Ten Most Wanted Fugitives FAQ

The following contains current and historical information for internal and external distribution. This information is based on FBI records and is updated by the Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, Office of Public Affairs.

The FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list has been in existence since March 14, 1950. A reporter for the International News Service (the predecessor to United Press International) asked the Bureau for the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau would like to capture. The resulting story generated so much publicity and had so much appeal that late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program. The first person to be placed on the list was Thomas James Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother.

Since its inception, 514 fugitives have been on the “Top Ten” list, and 483 have been apprehended or located. Some interesting facts about the program are: 

    • 161 fugitives have been captured/located as a result of citizen cooperation.
    • Two fugitives were apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour.
    • The shortest amount of time spent on the “Top Ten” list was two hours, by Billy Austin Bryant in 1969.
    • The longest amount of time spent on the "Top Ten" list was over 32 years by Victor Manuel Gerena.
    • Nine fugitives were arrested prior to publication and release, but are still considered as officially on the list.
    • The oldest person to be placed on the list is 77-year-old William Bradford Bishop, Jr., who was added in April of 2014.

This program relies heavily on the assistance of citizens and the media. Publicity from coast to coast and around the world is important.

Frequently Asked Questions 
 

What is the purpose of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” Program?

The “Top Ten” is a publicity program founded by the FBI in March of 1950 in conjunction with the nation’s news media. It is designed to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives who might not otherwise merit nationwide attention. The FBI recognizes the need for public assistance in tracking fugitives. One hundred and sixty-one of the “Top Ten” apprehensions have been the result of citizen recognition of “Top Ten” fugitive publicity.

How many fugitives have been captured due to public assistance?

One hundred and sixty-one of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” have been apprehended due to public assistance.

When was the Program started?

It was founded on March 14, 1950, by the FBI in association with the nation’s news media.

Who actually decides which fugitives go on the list?

The Criminal Investigative Division (CID) at FBI Headquarters calls upon all 56 Field Offices to submit candidates for the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. The nominees received are reviewed by Special Agents in the CID and the Office of Public Affairs. The selection of the “proposed” candidate(s) is then forwarded to FBI Executive Management for final approval.

On what criteria is that decision made?

First, the individual must have a lengthy record of committing serious crimes and/or be considered a particularly dangerous menace to society due to current criminal charges.

Second, it must be believed that the nationwide publicity afforded by the program can be of assistance in apprehending the fugitive, who, in turn, should not already be notorious due to other publicity.

Are members of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list ranked?

No.

When are fugitives removed from the list?

“Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” are only removed from the list when they meet one of the following conditions:

First, they are captured.

Second, the federal process pending against the individual is dismissed—this is not an FBI decision.

Third, they no longer fit “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” criteria.

In the nine cases where fugitives were removed for the third reason, it was determined that each fugitive was no longer considered to be a “particularly dangerous menace to society.” When a fugitive is removed from the list, another is added to take his or her place.

How many women have been on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list?

Ten. The first, Ruth Eisemann-Schier, was added in 1968 for kidnapping, extortion, and other crimes.

Has the makeup of the fugitives on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list changed over the years?

Most definitely, just as the priorities of the FBI have changed. Through the 1950s, the list was primarily comprised of bank robbers, burglars, and car thieves. Once into the radical 1960s, the list reflected the revolutionaries of the times with destruction of Government property, sabotage, and kidnapping dominating the list. During the 1970s, with the FBI’s concentration on organized crime and terrorism, the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” included many fugitives with organized crime ties or links to terrorist groups. In the 1980s and 1990s, the list included sexual predators, international terrorists, and drug traffickers. This emphasis, along with crimes against children, white collar crime, and gang violence, continues today.

How many fugitives have been on the list?

As of August 26, 2017, there have been 514 fugitives on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. Four hundred and eighty three individuals appearing on the list have been located, 161 of them as a direct result of citizen cooperation.

Has the publicity generated by the program changed over the years?

Just as the composition of the list of “Top Ten” fugitives has changed over the years, the media outlets available for publicizing these fugitives have also changed. Traditionally, newspapers and magazines captured the attention of the domestic reader with profiles and photographs of America’s fugitives. Nine of the first 20 “Top Tenners” were arrested due to citizen cooperation, including the very first “Top Tenner,” Thomas Holden, who was arrested after a citizen recognized his photograph in an Oregon newspaper. Today, editors and news directors want the local angle, which is not always present in a “Top Ten” story. Therefore, the program relies heavily on publicity from coast to coast. “Top Ten” fugitives have been apprehended in every state except Alaska, Maine, and Delaware.

