US Fugitive's Wife Says She Didn't Know about His Past

October 3, 2011 - 5:30 AM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The wife of captured American fugitive George Wright says her husband told her he escaped from a U.S. jail but never revealed he had been convicted of murder and accused of a dramatic airplane hijacking.

Maria do Rosario Valente says she was shocked to learn about her husband's past after his capture in Portugal last week after 41 years on the lam. She told Portugal's TVI television: "Now I've found out the rest."

The U.S. is trying to extradite Wright to serve the remainder of his 15- to 30-year sentence for a 1962 New Jersey murder.

Police say he was one of those who hijacked a U.S. plane to Algeria in 1972.

Valente told TVI late Sunday she never really believed Wright's jail escape story — until now.