Real Names: Michael Wayde Mohon and Sharon Shaw Mohon
Aliases: Claude Tillman (Michael)
Wanted For: Attempted Murder, Robbery, and Escape
Missing Since: January 31, 1985
Details: On December 31, 1983, police in Fountain Valley, California, were called to the scene of a reported burglary. They soon became involved in a high-speed chase with the suspects. It ended in the parking lot of a condominium complex. Officer Kevin Arnold ran after one of the suspects, Michael Mohon. They struggled and Michael allegedly tried to turn Officer Arnold's gun around and shoot him. Fearing for his life, he shot it several times into the air, unloading it. He then grabbed his second service revolver and shot Michael several times. He survived his wounds and was arrested. Investigators discovered that he had previously escaped from several prisons throughout California and Arizona. He was known as a "master of disguises" and often used them to escape capture.
After Michael's arrest, he remained in police custody for a year while he awaited trial. He underwent physical therapy at a local hospital outside of jail for the six bullet wounds sustained during his struggle with Office Arnold. One day, while being transferred to physical therapy, he overheard a nurse saying that he would be taken there again on a certain day. On January 17, 1985, after arriving there, he was able to obtain a handgun and pull it on the officer who was transferring him. He handcuffed the officer to a pole and escaped with the help of his wife, Sharon. It is believed that she placed the gun there for him.
Sharon was arrested several days later and was charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive. She pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to three years in jail. She was later paroled and is believed to have since rejoined her husband. One week after Michael escaped, he surfaced in Mesa, Arizona. Once again, he was involved in a high-speed chase with police. It lasted for over two hours and reached speeds of up to ninety miles per hour. Eight different police departments were involved. A helicopter was also involved in it. Finally, a barricade was set up; Michael stopped and was arrested. Afterward, he said that his name was "Claude Banks Tillman" but the officers did not believe him. The next day, he was identified as Michael from a police bulletin.
Michael's most recent escape occurred on January 31, 1985, in Phoenix, Arizona, the same day that police discovered his identity. He and several other inmates were being transported in a van when it made a stop at a courthouse. While the driver was taking in an inmate for a preliminary hearing, Michael and another inmate, Jeffrey Leslie, escaped by kicking out the van's windows. They ran through the crowded campus of Arizona State University, stole a pickup truck, and fled the area. It was later learned from the other inmates in the van that Michael had planned to kill the driver and take his gun, but the other inmates fortunately talked him out it. Authorities now believe that Michael may now be with Sharon, and that they are still on the run together.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 12, 1989 episode.
Results: Captured. On April 19, 1989, Michael and Sharon were arrested outside of an auto parts store in Mobile, Alabama. They were using the aliases "Steve and Mary Bostwick" and living in a trailer behind a house on the outskirts of Mobile. A viewer contacted the FBI after she recognized Michael as a man who had recently painted her house. On July 7, he was returned to a California prison. Sharon was returned to prison for violating parole. The attempted murder charge against Michael was later dropped. He was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for assault and armed robbery. They both served time and have since been released.
Officer Arnold was later convicted of embezzling money from the police union. He was killed by the FBI when they tried to arrest him for bank robbery in 1995.
- Inmate Charged With Shooting Police Flees; Wife Believed Caught - January 18, 1985
- SWAT team rushes house looking for escapee - January 18, 1985
- County jail inmate escapes outside hospital - January 18, 1985
- Jail Inmate Still at Large as House Search Proves Futile - January 19, 1985
- Pair sue lawmen in siege - Deputies stormed house in hunt for OC escapee - January 22, 1985
- County fugitive once again at large after second escape in two weeks - February 1, 1985
- Gone Again: Escaped Orange County Prisoner Flees in Arizona - February 1, 1985
- He Fled County in 1985: TV Show Catches Up to Longtime Fugitive - April 20, 1989
- TV viewer trips up OC fugitive who twice had escaped police - April 20, 1989
- Judge Orders Escapee Back to California - April 21, 1989
- OC escapee will contest extradition - April 29, 1989
- "Escape Artist" Back in Jail Here After Eluding Officers for 4 Years - July 8, 1989
- 3 in alleged breakout group had participated in separate escapes previously - November 6, 1990
- Attempted-Murder Count Dropped in '83 Shooting - June 27, 1991
- Lawyer says facts reversed, officer assaulted his client - June 28, 1991
- Ex-O.C. Police Officer Shot to Death by FBI - July 25, 1995
- My Partner Was the "Buckeye Bandit" - February 7, 2018