Colorado’s Prison Valley in Fremont County is the site of the country’s most infamous prisons that have housed the likes of El Chapo and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. This town has also witnessed some horrifying crimes, of which seven will be explored in ID’s newest show, Valley of the Damned, premiering on September 3 at 10:00 p.m. EST. The first episode, titled “Kill List,” delves into the murders authorities say were committed by Evan Ebel. The premise of the six-episode docuseries is to try to understand how someone like Evan Ebel could murder Tom Clements and Nathan Leon in a town surrounded by 15 high-security facilities, including the country’s only federal supermax. Our Evan Ebel wiki explains this case in detail right here.
|About Evan Spencer Ebel|
|Known As||Evil Ebel|
|Parents||Susan Jody Mangue, Jack Ebel|
|Victims||Nathan Leon, Tom Clements|
Evan Ebel Had a Problematic Childhood
Evan Spencer Ebel, born in 1985, had a trouble-filled childhood. His behavioral problems concerned his parents, Jack Ebel, an attorney and former oil tycoon, and Susan Jody Mangue. His parents divorced when he was a child and he lived with his father because his mother couldn’t handle him.
As a 10-year-old, he used to drink and do drugs. He was 12 when he was arrested for the first time. The death of his sister in an accident further added to his unpredictable temper.
Evan was sent to programs overseas to deal with his behavioral problems. But he got into fights with staff and other kids there.
He left home when he was 16, got into more trouble, and landed in prison for the first time when he was 20. From there, Evan only spiraled further out of control, despite his father’s best efforts to help him turn his life around.
Evan began running with a gang of white supremacists when he was serving his last sentence at the Colorado Department of Corrections, where he earned the nickname, “Evil Ebel.” Behind bars, he reportedly followed a controversial form of religion, Asatru, popular among white supremacists.
Prison documents reveal that he had attacked a prison guard and was put in solitary confinement. Several people who knew him, including father Jack and the prison chief, claimed that his time in segregation worsened his mental state in ways no one can fathom.
Ebel Got out of Prison Due to a Clerical Error
Evan Ebel was arrested in 2003 for robbing a person at gunpoint. He pleaded guilty to multiple crimes and was serving multiple sentences at a time, instead of consecutively. After pleading guilty to an assault charge, he was sentenced to eight years in 2005.
During his prison time, he assaulted a guard, among other things. Consequently, his sentence was increased to an additional four years, to be served after his eight-year sentence.
However, in January 2013, prison officials released Ebel after failing to notice the court records that included an extended sentence.
Apparently, the judge didn’t mention that Ebel was meant to serve his sentence consecutively. So the clerk recorded it as one to be served “concurrently,” causing prison officials to mistakenly release him before he’d served his four-year sentence.
Police Say Ebel Killed Nathan Leon and Tom Clements after His Release
After his release, Ebel somehow convinced his friend, Stevie Marie Vigil, to procure a handgun for him. Meanwhile, he had been living with his father and helping out at his law firm doing research. He’d also spent the majority of his time reading books and had refused to meet guests.
That was until March 14, 2013, when Ebel suddenly slipped off his ankle monitoring bracelet and dropped off the radar. He was found a few weeks later in Texas when local authorities identified the vehicle he was driving.
Before he was found, authorities say Ebel committed two horrific murders with the gun his friend got him. His first victim was Nathan Leon, a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman and employee at IBM. On March 19, he shot dead Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements at his home in Monument when he answered the door.
Clements’ assassination drew attention as it occurred the same day then-Governor John Hickenlooper signed new gun control laws.
Incidentally, the former governor was also a close friend of Jack Ebel. Clements was also known to advocate for lesser solitary confinement punishment due to consequences it had on the inmate.
Ebel’s motive to kill Clements was not initially clear. It was believed that he was ordered to do it by the 211 Crew, the prison gang Ebel got involved with.
What Happened to Evan Ebel? Where Is He Now?
Two days after Clements’ murder, a Texas deputy noticed the vehicle Ebel was driving matched the description of that driven by the suspect in the Colorado prison chief’s murder.
The sheriff’s deputy, James Boyd, had Ebel pull over, but Ebel shot at him and injured the officer in the head before he escaped. The shooting was captured on Boyd’s dashcam.
A high-speed chase ensued where Ebel even shot at the pursuing officers. The chase ended when Ebel crashed into a large semi-truck. An injured Ebel managed to get out of the wreckage, exchange fire at the officers, and get shot at.
A critically injured Ebel was taken to a hospital and was on life support for a day. He was eventually taken off life support and declared dead.
Further investigation into his suspected crimes couldn’t explain his motives. Police had found Nathan Leon’s pizza delivery uniform and the pizza container in Ebel’s car wreckage. They also found the gun that matched the one used to kill Leon and Clements.
Ebel had also reportedly forced Leon to record a rambling audio message before killing him. Leon’s body had been found dumped in an open space. The items found in his car linked Ebel to the murder of Leon.
Ebel’s parents lost their child for the second time. His father released a statement apologizing to his son’s victims, but has otherwise refused to talk about Evil Ebel.
Meanwhile, Clements’ murder is an ongoing investigation. Leon’s family, especially his widow, Katie Leon, is still grieving the death of Nathan at the age of 27. Leon is survived by his wife and their twin children as well as a daughter from a previous relationship.
The Leon family was outraged that Ebel had been released from prison because of a clerical error. Katie sued the state, but the case was dismissed. Katie lives with her mother and children, struggling financially while trying to move on from their loss.