The Investigator | Stephens' end is a familiar result

The Investigator: Stephens' death is a result we've seen before

The way the Steve Stephens story ended on Tuesday, as he took his own life after fatally shooting Robert Godwin on Sunday, is not uncommon in cases like these.

Stephens' death is a result we've seen before in many high-profile manhunts.

There are so many more manhunts we don't hear about and they happen every day in our neighborhoods.

The U.S. Marshal's office spearheads an effort that has so far led to the arrest of 40,000 felons on the run since 2003.

From Boston, to Virginia, to upstate New York, and Cincinnati, violent criminals on the lam draw intense media coverage. 

Law enforcement is pressed into action. The public is on edge. We've seen this since Steve Stephens shocked us all on Easter Sunday. 

Stephens' demise was almost expected. It happens often in massive manhunts. In the Boston bombing, one suspect was shot by police 3 days later, the second suspect was captured hiding in a boat.

More recently in Cincinnati, 2 gunmen were responsible for shooting 17 people, one fatally. The duo lasted four days before their capture.

"We've seen people run for a day, a week, a year, 10 years and we've seen people run for 40 years," says Peter J. Elliott of the U.S. Marshals Service.

In New York, 2 convicted murderers escaped. The search took 3 weeks and cost $23 million dollars. One was killed by police, the other returned to prison.

But one shooting is eerily similar to Stephens' crime. It was captured on live TV and posted to social media. A TV reporter and cameraman were killed, while the shooter eventually shot himself five hours later as police closed in. 

Fugitives usually make mistakes by using a cell phone or credit card which can lead investigators right to them.

In other cases including Stevens, it was a witness who helped police. Stevens didn't have a lot of money, likely preventing him from traveling any further than Erie. Investigators aren't sure why Erie. Neither are we. Our team checked for relatives and couldn't find any.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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