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SPOKANE, Wash. - A criminally insane killer who escaped during a mental-hospital field trip to a county fair on Thursday remained on the run Friday, and furious residents and officials wondered why such a dangerous person was out in public.

Authorities believe Phillip Arnold Paul, 47, is heading to the Sunnyside area in south-central Washington, where his parents and many siblings live.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office used a helicopter to search Friday, and officers searched transient camps along railroad tracks in the area.
"He is in a bad mental state," his brother, Tom Paul, told the Associated Press. "Why would they load him on a bus and take him to a fair?"

That's a question many are asking.

Authorities at Eastern State Hospital are being criticized for allowing Paul to visit the fair despite his violent criminal past and history of trying to escape.

The state Department of Social and Health Services ordered an immediate end to such trips and launched an investigation into the practice.

Paul was committed after he was acquitted by reason of insanity in the 1987 slaying of an elderly woman in Sunnyside. He soaked the woman's body in gasoline to throw off search dogs and buried the remains in her flower garden
 

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makes me want to watch "one flew over the cucko's nest" again for some weird reason.
 
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