Neighbors Speak Out After Maryland Fugitive Turns Self Into OKC Police

Friday, November 8th 2013, 5:33 pm
By: News 9

A fugitive, wanted for decades in another state, is in jail after turning himself into Oklahoma City police. He originally called detectives to report a fraud, but ended up confessing to living on the lamb for more than 30 years.

Friends and neighbors told News 9 the man lived a quiet life along a northwest Oklahoma City street for the past seven years. They had no idea he was a wanted fugitive out of Maryland.

11/8/2013 Related Story: Maryland Prison Escapee Arrested In OKC 30 Years Later

"It's hard to believe, it's just hard to believe," said Patricia Wright, who said she was the man's landlord for the entire seven years.

Wright said she knew him as Jack Watson. But it turns out his real name is Anthony Rackley.

We checked and Rackley, 62, spent time in a Maryland Prison for Robbery with a deadly weapon back in 1971. He then walked off from a prerelease vocational center in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1980 and disappeared.

"I'm mostly just sad because I loved him," said Wright. "I don't care what he did."

Wright said Rackley lived meagerly inside this home on N.W. 96th Street, and had recently told her he was going to be moving out. Now, she is moving out what little is left, as she tries to digest the fact that her tenant and friend was living a double life.

"He would spend half of every day on the phone raising money for the Lions club trying to get glasses, clothes," said Wright. "They'd hear about a burn out victim, he was on that phone spending that time free doing that kind of stuff. I mean everything I know about Jack is that he was a wonderful man."

But a police report states "Jack" told detectives he had been taking 70 percent of the money he raised for the Belle Isle Lions Club in order to "make a living."

It states he had even told a fellow member about the scheme and his secret life on the lamb, but feared that member was going to blackmail him. So he decided enough is enough and turned himself in.

"I'm devastated, I'm devastated," said Beverly Willard, the Lion's Club President. "And there are still some of our club members who do not know this. And it's going to break their heart."

Willard said they had no idea the man they knew as Jack was living a lie.

"To know that we had more money that we could have had in our account, to be able to take care of things, it's not right," Willard cried.

Anthony Rackley now sits in the Oklahoma county jail as he waits to be extradited back to Maryland.