FBI recognizes beginning of ‘Ten Most Wanted List’

On March 14, 1950, the FBI initiated its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program

FBI 'Most-Wanted Fugitives' Named
A Ten Most Wanted poster from 1950. Courtesy: FBI

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) – On March 14, 1950, the FBI initiated its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program, inspired by a reporter who, the year before, had asked about the “toughest guys” the Bureau wanted to capture.

According to the FBI, the resulting story generated so much publicity and had so much appeal that late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program. The first person to be placed on the list was Thomas James Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother.

Since its inception, 512 fugitives have been on the “Top Ten” list, and 481 have been apprehended or located. Some interesting facts about the program are:

    • 160 fugitives have been captured/located as a result of citizen cooperation.
    • Two fugitives were apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour.
    • The shortest amount of time spent on the “Top Ten” list was two hours, by Billy Austin Bryant in 1969.
    • The longest amount of time spent on the “Top Ten” list was over 32 years by Victor Manuel Gerena.
    • Nine fugitives were arrested prior to publication and release, but are still considered as officially on the list.
    • The oldest person to be placed on the list is 77-year-old William Bradford Bishop, Jr., who was added in April of 2014.

In recognition of the anniversary of the list, here are today’s Ten Most Wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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