Tennessee Authorities arrest woman in connection with a murder 35 years ago

by Cynthia Williams

Detectives in Tennessee have arrested a woman wanted in connection with a murder in Indiana 35 years ago.

She changed her name, and her life, and has been living quietly in a small Tennessee town until this week.

You might call Linda Darby the great pretender.

Darby's escape from the Indiana state women's prison was bloody.

Linda Darby says "I was scratched up and bloody and everything from going over the barbed wire.."

That was 1972.

An Indiana jury found Darby guilty of murdering her husband Charles.

For the past 30 years or so the now 64-year-old has been living in Pulaski.

She has no idea who turned her in.

Linda Darby says "I'm sorry I didn't mean to mislead anybody. But I didn't want to go back to something and pay for somebody else's crime."

According to Indiana law enforcement the crime scene was brutal.

Darby's husband Charles was shot, stuffed in a bag, and, according to police, the house was set on fire to cover up the crime.

When asked if she killed her husband, Linda Darby says "I would love to know who killed charles. I would love to know. And I would love to see them punished. I didn't kill him."

The 64-year-old has been living in this quiet Pulaski neighborhood.

Friday police came knocking on the door.

Linda Darby says, "he said Linda because he knew me. He said linda, I need to talk to you. And when I walked out the door, I said what is it. And he said I have a warrant. I said, what's it about. He said I need you to come down to the station and talk to me."

Neighbors did a lot of talking as well.

Neighbor Martha Slater says, "she had grand kids she worked everyday."

Even Darby doesn't know how she kept her 30-year secret.

Married, with two children, eight grandchildren, a playset is in her back yard.

She cleaned houses for a living.

Today, this fugitive has a message for people who believed her to be Linda McElroy and not Linda Darby.

Linda Darby says "this is who I am, this is who I am, I'm not a murderer. I just don't know how they ever convicted me. I really don't. Because I didn't do it."

Darby is going back to Indiana after waiving extradition to protect her Tennessee family from a trial that's certain to become a media circus now that her 30-year run has come to an end.