FBI's Ten Most Wanted: See the fugitives still at large as agency celebrates 65 years of posting bounties


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It began almost by chance.

In 1949, a reporter with the International News Service (the predecessor to United Press International) approached the Federal Bureau of Investigation and inquired about writing a story on the “toughest guys” currently being sought by agents.

The subsequent article received widespread attention, not least least that of FBI director J Edgar Hoover. The following year he inaugurated the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives programme.

The Ten Most Wanted list was started by J Edgar Hoover

This week, the FBI celebrated the 65th anniversary of the scheme, which has seen the FBI seek help from the public and offer sizeable rewards in an effort to try and trace its most wanted fugitives. Only eight woman have ever been added to the list.

Over the years, those on the list have included the names of some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, among them the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Eric Frein and James “Whitey” Bulger. There are also a number of high profile fugitives who have to this date still not been brought to justice.


“Since 1950, 504 fugitives have appeared on the list and 473 have been apprehended or located, with 156 of those fugitives located as a direct result of citizen cooperation,” the FBI said in a statement.

It added: “As the nature of crime and FBI priorities have evolved over the years, the makeup of the Top Ten list has also changed. While the list began by featuring bank robbers and murder suspects fleeing state jurisdiction, it has evolved into a tool to search for major organised crime figures, cyber criminals, child predators, and white-collar criminals.”