Life on the Breaking News Desk at The Oklahoman can be exciting, but there are slow nights that give us some time to think up stories to write.
This prison project came from a night last summer spent looking over the Department of Corrections website for something to write. One story that caught my eye was that of Jose Garcia, a 20-something man who was arrested in Oklahoma City for drug possession. He had been on the lam for 40 years after walking away from a hospital in Oklahoma City while undergoing medical treatment. His story, or as much of it as we could find out, is told here along with Teddy Ellis, a convicted murderer who escaped from prison 25 years ago.
Unlike Garcia, Ellis remains on the state’s Most Wanted list. Here’s a taste from the project that will include photos, videos and the stories of these two men.
“History of the Most Wanted List
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections Most Wanted List and lists in other states are descendents of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.
The list was the creation of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and William Kinsey Hutchinson, an editor with the International News Service. The idea came from a conversation the two men had about ways to help raise awareness about the most dangerous criminals the FBI was looking for. The FBI began distributing the list in 1950.
Oklahoma’s Most Wanted List has been around for decades, distributed to law enforcement agencies across the state. The list is now available to everyone via the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website at www.doc.state.ok.us.
If you know the location of one of these fugitives call the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Fugitive Warrants Division collect at 1-(405)-425-2570 or 1-(405)-425-2571. You can also call the Escapee Hot Line – toll free – 866-363-1119 and your local authorities. You can email the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information received by telephone or E-Mail is considered strictly confidential.