A most-wanted fugitive is apprehended after his identity is publicized on Winfrey's show

By Stephen M. Silverman
October 10, 2005 08:00 AM

Oprah helped the FBI get its man after she publicized the identities of fugitive child molesters on The Oprah Winfrey Show, according to the bureau.

William Davis, 33, wanted in Indiana on 2004 charges of molesting children and failing to register as a sex offender, was picked up by bureau agents on Thursday in Fargo, N.D., following a tip from an Oprah viewer, reports Reuters.

“The arrest was a direct result of someone viewing Tuesday’s show where (Davis) was featured,” FBI agent Paul McCabe said from Minneapolis. “She called her friend who went to the Oprah.com Web site and recognized him.”

“This is a great day, and we’re just getting started,” Winfrey said on her show. “With every breath in my body, and with you by my side, we are going to move heaven and earth to stop an evil that’s been going on for far too long.”

Davis – known as the “rubber band man” for his manner of luring kids with toys he made from twisted rubber bands – was apprehended after Jean Rosenthal of Moorhead, Minn., saw his picture on Winfrey’s show and recognized him as a neighbor of her friend Karie Miller, Vanderburgh County Deputy Prosecutor Donita Farr told New York’s Daily News.

Miller, 29, was unaware that the neighbor – who went by the name of Mark – was a wanted man who’d been at large for nearly a year in connection with sexual assaults upon three boys, according to the FBI.

“His picture came up and I started shaking so bad I couldn’t hold my coffee,” Miller told the Fargo Forum newspaper. Finding the phone number for the FBI on the Oprah Web site, she quickly called the bureau.

Miller hopes to buy a house with the $100,000 reward, she told the Forum.