Fugitives in Puerto Vallarta
If you are thinking of hiding in Puerto Vallarta, you might want to reconsider. That old adage :you can run but you can’t hide” applies here in paradise. Time and again, losers from north of the border have sought a refuge in this resort town. Perhaps having watched The Shawshank Redemption a few too many times, they imagine themselves walking down a sandy beach, wrapped in a sarong, ice cold fruity drink in hand. Recently it was The Mentalist who sought such anonymity somewhere along the coastline. He, too, was apprehended and they usually are.
Making the news from Puerto Vallarta last month was the “affluenza” Texan teen who needed his mother to cover his bar bill and in the process of dragging her out of bed in the early hours at a local resort, authorities were alerted and their vacation was cut scandalously short.
If El Chapo, the infamous drug lord, who escaped in July 2015 from his prison cell and had been tucked away in a mountain hideaway, can’t keep from being discovered, then how can a young man who insists on partying till the wee hours expect to go undetected? Especially when he doesn’t remember to carry enough cash on him to purchase his entertainment and merchants need to escort his back to mama to settle up?
Ethan Couch was not, nor will he be the only person to evade the law of the north, by fleeing to Puerto Vallarta. There have been many and there will be more.
In 2003, another face that had been flashed all over the six o’clock news, thought he might disappear south of the border and chose Puerto Vallarta for his safe haven. Andrew Luster, the great-grandson of cosmetic giant Max Factor, thought he could blend in with beach crowd. Luster, who jumped bail was collared by a bounty hunter, was collared by a bounty hunter, who was also jailed on grounds of abduction. Luster was extradited to serve his 125-year sentence and the bounty hunter was eventually released.
A priest, The once Reverend Austin Peter Keegan, who began his crime spree in Southern California, molesting trusting children, collected his Social Security payments through an ATM while on the lam in Puerto Vallarta. The FBI had little trouble finding his tracks.
With hopes of going unnoticed, paying cash along their way to avoid detection, fugitives test the latest technology, employed on both sides of the border to catch the guilty. The romantic notion of riding into the sunset, ala Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is much more appealing than
a 6X8 brick cell. It didn’t end well for Butch and the Kid and El Chapo is once again in the Mexican government jurisdiction.
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