Linda Haas and her husband, Gary Haas, were found dead in a burned out trailer on a ranch near Santa Rosa, New Mexico, six years ago. The killers: John McCluskey, his girlfriend and cousin, Casslyn Welch, and Tracy Province, hijacked and murdered the couple after escaping from an Arizona prison. Tonight, their tragic deaths will be detailed on the Investigation Discovery show Passport To Murder. In the episode titled “Hot On The Trail,” investigators are on the hunt for three prison escapees after a retired Oklahoma couple is hijacked at a rest stop while on vacation.
A rancher discovered a charred trailer on his property near Santa Rosa, New Mexico, in August 2010. Inside were the burned bodies of two people. Shortly after the discovery of the dead bodies, police located a Tecumseh couple’s car. The vehicle belonged to 61-year-old Gary and 61-year-old Linda Haas, a married couple who were on their way to a camping trip in Colorado. The couple’s daughter confirmed that the victims were her parents, according to NBC News.
AP: Funeral services Thursday at 11am for Tecumseh, OK for Gary and Linda Haas, allegedly killed by escaped inmates in New Mexico. #foxfix— Liz Dueweke (@LizDueweke) August 31, 2010
Alb/State: Slain Couple's Family Speaks On Loss: The family of a slain couple, Linda and Gary Haas, who were burne... http://bit.ly/d962e8— stefan dill (@KOAT_Headlines) August 15, 2010
Police quickly made the connection between the retired couple’s deaths and the escape of two inmates at an Arizona prison days earlier. Police identified the inmates as 45-year-old John McCluskey and 42-year-old Tracy Allen Province. They were also looking for 44-year-old Casslyn Welch, the cousin and lover of John McCluskey.
The manhunt for the fugitives lasted for almost three weeks before they were found at a campsite by a park ranger who contacted police once he spotted a tent and a stolen vehicle. The SWAT team quickly moved in, and all three were eventually arrested.
Authorities say they were targeted by the escapees at a rest stop. The fugitives’ goal was to change cars so they could continue making their getaway. Instead, they drove the helpless pair to a remote location where they were shot and killed before their bodies and the trailer was set on fire.
Updated: John McCluskey trial for prison escape, kidnapping. Also charged with murder in N.M. http://bit.ly/mFnajb— KRQE News 13 (@krqe) June 15, 2011
John McCluskey convicted in Arizona prison escape. Next for him: federal murder charge in N.M. http://bit.ly/iH8aZm— KRQE News 13 (@krqe) June 17, 2011
Traveling, camping, and road trips were the main activities that Linda Haas enjoyed with her husband, Gary. News of the double murder hit their family and friends like a ton of bricks. This terrible thing happened to a wonderful and lovely couple who had been together for more than 40 years. They met as children, and then a romantic relationship developed between them in their teens. Gary loved Linda from the start. Friends say they were fun to be around and were not considered an ordinary couple by any means.
Here Are Some Other Key Details In The Linda Haas, Gary Haas Murder Case
- According to NewsOK, 35-year-old Cathy Haas Byus, the daughter of Linda and Gary Haas, was found dead in her home in 2013, just three years after her parents’ murder. Byus was shot and killed by her husband, 25-year-old Justin Byus. Their two-year-old son was at home when his mother was shot dead.
- The mother of Gary Haas survived the Joplin, Missouri, tornado of 2011.
- Tracy Province’s mother was arrested for helping her son monetarily. Those who know her say they don’t believe she knew the severity of helping her son.
- John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch were kissing cousins. It is alleged that their mothers are sisters.
- On the day the prisoners escaped, there was another inmate with them named Daniel Renwick. Just after the escape, they were separated from one another.
- Before killing Linda and Gary Haas, the two inmates kidnapped two truck drivers but eventually released them, according to court records found at Justice.Gov.
To see how the Haas murder case was solved, tune into Passport To Murder tonight at 10/9 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery (ID). The previous week, ID’s Passport To Murder featured the case of Courtney Wilkes.
[Image via TFoxFoto/ShutterStock]