Fugitive for 40 Years
By Raghavendra – June 18th, 2010
You may have seen it films, you may have read about it but you will pinch yourself twice before believing this. Imagine killing someone, landing up in prison, getting out on parole and suddenly cut loose for 40 years while still on parole. Well, cut loose not voluntarily, but because the lawmakers simply forgot about you, just like that! This is the story of 79-yr-old Frank Dryman, the once notorious killer of Montana who killed a man and escaped the noose in 1951. Back then, he went by the name of Frank Valentine. Less than 20 years later, Dryman got out of prison and escaped parole because he did not like his wife (pinching myself yet again!). But guess what, his escape was hardly noticed. So much so that he too began to feel absolutely normal after a few years and lead a new life under different identities. That includes performing weddings under new identities, one of which was ‘Victor Houston’. Dryman then invented a whole new life and started a family. Aside from the wedding chapel business, he volunteered for local civic clubs. The fresh start went so unnoticed that he even claimed his benefits from the Navy where he served in the late ’40s. How about that? Dryman never thought of himself as a parole violator (no room to pinch anymore!). All was going fine until the victim’s grandson, Clem Pellet, an oral surgeon from Bellevue, WA, began to poke around. Pellet wanted to find out more about the Montana side of his family and his parents too had never spoken about the murder. Thus began his quest to unearth this entire incident, right until the cops knocked on the doors of Dryman. Now Pellet wants to capture it all in a book and is keen to meet Dryman to fill in some gaps. Understandably, Dryman is not eager to meet him. Catch Me if You Can...