The Most Wanted Fugitives in History

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10. Thomas James Holden

The Holden-Keating Gang was a bank robbing team, led by Thomas James Holden (1896-1953) and Francis Keating (1899-July 25, 1978), which was active in the Midwestern United States during the 1920s and 30s. Holden was described by a spokesman for the FBI as “a menace to every man, woman and child in America” and was the first fugitive to be officially listed on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in 1950.

Thomas Holden and Francis Keating began robbing payroll deliveries, and then train and bank robberies, before becoming one of the most notorious hold up teams by the end of the decade. Their most successful heist was the 1926 hijacking of a U.S. Mail truck at Evergreen Park, Illinois and escaping $135,000. They eluded authorities for two years before their arrest by federal agents and, on May 25, 1928, Holden and Keating were both convicted and given 25 years each.


9. Donald Eugene Webb  

Donald Eugene Webb (born July 14, 1931) is a fugitive from justice wanted for allegedly killing police chief Gregory Adams in the small community of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania on December 4, 1980. Webb allegedly murdered police chief officer Adams on the afternoon of December 4, 1980, the same day he arrived in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. According to police reports, he was there to hunt for new jewelry stores to burglarize. At the time, he was sought for his suspected involvement in a jewelry burglary in Colonie, New York.  

Law enforcement believes that Webb, probably planning a robbery, was spotted driving past a stop sign by Adams. When he was stopped, Webb was cooperative at first, however he stepped out of his car and an altercation between the two men ensued. Webb was shot in his right forearm, but he still had the strength to hit the officer with a blunt object, knocking the officer down. Webb allegedly shot him twice using a .25 caliber handgun; the fatal second shot struck Adams’ heart. Ironically, Adams, a police academy instructor, was a vigilant proponent of bullet-proof vests for officers in the field, but had not worn his on the day he was shot.


8. Juan Garcia Abrego

Juan García Abrego was a Mexican drug lord who started out his criminal career under the tutelage of his uncle Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, who is reported to be the former head of a criminal dynasty along the U.S.-Mexico border now called the Gulf Cartel.  United States intelligence reports state Guerra reared his nephew on car theft before passing down his criminal enterprise.

The exact date of succession is unknown, however law enforcement officials recall an incident on January 27, 1987 when Tomás Morlet, former officer in an elite Mexican police force turned national trafficker, exchanged harsh words with García Abrego and was later found, shot twice in the back in the doorway of Guerra’s Piedras Negras Restaurant.


7. James “Whitey” Bulger   

James Joseph Bulger, Jr. (born September 3, 1929) — known as “Whitey” Bulger — is a wanted fugitive and alleged leader of the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American crime family based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the older brother of William Michael Bulger, a former President of the Massachusetts State Senate and the University of Massachusetts.  

On August 19, 1999, Bulger became the 458th person added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He is currently wanted for racketeering (under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)), murder, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and narcotics distribution. In October 2007, Interpol released a “red notice” for Bulger.


6. Daniel Andreas San Diego

Daniel Andreas San Diego (born February 9, 1978) is an American straight edge vegan, animal liberationist and fugitive wanted for his alleged association with the Animal Liberation Brigade cell responsible for two bombings in 2003. He is the first American, environmentalist and domestic terrorist added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list. He is believed to have ties to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.

San Diego was profiled on America’s Most Wanted six times after his disappearance. In April, 2009, he was added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List, sparking a global search for the suspect in; Germany, Britain, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Argentina, the Philippines, and Chile. A reward of $250,000 has been offered by officials for information leading to his arrest, five times that of other animal rights activists.


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5. H. Rap Brown

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (born October 4, 1943, as Hubert Gerold Brown), also known as H. Rap Brown, came to prominence in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. He is perhaps most famous for his proclamation during that period that “violence is as American as cherry pie”, as well as once stating that “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down”. He is currently serving a life sentence for homicide. On March 16, 2000, in Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff’s deputies Ricky Kinchen and Aldranon English went to al-Amin’s home to serve an arrest warrant for his failing to appear in court after a citation for speeding, as well as for impersonating a police officer (al-Amin showed the officer his honorary badge, which was given to him by the city for cleaning up the West End).

