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Suspect in three Missouri slayings captured

April 8, 1997

WARSAW, Mo. (AP) _ A man suspected of gunning down three people in the past 5 1/2 months was captured after an officer acting on a hunch flushed him from a supposedly vacant home.

Alis Ben Johns, 36, was captured Monday night after Bill Swineburg of the Missouri State Water Patrol and a partner noticed a recently broken window at the home near Warsaw, about 85 miles southeast of Kansas City.

``He (Swineburg) told me he just had a feeling,″ said Col. Larry Whitten of the patrol. ``They called for backup once they knew (Johns) was in there, but before anybody could get there, Johns came out. They had seen him through a broken window.″

Johns emerged using his girlfriend as a shield with a gun to her head. While one officer talked to Johns, another shot him in the abdomen, officials said.

He was hospitalized in critical condition; the woman was not hurt.

Johns, 36, is suspected of killing three people across southern Missouri: Tommy Stewart, 32, last October; farmer Leonard Voyles, 69, on Feb. 28; and Wilma Bragg, 57, in early March.

Johns had not been seen since March 29 but authorities zeroed in on the Warsaw area after a reported sighting last week.

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