New Brunswick

Mounties capture 'Most Wanted' killer in N.B.

RCMP in Campbellton, N.B., have arrested a convicted killer featured on the television show America's Most Wanted.

Martial arts expert an accomplished escape artist

RCMP in Campbellton, N.B., have arrested a convicted killer featured on the television show America's Most Wanted.

Richard Lee McNair took this photo of himself. It was found on a digital camera he left behind in a stolen car last year when he was stopped in B.C. ((CBC))
Richard Lee McNair, 48,had been serving a life sentence at a federal penitentiary in Pollock, La., for the 1987 murder ofJerome Theis during a botched robberyat a grain elevator inNorth Dakota.

RCMP stopped McNair in a stolen van near Campbellton, in the northern part of the province, just before noon on Thursday, said Vern Erck, sheriff for Ward County in North Dakota.

McNair jumped out of the vehicle when confronted by the police and ran about 400 metres down the road before being caught, Erck said.

"It's been a great day for both Canada and the U.S. to get him off the street," he told the Associated Press. "I've been waiting for this for a long time."

McNair had been listed by federal marshals as one of the 15 most-wanted criminals in the United States and a$25,000 reward had been offered for his capture.

Heescaped from prison in April 2006 after he literally mailed himself to freedom.

McNair had been repairing torn mail bags in the federal prison when he hid in a shrink-wrapped pile, said the U.S. marshals. From his hiding place he was then shipped to a nearby warehouse where he worked himself free.

Later that same day a police officer spotted McNair running along nearby railway tracks.

Even thoughMcNair had no identification and matched the physical description of an escaped convict, he managed toconvince the officer that he wassomeone calledRobert Jones, just out for a jog.

The dashboard cam on the police cruiser caught the encounter and the video is now posted on YouTube.

There have since been at least two confirmed sightings of McNair in Canada.

The first occurred just weeks after his escape in Penticton, B.C., but he outran the officers on foot.

The America's Most Wanted website describes McNair as an accomplished escape artist.

In February 1988, he used a tube of lip balm to grease up his hand and slip out of handcuff ata police station inNorth Dakota. He was captured after he jumped from the third floor of a building near a hospital.

He also spent 10 months on the run in 1992 after he clawed his way out of the North Dakota State Penitentiary through a ventilation duct.

McNair is an ex-soldier skilled in martial arts — police said he is very dangerous.

RCMPare releasing few details about his capture. A press conference will be held on Friday.

With files from the Canadian Press