Currently, the FBI is also using television and radio to attract public attention to the “Top Ten” list. Networks are airing television programs on FBI fugitives, and ABC Radio Network broadcasts the weekly series “FBI, This Week.” As a result of the first episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” David James Roberts was captured. To date, seventeen “Top Ten” fugitives have been located as a direct result of tips provided by viewers of this program.

In addition to television and radio, the FBI has begun to use cyberspace to inform the public. Postings on the FBI’s Internet website, www.fbi.gov, have led to the apprehension of two of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.”

How many “special additions” have been made to the “Top Ten”?

Ramzi Ahmed Yousef made the thirteenth fugitive to become a “special addition.” The first “special addition” was Richard Laurence Marquette who was wanted for murder. The second was James Earl Ray, wanted for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are there rewards offered for “Top Ten” fugitives?

At a minimum, a reward of up to $100,000 is offered by the FBI for information which leads directly to the arrest of a “Top Ten” fugitive. In some instances, the reward amount offered is more than $100,000.

Did the FBI ever have a “Ten Most Wanted Public Enemies” Program before the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” Program began?

No. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice made use of the term, “Public Enemy,” in the 1930s, an era in which the term was synonymous with “fugitive” or “notorious gangster.” It was used in speeches, books, press releases, and internal memoranda. However, neither the FBI nor the Department had any type of publicity program which concentrated on a “Public Enemy” number 1, number 2, etc.

The origin of the name, “Public Enemy,” has been traced to the Chicago Crime Commission, which invented the term around 1930. “Public Enemy” caught national attention, and the Commission maintained lists of its “Public Enemies” which were released through the news media. In addition, the term was popularized by a 1931 movie, “The Public Enemy,” in which James Cagney portrayed a gangster.

Common usage of the name, “Public Enemy,” died out during the World War II period.

What commercial uses of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” are allowed?

None. Commercial use is strictly prohibited. Descriptions and pictures of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” are provided for the sole purpose of eliciting public assistance in tracking fugitives.

“TOP TEN” STATISTICS 

      Year...............Total Located 

  • 1950.................... 8
  • 1951.................... 11
  • 1952.................... 12
  • 1953.................... 26
  • 1954.................... 15
  • 1955.................... 12
  • 1956.................... 7
  • 1957.................... 2
  • 1958.................... 7a
  • 1959.................... 14
  • 1960.................... 21b
  • 1961.................... 15c
  • 1962.................... 14
  • 1963.................... 6d
  • 1964.................... 19e
  • 1965.................... 20f,g,h
  • 1966.................... 16
  • 1967.................... 17i,j
  • 1968.................... 33
  • 1969.................... 11
  • 1970.................... 5
  • 1971.................... 3
  • 1972.................... 2k,l
  • 1973.................... 4m
  • 1974.................... 7
  • 1975.................... 7
  • 1976.................... 9
  • 1977.................... 11
  • 1978.................... 6
  • 1979.................... 6
  • 1980.................... 2
  • 1981.................... 6
  • 1982.................... 2
  • 1983.................... 2
  • 1984.................... 6
  • 1985.................... 7
  • 1986.................... 11n,o
  • 1987.................... 6
  • 1988.................... 9
  • 1989.................... 5
  • 1990.................... 2
  • 1991.................... 2
  • 1992.................... 1
  • 1993.................... 0
  • 1994.................... 6
  • 1995.................... 3
  • 1996.................... 4
  • 1997.................... 3
  • 1998.................... 3
  • 1999.................... 4
  • 2000.................... 2
  • 2001.................... 9
  • 2002.................... 6
  • 2003.................... 1
  • 2004.................... 3
  • 2005.................... 0
  • 2006.................... 5
  • 2007.................... 3
  • 2008.................... 2
  • 2009.................... 3
  • 2010.................... 0
  • 2011.................... 2
  • 2012.................... 2
  • 2013.................... 3
  • 2014.................... 3
  • 2015.................... 0
  • 2016.................... 6
  • 2017.................... 4

Process Dismissed:

a. Mitchell - 7/18/1958
b. Pero - 12/2/1960
c. Diggs - 12/14/1961
d. Keegan - 12/13/1963
e. Tenuto - 3/9/1964
f. O’Brien - 1/14/1965
g. Newman - 6/11/1965
h. Payne - 11/26/1965
i. Collins - 3/30/1967
j. Maps - 12/1/1967
k. Teaford - 5/24/1972
l. Clouser - 8/1/1972
m. Dohrn - 12/7/1973
n. C. Hammond - 8/4/1986
o. M. Hammond - 8/4/1986

Removed from List: 

D. A. Armstrong 4/1/1976
L. F. Burt 4/7/1976
B. H. Paddock 5/5/1977
K. A. Power 6/15/1984
A. L. Washington 12/27/2000
D. E. Webb 3/31/2007
S. Mogilevich 12/17/2015
G. S. Godwin 5/19/2016
V. M. Gerena  12/15/2016

