Mary Ellen Deener’s Cause Of Death: How Lester Eubanks Killed Her

Unsolved Mysteries Spoilers

Netflix via Youtube "Unsolved Mysteries" volume 2 is released on October 19 on Netflix.

Unsolved Mysteries season 2 releases on October 19; one of the episodes, “Death Row Fugitive,” features the murder of Mary Ellen Deener at the hands of Lester Eubanks in 1965.

Deener died after Eubanks shot her twice and then beat her over the head with a brick. She was 14 years old when she was killed.

According to The Cinemaholic, Deener was walking 5 minutes from one laundromat to another to get quarters but never returned to her sister, who was waiting for her at the first laundromat. After the sister alerted their grandmother and the two found the police around Deener’s lifeless body. She had been shot twice in the stomach and her skull was shattered from being bashed with a brick. Eubanks attempted to rape her before killing her.

Eubanks Confessed to Killing Deener & His Original Sentencing Was the Death Penalty

The Cinemaholic reports that after Eubanks was arrested, he confessed to the murder and attempted rape of Mary Ellen Deener, describing his horrific actions against the young girl in great detail. He said he pulled her behind a house and forced down her underwear, and shot her twice in the stomach after she tried to fight him off. He fled the scene of the crime, passing by it 45 minutes later to discovered Deener alive and suffering through her injuries. He confessed to smashing her head in with a brick, killing her.

On trial in 1966, Eubanks confessed to the murder yet again, not showing remorse, and he was convicted and given the death penalty for his crimes. His execution was pushed off on three separate occasions; according to Rolling Stone, once the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972, his sentence was changed to life in prison without parole.

Eubanks Escaped Prison & Is on the U.S. Marshals Most Wanted List

According to the Rolling Stone, while Eubanks was allowed to go Christmas shopping on good behavior at a local mall in Columbus Ohio, he evaded the guards as their designated meeting time and escaped.

45 years after his escape, he was added to the United States Mashals Most Wanted List. Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler told Rolling Stone, “It’s one of those cases that you can’t put down. It’s so appalling that someone has to headhunt to catch this monster.”

In 2017, Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler reflected on Eubanks’ escape, lamenting to the Manfield News Journal</a, "In the early 1970s, they allowed this to happen. It's quite repulsive; it's unfathomable. In today's era, it would just never happen." Reports suggest Eubanks fled to Michigan, and also spent time in Los Angeles. It is suspected that he is still alive today. Siler said in 2017, “There’s been periodic leads and tips that have put him in different places.”

In Netflix's volume 2 description for Unsolved Mysteries, they say, “Perhaps viewers hold vital clues that will help solve these mysteries. Detectives, journalists, and family members offer intriguing theories in this gripping series from the creators of the original docuseries.” Anyone who knows anything about Eubanks’ whereabouts today is encouraged to report what they know to the appropriate authorities.

Part 2 of Unsolved Mysteries is released on Netflix on Monday, October 19 at 12am PT and 3am ET.

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