FBI Pittsburgh
Public Affairs Officer Catherine Policicchio
(412) 432-4291
November 13, 2020

FBI Pittsburgh Announces Arrest of Wanted Fugitive Nearly 50 Years After His Escape from Custody

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pittsburgh Division and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office announce the arrest of wanted fugitive Leonard Rayne Moses. Moses was arrested without incident in Grand Blanc, Michigan, on November 12, 2020, by FBI Detroit’s Fugitive Task Force. He is in custody on a federal unauthorized flight to avoid confinement warrant, issued out of the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1971. Pending an extradition hearing and Michigan state charges, he will be brought back to Pennsylvania.

At some point since his escape in 1971, 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. Using the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, 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.”

“The arrest of Leonard Moses brings a measure of closure to the family of the victim, Mary Amplo,” said Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen. “The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the FBI has steadily worked this case throughout the decades. We are thankful for the combined efforts of the involved law enforcement agencies who were involved in bringing Moses to face justice. It proves the axiom that you cannot outrun your past.”

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.

For media inquiries please call (412) 396-9504 or email cpolicicchio@fbi.gov.