A murdered moved freely around Europe as an international manhunt took place, even serving in the Bosnian army.
Justin Clarke was a fugitive for 23 years after shooting builder Paul Milburn dead as he sat in his car.
While on the run he worked in the Middle East and served with Bosnia and Herzegovina forces for so long, he qualified for a pension.
Today the former doorman, 62, was finally jailed.
He got a minimum life sentence of 25 years.
He had been tracked down and arrested in Berlin in 2016 after detectives discovered he was still in touch with family and friends here.
Det Insp Justine Jenkins said: “We don’t know how long he had been in Berlin.
“We know he served as a soldier in the Bosnia and Herzegovina army in his younger days, long enough to qualify for a pension.
“We think he travelled to various countries during his time on the run, and in Qatar he worked for a while as a construction worker.”
Prior to the murder Clarke was a bouncer on Merseyside and served in the French Foreign Legion.
He moved south in the late 1970s and married a solicitor, then started training to become a lawyer too.
Prosecutors said in the early 1990s Clarke plotted a lucrative con on a local drug dealer. He and associates created nine fake blocks of cannabis resin. They contacted Mr Milburn, 43, known to sell cannabis, and set up a £20,000 drug deal in a lane in St Albans, Herts, in 1993.
Clarke, then 37, shot Mr Milburn with a US Army .45 automatic pistol through his car window.
Prosecutor Christopher Donnellan QC told Woolwich crown court, South East London: “He left the scene and evaded arrest for this offence until September 2016.
“So, nearly a quarter of a century after those events, this case comes to trial.” It is understood Clarke had false ID papers when arrested, after work by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.
Clarke, who refused to say where he had been living, even used aliases before the killing.
Police found correspondence to suggest he lived in Croatia. He flew to the Middle East on someone else’s passport.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, not in the EU, was not sent the European arrest warrant so did not know he was a fugitive.
Clarke was convicted on Tuesday in his absence of murder, conspiring to defraud and conspiracy to supply a class B drug.
He stayed in his cell at HMP Belmarsh during the trial.
Mr Milburn’s family said: “The determination to locate and arrest Justin Clarke has been very impressive and we are very grateful.”