Adam Zachs spent 22 years dodging the police who were trying to put him in prison for murder. But according to new documents released by West Hartford police, he made good use of the time, building a comfortable life for himself in Mexico.

On the run since 1989, by the time he was 47 he had built up a respectable computer repair business and had a 21-year-old wife and two children from a previous marriage.

His business -- Hospital de Computadoras “Accesa” -- was a success, bringing in $300,000 to $400,000 a year. He had big customers, such as the insurer MetLife, and was close to signing a contract with the local health department.

Then, just about a year ago this month, Zachs' comfortable world collapsed.

On Feb. 1, 2011, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials arrested Zachs in Leon, Guanajuato, as he traveled between his home and business.

Nearly five months later, Zachs was extradited to Connecticut and immediately sent to MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield to start serving his 60-year sentence.

With Zachs finally behind bars, West Hartford police released more than 400 pages of documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Courant regarding both the 1987 murder of West Hartford resident Peter Carone and the department's 22-year search for his killer.

The documents include police reports about conversations with Zachs' family and friends, as well as a summary of conversations between Zachs and West Hartford Det. Mark Puglielli during their flight from Mexico to the U.S.

Zachs, despite knowing he was heading to prison for what will probably be the rest of his life, was talkative during the flight, telling Puglielli a little about his life on the run and about how close he'd come to capture.


Zachs told Puglielli that he felt living a productive life in Mexico was, in his mind at least, a way he could honor Carone's memory. So much time had elapsed since his escape he felt he'd never be caught, despite a few close calls over the years.

For example, Zachs once did computer work for someone who had a friend visiting. The friend looked at Zachs, and told him he looked a lot like the person on a poster at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, where the visitor used to work.

Zachs just laughed off the comment.

Another time, an American man once approached Zachs after synagogue service in Mexico City and told him he looked like someone featured on “America's Most Wanted,” a television program that broadcast an episode about Zachs' disappearance four times.

Once again, Zachs simply dismissed the comments.

The closest call happened during a bus trip in Mexico that Zachs made with a friend. The bus was stopped at a roadblock by federal police, and officers instructed all the males to get off the bus and show their identification cards.

Zachs didn't have any identification, he told Puglielli. He saw that his friend was still sleeping, and he decided to pretend that he, too, was asleep. The police left him alone.

Zachs entered Mexico through Cancun in 1989, nearly two years after he fatally shot Carone during a petty disagreement at the Prospect Café in West Hartford. He was brought to trial and convicted of first-degree murder in 1988.

He was sentenced to 60 years in prison, but state law at the time allowed him to post bail while he waited for an appeal to be heard. He was released from jail after his aunt posted $250,000 bond. He fled with his girlfriend, thousands of dollars in cash and his brother's birth certificate.

He was driven to New York City by Moses Alphonse, an employee of C-Thru Ruler Co., a Bloomfield business owned by the Zachs family. After spending a night in a hotel, Zachs and his girlfriend, Carmen Mangual, boarded a plane at John F. Kennedy Airport bound for Cancun, Mexico.