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Fugitive Found: Billy Wayne Hayes (escaped from prison 12/21/1972) murder of William Howard Ferguson in Nashville, TN 1967

William Howard Ferguson
William Howard Ferguson

Escaped Convict Captured After 33 Years
Inmate On The Run For 33 Years Captured In Alabama
Fugitive hid 34 years in plain sight
Victim’s Family Wants Fugitive Back In Prison
Canceled warrant let fugitive go
Man still hasn’t completed 10-year term for ’67 murder
Murderpedia: Billy Wayne Hayes


Hayes 1968 and 2006

TOMIS ID: 00063997
Birth Date: 02/21/1949
Race: W
Sex: M
Supervision Status: INACTIVE
Sentence Begin: 02/18/1968
Sentence End: 09/05/2008
Parole Eligibility :
Parole Hearing:
Hearing Result:


8 Responses

  1. The above picture is that of the man that murdered our Daddy. We can’t explain the vast loss that we endured due to choices made by Billy Wayne Hayes. We are looking for advice and welcome any comments that you may have after reading our questions.
    First choice Mr. Hayes made was willfully, deliberately and premeditatedly shooting and killing our Father.
    Second choice Mr. Hayes made was to plea bargain for 10 years in prison.
    Third choice Mr. Hayes made in 1972 was to walk away from his work- release program and not complete his sentence. Using his given name, he went about living his life and no one even knew he was an escaped convict. Due to a cancelled warrant he was a free man for 35 years.
    This brings forth our questions:
    • After the sentencing of Billy Wayne Hayes, our family was never informed of anything that happened with Mr. Hayes. We only knew that he had escaped in 1972 when it made the headlines in Dec. 2006. We were stunned to learn of this from the reporters on the television. The State of TN never informed us of any escape – WHY?
    • In December 2006 TDOC spokeswoman Dorinda Carter stated that she would investigate why he was arrested and released three times in the early 1980s without anyone noticing that he was an escapee. As of August 2007 the only answer that has been given is “inexplicable”. – WHY?
    • A news article in The Tennessean dated December 5, 2006 states that The Tennessee Highway Patrol somehow assisted in clearing the escape warrant for Billy Wayne Hayes. When this warrant was cancelled someone was in charge of giving the order to cancel it. WHO and WHY?
    • According to a 1997 TDOC report, Hayes’ warrant was cleared in 1976 by the state highway patrol. State prison officials refused to make their report public, saying they are internal investigative files.
    After 35 years the State of Tennessee says these files are internal documents and not public record WHY?
    • At the arraignment hearing of Billy Wayne Hayes the case of Margo Freshwater an escapee for 32 years was used as an analogy to the Hayes case.
    • You can find Margo Freshwater’s files on the Internet.
    • You cannot find Billy Wayne Hayes files on the Internet WHY?
    • Margo Freshwater changed her name and identity.
    • Billy Wayne Hayes hadn’t gone to great lengths to hide his identity – he didn’t even change his name. He did not live a daunting life because he was allowed to walk freely not even looking over his shoulder; his identity was no secret. WHY?
    As victims we need answers. Does anyone have any advice to give us?

  2. DD&J,

    I wish I could offer you answers to your questions, but unfortunatley do not know anything about this man. However, I want to express my deepest sympathy to your family.

  3. I cannot answer your questions either, however i wanted to connect with you on some level.

    i lived down the street from Margo Freshwater’s family. I never knew Margo because she was on the run but i did know her brother Tommy & their mother. (both now deceased) They never spoke of Margo and it was clear the subject was off limits. the FBI would come around every few years and show us pictures of Margo and ask if we had seen her. it wasnt until i was an adult that i learned of her crimes after she was captured.

    i’m deeply crushed for your loss.
    much love
    Pam, angel Kelli’s mom

  4. I am Billy Hayes’s daughter, Stacey Hayes. I do not know anything about the crime because I wasn’t yet born. It was never spoke of during my childhood, and after he had been captured we still did not discuss it. However, a friend of his that knew him in his younger years, and around the time this crime was committed, told me that my father was actuaully innocent of this murder. He said my dad was hanging around some bad people at the time and took the blame for what happened out of fear of what these guys may do to him. I do not know what is the truth. All I knmow is my dad was harmless to me and all of my friends. He was a hardworking man that provided well for his family and was very loving. He helped anyone he could in need and absolutely loved children. I only regret that he didn’t have more time with his fist grandchild, my son. They took him away when my son was only 2 years old. I now have 2 more sons and they all ask about their papa and want to spend time with him. He had a stroke in prison and can’t talk. Because of the speach issue and my limitations for being able to get to Tennessee, I have not seen, nor heard from my father in over 2 years. I don’t know how to find him. It breaks my heart and I pray for some type of breakthrough to come soon. I am very sorry about your loss, but as I said my father is not a murderer. I don’t know what type of a person he was before he became my father, but the man I know wouldn’t hurt anyone. I sympathize with you on your loss though because I am going through this pain myself right now. I will remember you in my prayers. God bless you and your family. love, Stacey

    • Stacey,

      I added some new links that may answer some of your questions. There were several witnesses that your dad shot and killed William Howard Ferguson. I am sorry for the pain you and your family are experiencing. It appears that your father may still be in an Alabama jail or prison. Their inmate locator is down right now. After he serves whatever time he gets there on his drug charge, he will then go back to TN to face escape charges and finish his sentence for the murder of William Howard Ferguson.

      Please also remember that the focus of my blog is the victim, William Howard Ferguson. For other answers about your father, you will need to contact his attorney or the Dothan Jail to find out where he is, etc.

    • Hi Stacey have you found your father yet? I know him and can reconnect you

  5. did my post show up??? i can’t see it so i’m not sure if i did that right???

  6. this sis billy hayes’s daughter….i just posted a pretty long comment, but i dont know if you got it or not….my son needs my attention at the moment so maybe i can get back to this tomorrow. you know how to contact me though if you’d like.

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