Year in Which Highest Number Located: 

1968………………..33

Longest Time on List:

Victor Manuel Gerena
Dates:  5/14/84 - 12/15/16

Shortest Time on List:

Billie Austin Bryant
Dates: 1/8/69 {5 pm} -
1/8/69 {7 pm}
(Special Addition)

Woman on List the Longest:

Katherine Ann Power
Dates: 10/17/70 - 6/15/84

First Person Placed on List: 

Thomas J. Holden
Wanted For: UFAP for murder
Dates: 3/14/50 - 6/23/51

Oldest Person on List:

William Bradford Bishop, Jr.
Born: 8/01/36
Dates: 4/10/14 - present

Breakdown of the Apprehensions: 

FBI................................238
Local..............................99
Joint...............................75
Killed During Capture....12
Surrendered..................25
Foreign Authorities…....35*

*52 fugitives were captured in foreign countries, but several were captured as the result of a joint effort.

Apprehension by Publicity:

Internet...........................4
Television.......................28
Radio...............................2
Newspapers...................33
Magazines.....................13
Wanted Notices.............49
Total.............................129

NCIC Hits.......................2

Other:

Found Deceased...........14

Persons Appearing on the List More Than Once: 

Nick George Montos
Dates: 09/08/52 - 08/23/54
03/02/56 - 03/28/56
Edward Sanford Garrison
Dates: 10/26/53 - 11/03/53
03/04/59 - 09/09/60
Ernest Tait
Dates: 07/11/51 - 07/12/51
08/16/60 - 09/10/60
Quay C. Kilburn
Dates: 04/16/58 - 06/02/58
03/23/64 - 06/25/64
Joseph Lloyd Thomas
Dates: 10/21/59 - 12/10/59
09/12/69 - 03/08/70
James Earl Ray
Dates: 04/20/68 - 06/08/68
06/11/77 - 06/13/77

Women on the List: 

Ruth Eismann-Schier
Dates: 12/28/68 - 03/05/69
Marie Dean Arrington
Dates: 05/29/69 - 12/22/71
Angela Yvonne Davis
Dates: 08/18/70 - 10/13/70
Bernardine Rae Dohrn
Dates: 10/14/70 - 12/07/73
Katherine Ann Power
Dates: 10/17/70 - 06/15/84
Susan Edith Saxe
Dates: 10/17/70 - 03/27/75
Donna Jean Willmott
Dates: 05/22/87 - 12/6/94
Shauntay L. Henderson
Dates: 03/31/07 - 03/31/07
Brenda Delgado
Dates: 04/06/16 - 04/08/16
Shanika S. Minor
Dates: 06/28/16 - 07/01/16

 

“TOP TEN” CRIME LOCATIONS BY STATE/REGION 

Alabama 11
Alaska 0
Arizona 10
Arkansas 5
California 58
Colorado 8
Connecticut 4
Delaware 1
Florida 22
Georgia 18
Hawaii 0
Idaho 3
Illinois 38
Indiana 13
Iowa 4
Kansas 13
Kentucky 9
Louisiana 7
Maine 5
Maryland 19
Massachusetts 15
Michigan 20
Minnesota 5
Mississippi 5
Missouri 11
Montana 2
Nebraska 2
Nevada 5
New Hampshire 1
New Jersey 10
New Mexico 4
New York 33
North Carolina 8
North Dakota 0
Ohio 21
Oklahoma 7
Oregon 7
Pennsylvania 20
Rhode Island 0
South Carolina 3
South Dakota 2
Tennessee 19
Texas 16
Utah 5
Vermont 1
Virginia 8
Washington 9
West Virginia 3
Wisconsin 8
Wyoming 2
Washington, DC 14
   
TOTAL 514

“TOP TEN” APPREHENSIONS/LOCATIONS BY STATE/REGION:

Alabama 3
Alaska 0
Arizona 12
Arkansas 5
California 62
Colorado 11
Connecticut 3
Delaware 0
Florida 32
Georgia 8
Hawaii 2
Idaho 2
Illinois 32
Indiana 6
Iowa 3
Kansas 5
Kentucky 5
Louisiana 11
Maine 0
Maryland 11
Massachusetts 9
Michigan 11
Minnesota 6
Mississippi 5
Missouri 14
Montana 2
Nebraska 2
Nevada 10
New Hampshire 3
New Jersey 5
New Mexico 2
New York 40
North Carolina 5
North Dakota 1
Ohio 16
Oklahoma 5
Oregon 4
Pennsylvania 16
Rhode Island 2
South Carolina 4
South Dakota 1
Tennessee 9
Texas 16
Utah 1
Vermont 1
Virginia 7
Washington 8
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin 5
Wyoming 4
Washington, DC 3
   
