A wealthy San Diego mother wasn’t the only longtime fugitive from Michigan nabbed in southern California this year, but Susan LeFevre is the only one who’s been on “Good Morning America” and has Web sites devoted to her, says the Detroit News. Roger Crona, who escaped from a Michigan prison 36 years ago, was discovered living under an assumed name in Calfornia in February. Crona’s arrest has drawn little media attention or public support.
The different reactions suggest that society has deep-seated, nearly primeval, feelings toward motherhood, especially the image of the good mom, psychologists and image experts said. “The mother is a deified status,” said Michael Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. LeFevre, 53, is a homemaker with three children living in a prosperous neighborhood. Crona, 61, is a married father in a middle-class suburb 200 miles up the California coast. He’s a longtime technician at a college machine shop. Interest in LeFevre may also be prompted by the rarity of women committing crimes. “The soccer mom is one of our favorite stereotypes,” said Jerry Herron, a professor of American studies at Wayne State. “Throw ‘heroin dealer’ into it, and it gets interesting.” Friends and coworkers of Crona are bemused by all the fuss surrounding LeFevre. “She’s the pretty blonde. He’s the grizzled guy,” said Eileen Hamilton, a project scientist at University of California Santa Barbara. “Who do you think would be the heroin seller?” “If anything, the governor should be pardoning  Roger,” she said. “It seems like a slam dunk.”