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Hunt for escaped murderer, rapist

Swiss police were yesterday scrambling to find a convicted murderer who eluded his guards while out for a walk and escaped prison for the second time in his criminal career.

Police have no idea where the man they identified only as Jean-Louis B. may have headed after he grabbed a female guard by the neck, announced he wasn’t going back to prison and took off through a nearby field.

Jean-Christophe Sauterel, spokesman for police in the Swiss canton of Vaud said the 64-year-old may still be in western Switzerland near the French border, or “somewhere else” in the country.

After the June 27 escape in Provence about 40 kilometres from the French border, police organised a massive manhunt that now includes army helicopters. The convict – who escaped once before in 1986 on another prison outing – was accompanied on his walk by a male and female prison guard, and a Salvation Army worker.

“On the way back (from the walk), when he found himself alone at the back of the car, the man grabbed a (female) prison guard by the neck and declared that there had been a change in plans and that he was not going back to prison,” Mr Sauterel said.

The female guard tried to defend herself, but, Mr Sauterel explained, the convict cut her with a sharp object.

The man, who Mr Sauterel described as “extremely dangerous,” was not handcuffed. The two guards and Salvation Army worker tried to pursue the man as he ran off through a field but could not catch up.

The man was first convicted of rape in 1970, but was let out on probation and re-offended. He later killed a 17-year-old boy and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but escaped in 1986 while on a monitored prison outing. While on the run, he boarded a train to Geneva and raped the psychiatrist who had treated him while he was in prison.

According to images circulated by police, the man is bald and wears oval glasses.

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