Anthony Wayne Fox, 29, of Falls Church, who escaped with four other inmates on Thanksgving from Virginia's Nottoway Correctional Center, was recaptured near the prison last night.

He was the last of the five escapees to be returned to custody, authorities said.

Fox, who was picked up shortly before 9 p.m. in some bushes about a half mile from the prison, was convicted in Fairfax last May of the Halloween 1983 rape of a Falls Church woman and sentenced to life plus 230 years.

That conviction was the most recent in a series of crimes and jail terms that began when Fox was 18. He has a total of 11 felony convictions, according to court records, and prior to the Halloween rape he had been sentenced to a total of 45 years in jail in four different states since 1976.

According to testimony in the Fairfax County rape case, Fox raped and sodomized his 50-year-old victim repeatedly for five hours while her 76-year-old mother cowered in a back bedroom.

Fox's Fairfax prosecutor yesterday expressed shock and anger that Fox was only being held in a medium-security facility at the time of his escape. "Why the hell was this guy put in a medium-security facility?" asked Assistant Prosecutor Thomas C. Scanlan. "He had absolutely no business in a medium-security facility, absolutely none."

Scanlan persuaded a jury last May to sentence Fox to life in prison plus 230 years for the Halloween attack. In connection with that crime, Fox also was convicted of rape, two counts of sodomy, abduction and burglary.

In addition, Fox was convicted last March of a Fairfax County burglary and sentenced to five years, for a total sentence of life plus 235 years.

Fox was hiding in bushes along U.S. Rte. 460 when recaptured by correctional officers and state police officers who had tracked him with dogs, according to Virginia corrections department spokesman Wayne Farrar. Farrar said Fox was returned to the prison where the others, who had been picked up earlier yesterday, had also been returned.

Fox maintained his innocence in the Halloween attack throughout his trial, and his court-appointed attorney argued that police had arrested the wrong man.

Scanlan called Fox "a bizarre person."

The victim of the Halloween rape testified that shortly after barging into her home and grabbing her, Fox removed his ski mask.

Fox refused to speak with court-appointed psychiatrists, whom his attorney had asked to determine Fox's sanity prior to trial.

Under Virginia law, Fox must serve at least 15 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole in 1999.