I still remember the first time I watched America’s Most Wanted. I fully expected it to be nothing more than a show that would create a few curious onlookers, but would never last. But after just one episode, I was hooked – and apparently so were many others.
To date, the show has helped capture nearly 1,100 heavy-duty fugitives, both in the United States and abroad.
While I do think the show has gotten a bit more “schlocky” in recent years (especially in the opening credits when host John Walsh looks at a criminal who’s just been placed in handcuffs and says, “It’s a bad day for you!”), it serves a very useful purpose other than just to entertain us.
Such was the case late last week when another fugitive was plucked from off the streets – this one for a crime committed in my home state, Florida. Jorge Ivan “Angel” Villamizar-Ayala, 36, was taken into custody in Brownsville, TX as he left a church service last Friday night.
Villamizar-Ayala is accused of killing his then-girlfriend Bianca Sierra in Pompano Beach in 2004. The death was particularly gruesome, as he allegedly killed her with a sledgehammer and left her to be discovered by her two children. Villamizar-Ayala then disappeared until a recent broadcast of America’s Most Wanted.
If you think this makes Villamizar-Ayala seem like a bad guy, well, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! He’s also accused of killing his wife in Colombia prior to fleeing to the United States in 2001. He is also charged with attempted murder in New York of another girlfriend, Luz Jackelina Fuentes.
Villamizar-Ayala tried one last trick to elude authorities, giving them a false name and ID, but they weren’t buying what he was selling. Once the fingerprint results came back, they were certain they had the right guy.
For his sake, I sincerely hope Villamizar-Ayala absorbed everything he heard in church while he was on the outside!
Nice job, America!
PLEASE NOTE: This is my last blog of the week. I’ll be back on Monday as usual. I’m taking a few days off to celebrate my birthday and help get my daughter moved into her new college facility.