Woman turns in father-in-law, a British fugitive

A British man faces a court hearing Wednesday in Missouri. He's accused of spending 19 years on the run.

Police in England say "Fast" Eddie Maher is a thief and international fugitive. He was tracked down in Missouri, and turned in by his daughter-in-law.

The mystery was nearly as old as the woman who ended it -- 25-year-old Jessica King, Maher's daughter-in-law. "When I saw the picture of "Fast" Eddie Maher, even 20 years ago -- I knew it was him," King said. "If you've ever seen the man's eyes, you know it's him.

Maher was the driver of an armored car on the east coast of England in January 1993. Over one million pounds went missing - and so did Maher, his girlfriend and their three-year-old son.

Nineteen years later, a newly-married Jessica King says she heard a seemingly unbelievable story from her drunk husband, Lee.

"That him, his mom and his day were all illegal aliens. His birth certificate was fake. His Social Security card was fake," Jessica said. "His dad had robbed a bunch of money from England and they've been moving from state-to-state in the United States ever since. Stuff you wouldn't ever believe if somebody was telling you."

Jessica said she didn't believe it, "But I was on the edge. I was concerned how he could come up with such details if it was just a lie?"

What pushed her over the edge, she says, was when her husband became abusive. "It started out with him pushing me into corners, or into the wall," Jessica said. "And I would lock myself in the bathroom, and he would try to kick the door down."

Pushing led to punching, Jessica said. Though Lee King adamantly denies any abuse charges, Jessica says there was more dire warning from her father-in-law.

"He looked me in the eyes and said, "I know that you know. I will kill you. I will bloody kill you,"' Jessica said. She "absolutely" believed he would follow through on those threats.

On Feb. 6, Jessica walked into a local police station and told detectives what she knew. The manhunt that baffled English authorities for almost two decades was over -- ending in quiet Ozark, Mo. -- 4,400 miles from the crime scene.

The Mahers had apparently lived in at least five states. "Fast Eddie" was recently working as a cable TV repairman.

Maher now sits in a Greene County, Mo. jail with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday. At this time, he's not a threat to Jessica. But she says her ex-husband, Lee, is a different story.

Lee remains in Missouri. Jessica, now 10 weeks pregnant with Lee's child, emains in a safe house.

"Sometimes I feel like maybe Lee isn't going to track me down," Jessica said. "But then I'm extremely paranoid. Is he going to find me? How mad is he? You know that his dad is in prison and that these secrets are out? And my biggest thing is -- how long do I have to hide? How long do I have to be scared?"

A couple of unanswered questions remain: What happened to the stolen money, and who gets the reward that was offered in 1993?

Maher filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Jessica says she's entitled to the reward for turning in her father-in-law. In 1993, 100,000 pounds was offered as a reward by the armored car company. That company has now merged with another company. Jessica and her lawyer are now in touch with that company.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.

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