In April 1969, Marie Arrington became the second woman ever placed on the FBI’s most wanted list. One year earlier she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for manslaughter. While awaiting appeal and out on bond she was arrested for the murder of a legal secretary. Then came a trial, Marie’s escape and the FBI’s years long pursuit of one of their most wanted
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When the FBI distributed their Most Wanted Poster featuring Marie Dean Arrington in April 1969, they warned the public she was a cold blooded killer who should be considered extremely dangerous. A Federal warrant charged Marie with unlawful interstate flight to avoid confinement after conviction for manslaughter and murder in the first degree.
We don’t know much about Marie’s early days in her hometown of Leesburg, Florida. We only know there were problems at home, Marie quit going to school after sixth grade and by the time she was a teenager she fell in with the wrong crowd. Folks who knew her described her as a confident woman. A smooth talker who was willing to try anything to get what she wanted. By the time she was in her 20s she was a mother of five children and later said she had to make sure she never heard her kids say they were hungry.
Early on she decided to get creative to get what she wanted. In 1956, 23 year old Marie was working as a maid at a Leesburg motel. She was tired of making just 75 cents an hour to scrub floors so she came up with a plan to rob the motel manager. She tied him up and then tied herself up so it appeared as though she was also a victim of the robbery. When police were alerted and arrived on scene, there was Marie tied up telling the story of how scared she was. Marie’s story was pretty convincing…until one of the officers noticed cigarette butts on the ground around her chair. They asked how she could have smoked while her hands were tied. Marie realized they had her and confessed to the robbery.
That’s when Marie Arrington made herself a promise. She vowed to always be willing to take risks, accept the jail time if she got caught, and whenever possible…have an escape plan.
Hear the story of Marie’s crimes and her escape that led the FBI on a years long manhunt in the new episode!
Mrs. Vivian June Ritter. The Tampa Tribune. April 30,1968
State Traces Hourly Steps by Mrs. Ritter. The Tampa Tribune. December 4,1968
Arrington v. State. Supreme Court of Florida. April 1, 1970
Wanted Persons Marie Dean Arrington. The Sheriff’s Star. December 1969
Marie Dean Arrington. The Tampa Tribune. March 18, 1973
Is This The Place They Call Hell? The Palm Beach Post. March 18, 1973
Son Remains in Shadow of Mother’s Revenge. Orlando Sentinel. June 27, 1998
Marie Arrington 1960s Leesburg Killer. South Florida Sun Sentinel. July 1, 201430 days of mean marie. Lake & Sumter Style. July 2014
Sense of Loss and Lazy Days by Purple Planet Music. purple-planetmusic.com Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use