71 Year Old Hostage Kills Prison Escapee

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While sitting quietly in their Iowa home, a retired couple suddenly came face to face with a convicted felon. The intruder, three days on the lamb from a nearby correctional facility, was already wanted in the shooting of a local deputy. This true and terrifying story has a dramatic twist in the end.

Rodney Long

Born in 1974, 38-year old Rodney Eugene Long ran into some trouble in life and found himself incarcerated in the Clarinda Correctional Facility in the Page County community of Clarinda, Iowa. Clarinda was built in 1980 and houses just over a thousand medium to minimum-security inmates including individuals who are mentally retarded, mentally ill, sex offenders, or have other social problems. Long was being held in the minimum security 167-bed Lodge at Clarinda which would suggest that he was seen as a low-risk inmate. A search shows that Long in fact was on the tail end of a five-year sentence and was set to be released as early as next year.

Rodney Eugene Long (Photo: Provided to The Des Moines Register)

The Escape

For whatever reason, Long disappeared from the facility early in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, August 16th. He was next spotted walking down a rural highway just a few miles from Clarinda Sunday night. Responding sheriff's deputies engaged Long in no less than two gunfights that left a 33-year old law enforcement officer being airlifted to a Nebraska hospital and a stolen unmarked car upside down in a ditch. Evading a manhunt again on foot, Long found himself in the quiet home of Jerome and Carol Mauderly late the next night.

(Diagram from the Des Moines Register)

Refusing to be a victim

According to news sources, Long entered the Mauderly's quiet home and held the pair of seniors hostage while he used their cell phones and searched their home. Armed with a pistol that he had used at least twice during the past few days, Long made a clear and present danger to the couple's safety.

A shotgun such as this vintage Remington 870 can be a simple and effective tool for home defense.

The thing is, 71-year old Jerome was a retired corrections officer and managed to get to his personal shotgun. With a single blast delivered to the hostage taker in the kitchen of the residence, the hostage ended the threat to his family.

Long was buried in Highland Cemetery in nearby Mystic on August 24th.

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