Federal Bureau of Investigation
Common name Federal Bureau of Investigation
Abbreviation FBI
Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949, during a game of Hearts between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson,[2] International News Service (the predecessor of the United Press International) Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the FBI's "toughest guys". This discussion turned into a published article, which received so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, the FBI officially announced the list to increase law enforcement's ability to capture dangerous fugitives.[3]

Individuals are removed from this list when the fugitive is captured, killed, or if the charges against them are dropped; they are then replaced by a new entry selected by the FBI. In five cases, the FBI removed individuals from the list after deciding that they were no longer a "particularly dangerous menace to society".[2] Donald Eugene Webb, added to the list in 1981, was on the list longer than anyone, at 25 years, 10 months, and 27 days.[4] Billie Austin Bryant spent the shortest amount of time on the list, being listed for two hours in 1969.[5] On rare occasions, the FBI will add a "Number Eleven" if that individual is extremely dangerous but the Bureau does not feel any of the current ten should be removed.[6]

The list is commonly posted in public places such as post offices. In some cases, fugitives on the Top 10 List have turned themselves in on becoming aware of their listing. As of November 29, 2008, 491 fugitives have been listed (eight of them women), and 460 captured or located,[7] 151 (31%) of them due to public assistance.[8] The FBI maintains other lists of individuals, including the Most Wanted Terrorists,[9] along with FBI Crime Alerts, Missing Persons, and other fugitive lists. The most recent Ten Most Wanted Fugitives to be captured are Emigdio Preciado, Jr., who was apprehended in Mexico on July 17, 2009, [10][11][12] and Edward Eugene Harper, who was arrested six days later in Wyoming.[13][14][15]

Current most wanted listEdit

Rewards are offered for information leading to capture of fugitives on the list; the reward is $100,000 unless otherwise stated.

Photo Name Date Added Sequence Number
Victor Manuel Gerena Victor Manuel Gerena May 14, 1984 #386
Victor Manuel Gerena is wanted in connection with the armed robbery of approximately $7 million from a security company in West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1983. He allegedly took two security employees hostage at gunpoint and handcuffed, bound, and injected them with an unknown, non-lethal, substance to further disable them. The FBI believes he may be living in Cuba. The reward for information leading to Gerena's capture is $1,000,000.[16][17]
Glen Stewart Godwin Glen Stewart Godwin December 7, 1996 #447
Glen Stewart Godwin is being sought for his 1987 escape from Folsom State Prison in California, where he was serving a lengthy sentence for murder. He was subsequently imprisoned in Mexico on drug trafficking charges, but escaped from prison there as well.[18][19]
Osama bin Laden[a] June 7, 1999 #456
Osama bin Laden[a] is the leader of al-Qaeda and is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States embassies, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are responsible for the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen, which killed 17. Although bin Laden later appeared on the first publicly released FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list on October 10, 2001, he was listed there for the 1998 embassy attack, and not for his alleged role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, because the most wanted lists name fugitives charged with a crime by a prosecutor or under indictment by a grand jury. Bin Laden was named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in, for instance, the federal indictment against convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, but has not been formally indicted for his role in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Osama bin Laden is the subject of a $50 million [20] reward through the State Department's Rewards for Justice program targeting international fugitives, especially terrorists, plus $2 million through a program developed and funded by the Air Line Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.[a][21][22]

100px James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger, Jr. August 19, 1999 #458
James J. Bulger is wanted for his role in 18 counts of murders committed from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s in connection with his leadership of an organized crime group that allegedly controlled extortion, drug deals, and other illegal activities in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. He has a violent temper and is known to carry a knife at all times. He was once the boss of Boston's Winter Hill Gang before he went into hiding. The reward for information leading to Bulger's capture is $2,000,000.[23][24]
100px Robert William Fisher June 29, 2002 #475
Robert William Fisher is wanted for allegedly killing his wife Mary and their two young children Robert Jr. and Brittany and then blowing up the house in which they all lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, in April 2001. Possible motive for the murders is that Mary was about to file for divorce.[25][26][27]
Jorge Alberto Lopez-Orozco Jorge Alberto Lopez-Orozco March 17, 2005 #480
Jorge Alberto Lopez-Orozco is wanted in connection with the murders of a woman and her two young children, ages 2 and 4, near Mountain Home, Idaho.[28] The victims' charred remains were found on August 11, 2002, inside a burned-out vehicle. He may be travelling with his brother, Simon Lopez-Orozco, and Simon's wife, both of whom have been charged as accessories in the crime.[29][30]
Preciado e2 Emigdio Preciado, Jr. March 14, 2007 #485
Emigdio Preciado, Jr. was wanted for opening fire on two sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles, California, on September 5, 2000, seriously injuring one of them. He was believed to be heading to a gang-related drive-by shooting at the time. The reward for information leading to Preciado's capture was $200,000.[31][32] Preciado Jr. was captured by Mexican police and FBI agents in Mexico on July 17, 2009.[10][11][12]
100px Alexis Flores June 2, 2007 #487
Alexis Flores is wanted for the kidnapping and murder of five-year-old Iriana DeJesus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July 2000. According to a profile on America's Most Wanted, there is evidence the child was raped before the murder, although rape is not listed on his official FBI poster. He was last seen in Arizona, where he served a prison term for forgery. He may have returned to Honduras, where he is believed to still have ties.[33][34]
100px Jason Derek Brown December 8, 2007 #489
Jason Derek Brown is wanted for murder and armed robbery in Phoenix, Arizona. Authorities say that in November 2004, Brown shot and killed an armored car guard outside a movie theater and fled on a bicycle with $56,000 in a duffel bag.[35][36]
Harper - Captured Edward Eugene Harper November 29, 2008 #491
Edward Eugene Harper was wanted for his alleged involvement in sexual behavior with two girls, ages 3 and 8, in Mississippi. The girls lived near Harper and reportedly visited him at his home. Harper was charged with sex crimes and arrested. Harper was released on bond, but he failed to appear for a court hearing in 1994, and his bond was revoked.[37][38] Federal agents and Wyoming Game and Fish officers arrested Harper on July 23, 2009 in Washakie County, Wyoming, acting on a telephone tip. He surrendered to authorities without incident.[13][14][15]

See alsoEdit


  • a  Official U.S. postings give bin Laden's first name as "Usama," rather than "Osama."



External linksEdit

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