The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives is a most wanted list maintained by the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service (the predecessor of the United Press International) or-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.
Individuals are generally only removed from the list if the fugitive is captured, dies, or if the charges against them are dropped; they are then replaced by a new entry selected by the FBI. In ten cases, the FBI removed individuals from the list after deciding that they were no longer a "particularly dangerous menace to society". Machetero member Víctor Manuel Gerena, added to the list in 1984, was on the list for 32 years, which was longer than anyone else. Billie Austin Bryant spent the shortest amount of time on the list, being listed for two hours in 1969. The oldest person to be added to the list was Eugene Palmer on May 29, 2019, at 80 years old. 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. Despite occasional references in the media, the FBI does not rank their list; no suspect is considered "#1 on the FBI's Most Wanted List" or "The Most Wanted".
The list is commonly posted in public places such as post offices. In many cases, fugitives on the list have turned themselves in on becoming aware of their listing. On May 19, 1996, Leslie Isben Rogge became the first person on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list to be apprehended due to the Internet. The FBI maintains other lists of individuals, including the Most Wanted Terrorists, along with crime alerts, missing persons, and other fugitive lists.
On June 17, 2013, the list reached a cumulative total of 500 fugitives having been listed. As of June 2020,[update] 523 fugitives had been listed, ten of them women, and 489 of them were captured or located (93%), 162 (31%) of them due to public assistance.
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 forwarded to the Assistant Director of the CID for his/her approval and then to the FBI's Director for final approval. This process takes some time, which is why James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr., who was arrested in Santa Monica, California on June 22, 2011, remained on the list until May 9, 2012 despite no longer being at large. Osama bin Laden similarly remained on the list for almost a year after his death at the hands of U.S. forces on May 2, 2011.
Rewards are offered for information leading to capture of fugitives on the list; the reward is a minimum of $100,000 for all fugitives, currently exceeded in the cases of Jason Derek Brown at $200,000 and Rafael Caro Quintero at $20,000,000.
|Robert William Fisher||June 29, 2002||475||Fisher is wanted for the 2001 murder of his wife Mary and their two children, Robert Jr. and Brittney, and then blowing up the Scottsdale, Arizona, house in which they lived. Investigators believe he murdered his family because he felt threatened by his wife's intent to divorce. He is believed to be the one who rigged the natural gas explosion.|
|Alexis Flores||June 2, 2007||487||Flores is wanted for the kidnapping, rape and murder of five-year-old Iriana DeJesus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July 2000. He was deported to his native Honduras in 2005 after serving a prison term for forgery in Arizona. He was added to the list after deportation when his DNA was matched to the DeJesus crime.|
|Jason Derek Brown||December 8, 2007||489||Brown is wanted for murder and armed robbery in Phoenix, Arizona. Authorities allege that in November 2004, he shot and killed an armored car guard outside a movie theatre and fled on a bicycle with $56,000 in a duffel bag. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $200,000 for information leading to his capture. Authorities believe he may have fled the country and could be living in France or Thailand.|
|Yaser Abdel Said||December 4, 2014||504||Said is wanted for the double murder of his daughters in Irving, Texas on January 1, 2008.|
|Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel||April 18, 2017||514||Patel allegedly stabbed and killed his wife in a doughnut shop in Hanover, Maryland on April 12, 2015. He was last seen taking a shuttle to Pennsylvania Station in Newark. According to authorities, he has connections to Canada, India, New Jersey, Kentucky, Georgia, and Illinois.|
|Santiago Villalba Mederos||September 25, 2017||515||Mederos, a member of the violent Eastside Lokotes Sureños gang, is wanted in connection with two separate shootings in Tacoma, Washington, that resulted in the death of a young woman and the serious wounding of her brother, and a month later, the murder of a young man. Mederos was a teenager at the time of the killings. He was captured in Tenancingo, Mexico on June 5, 2020.|
|Alejandro Castillo||October 24, 2017||516||Castillo is wanted in connection with the 2016 murder of a 23-year-old woman, Truc Quan “Sandy” Ly Le, whom he had previously dated. The two became acquainted while working together in a Charlotte restaurant.|
|Rafael Caro Quintero||April 12, 2018||518||Caro Quintero, a former Mexican cartel leader, is wanted for his role in the kidnapping and murder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena Salazar, his pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar, American writer John Clay Walker and dentistry student Alberto Radelat in 1985. He spent 28 years in jail in Mexico before being released in 2013; a new arrest warrant was issued shortly after his release. A reward of $20,000,000 is offered for information leading to his capture.|
|Arnoldo Jimenez||May 8, 2019||522||Jimenez is wanted for the murder of his wife on May 12, 2012. Jimenez allegedly stabbed his wife to death just hours after their wedding. Her body was found in a bathtub at her apartment in Burbank, Illinois.|
|Eugene Palmer||May 29, 2019||523||Palmer is wanted for the murder of his daughter-in-law on September 24, 2012 in Stony Point, New York.|
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