A convicted killer escapes from prison.
On March 6, 1974, James Rouse Jr. was abducted at gunpoint in his car by two fugitives–William Jordan and Anthony Prevatte. Both men were wanted in North Carolina for a series of robberies. The car ride ended on a remote back road at the edge of a forest in Georgia. The kidnappers forced James Rouse to march barefoot into the woods. When they reached the shore of a deserted lake, they stopped. James Rouse was shot at point-blank range with a sawed-off shotgun. He died instantly. The next day, in Wadesboro, North Carolina, police received and anonymous tip that Jordan and Prevatte were back in town. According to Sheriff Tommy Allen, Jr. of the Anson County Sheriff’s Department, the two fugitives were hiding at the home of a friend:
The deputies approached the house, fully expecting to make an arrest. But according to Sheriff Allen, Jordan and Prevatte were one step ahead of them:
Prevatte and Jordan were booked on charges of breaking and entering, larceny, and assaulting officers with a firearm. But police in North Carolina still didn’t know that the two men were killers. 48 hours later, the body of James Rouse was discovered near a lake in Georgia. It was his stolen car that Jordan and Prevatte had crashed in Wadesboro. It didn’t take long to piece together the rest. A shotgun shell found at the murder scene sealed the case against Jordan and Prevatte. Ballistics test revealed that Rouse had been killed with a blast from the same shotgun that the pair had dumped during the chase. Finally, and most chilling of all, police in North Carolina found arrogant trophies of the murder in Georgia. According to Sheriff Allen, Jordan and Prevatte took photos of themselves leaning against Rouse’s car with the same shotgun that killed him:
However, neither Jordan nor Prevatte stayed on death row. The Georgia Supreme Court reduced their sentences to life in prison. It wasn’t long before Prevatte was paroled. Soon after, he murdered his girlfriend and was returned to prison. Once again, he was sentenced to death. This time, the sentence stood.
The story of William Jordan, however, has yet to end. After ten years in prison, Jordan was assigned to a minimum-security work farm for good behavior. But his image as a model prisoner proved false. One day, Jordan and a fellow prisoner stole a truck near a work site and drove off. A month later, police caught the inmate who escaped with him, but Jordan has eluded capture ever since.
Decades have passed since Jordan and Prevatte murdered James Rouse Jr., but his family still feels the pain. William Jordan is 6’2″ tall, has brown graying hair, and probably wears glasses. Jordan has several distinctive tattoos, including a spider on his right arm and a cross with the name “Sybil” on his left arm.