Top 10 Most Wanted Manhunts

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10. Osama bin Laden  

The current location of Osama bin Laden, a major figure involved in international terrorism and one of the most wanted people sought by the United States and several other governments, is unknown. There have been occasional reports of his death, though none have ever been confirmed.  

Osama was the leader of Al-Qaeda and was identified as the alleged instigator of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which killed and injured thousands of people, as well as subsequent incidents.  A large number of unverified claims about his status and location have been made, including rumours of his death in 2005 and 2006, and claims of his visits to various countries. However, there are no video recordings of him discussing current events where the video and audio are paired since October 2004 and some believe he died as early as December 2001.  

Muslim burial practices favor a possible future forensic determination. June, Gary Brooks Faulkner has been detained since June 13 after authorities found him in the woods of northern Pakistan with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment. He has been released. His brother said Faulkner left Pakistan early Wednesday June 23 and arrived in Denver later in the day. Faulkner states he’ll return to resume the hunt and reveal more details by the end of August 2010.

If he is successful or provides information leading to Osama bin Laden’s capture, he will receive a $50 million reward through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program targeting international fugitives, especially alleged terrorists, plus $2 million through a program developed and funded by the Air Line Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.


9. Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski    

Dr. Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski (pronounced /kaˈt͡ʂɨnski/; born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber (University and Airline Bomber), is an American mathematician and social critic, who engaged in a mail bombing spree that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.  

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, where, as an intellectual child prodigy, he excelled academically from an early age. Kaczynski was accepted into Harvard University at the age of 16, where he earned an undergraduate degree, and later earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley at age 25 but resigned two years later.  

In 1971, he moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water, in Lincoln, Montana, where he began to learn survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient and where he lived like a recluse. He decided to start a bombing campaign after watching the wilderness around his home being destroyed by development. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23.

Kaczynski sent a letter to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised “to desist from terrorism” if the Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto. In his Industrial Society and Its Future (also called the “Unabomber Manifesto”), he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization.


8. Ned Kelly

Edward “Ned” Kelly (June 1854/June 1855 – 11 November 1880) was an Irish-Australian bushranger, and was seen by some as merely a cold-blooded killer, while to others he was seen as a folk hero, for his defiance of the colonial authorities. Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish convict father, and as a young man he clashed with the Victoria Police. Following an incident at his home in 1878, police parties searched for him in the bush. After he killed three policemen, the colony proclaimed Kelly and his gang wanted outlaws.  

A final violent confrontation with police took place at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880. Kelly, dressed in home-made plate metal armour and helmet, was captured and sent to jail. He was hanged for murder at Old Melbourne Gaol in November 1880. His daring and notoriety made him an iconic figure in Australian history, folk lore, literature, art and film.

and his armor…


7. The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. The Zodiac killer’s identity remains unknown. The Zodiac killer coined the name “Zodiac” in a series of taunting letters sent to the local Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved.

The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women, between the ages of 16 and 29, were targeted. Numerous suspects have been named by law enforcement and amateur investigators, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced.  

In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case “inactive”, yet re-opened the case at some point prior to March 2007. The case also remains open in the city of Vallejo as well as in Napa Counties and Solano Counties. The California Department of Justice has maintained an open case file on the Zodiac murders since 1969.


6. Radovan Karadzic

Radovan Karadžić (born 19 June 1945) is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He is currently on trial in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo. He is also accused of the Srebrenica genocide.

Educated as a psychiatrist, he co-founded the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was the first President of Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1996.  He was a fugitive from 1996 until July 2008 after having been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The indictment concluded there were reasonable grounds for believing he committed war crimes including genocide, against Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians during the Bosnian War (1992–1995).

While a fugitive he worked at a private clinic in Belgrade specialising in alternative medicine and psychology under the alias Dr. Dragan David Dabić under the company name of “Human Quantum Energy”. His nephew, Dragan Karadžić, has claimed in an interview to the Corriere della Sera that Radovan Karadžić attended football matches of Serie A and that he visited Venice under the false identity of Petar Glumac.

He was arrested in Belgrade on 21 July 2008 and brought before Belgrade’s War Crimes Court a few days later. He was extradited to the Netherlands, and is currently in The Hague, in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. His charismatic personality was recognized by reporters in the court.


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5. Adolf Eichmann    

Otto Adolf Eichmann (March 19, 1906 – May 31, 1962), sometimes referred to as “the architect of the Holocaust”, was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel). Because of his organizational talents and ideological reliability, he was charged by Obergruppenführer (General) Reinhard Heydrich with the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe.  