After stopping in front of al-Amin’s home and determining that nobody was there, they drove away and were passed by a black Mercedes that was heading towards the home. Kinchen (the more senior deputy) watched the suspect vehicle, and turned the car around and drove up to it, stopping nose to nose. English approached the Mercedes and told the occupant to show his hands. The occupant opened fire with a .223 rifle. English ran, but was hit four times. Kinchen was shot with the rifle and a 9 mm handgun. The following day, Kinchen died of his wounds at Grady Memorial Hospital. English survived his wounds, and identified al-Amin as the shooter from six photos he was shown while recovering in the hospital. Both of the police officers whom Brown was convicted of shooting were African American.


4. Ruth Eisemann-Schier

Ruth Eisemann Schier is best known as the first woman to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.  Schier was added to the list in 1968, for participating in the kidnapping-for-ransom of land heiress Barbara Jane Mackle in a plan concocted by her boyfriend, Gary Steven Krist.

Krist was arrested two days later while Schier, who had separated from Krist after a botched initial attempt to collect the ransom, escaped and was apprehended in Norman, Oklahoma 79 days after the kidnapping. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Schier served four years of her sentence and was paroled on condition of deportation to her native Honduras.


3. James Earl Ray   

James Earl Ray (March 10, 1928 – April 23, 1998) was an American murderer convicted of the assassination of American civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He was convicted on March 10, 1969 after entering a guilty plea to forego a jury trial. If Ray had been found guilty by jury trial he would have been electrocuted. He was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison. He later recanted his confession and tried unsuccessfully to gain a trial. He died in prison of hepatitis C.

On June 11, 1977, Ray made his second appearance on the FBI Most Wanted Fugitives list, this time as the 351st entry. He and six other convicts had escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee on June 10, 1977. They were recaptured on June 13, three days later, and returned to prison. A year was added to Ray’s previous sentence, to total 100 years. Shortly after, Ray testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he did not shoot King.


2. Ted Bundy   

Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy, born Theodore Robert Cowell (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer active between 1974 and 1978. He escaped twice from county jails before his final apprehension in February 1978. After more than a decade of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed to over 30 murders, although the actual total of victims remains unknown. Estimates range from 26 to over 100, the general estimate being 35. Typically, Bundy would bludgeon his victims, then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and necrophilia. Bundy was executed by electric chair for his last murder by the state of Florida in 1989.

On June 7, 1977, in preparation for a hearing in the Caryn Campbell murder trial, Bundy was taken to the Pitkin County courthouse in Aspen. During a court recess, he was allowed to visit the courthouse’s law library, where he jumped out of the building from a second-story window and escaped, spraining his right ankle during the jump. In the minutes following his escape, Bundy at first ran and then strolled casually through the small town toward Aspen Mountain. He made it all the way to the top of Aspen Mountain without being detected, where he rested for two days in an abandoned hunting cabin.

But afterwards, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly in circles around the mountain for the next two days, missing two trails that led down off the mountain to his intended destination, the town of Crested Butte. At one point he talked his way out of danger after coming face-to-face with a gun-toting citizen who was one of the searchers scouring Aspen Mountain for Ted Bundy.

On June 13, 1977, Bundy stole a car he found on the mountain near another cabin. Despite being striken with fatigue, sleep-deprevation, and in constant and intense pain from his sprained ankle, he drove back into Aspen and could have gotten away, but two police deputies noticed the Cadillac with dimmed headlights weaving in and out of its lane and pulled Bundy over. They recognized him and took him back to jail. Bundy had been on the lam for six days.


1. Osama bin Laden   

Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (born March 10, 1957) is a member of the prominent Saudi bin Laden family and the founding leader of the terrorist Islamist organization al-Qaeda, best known for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian targets.

Bin Laden is on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation’s list of FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives due to several 1998 US embassy bombings. Since 2001, Osama bin Laden and his organization have been major targets of the United States’ War on Terror. Bin Laden and fellow Al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.


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