It took "America's Most Wanted" to bring Paul Clouston to justice.
Clouston was one of the U.S. Marshal's 15 most wanted fugitives, and he was hiding out in Merced. He was on parole for killing a police officer and child molestation.
What caught my eye was the line, "Clouston was convicted in 1973 on second degree murder charges for th e 1972 death of a police detective in Buena Park."
As a very, very young reporter at The Orange County Register in 1972, I was sent out to cover a manhunt after the detective was killed. It was a hot afternoon and I was trying to follow the police helicopter as it tracked the suspects around Buena Park, La Palma and Cypress.
When smoke, or should I say steam, started billowing out of my engine, I pulled over. In the heat of following the story, I lifted the hood and gave the radiator cap a twist. (In those days, I always carried a couple gallons of water in the truck because things happen.) My arm was immediately scalded as the water shot out of the radiator. I added more water then went on my way.
I got the story, of course. But I went to my wedding the next day with with bandages on my burned arm.
Who knew that 38 years later, Clouston and I would be hiding out in Merced.