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FBI arrests man convicted of murder in Grand Blanc after escape in 1971

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 16:06:44-05

(WXYZ) — The FBI has arrested a Pennsylvania man convicted of murder who escaped custody in 1971.

Leonard Rayne Moses is in custody after he was arrested in Grand Blanc. Pending an extradition hearing and Michigan state charges, he will be brought back to Pennsylvania.

At some point since his escape in 1971, officials say Moses assumed the identity of Paul Dickson. At least since 1999, he was employed as a traveling pharmacist in Michigan. After his arrest earlier this year on Michigan state charges, Moses’ fingerprints were entered into a nationwide database in October.

Moses’ fingerprints from the state arrest in Michigan matched with the prints taken after his arrest in 1968.

“I hope this arrest brings some closure to the family members of Mary Amplo, who was killed back in 1968,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “Mr. Moses will now have to face justice for her murder. Through coordination with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and our partners in Michigan, we were able to identify Mr. Moses using the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system. It’s these new advances in technology that the FBI must continue to identify and use to make sure those who commit crimes are brought to justice.”

Officials say on June 1, 1971, Leonard Rayne Moses escaped the custody of law enforcement officials while attending his grandmother’s funeral in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the time of his escape, Moses was serving a life sentence for first degree murder after being convicted.

On April 6, 1968, during the "Pittsburgh Riots,” Moses and some friends threw Molotov cocktails at a house located in Homewood. As a result of burns received during the attack, and subsequent pneumonia, the female victim inside the house died.