George Wright, fugitive US hijacker, caught in Portugal after 40 years

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September 28, 2011

A 1970s militant who escaped from a murder sentence in New Jersey and carried out one of the most brazen hijackings in US history has been captured in Portugal after more than 40 years as a fugitive. There was a sudden break in the case only last week when police matched his fingerprint to a resident ID card.

George Wright, 68, was arrested on Monday by Portuguese authorities in a town near Lisbon at the request of the US government, said a member of the fugitive task force that had been undertaking a renewed search since 2002.

Wright was convicted of the 1962 murder of a service station owner in Wall, New Jersey. Authorities said Wright and three associates had already committed multiple armed robberies by 23 November 1962 when he and another man shot and killed Walter Patterson, a decorated second world war veteran and father of two.

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