself if captured. I say if he resists lawful termination is an option if he resists. If he survives put him in G 59, give him a steel bed a piece of paper and a bedsheet. As far as Goddards five points, this isn’t extra money this can be done with existing funds and the termination of a few worthless administrators double dipping and drawing 100 k salaries for doing nothing. The five points should be done in order to make prisons safe and the public safer. 

  8. kodiakbears says:

    Great article. Forward a copy to Mr. Charles Ryan the director so he can see we are paying full attention to his fiasco.They reportedly kill people.They hijack semis.

    They take in the sights.They suck others into their web. Great article and a real eye opener on prison management or lack of. This escape will be noted as Chuck Ryan’s failure as his list has been growing since taking over last January 2009. He has multiple homicides, dozens of suicides, escapes, attempted escapes, riots, staff assaults, etc. The governor likes him due to his ties to Abu Graib and Terry Stewart, another winner. He also tells his staff he is mad she signed the private prison bill and then gives them all the business to keep them full and happy. The public prisons are in terrible condition and neglected. The staffing is insufficient and the management is crisis style every day. Arizona wake up.. Here is your neon sign that more tragedy is imminent with this man and his circle of influence at the helm of this agency 

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for all your comment, kodiakbears –
      am i correct in assuming your not a big fan of charles ryan? hahaha.
      i agree a prison escape – with convicted murderers, no less, is a BIG wakeup call that something is terribly wrong.

  9. kodiakbears says:

    They kill people. They hijack semiis. They take in the sights. They suck others into their web. Citation was meant to be included in last post. These words were written by Rynski on August 10, 2010.

  10. Mikey says:

    Hey Kodaik, do i believe him? Hmmmmm? Well show me the bill from the governement then the show me the accounts payable reciept from MTC matching that amount then and only then will I believe it that to be the truth. If people really think they can trust a corporation to promise what they said they will do, yeah right. Its only and ONLY about making money thats it! Hope someone will do some follow up on this to make sure MTC pays up. And of course the governor believes him she has to, she’s a ‘rightie” they always believe that business does the right thing.

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