After William Enman escaped from the New Jersey psychiatric hospital where he had been serving his sentence, he sent a letter to the governor and hospital CEO protesting that he had earned the right to sign himself out. The 64-year old patient has been serving a sentence for a brutal double-murder hat he had committed in 1974. Although diagnosed as schizophrenic, he has consistently denied the diagnosis and refused to comply with psychiatric treatment. Enman's September 9, 2007 escape from Ancora Psychiatric Hospital sparked a nation-wide manhunt although he was recaptured without incident 48 hours later. After his rearrest, he stated that he had escaped the hospital to "clear my mind" and that he needed to "get away" from his drug problem. In his letter, he stated that he had "maxed out" the time that he had spent in hospital and was entitled to leave.
In the decades since he was first imprisoned for the brutal bludgeoning deaths of a man and his young son, Enman has committed numerous infractions including having contraband weapons being found in his cell and placing his hands around the throat of his then-wife in 2003. He has been non compliant with medication since receiving a 1991 court order to prevent forced medication. His treating psychiatrist, Dr. Elizabeth Burns, has stressed that Enman remains mentally ill and must remain in hospital.
The escape has spurred the New Jersey Human Resources Commissioner to launch a review of all security procedures for state hospitals. Escape charges are still pending but Enman has lost all earned privileges and will be held in close confinement for the indeterminate future. This is his third hospital escape attempt.