FBI Continues Searching for One of Pennsylvania’s Longest-Running Fugitives After 45 Years
The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance with locating fugitive Leonard Rayne Moses, who was last seen by law enforcement in Pittsburgh on June 1, 1971, and believed to have fled to Detroit, Michigan. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for accurate information leading to his arrest. Anyone with information regarding Moses’ location or assumed identity should immediately call 1-800-CALL-FBI. Beginning on June 1, 2016, Moses’ case will be posted to billboards in Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
On April 6, 1968, during the “Pittsburgh Riots” that occurred following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Moses and some friends threw Molotov cocktails at a house in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A female victim died a few months later as a result of burns received during the attack and subsequent pneumonia. On July 24, 1969, a criminal court jury of eight women and four men found Moses guilty of first-degree murder after slightly more than an hour of deliberation. In January 1970, Moses was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. On June 1, 1971, Moses was permitted to attend his grandmother’s funeral at the Nazarene Baptist Church in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh and escaped the custody of law enforcement officers. On July 12, 1971, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Moses charging him with unlawful flight to avoid confinement.
- True name: Leonard Rayne Moses
- Date(s) of birth used: August 25, 1952
- Place of birth: Shelby, North Carolina
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 150 pounds
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Brown
- Race: Black
- Nationality: American
- Scars and marks: Moses has a circular scar on the right side of his face near his eye
- Aliases: Rennie Hoskins, Renee Hoskins, Leonard Moses, Leonard R. Moses, Leonard Rena Jefferies, “Lukie”
Moses’ case was referred to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to appeal his life sentence on the basis that he was too young to make a voluntary waiver of his Miranda warnings. His attorney argued his confession to law enforcement should be suppressed because he did not have a parent, guardian, or an attorney present when he provided his statement to law enforcement. At the end of the court session, two justices provided dissenting opinions concluding the case should be remanded for a new trial. In 2012, the United States Supreme Court decided that sentencing a youth to life imprisonment without parole amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. In January 2016, the United States Supreme Court resolved that the 2012 decision applied retroactively. If Moses is alive, he is likely living under an assumed identity, and only those close to him can affect his current life sentence by coming forward. The photos below were taken in 1968, 1968, and age-progressed in 2016 to age 63, respectively.