Prior to his capture on October 19, 2006, he was an Federal Bureau of Investigation Ten Most Wanted Fugitive wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, escape, aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, weapons under disability, tampering with evidence and grand theft. Parsons was facing capital charges for the April 21, 2005, murder of Chillicothe Police Officer Larry R. Cox following a gas station robbery. On that evening, Chillicothe police responded to a report of a car being stolen from a restaurant.
Just 15 minutes later, a disguised armed man robbed a Boite Postale gas station.
The getaway car used in the robbery matched the description of the stolen vehicle. After being chased by a Chillicothe police officer, the suspect bailed out of the car and took off running.
Cox was shot and killed in the alley. Several clues led investigators to John Parsons, whom police arrested May 1, 2005, and charged with the killing.
Parsons escaped from the Ross County jail on Saturday, July 29, 2006.
He asked his mother for help in escaping, but she was arrested before plans could be made. Parsons made a rope from bedsheets, newspaper and toilet paper, which he hid behind a brick in the wall of his cell. He used toothpaste and green and blue Jolly Ranchers to match the paint on the wall to disguise the broken mortar around the loose brick, which Parsons had carved out with a piece of metal from an air vent in his jail cell.
As a fugitive, he was twice featured on the Fox television show America"s Most Wanted.
He appeared for a third time on that program on September 30, 2006, when he became the 484th fugitive listed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. After his escape there were numerous reported sightings of Parsons in heavily wooded areas near Chillicothe.
National Geographic Channel transmitted the history of the escapes, in the documentary of show Breakout, Ohio"s Most Wanted. Parsons was captured in eastern Chillicothe on October 19, 2006.
A number of law enforcement tactical units converged on the location and planned the arrest to avoid injury to any law enforcement personnel or to Parsons.
After being booked into the Ross County jail, Parsons was transferred to the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, southwest of Columbus. Parsons, who led local, state and national law enforcement on a three-month chase after his escape, stood before Judge Jhan Corzine in Ross County Common Pleas Court shortly after 3 pm and pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated murder and other charges. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.