After the war, he fled to Argentina using a fraudulently obtained laissez-passer issued by the International Red Cross and lived there under a false identity working for Mercedes-Benz until 1960. He was captured by Israeli Mossad operatives in Argentina and abducted to Israel to face trial in an Israeli court on 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962, and is the only person to have been executed in Israel on conviction by a civilian court.


4. The Beltway Snipers

The Washington sniper attacks took place during three weeks in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Ten people were killed and three others critically injured in various locations throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area and along Interstate 95 in Virginia. It was widely speculated that a single sniper was using the Capital Beltway for travel, possibly in a white van or truck.

It was later learned that the rampage was perpetrated by one man, John Allen Muhammad, and one minor, Lee Boyd Malvo, driving a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, and had apparently begun the month before with murders and robbery in Louisiana and Alabama, which had resulted in three deaths. In September 2003, Muhammad was sentenced to death. One month later, Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. On November 10, 2009, Muhammad was executed by lethal injection.


3. John Wilkes Booth    

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838– April 26, 1865) was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well known actor.

He was also a Confederate sympathizer vehement in his denunciation of the Lincoln Administration and outraged by the South’s defeat in the American Civil War. He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United States and Lincoln’s proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves.  

Booth and a group of co-conspirators planned to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy’s cause. Although Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered four days earlier, Booth believed the war was not yet over because Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s army was still fighting the Union Army.

Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his part of the plot. Seward was wounded but recovered; Lincoln died the next morning from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head – altering the course of American history in the aftermath of the Civil War.  

Following the shooting, Booth fled on horseback to southern Maryland. He eventually made his way to a farm in rural northern Virginia; he was tracked down and killed by Union soldiers 12 days later. Eight others were tried and convicted, and four were hanged shortly thereafter. Over the years, various authors have suggested that Booth might have escaped his pursuers and subsequently died many years later under a pseudonym.


2. Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the President of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003). A leading member of the revolutionary Ba’ath Party, which espoused secular pan-Arabism, economic modernization, and Arab socialism, Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power.  

As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam spearheaded Iraq’s nationalization of the Western-owned Iraq Petroleum Company, which had long held a monopoly on the country’s oil.

Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of government as Iraq’s economy grew at a rapid pace. As president, Saddam maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War of 1980 through 1988, and throughout the Persian Gulf War of 1991. During these conflicts, Saddam suppressed several movements, particularly Shi’a and Kurdish movements seeking to overthrow the government or gain independence, respectively.

Whereas some Arabs venerated him for his aggressive stance against foreign intervention and for his support for the Palestinians, other Arabs and Western leaders vilified him as the force behind both a deadly attack on northern Iraq in 1988 and, two years later, an invasion of Kuwait to the south.


1. Raoul Moat

The 2010 Northumbria Police manhunt was a major police operation in North East England in which armed police officers under the command of the Northumbria Police force attempted to apprehend Raoul Moat, a 37-year-old man from Newcastle upon Tyne who had been recently released from Durham Prison. Moat, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, shot three people two days after his release: his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, her new partner Chris Brown, and police officer David Rathband.

Brown was killed, while Rathband remained in hospital for nearly three weeks and was permanently blinded. Seriously injured Stobbart also remains hospitalised. After six days on the run, Moat was recognised by police and contained in the open, leading to a standoff. After nearly six hours of negotiation, Moat shot himself in the early hours of the following morning, and was later pronounced dead at Newcastle General Hospital. The operation took place across the entire Northumbria Police area, which covers both the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear and the county of Northumberland.  

The manhunt began after the shootings of Stobbart and Brown in the early hours of 3 July 2010 in Birtley. Nearly 22 hours later, the shooting of traffic police officer Rathband, parked in East Denton, was linked to Moat. Moat was believed to have a grudge against the police after Stobbart had, out of fear, lied to Moat about being in a relationship with a police officer. Shortly after his release from prison, Moat had posted threats to police and others on his Facebook profile.

Moat apparently targeted Rathband randomly, simply for being an officer. He also made threats in two letters and several phone calls that he would kill any officer who attempted to stop him. A former bouncer and bodybuilder, he was reported to be prone to bouts of anger known as roid rage, due to steroid abuse. Both the police and some of Moat’s relatives made several appeals for Moat to give himself up for the sake of his children. After a sighting on the night of 5 July in an armed robbery at Seaton Delaval, on 6 July it was announced that Moat was believed to be in Rothbury. The police manhunt remained focused there with several further suspected sightings, until the final confrontation at Riverside, Rothbury.


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