Five Mississippians on FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in Program’s 65 Years
This weekend marks the 65th anniversary of the FBI’s well-known Top Ten Most Wanted fugitive publicity program. Since its inception, 504 fugitives have been placed on the Top Ten list, and 473 have been apprehended or located. Five Mississippians are among those who were on the list. Six Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives have also been captured or located in the Magnolia State.
The Top Ten Most Wanted program was born from a newspaper story in late 1949. An International News Service reporter asked the FBI for names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau wanted to capture. The story had so much appeal and generated so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives program.
“Strong partnerships between law enforcement agencies and cooperation from the public through the news media are some of the most powerful weapons in our crime fighting arsenal,”,said Donald Alway, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “The FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program is an important component of those tools we use to bring criminals to justice.”
The FBI’s Jackson Division, responsible for investigating federal crimes in the state of Mississippi, nominated five fugitives for inclusion on the list.
- Flenoy Payne of Scott, Mississippi: wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-murder; placed on the list on February 2, 1955; arrested/located on March 11, 1958
- Nick George Montos of Parchman, Mississippi: wanted for EFP; placed on the list on March 2, 1956; arrested/located on March 28, 1956
- Richard Paul Anderson of Biolxi, Mississippi: wanted for kidnapping; placed on the list on September 6, 2967; arrested/located January 19, 1968
- James Wesley Dyness of Clarke County, Mississippi. wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-murder; placed on the list on September 29, 1986; arrested/located March 16, 1988
- Edward Eugene Harper of Hernando, Mississippi: wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-conspiracy to commit sexual battery of a child. placed on the list on November 29, 2008; arrested/located July 23, 2009
Top Ten fugitives arrested/located within the Jackson Division territory:
- Garland Rex Brinelee, Jr.—Arrested September 18, 1973, in Biloxi, Mississippi. Escaped federal prisoner; wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-murder
- Charles Evertett Hughes—Arrested April 29, 1981 in Myrtle, Mississippi. Wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-murder
- Patrick Michael Mitchell—Arrested February 22, 1994 in Southaven, Mississippi. Wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-armed robbery
- Johnny Ray Smith—Arrested June 24, 1968 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Wanted for interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles.
- Steven Ray Stout—Arrested September 18, 1973 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-murder
- Adam Christopher Mayes—Located May 10, 2012 near Guntown, Mississippi. Wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution-especially aggravated kidnapping, first-degree murder
By the numbers:
- 156 fugitives have been captured/located as a result of citizen cooperation (33%)
- two fugitives were apprehended as a result of visitors on the FBI tour
- 46 fugitives have been arrested as a result of newspaper/magazine publicity
- two hours: shortest amount of time spent on the Top Ten list—by Billy Austin Bryant in 1969
- 17 fugitives were arrested as a result of publicity on the television show America’s Most Wanted
- 30+ years: longest amount of time spent on the Top Ten list—by Victor Manuel Gerena. He was added to the list on May 14, 1984, and remains at large
- Nine fugitives were arrested prior to their publication and release but are still considered as having been officially on the list
- eight women have been featured on the Top Ten list. The first, Ruth Eisemann-Schier, was added in 1968 for kidnapping, extortion, and other crimes
- 77 years old: the age of the oldest person to be placed on the list. William Bradford Bishop, Jr. was added in April 2014
For more information on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list or to see a poster of the most recent addition, visit our website: www.fbi.gov.