Photo: Amy Connor
On the outside, Marie Walsh was living the American dream. She had a happy 22-year marriage and was a devoted mother to three children. She played bridge, tennis and rode horses in her upper-middle-class San Diego suburb.
In truth, Marie was living a life she had spent decades crafting to hide her true identity. Marie was really Susan LeFevre—a fugitive who had been hiding from the law for 32 years.
In 1975, 19-year-old Susan was arrested for selling 2.5 grams of heroin to an undercover Michigan State Trooper. She pled guilty and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
After a year behind bars, Susan's grandfather helped her escape. With just clothes, a toothbrush and $200, Susan fled to California to start a new life, under a new identity: Marie.
In 1985—eight years after escaping prison—Marie met Alan. They married 10 months later and had three children. Marie never told any member of her family who she really was.
In April 2008, Marie's past caught up with her. While planting flowers in her garden, federal agents arrived at Marie's home with a mug shot of 19-year-old Susan LeFevre. She was arrested in her front yard and sent to a Michigan prison to await trial.
After serving 13 months in prison, the woman, now known as Marie Walsh, was released in May of 2009. Now, for the first time, Marie and her family are sharing her story.