Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

Boy Scouts of America

Decades-long search for "Mr. Wonder" ends with arrest

Neighbors in a well-to-do section of this San Diego suburb knew him as Frank Szeles, a friendly Cub Scouts leader who frequently gave swimming lessons to young children in his backyard pool.

The federal agents who arrested him last week knew him by a different name: "Mr. Wonder," the host of a popular children's television show who vanished decades ago amid allegations that he sexually abused several kids during a camping retreat in central Louisiana.

The man who faced a San Diego judge Wednesday denied he is the 76-year-old fugitive named Frank John Selas III who allegedly fled to Brazil in 1979 after Louisiana authorities secured a warrant for his...