TOTAL 431

“TOP TEN” Apprehensions/Locations Outside The United States: 

Canada 11
Mexico 21
Bahamas 1
England 1
Japan 1
Vietnam 1
Other 16
 
SUBTOTAL 52

TOTAL 483

“TOP TEN” STATISTICS TIPS BY VIEWERS 

Cases solved as a result of “America’s Most Wanted” Television Program:

David James Roberts
Dates: 4/27/87 - 2/11/88

Pedro Luis Estrada
Dates: 4/15/88 - 10/1/89

Jack Darrell Farmer
Dates: 5/29/88 - 6/1/88

Roger Lee Jones
Dates: 5/29/88 - 3/4/89 

Steven Ray Stout
Dates: 11/27/88 - 12/6/88 

Stanley Faison
Dates: 11/27/88 - 12/24/88

Armando Garcia
Dates: 1/8/89 - 1/18/94 

Lee Nell Carter
Dates: 11/19/89 - 11/20/89 

Wardell David Ford
Dates: 12/20/89 - 9/17/90 

Leslie Isben Rogge
Dates: 1/24/90 - 5/18/96 

Rickey Allen Bright
Dates: 12/15/95 - 1/7/96 

Tony Ray Amati
Dates: 2/21/98 - 2/27/98 

Harry Joseph Bowman
Dates: 3/14/98 - 6/7/99 

Eric Franklin Rosser
Dates: 12/27/00 - 8/21/01 

Michael Scott Bliss
Dates: 1/31/02 - 4/23/02 

Chaunson Lavel McKibbins
Dates: arrested 10/29/04 (before release date of 11/9/04) 

Michael Jason Registe
Dates: 7/26/08 – 8/27/08

Cases solved as a result of “Unsolved Mysteries” Television Program:

  
Bobby Gene Dennie
Dates:  2/24/89 - 10/28/89

Kenneth Robert Stanton
Dates:  10/24/90 - 10/31/90
 

Cases solved as a result of FBI Internet Site:


Leslie Isben Rogge
Dates:  1/24/90 - 5/18/96

Richard Steve Goldberg
Dates:  6/14/02 - 5/12/07

Terry A.D. Strickland
Dates:   12/15/16 - 1/15/17

Top Ten Family Acts: 

Samuel J. Veney
Dates: 2/25/65 - 3/11/65
Earl Veney
Dates: 3/5/65 - 3/11/65
Charles E. Ervin
Dates: 4/13/67 - 7/25/67
Gordon Dale Ervin
Dates: 4/13/67 - 6/7/69
Dwight Alan Armstrong
Dates: 9/4/70 - 4/1/76
Karleton Lewis Armstrong
Dates: 9/4/70 - 2/17/72
Charles Earl Hammond
Dates: 3/14/85 - 8/4/86
Michael F. A. Hammond
Dates: 3/14/85 - 8/4/86

The FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" listed chronologically 

Click the links below to see the number, name, date placed on the list, and the date located for the the FBI's complete list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 1 to 100

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 101 to 200

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 201 to 300

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 301 to 400

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 401 to 500

Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Numbers 501+

SPECIAL ADDITIONS TO THE “TEN MOST WANTED FUGITIVES” LIST 

                      Name                            Number on list         Added      Apprehended/Removed

  1. Richard Laurence Marquette.............154 ...............6/29/1961 .............6/30/1961    
  2. James Earl Ray .................................277 ...............4/20/1968 .............6/8/1968     
  3. Gary Steven Krist ..............................292 ..............12/20/1968 ...........12/22/1968  
  4. Billie Austin Bryant .............................295 ...............1/8/1969 ..............1/8/1969   
  5. Hubert Geroid Brown .........................308 ...............5/6/1970 ..............10/16/1971  
  6. Dwight Alan Armstrong ......................310 ................9/4/1970 ..............4/1/1976   
  7. Karleton Lewis Armstrong ..................311 ................9/4/1970 ..............2/17/1972  
  8. David Sylvan Fine ..............................312 ................9/4/1970 .............1/8/1976    
  9. Leo Frederick Burt .............................313 ................9/4/1970 .............4/7/1976   
  10. Katherine Ann Power .........................315 ..............10/17/1970 ............6/15/1984   
  11. Susan Edith Saxe ..............................316 ...............10/17/1970 ...........3/27/1975 
  12. Alton Coleman ...................................388 ................7/11/1984 .............7/20/1984
  13. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef ........................436 ................4/21/1993 ..............2/7/1995