86-year-old man arrested in Texas for allegedly killing person nearly 40 years ago in Idaho

Crime Watch

CHALLIS — Detectives say they have arrested an 86-year-old man who is responsible for a homicide in eastern Idaho nearly 40 years ago.

Walter James Mason, who was living under the alias Walter James Allison, was taken into custody Oct. 10 in Eastland County, Texas, according to a post on Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin’s Facebook page.

He said Mason shot two men Sept. 22, 1980, in Clayton, Idaho, and took off. Deputies and Idaho Fish and Game officers from Challis responded to the call and found Daniel Mason Woolley dead in the parking lot of the Sport’s Club bar.

Woolley had been shot in the head, and the other victim had a gunshot wound in his shoulder, the Facebook post said. A woman also suffered blunt force to her face.

Authorities have not said what they believe Mason’s motivations were.

Mason lived and worked in the area. Officers tried for decades to track him down but were unable to locate him until last week.

Details about what led investigators to Mason in Texas were not released, but the post on Lumpkin’s Facebook page said fingerprints confirmed his identity.

Custer County Deputy John Haugh and Sgt. Levi Maydole traveled to Eastland, Texas, on Oct. 13 and transported Mason back to Idaho on a charge of first-degree murder.

Mason is being held at a secure detention center in eastern Idaho.

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