Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
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Real Name: James Donald King
Aliases: James Mince, David Michael Miller, Alfred King
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: September 1988


Details: James Donald King grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, the oldest of twelve children. In high school, he was an honor student, at the top of his class. However, according to his friend, Harry Knight, he began hanging around with the wrong crowd. The people he acquainted with had been in trouble with the law. By 1967, he was a different person; he was an angry man in a failing marriage. He and his wife, Shirley, fought constantly. On one occasion, neighbors witnessed him assault her with a knife. Eventually, they separated and she moved in with her parents.
On April 8, 1967, King showed up at their house and demanded to speak with Shirley. After another argument, he pulled out a shotgun and killed her in front of her mother. The next morning, he was found by the police a mile away, asleep in a car. He pleaded guilty to Shirley's murder and was sentenced to life in prison. For four years, he was a model prisoner. Then, on March 9, 1971, he escaped while working in the fields near the prison. He was captured nine years later in March 1980 while working as a janitor in Boston. He was then returned to prison in North Carolina.
Surprisingly, only a few years later, King was put on parole because the parole board believed that he had lived a sufficient life while he was on the run. Greensboro police wrote to the parole board, objecting to his release. Despite this, he was still released on April 21, 1983. Less than a year later, he married his second wife, Gloria Jean Cornelius. She was a nursing home worker with three children from a previous marriage. However, within a few months, the same problems from his first marriage returned. She walked out on him after he started drinking heavily and became physically abusive.
After Gloria left, King threatened to kill her several times. Also, he told his new girlfriend that he planned to do so, but she repeatedly talked him out of it. Three months later on September 11, 1988, Gloria was playing bingo with friends in Greensboro. At around midnight, King arrived and asked to talk with her outside. Thirty minutes later, she was found dead in a schoolyard; she had been shot five times. The next morning, King's bus was found abandoned near the bus station. He has been on the run ever since.
King has been sighted several times in Florida, most recently in April 1990, but has yet to be apprehended. Police fear that he may kill another woman if he is not caught.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 22, 1991 episode. It was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Results: Captured. In 1997, King was identified after a viewer recognized him as a coworker at a metal foundry in Columbus, Ohio. The viewer told his supervisor who contacted the telecenter. Greensboro police came to Columbus, only to find that he had fled. Phone records traced him to Dayton, where he was captured a few days later. At the time, he was using the alias "Robert Robinson". In 1998, he was found guilty of Gloria's murder and sentenced to death. However, he died of natural causes in 2013 while awaiting execution.